Or as I preferred callin’ Him Iron Head!
If you’re paying any attention to this weekend’s upcoming 63rd running of the Daytona 500, then you’re painfully aware of the fact that it marks the Twentieth Anniversary of Dale Earnhardt’s Death on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 race held on February 18th.
And for as great of racer ‘Ol Iron Head was, Thars’ just something that Don’t sit with me right ‘bout Racins rubbin! Or simply Shoving your Competitor outta the way, for which presumably is how Earnhardt got his nickname Intimidator, righto?
And even though I know he won his first of seven NASCAR Championships under Wrangler sponsorship, Dale became synonymous with GM’s “Mr. Goodwrench” sponsorship in his black No. 3 Chevrolet for Mwah.
And Don’t get me wrong, Earnhardt did a lot of good things during his driving career en route to his 76 Cup victories and seven Championships, as everybody’s seemingly got a Senior memory, But!
As my very favourite one’s gotta be when Dale hit an undeserving Seagull during the final laps when leading the 1990 Day-Toner’ 500 which the unlikely winner became the virtually unknown Derrike Cope, who grew up in Spanaway, Washington!
As ironically, Cope, who’s now 62 years old, will contest this year’s Daytona 500 race driving for Rick Ware Racing, aboard it’s #15 chevrolet Camaro. As it’s exactly half a lifetime ago that Cope won his maiden NASCAR Cup victory at Daytona, where he hasn’t raced since 2004. As Cope will roll off 32nd in this year’s Daytona 500.
Whilst I also recall my Mum’ giving me a time Life magazine with Earnhardt on it’s cover and it being devoted to the tragedy, for which I gave the magazine to a Co-worker I knew who was a ginormous Earnhardt Fan Wayback then…
Yet will anybody be discussing how Earnhardt refused to wear a HANS Device or the fact that he had his seatbelt installed upside down? Or that Emergency Workers cut the belt with a knife and in the aftermath of needing somebody to blame for the current King ‘O RASSCAR’s Death, Bill simpson was summarily thrown Under ye Proverbial Bus!
As I believe the now departed Simpson settled his Defamation Suit against NASCAR out of Court, and nobody ever knew how much NASCAR paid Him!
And as one of the inventors of the now de riggour HANS Devices, former Sports Car racer Jim Downing recently said, He’s 95% certain Earnhardt would have survived his life ending accident that day if he’d been wearing one of the devices, since I think he mentioned there’s been No Basal Skull fractures since the implementation of HANS in NASCAR.
For which I guess I can understand the need for the HALO and Aeroscreen Devices in our current day Open Wheel Racing environment being so prevalent, even if I’m not a Fan of them. As surely the HALO saved Romain Grosjean’s life in Bahrain last year, and I’m All for saving Racing Drivers lives…