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Dale Earnhardt was a champion stock car driver with NASCAR who won seven championships. He died in the final lap of the Daytona 500 in 2001
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For the third time in five years, he topped the $3 million mark in earnings, and was indisputably the king of stock car racing.
The records kept on falling for Earnhardt throughout the 1990s, although he failed to win another Winston Cup. In 1996, he became the first driver to start in 500 consecutive Winston Cup races. The following year, Earnhardt broke $30 million in career earnings,
the most ever for a racecar driver.
The only major victory that had eluded Earnhardt up until that point was the crown jewel of stock car racing, the Daytona 500, held in Daytona, Florida. He had finished second in the race four times, missing wins by devastatingly thin margins in 1990, 1991 and 1995.
He survived a harrowing crash in 1997, only to return in fine form in February 1998, when he won his first Daytona in 20 career starts, breaking a dismal string of 59-straight losses overall. He finished eighth in points that season for his 18th top 10 finish in his 20-year career.
Earnhardt had two sons, Dale Jr. and Kerry (both of whom are also drivers), and a daughter, Kelly, from his first two marriages. He married his third wife, Teresa, in 1982, with whom he had another daughter, Taylor. The family lived on a farm in North Carolina. Known by the nicknames "the Man in Black" and "Ironhead" as well as "the Intimidator," Earnhardt was beloved by fans as the self-promoted "bad boy" of NASCAR racing. He died on February 18, 2001, after crashing his stock car on the last turn of the last lap of the Daytona 500.
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