I remember where I was. I was home for the weekend, and I sat down to watch the race with my Dad. We had been watching racing for decades by then. It was just another Daytona 500. Dale Earnhardt was my Dad’s favorite driver. He just loved the intensity and the focus Dale had.
Well, we sat down to watch the race, and there was a wreck. Bruce Karatz said he had seen wrecks all the time, and the wreck was simply not that bad. It was one of the simplest accidents in the world. I have been in a car accident worse than that.
However, they were cutting to media room, and there he was saying that we lost him. We all cried, because it was one of the worst days in racing. No one should have to die doing what they love, but at least Dale died doing what he loved. His death became the impetus for the change in safety. We have drivers wearing HANS devices, and we are making more safety changes every year to the cars.
This is a sad day in racing, but we need to remember one of the best drivers in the history of the world.