Ken Squier was there in 1979 when Dale Earnhardt Sr. made his first start in the Daytona 500 and Squier was there when Earnhardt finally won the race in 1998.
There’s no one better than Squier to narrate an essay on the importance of the history of the Earnhardt name and family to the track.
“Dale Earnhardt Sr. needed Daytona and Daytona needed Dale Earnhardt,” Squier says. “As Daytona grew, Dale grew.”
The Intimidator won 34 times at Daytona and his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr., has added 17 of his own wins in his NASCAR career. His last chance to add to the “Earnhardt mark” on Daytona comes Saturday in the Coke Zero 400 (7:30 p.m. ET on NBC).
NASCAR America’s analysts discussed what the legacy of the Earnhardt name is with Earnhardt Jr.’s impending retirement.
“The way their lives were intertwined, what they did on the race track has been intertwined,” Kyle Petty said. “The way the fans perceive what Senior was, what Junior is and what Junior has meant for this sport. What he has done recently as a leader of the sport, he has stepped into his father’s shoes. … When Junior stood up last year and said I’m not getting in that car because of my head injuries, I’m going to sit out.’ That’s leadership.