NASCAR America: Ken Squier on the end of the 40-year Earnhardt era at Daytona (video)

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There are few names more synonymous with Daytona International Speedway than Earnhardt.

We’re talking about the career success that the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. and his son, Dale Jr., have had at NASCAR’s most famous track.

It’s hard to mention DIS without adding the Earnhardt name.

And in Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 Dale Jr. will attempt to add one last win to the Earnhardt legacy, as he’ll be making his last Cup-level start at Daytona.

We heard from Earnhardt on Wednesday about how much it would mean to him and his family’s legacy if he was able to put the Earnhardt family name in victory lane for one last time.

In Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America, NASCAR Hall of Famer and veteran NASCAR broadcaster Ken Squier presented a beautiful explanation of why Daytona was so important to Dale Earnhardt Sr., how his love of the place rubbed off on Dale Jr., and how Dale Jr. wants to put an exclamation mark on the long Earnhardt relationship with the 2.5-mile that will come to an end Saturday.

There’s been so much written and said about this being Dale Jr.’s final race at Daytona, but lost in all of that is perhaps the most important factor about this race of all:

This will mark the conclusion of a streak of 40 consecutive years that either Dale Sr. (who made his first appearance at Daytona in the 1978 summer race) or Dale Jr. (makes his final appearance there as a Cup driver Saturday) has competed at Daytona. That is one heck of a legacy, even if he doesn’t win Saturday.

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