March 30, 2010
We're more than nine years down the line from Dale Earnhardt's passing, and still nobody has come anywhere close to matching his influence on NASCAR. To commemorate his induction as a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame's inaugural class, ESPN has released a brand-new "bookazine" honoring his life and legacy. For any Intimidator fan, it's a must-read, and for anybody who wasn't a Dale fan -- or, heaven forbid, came along too late to recall Senior's legacy -- this will show you exactly what we lost when we lost Dale.
The "bookazine" -- it's a little thicker than a magazine, a little thinner than a book; two great tastes that taste great together -- is jammed full of fine quotes and recollections. Check these:
• "Dale Earnhardt's opinion in the garage area is like God's to us." -Ernie Irvan
• "I'd put some psychological stuff in the papers, but it wouldn't do any good 'cause Dale and his boys can't read." -Darrell Waltrip
• "It's just like kids growing up wanting to be Michael Jordan or wanting to be Dale Earnhardt. When I was growing up, I wanted to be Dale Earnhardt." -Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Beyond that, there's everything from the heartfelt (recollections from rivals and family) to the curious (an article on his barber? Huh?) to the prophetic.
One kid remembered one of the only times he met Senior this way: when Senior spotted the kid working on Ron Hornaday's car, Earnhardt yelled, "Boy, you on payroll?" When Hornaday said he was just helping out, Earnhardt shouted, "You get off my damn property if you're not on payroll! All I need you to do is cut your [profane]ing leg off and me ending up with some kind of lawsuit!" That kid's name? Jimmie Johnson.
The Earnhardt bookazine is 10 bucks. Grab a copy (full disclosure: we got one for review purposes) and let us know what you think.
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