Classic Photos of Dale Earnhardt

Photo: Dozier Mobley/Getty Images

1976

The son of the great short track racer Ralph Earnhardt, who died of a heart attack in 1973 at 45, Dale wasn't initially successful following in his footsteps. Like today's start-and-parkers, the Intimidator's early goal was simply to survive in taking underfunded rides and one-race gimmicks like this Charlotte deal helped along by legendary promoter Humpy Wheeler. Earnhardt's first two Cup starts were at the 1.5-mile oval; he ran 23rd and 31st, respectively in starts that earned him a total of just $4,150.

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