Feb. 18, 2001 is a day that will live in infamy for millions of NASCAR fans. On that day a true legend of the sport, Dale Earnhardt, lost his life in turn 4 on the final lap of the Daytona 500. In honor of that tragic event SPEED is going to air a one-hour special that examines the day from sunrise to sunset, focusing on the events and emotions of everyone involved and how that horrific moment changed the sport forever. The special is entitled The Day: Remembering Dale Earnhardt.
The program marks the first time that Michael Waltrip has granted a television interview regarding the death of his former car owner, friend and mentor. Waltrip won the race on that tragic day for his first career victory after 463 unsuccessful starts. Waltrip relished his long-awaited triumph in an incredibly emotional victory lane before learning of Earnhardt’s untimely death. It took 10 years for Waltrip to be able to speak about that bittersweet day.
The show will take viewers back to Earnhardt’s final day from the pre-race ceremonies during which he gave wife Teresa and son Dale Earnhardt Jr. what would be a final hug on the starting grid before climbing into his black No. 3 Chevrolet, to the race, the fatal accident in turn 4 and the aftermath.
The special also explores Earnhardt’s history at Daytona, his relationship with car owner Richard Childress, his family, his DEI race team, his close friendship with Neil Bonnett, who died at Daytona in 1994, and other key players and events in Earnhardt’s life and career. There will also be several other NASCAR stars and celebrities recounting where they were when they first heard the news of Earnhardt’s passing.
The special will replay multiple times throughout Daytona Speedweeks, including Feb. 18 at 10 p.m. ET, immediately following SPEED’s live broadcast of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Daytona.
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