Ebene News – US – How Dale Earnhardt Changed NASCAR, Before and After His Death

Ryan Newman doesn’t believe people remember Dale Earnhardt for the way he died 20 years ago today But it cannot be denied that much of the legacy and of Earnhardt’s impact on the sport is what happened in the two decades since his fatal crash on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500

“We have learned a lot and collectively we have kept so many drivers alive through the adjustments that have been made to the safety of our sport,” said Newman

Newman is one such driver All of the safety advancements in the wake of Earnhardt’s death and from other lessons took place in Newman’s Ford Roush Fenway Racing last year when he had a frightening accident on the last lap of the Daytona 500 But Newman, after a two-day hospital stay, left with nothing more than a brain bruise

Maybe NASCAR should be looked at in the BD and AD years, i.e. before Earnhardt’s death and after Earnhardt’s death Before Earnhardt’s death, NASCAR was not blind to safety, according to Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and director of racing development, but conversations certainly accelerated after his death In fact, the conversations have changed completely

“It certainly sped up the conversation around the HANS device,” O’Donnell said. “It wasn’t immediately accepted; it was a fight with some pilots to say, “This is real, and you have to use it” “

Some in the garage had urged their drivers to start wearing the HANS device after Adam Petty’s death, Kenny Irwin Jret Tony Roper in 2000 Brett Bodine was one of the early promoters of the device, although ‘he caught the sorrow of some of his competitors for wearing it Earnhardt was not a fan of the HANS device and was even on the record calling it a “fucking noose.” Five drivers wore the device in the 2001 Daytona 500 before it became mandatory in October 2001

“SAFER barriers, same thing,” O’Donnell continued. “Why do runways have to put them in? Will it really make a difference? (Earnhardt’s death) helped speed up those conversations, but culture is what Dale Earnhardt changed, and it was a full-fledged culture of all of these things

“Certainly the HANS device and the SAFER barriers were enormous, but it is our ability to talk about technology every day, to talk about safety We continue to have people in the industry approach us about these ideas rather than just talking about how to make the car fast “

Thousands of words have been written about Earnhardt over the past 20 years Documentaries and movies have attempted to explain what makes him so polarizing Others just wanted to share a story of auto racing wealth

Earnhardt was the sport’s most popular rider, and perhaps the most relatable to fans During his career, Earnhardt earned the nickname “The Intimidator”, but it was not until after his passing that many realized he was in fact Superman, and the loss of Superman caused a seismic shift in NASCAR

Earnhardt was the guy who could walk into the NASCAR transporter for a conversation Due to his close relationship with the France family, Earnhardt was a voice – loud – people listened to and viewed

Kevin Harvick points out that Earnhardt changed the sport in so many ways There was his relationship to NASCAR and the things Earnhardt did off the track Considered a larger than life personality, Earnhardt was the ‘one of those who helped take NASCAR out of the niche to the mainstream He and Jeff Gordon were among the first game-changers in merchandise and marketing It wasn’t just the world of NASCAR that knew the name Earnhardt

“I think the impact he had after his death on the safety of the sport was far greater than what would have happened to anyone else,” Harvick said. “And I thinks that impact will likely be his impact from a competitors perspective, as some of them at this time and age might not even realize the impact he has had on the safety side

“His presence transcended outside of NASCAR only,” said O’Donnell “The sport was really growing, and maybe some of the ideas (on safety) outside of the garage bubble were also coming from of (his death) because of the size of his star and his name”

Richard Childress still thinks about Earnhardt and what Earnhardt would do today But as terrible as it is to lose your good friend and many will never recover, Childress understands that a lot has happened on that fateful day

“There have been some horrible crashes,” Childress said “Austin Dillon (in 2015 at Daytona) and Ryan Newman You can go through the list of accidents, and these drivers are gone for safety reasons”

NASCAR racing made Earnhardt prosperous, wealthy and celebrated In turn, Earnhardt made racing fun, and more than two decades later, better because of him

“We’ve come a long way since 2001, but making our races safer is something that is never over,” said John Patalak, NASCAR’s senior vice president for innovation and road development. safety “Running is always a dangerous sport so we will continue to work on our safety research projects and continue to learn and look for ways to make the runner safer with our industry And we will continue to research the next generation tools that will unlock these future advances in security “

Kelly has been on the NASCAR beat full time since 2013 and joined RACER as NASCAR Editor in 2017 Her work has also appeared in NASCARcom, NASCAR Illustrated Magazine and NBC Sports Graduate in Corporate Communication from Central Penn College , Crandall is a two-time recipient of George Cunningham Writer of the Year from the National Motorsports Press Association

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Dale Earnhardt

Ebene News – US – How Dale Earnhardt Changed NASCAR, Before and After His Death

Source: https://racer.com/2021/02/18/how-dale-earnhardt-changed-nascar-before-and-after-his-death/