Local News

Easley Proclaims Tuesday Dale Earnhardt Day

Posted April 28, 2003 11:10 a.m. EDT

— Gov. Mike Easley has proclaimed Tuesday as Dale Earnhardt Day in North Carolina to honor the former NASCAR great, who was born 52 years ago in Kannapolis.

"Dale Earnhardt brought joy and motivation to his many fans throughout the world through his phenomenal accomplishments as a Winston Cup Champion," Easley said.

"Dale Earnhardt was not only an extraordinary sportsman and citizen, but also an exceptional man who inspired young people throughout North Carolina and the world with his indomitable character and determination. It is appropriate to pay tribute to the life of this extraordinary North Carolinian who meant so much to the people of this state."

Born on April 29, 1951, Earnhardt won 76 races and seven Winston Cup Championships in his 23-year career. He was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.

Earnhardt remains the all-time American motor sports career money-winning leader with earnings of more than $41 million. He died in a crash at the 2001 Daytona 500 in Florida.

Easley signed House Bill 1516 last October to designate State Highway 136 in Iredell and Cabarrus counties as State Highway 3. Earnhardt drove car number 3. The Dale Earnhardt Highway, which passes through Kannapolis, was christened at a March 3 ceremony.