Dale Earnhardt Sr named to NASCAR Hall of Fame

Earnhardt Named to First Class of NASCAR Hall of Fame MOORESVILLE, NC (October 14, 2009) - In the crowning achievement of an incredible career that celebrated a record seven NASCAR Sprint Cup titles and 76 NASCAR victories, Dale Earnhardt has...

Earnhardt Named to First Class of NASCAR Hall of Fame

MOORESVILLE, NC (October 14, 2009) - In the crowning achievement of an incredible career that celebrated a record seven NASCAR Sprint Cup titles and 76 NASCAR victories, Dale Earnhardt has been selected as one of five inaugural inductees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Announced by NASCAR CEO Brian France earlier today, Earnhardt, one of NASCAR's favorite drivers and fiercest competitors, was selected to the first class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame based on the achievements of his 26-year career and his many contributions to the sport both on and off the track. He joins Bill France, Sr., Bill France, Jr., Richard Petty and Junior Johnson in the inaugural group to be recognized at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 23, 2010. Earnhardt's selection was voted on by NASCAR track owners, team owners, series officials, drivers and media members.

"It is truly an honor to see Dale Earnhardt recognized as one of the five most influential members of the NASCAR family and inducted in the first class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame," said Teresa Earnhardt, President and CEO of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. "Of the many legendary accomplishments and accolades of his career - from the seven championships to the win in the Daytona 500 to the founding of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. -- this is another defining moment. It is the achievement of a lifetime and is celebrated by the millions of Dale Earnhardt fans around the world. "From now on, Dale Earnhardt's spirit will live on at Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and part of him will live at the NASCAR Hall of Fame," she added. "Not only would he be proud of this day, he'd be proud to see the legacy of his race team competing for a championship with Juan Pablo Montoya."

Kerry Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt's oldest son, said the selection of his father to the NASCAR Hall of Fame is a humbling experience.

"The legends that were nominated for the NASCAR Hall of Fame were my racing heroes growing up - and my Dad was first among them," said Kerry Earnhardt. "Congratulations to all of the legends who were selected for the NASCAR Hall of Fame and thank you to the members of the voting panel for recognizing my Dad's accomplishments in the sport. To see my Dad voted to the very first class to be inducted in the NASCAR Hall of Fame is amazing and humbling. He was a legend to the millions of fans who cheered him every week, and definitely a hero to me."

For Taylor Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt's youngest daughter, seeing her father recognized as one of five most influential people in NASCAR is inspiring.

"I'm so proud to see my Dad selected to the first class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame," said Taylor Earnhardt. "Everything he did, he did with passion, a competitive spirit and a drive to win. That legacy is inspiring to me, and I hope it is inspiring to all of his fans celebrating this exciting event."

Dale Earnhardt's oldest daughter, Kelley Earnhardt, said the selection of her father is an incredible moment for all of his fans.

"We are extremely honored to see my father chosen as part of the esteemed first class of NASCAR Hall of Fame members, and we want to congratulate the fellow inductees and their families," said Kelley Earnhardt. "To be part of the inaugural class is the ultimate honor -- one that is cemented in time and achieved by no other outside of the five members. My father impacted many lives, and I know I speak on behalf of Dale Earnhardt fans everywhere in showing our appreciation that his memory will live forever inside the walls of the NASCAR Hall of Fame."

Dale Earnhardt, Jr., thanked the voting panel for recognizing his father's accomplishments.

"For what my Dad achieved in this sport - both on and off the track - he certainly earned his place in history and deserves to be distinguished in this inaugural class of NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees," said Dale Earnhardt, Jr. "I want to thank the voting panel and nomination committee for recognizing that and honoring him this way. It means a lot to the Earnhardt family, and it means a lot to my Dad's fans, which I am one. He was the man, plain and simple."

Fans Can Join the Celebration of Dale Earnhardt's Selection

For the legions of Dale Earnhardt fans who faithfully support their hero, the selection of Dale Earnhardt to the first class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame is cause for celebration. To honor the event, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. will be open for a fan celebration at Dale Earnhardt, Inc. headquarters in Mooresville, NC, throughout the weekend of October 16 and 17, 2009 and will debut a new exhibit featuring his memorabilia. In addition, fans can post a congratulatory message at www.DaleEarnhardt.com.

In addition, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has created a special commemorative icon for Dale Earnhardt's selection to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. It will be featured throughout the year of celebration of his induction, and will be available for fans on select apparel and commemorative items on www.DaleEarnhardtInc.com.

About Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and the Dale Earnhardt Foundation

Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has a nearly 30-year history as a racing organization, founded by one of the most storied individuals in the sport. It is committed to keeping this legacy alive and to building Dale Earnhardt, Inc. as a leader in the motorsports industry, an innovator in the automotive and transportation business and champion in philanthropic outreach.

The Dale Earnhardt Foundation's mission is to "Continue the Legend" through charitable programs and grants that sustain Earnhardt's lifelong commitment to Children, Education and Wildlife Preservation. Through the legacy of Dale Earnhardt, the Foundation has been able to help thousands of people in need, give college students and future leaders a chance to pursue their dreams and improve the environment through conservation efforts.

-credit: dei/def

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Series Automotive , NASCAR
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Kerry Earnhardt , Richard Petty , Junior Johnson , Taylor Earnhardt