Dale Earnhardt Statue Unveiled At Daytona International Speedway DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 7, 2002) - Teresa Earnhardt and Bill France Jr unveiled the Dale Earnhardt statue today at Daytona International Speedway. The following are facts about...
Dale Earnhardt Statue Unveiled At Daytona International Speedway
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 7, 2002) - Teresa Earnhardt and Bill France Jr unveiled the Dale Earnhardt statue today at Daytona International Speedway.
The following are facts about the statue and about Dale Earnhardt's career.
Dale Earnhardt Statue Facts
* The statue, including the base, is 9 ft. tall and weighs approximately 1,200 lbs.
* The figures of Dale Earnhardt and the No. 3 are made of cast silicon bronze with a patina finish.
* The pedestal is constructed of concrete and the checkered board base, which represents Victory Lane, is made of two-tone black granite.
* Earnhardt's racing gloves, made of cast silicon bronze, sit on the wall behind the statue.
* Alongside Earnhardt's racing gloves is a penny, made of cast silicon bronze, which represents the penny given to Earnhardt by a young fan for "luck" the day he captured his first and only win in the Daytona 500 in 1998.
* Designed by North American Testing Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of ISC.
* Wall surrounding statue represents Daytona International Speedway's 2.5 mile tri-oval.
* Walkway around the statue incorporates a timeline highlighting Dale Earnhardt's seven Winston Cup championships, his 1998 Daytona 500 victory and his last Winston Cup race.
John Lajba, of Omaha, Nebraska, took eight months to design and construct the sculpture of Dale Earnhardt. Lajba, who earned his bachelor's of fine arts degree from Bellevue College, Bellevue, NE, in 1983, has been a professional sculptor since 1981. Among his works are the bronze sculpture of Bill and Anne France, which sits outside DAYTONA USA; the Grey Eagle Sculpture Series for the United States Airforce in Washington, DC; the MVP Award for the College World Series in 1998 and 1999; the "Road to Omaha" 50th Anniversary College World Series Memorial Sculpture, Omaha, NE; and the True Value Man of the Year Award, NASCAR, 1996-1998.
DALE EARNHARDT'S CAREER
Dale Earnhardt is the winningest driver in the history of Daytona International Speedway, showing a total of 34 victories. Earnhardt's Daytona resume is as follows: one Daytona 500 victory (1998), two Pepsi 400s (1990, 1993), seven NAPA Auto Parts 300s (1982, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994), 12 Gatorade 125's (1983, 1986, 1990-1999), six Budweiser Shootouts (1980, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995), six IROC events (1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000).
DALE EARNHARDT AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
* Earnhardt won a record consecutive 10 Gatorade 125's between 1990 and 1999.
* Earnhardt completed all 500 miles of the Daytona 500 a record 14 times, more than any driver.
* Earnhardt won five straight NAPA Auto Parts 300s between 1990-94, also a record.
* Earnhardt captured the most True/Value IROC Series victories at Daytona with six and the most consecutive victories at three.
* Earnhardt drove in the 2001 Rolex 24 At Daytona, his first sportscar endeavor. His team finished fourth overall and second in class.
* Earnhardt's average finish in the Daytona 500 is 11th and his average start is 8.6.
* Earnhardt's average finish in the Gatorade 125s is 5.0 and his average start is 4.7.
* Earnhardt's average finish in the Pepsi 400 is 10.5 and his average start is 10.3.
* Earnhardt made 23 starts in the Daytona 500 and 23 starts in the Pepsi 400.
* Earnhardt finished second in the Daytona 500 five times (1984, 1993, 1995, 1996 and 1999).
* Earnhardt recorded 12 top-five finishes in the Daytona 500.
* Earnhardt recorded 10 top-five finishes in the Pepsi 400.
* Earnhardt recorded 18 top-10 finishes in the Pepsi 400.
* Earnhardt's first start at Daytona International Speedway was in the 1978 Pepsi 400. He started 28th and finished seventh driving the No. 96 Ford owned by Will Cronkrite. The car driven by Earnhardt was an old Bud Moore Engineering machine.
* Earnhardt's first start in the Daytona 500 was in 1979. He started 10th and finished eighth driving the No. 2 Buick for Rod Osterlund.
* Earnhardt's first victory at Daytona International Speedway was the 1980 Budweiser Shootout, driving for Rob Osterlund.
* Earnhardt's last victory at Daytona International Speedway was the 2000 True Value IROC Round 1.
DALE EARNHARDT'S NASCAR WINSTON CUP SERIES CAREER (1975-2001)
* Seven-time Winston Cup champion: 1980, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, tying Richard Petty for most NASCAR Winston Cup Championships. Also finished second in the points race three times: 1989, 1995, 2000
* NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year: 1979
* Dale Earnhardt was the first driver to win NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year and NASCAR Winston Cup Series Championship titles in successive seasons: 1979 and 1980.
* First career start: 1975, Charlotte Motor Speedway, World 600, started 33rd, finished 22nd. Total starts: 676 Total poles: 22 Outside poles: 30 Career victories: Sixth on the all-time wins list with 76, third on the all-time superspeedway wins list with 48. Second-place finishes: 70 Third-place finishes: 59 Fourth-place finishes: 43 Fifth-place finishes: 33 Top-10 finishes: 428 First win: April 1, 1979, Bristol Motor Speedway True Value/IROC Championships: 4
Dale Earnhardt won more races at Atlanta Motor Speedway (9 wins) and Talladega Superspeedway (10 wins) than any other driver.
Other career accomplishments:
* In 1987, Dale Earnhardt became the third modern-era driver to win four consecutive races.
* In 1997, Dale Earnhardt ended a 15-year streak (1982-1996) of at least one victory per season.
* Dale Earnhardt is the leading all-time money winner, having earned $41,639,662 throughout his career. He won more money on superspeedways than any other driver during his career: $19,886,444.
* Dale Earnhardt was the first NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver to perform in Japan, having tested there in January 1996.
* Dale Earnhardt was the first three-time winner of The Winston: (1987, 1990, 1993).