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ALSO SEEEarnhardt live life brash and also on-the-edgeRecent auto gyeongju deathsMichael Waltrip wins Daytona 500Daytona 500 unofficially ResultsDaytona 500 GalleryDaytona 500 collection 2Punch: Earnhardt unselfish at the endWednesday, November 19, 2003Earnhardt die instantly the head injuriesAssociated Press

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Dale Earnhardt, one of the greateststars in auto racing history, passed away Sunday indigenous injuries in alast-lap crash in ~ the Daytona 500.

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The seven-time Winston Cup champion had actually to be cut out that his carafter slamming right into the wall on the last turn that the gyeongju whilefighting because that position. He was taken to the hospital accompanied byhis son, Dale Jr., a young NASCAR star that finished 2nd in therace.

Dale Earnhardt (No. 3) goes into the wall surface while being simultaneously rammed through Ken Schrader (No. 36).

"This is easy to understand the toughest announcement I"ve ever hadto make. We"ve shed Dale Earnhardt," NASCAR president Mike Heltonsaid.

Earnhardt died instantly that head injuries, stated Steve Bohannon,a doctor at Halifax clinical Center.

"There to be nothing that might have to be done because that him," hesaid.

The death comes at a time the driver safety problems were underincreased scrutiny. 3 NASCAR vehicle drivers were killed in wrecks lastseason.

The accident taken place a half-mile from the finish of the NASCARseason-opener, winner by Michael Waltrip.

Earnhardt, to run fourth, grazed Sterling Marlin"s car, crashedinto the wall surface at the high-banked 4th turn going about 180 mph,and to be smacked tough by Ken Schrader.

Earnhardt"s fatality was the best blow to auto gyeongju sincethree-time Formula One champion Ayrton Senna was killed in the SanMarino grand Prix in Imola, Italy, in 1994.

Neil Bonnett, among Earnhardt"s finest friends, was eliminated thatsame year in practice for the Daytona 500. Rodney Orr died in awreck 3 days later, additionally in practice, and was the critical driverkilled in ~ the track till Earnhardt"s accident.

"NASCAR has lost its biggest driver ever, and also I personallyhave lost a great friend," NASCAR chairman invoice France Jr. Said.

It was the second major wreck in 5 years in the race forEarnhardt, a driver known for his aggressiveness ~ above the track. Heflipped insanity on the backstretch close to the end of the gyeongju in 1997but was not seriously hurt. That came back to win the gyeongju the nextyear ~ above his 20th try.

Earnhardt is the leader among energetic Winston Cup motorists with 76career victories. He also had the most victories in ~ DaytonaInternational Speedway, 34.

The fatality made Waltrip"s victory essentially meaningless, asdrivers mourned among their greatest stars.

"My love is hurting right now," Waltrip said before news ofEarnhardt"s death was announced. "I would fairly be any kind of placeright this moment than here. It"s for this reason painful."

Earnhardt was doing what that does best throughout the race, beingthe group favorite and also bumping various other cars for position.

He to be a factor throughout, and spent the final laps near tohis son and Waltrip, trying to block Marlin. Marlin had just passedEarnhardt, that was trying to get earlier by the on the low side of thetrack as soon as there to be slight call that sent his Chevroletspinning increase the banking.

the turned come the right and also hit the wall, and also Schrader might notavoid hitting Earnhardt"s car. Both cars slowly started to slide downto the bottom that the track together the rest of the field raced by.

Earnhardt Jr. Easily left the postrace celebration because that Waltrip,and sprinted to the infield care center come be with his father. Ittook number of minutes to obtain the elder Earnhardt the end of the car, andhe was easily taken come Halifax Hospital.

Meanwhile, the group at win Circle to be chanting "DEI,DEI," because that Dale Earnhardt Inc., which own the car of his child andWaltrip. The celebration, which typically lasts 30 minutes, endedquickly.

last May, Busch series driver Adam Petty, the grandson of stockcar good Richard Petty, was eliminated in Loudon, N.H. Two monthslater, Winston Cup driver Kenny Irwin additionally was eliminated at NewHampshire global Speedway.

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NASCAR truck series driver Tony Roper was killed in October atTexas engine Speedway.