Race fans across the country will mark Friday as the 10th anniversary of Dale Earnhardt's death with a weekend of tributes that started tonight with a candlelight vigil.
The Dale Earnhardt Candlelight Tribute was held tonight at Dale Earnhardt Inc. on Coddle Creek Highway (Hwy. 3) southeast of Mooresville.
The tribute started at 6 p.m. and was open to the public. Visitors signed a special guest book that will go into the Earnhardt family archives.
The tribute continues on Sunday about 500 miles away in Daytona as fans will observe a moment of silence during the third lap of the Daytona 500 to honor Earnhardt.
SLIDESHOW: Dale Earnhardt Candlelight Vigil
Earnhardt was killed in an accident on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. The speedway considered various ways to mark the 10-year anniversary of Earnhardt's death.
"We felt the appropriate way to honor Dale Earnhardt was in the actual racing," said track president Joie Chitwood. "The best way to appreciate the things Dale did -- he was about racing -- and how we respect him should be on the track. That to us was a real racing tribute and more appropriate than anything we could have done in the pre-race show."
Chitwood said track officials were working with the broadcast partners to go silent on the third lap of the Feb. 20 race. Fans will also be asked to stand and raise three fingers on that lap for Earnhardt.
The No. 3 will also be painted into the grass at Daytona on Saturday night before the season-opening race.