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Updated: 10:44 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18, 2011 | Posted: 9:46 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18, 2011
MOORESVILLE, N.C. —
"I love Dale. I love what he stood for," said Evelyn Robbins, an Earnhardt fan.
Earnhardt, known on the track as 'The Intimidator' because of his aggressive style of driving, died on Feb. 18, 2001, when his car crashed into the wall on the final lap of the Daytona 500.
"He was the man," said Robbins, who joined other fans to pay tribute at Dale Earnhardt Inc. to one of the sport's most popular drivers.
"It's just great to see everyone come out," said Kerry Earnhardt, one of Dale's sons.
Kerry said his father's memory still resonates with many race fans 10 years after his death.
"I think it's just, you know, the working man's hero," said Kerry. "You know, he grew up working for what he had and earning everything he got."
Since the tragic accident at Daytona, Fla., 10 years ago, NASCAR has changed the sport and the cars, due in large part to lessons learned from the crash.
"NASCAR has really advanced in the safety aspect of racing, you know, with the Hans device (which restricts neck movement in a crash) and the car of tomorrow," said Kerry.
But he said when he and others at DEI look back, they remember Dale Earnhardt not just as a driver, but as a friend and father.
"We were just talking about some of the good times we had with dad and some of the fun memories we had with him," he said.
Kerry planned to go to Daytona to attend the race on Sunday.
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