Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It Was A Dark Day

Thirteen years ago today NASCAR President Mike Helton stood before a group of anxious racing journalists and fans watching the sports channels and said:  "We've lost Dale Earnhardt."

Things have changed since that day. Drivers tend to walk away from crashes similar to the one that killed Dale because of the HANS device and other major safety improvements in the car and at the tracks. There are not as many NASCAR fans at the tracks nor watching the races on television, either. While many argue that is due to a bad economy and other reasons, I strongly suspect that many casual fans were turned off when the sport's major hero was killed.

But that all came later and has been a steady evolution that has not finished. It was just a shockingly sad day to be a NASCAR fan and in particular if you were an Earnhardt fan, which clearly I was and still am.

“You can’t let one bad moment spoil a bunch of good ones.” - Dale Earnhardt


Nursejoan said...

I, too, continue to be a Dale fan as well as a restrictor free fan. That's what racing was all about in the racing glory days - didn't have any restrictor plates when the good old boys were running shine . . . I watched in tears and horrified the day Dale died. He had been my favorite for years. God was with hin when he died doing what he truly loved doing - racing. We should all be so fortunate. Sure hope your health is looking up as well.

drjim said...

I remember the day well.

I was working at DirecTV, and watching the race, when I saw his accident.

It didn't look too bad, but they sure seemed to take an awfully long time to get him out of the car.

When they announced his passing I was stunned.

B said...

Fewer fans because Nascar ticket prices are way too high and because too many races are on Cable only channels.