The Earnhardts: A Biography by Gerry Souter

By Gerry Souter

From mid-century airborne dirt and dust tracks to trendy great speedways, The Earnhardts: A Biography tells the striking tale of a racing family—Dale, his father Ralph, and son Dale Jr.—whose careers span the whole heritage of NASCAR and whose accomplishments outline this special American motorsport.

Drawing on wide study, together with interviews with buddies, relatives, and activities writers protecting the NASCAR scene, Gerry Souter follows the Earnhardts' tale from Ralph's brief tune racing in autos he equipped himself to Dale's record-setting occupation and surprising dying to Dale Jr.'s emergence as one of many sport's most well liked figures this day. throughout the lives of the Earnhardts, and their unrivaled legacy of labor and victory, readers see American inventory vehicle racing evolve from its rural Southern roots right into a national phenomenon.

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Extra resources for The Earnhardts: A Biography

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Who knows more about making roads better than somebody who spent time roaring on stiff springs through the clay cuts at night with a full load of moonshine whiskey, peering ahead into the fog for police roadblocks? Other drivers turned it on when the green flag fell, created their legend between the concrete walls and the infield pits, and then turned it off when the checkered flag dropped. They were the technical wizards who survived on touch and feel and that ability to see the air between cars.

While Ralph Earnhardt earned the nicknames Ironheart for his stamina and dogged pursuit of prize purses and also Mr. Consistency for developing a patient race plan that produced victories, there were the flashier drivers who lived large and drove the same way. There were a lot of stars who worked their way up through the pack in the 1950s and ’60s, but a few stand out. Earnhardt was always ready to swap paint and drive hard if someone was between him and that checkered flag going into the last tow laps, but there were also drivers who only knew how to drive flat out until they won or turned their car into smoldering junk.

Tom Gillispie, I Remember Dale Earnhardt (Nashville, TN: Cumberland House, 2001), p. 54. 7. , p. 117. 8. Mane, p. 21. Chapter 4 NASCAR—THROUGH THE 1950s Two events marked the maturing NASCAR as it said good-by to the 1940s. At the end of 1948 and a schedule of 52 dirt-track races, Bill France Sr. awarded the first winning checks to drivers who earned the most points during that inaugural year. The points system—which awarded points for drivers finishing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd—was worked out earlier on a bar napkin.

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