Dale Earnhardt's widow sent this letter to
February 23, 2001
Teresa Earnhardt's letter to fans
so she could speak to his fans around the world.
I can never fully
express my immense gratitude for the overwhelming support we have
It would be easy at
this time to get lost in the sadness of losing a loving husband, father
and grandfather. However, I and our family, as well as everyone at Dale
Earnhardt Inc., have chosen to take this time to reflect not on the
sadness we feel today, but on the joy Dale Earnhardt the man brought to us
and Dale Earnhardt the driver brought to so many fans for so many years.
It is a joy that will
carry us through the sadness and grief of this day and many days to come.
For our children,
Kerry, Kelley, Dale Jr. and Taylor, he was a father whose pride in his
children was greater than even his strongest desire as a competitor.
For his mother, Martha,
he was a son who always wanted to make sure she had what she needed.
For his brothers and
sisters, he was always an influential part of their lives.
For his employees, he
could be both demanding and praising and had the ability to create the
same desire to win in the crews and drivers that he had in himself. He was
very proud of what the teams at Dale Earnhardt Inc. had been able to do in
a very short period of time and the people who helped it happen and
supported its acceleration.
For his fans, there
simply was no one more sensational and with that I agree.
There were two sides to
Dale Earnhardt, and I am so blessed to have known both for the qualities
The public Dale
Earnhardt wanted to be the best. The competitive drive that burned inside
of him gave him the passion to win. If he was racing, he wanted to win the
most races and championships. If he was fishing, he wanted to catch the
The private Dale
Earnhardt, the husband and father and son and brother, wanted to be the
best as well. He struggled with that at times. Emotions didn't come as
easy to this man who stirred so much emotion in other people. But as his
children grew and began making decisions of their own, he saw that most of
the time, they made the decision by asking themselves, "What would
I will ask myself that
in the coming days and weeks and for a long time after that, I'm sure.
"What would Dale do?"
I think what Dale would
do, and what Dale would want us to do, is remember the joy that his life
brought. Remember the things about him that made you happy that you were
his fan. Remember the man who loved life.
He was the happiest
person I know, and that can comfort us all.
Earnhardt, Through The Eyes of His Son |
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