February 18, 2011 by staff
Dale Earnhardt, (CP) – Michael Waltrip still remembers how he felt the first time he smacked into one of the SAFER barriers to absorb shocks that have sprouted on the walls circuit following the death of Dale Earnhardt. Or, rather, that it does not feel. As his car skidded into the wall, a thought crossed his mind Waltrip: He has been planning a vacation, but now thought it would be headed to the hospital instead. “We went to Costa Rica, morrow,” said Waltrip. “When it blew, I thought, ‘I’m not going anywhere. I will eat straw is what will happen to me. ”
And then … nothing. “I braced myself and grew and he hit, and I was like, ‘that did not hurt! That did not hurt at all! “Said Waltrip. Like so many drivers since Earnhardt died, Waltrip unhurt. Two days after Johnson rose the fifth consecutive time the Sprint Cup trophy, Hendrick made significant changes to its organization. This is the kind of swap shop, which could prevent the team’s most dominant NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, and the racing world’s top ultra-competitive.
“We needed to shake and have a real reason to come back with some enthusiasm and some self-inflicted pressure,” said Hendrick. “We were late in many areas, so we had to catch up.”
Catch up? Hendrick? Really?
By the standards Hendrick, the team of four cars fell behind in 2010. Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were winless.
He waited almost a decade to watch it. Joy stenciled on its surface belied the pain that was inside.
The drive was long diffusion length of his Daytona 500 2001 and the victory was decorated by a sister before she knew that the seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt – the owner of Waltrip’s car – was killed in an accident last turn.
“I never could play,” said Waltrip. “When I decided to write the book, I finally set, and I was so happy that I watched. It made me open this chapter of my life and try to make sense.
“I do not celebrate the fact that I won the Daytona 500 in 2001. It’s like the worst race to win because of the events that followed. But I wanted to honor Dale and I knew I would feel better and their fans feel better. The book is the result of me trying to dig deeper into the day. But that’s not why I dug deeper. ”
[Source: image via WWW.TEAMTERRIER.COM]
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