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His father had crashed in turn 4 after Sterling Marlin made contact with his left rear bumper. shot up the track into the outside wall behind Waltrip and his son and collected Ken Schrader in the process. was pronounced dead at pm due to a basilar skull fracture.
In the aftermath, many disgruntled fans sent death threats to Marlin and his family, blaming him for the crash; Earnhardt and Waltrip both requested that fans stopped blaming anybody for Earnhardt Sr.'s death and both the local police and NASCAR investigations into the crash cleared Marlin of any involvement.
1998, 1999 Busch Series Champion2004, 2014 Daytona 500 Winner2000 The Winston Winner2003, 2008 Budweiser Shootout Winner2003, 2004, 2008, 2015, 2016 Can-Am Duel Winner, 4 straight wins at Talladega Superspeedway (Fall 2001-Spring 2003), 5 time NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion as owner: 2004, 2005, 2014, 2017, 2018 Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Jr., (born October 10, 1974) is an American, semi-retired, professional stock car racing driver.
He is a team owner, author, and an analyst for NASCAR on NBC.
Later in the season, Earnhardt made a comeback, beginning with an emotional win at the Pepsi 400, which was also the first race held at Daytona since his father's death.
2000 was Earnhardt's breakout year in the Cup Series, he competed for the Raybestos NASCAR Rookie of the Year Award in 2000.
His primary competitor for the award was Matt Kenseth.
He has an elder sister, Kelley; an elder half-brother, Kerry, from his father's first marriage; and a younger half-sister, Taylor Earnhardt-Putnam, from his father's third marriage. As Brenda had no financial support after the fire, she gave up custody of the two children to Earnhardt Sr. During Earnhardt Jr.'s childhood, Kelley took care of him while their father and Teresa were busy with the race seasons.
When he became a delinquent at the age of 12, he was sent by his father and Teresa to a military school; three weeks later, Kelley quit high school to join him.