I Killed Dale Earnhardt

What the Intimidator’s death taught us about NASCAR.

The fifth anniversary of the death of Dale Earnhardt is causing NASCAR fans to reflect on the life and career of a man some consider the best race-car driver in history. The day after Earnhardt was killed in a crash during the 2001 Daytona 500, Seth Stevenson ruminated on NASCAR’s perverse pleasures: “The qualities that make NASCAR fun to watch are the same ones that make it so deadly. Many fans loved Dale Earnhardt specifically because he often slammed other cars, sending them into dangerous spins as he passed by unharmed.”