Lap 3 tribute to Earnhardt expected
Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida Daytona International Speedway is asking fans for a moment of silence on the third lap of the Daytona 500 as a tribute to the late Dale Earnhardt.
Earnhardt was killed in an accident on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. The speedway considered various ways to mark the 10-year anniversary of Earnhardt's death.
"We felt the appropriate way to honor Dale Earnhardt was in the actual racing," said track president Joie Chitwood. "The best way to appreciate the things Dale did he was about racing and how we respect him should be on the track.
"That, to us, was a real racing tribute and more appropriate than anything we could have done in the pre-race show."
"That sounds great," Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. "It's awesome however creative people become. I just love seeing him honored and love seeing him recognized. He's fortunate and I'm fortunate to have witnessed it and to have been a small piece of it, be a part of it.
"It will be a good experience for me," the legendary champion's son said. "I'm hoping that (his mother) Martha is watching every second of it and enjoying it, and his brothers and sisters are pleased. I hope it's a positive experience."
Chitwood said track officials were working with NASCAR's broadcast partners to go silent on the third lap of the Feb. 20 race. Fans will also be asked to stand and raise three fingers on that lap.
The No. 3 will also be painted into the grass at Daytona on Saturday night before the season-opening race.
More racing news, blogs, photos and more at www.ThatsRacin.com.