For the 2001, the major enjoy of the season happened on the Daytona five hundred

Earnhardt played an associate inside recreating you to definitely Winston Cup milestone into the 2000 as he competed together with father and you may half of-brother Kerry regarding Pepsi eight hundred at the Michigan Around the globe Speedway. One occasion was only another big date that a father got raced against a couple sons – Lee Petty and his a couple guyanese online dating of sons Richard and you can Maurice had in past times completed this new task.

Due to the fact Earnhardt along with his teammate Michael Waltrip raced with the become line, the guy complete next so you’re able to Waltrip. Their dad got crashed in turn 4 once Sterling Marlin generated contact with their remaining bottom bumper. Earnhardt Sr. raised this new song towards external wall surface trailing Waltrip and you may their child and collected Ken Schrader in the process. Earnhardt Sr. was pronounced lifeless from the 5:sixteen pm due to good basilar skull crack.

On the wake, of many disgruntled fans delivered passing risks to ing your into the crash; Earnhardt and you can Waltrip each other expected you to admirers stopped blaming somebody to have Earnhardt Sr.’s death and you will the regional police and you will NASCAR research into the the newest freeze removed Marlin of any wedding. Earnhardt raced in the Rockingham next sunday, however, completed in 43rd-place shortly after a destroy into the very first lap one to featured eerily just like their dad’s wreck merely weekly earlier. Later on the season, Earnhardt made a comeback, beginning with an emotional win within Pepsi eight hundred, that was along with the first race kept on Daytona while the their father’s dying.

Earnhardt encountered the dominant car of battle, best 115 of 160 laps. Into last restart, he were able to do something regarding sixth so you’re able to first place on the span of one or two laps, that have Waltrip holding off the profession given that Earnhardt grabbed the brand new checkered flag. 400 at the Dover, that has been the initial Winston Glass Series race after the September eleven symptoms as new booked battle during the The newest Hampshire Engine Speedway is actually defer before the end of the season. After the race, he did a polish victory lap when you are carrying a huge Western flag from the driver’s side screen.

On Slip, Earnhardt took their second restrictor dish win when he claimed new EA Football five-hundred during the Talladega given that a crash unfolded towards right back immediately one caused Bobby Labonte to help you flip more than and have now built-up 15 most other cars. The Talladega winnings made Earnhardt a beneficial Winston Zero Bull 5 $1 million extra. He was docked 25 points, however, immediately after their automobile were unsuccessful article-competition check. With this earn, DEI swept about three of the four restrictor dish events to have 2001, just failing to victory this new spring Talladega battle. He accomplished the newest 2001 seasons 8th throughout the factors standings which have around three wins, 9 Better 5s, and 15 Best 10s, including several poles.

2002–03

When you look at the 2002, Earnhardt Jr. got a roller-coaster seasons. He battled once enduring an effective concussion away from a mind-for the collision for the external wall at the Ca battle when you look at the April – a personal injury the guy don’t acknowledge so you’re able to up to mid-Sep. On the about three events following California, he completed zero much better than 30th. However, Earnhardt Jr. rallied so you’re able to sweep both Talladega events (best a principal 133 regarding 188 laps in the spring race), a couple of Bud Rod Awards and an 11th-lay find yourself regarding the standings having eleven most readily useful-fives and 16 most useful-ten concludes.

The guy acquired the MBNA Cal Ripken Jr

For the 2003, Earnhardt Jr. turned into a true label contender, rating accurate documentation-cracking fourth successive profit in the Talladega, shortly after becoming involved in an effective twenty-seven-auto accident towards lap 4. He battled for the majority of race, and you may was at products a half-lap off, only catching support to your package as a result of a caution. This new earn is actually debatable just like the which have 5 laps to visit, it seemed you to definitely Earnhardt went below the yellow range to get position, but NASCAR ruled one Matt Kenseth had pushed him beneath the range, so it’s a flush ticket.