What better way to not only honor a father and a husband, but also a friend to all of his fellow drivers as well as the many fans who have called him their hero.
On Thursday April 29, Dale Earnhardt Jr along with the rest of his family, which also included long time friend Richard Childress, announced the return of the car his father made famous during his early years driving in the Winston cup series.
The journey to bring back the infamous No. 3 Wrangler paint scheme was not an easy one, especially with bad blood flowing between two of the key players.
However for this one special event, Teresa and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were able to put their differences aside to not only honor a man that played a huge role in their lives, but also a legend to the NASCAR world.
“Me and Teresa has always had a lot of respect for each other,” said Earnhardt while putting his differences aside to continue keeping this a special day.
Earnhardt also added this while sharing about his legendary father, “Dad always had a way of bringing everybody together. It’s Dale Earnhardt Day. This is a great opportunity...for us to do something together in the good for my father and what he meant for all of us.”
Teresa, who has not been one of the most popular Earnhardt’s since Dale Jr left D.E.I. in 2007, couldn’t have rounded out the day’s events any better with this statement.
“Let’s get through this one; we’re really here to enjoy this program and Dale’s birthday,” said Teresa while speaking about the days events.
Teresa also went on to say that, “I’m not going to go into personal feelings, I’m just happy that we can celebrate and honor [him]. It’s a very emotional event.”
“That’s why the achievements Dale made were so strong because he had that emotional connection with people. When they see the three, they immediately think of Dale," said Teresa.
Kelley Earnhardt, who was also in attendance, added her description of how special the day was to her. “As long as we keep the goal in mind of honoring our dad, we all tend to overcome whatever it is that we may be holding on to.”
The announcement which came on the heels of Earnhardt Sr’s, 59th birthday, wasn’t meant as a publicity stunt, nor was it put together to discuss Dale Jr’s future in the NASCAR series.
Yet some have chosen to take the focus off its original goal, and turn the announcement into a circus of scenarios before the days event came to a close.
The NASCAR boards lit up with everything from Earnhardt going back to DEI, all the way to what his future might be with the No. 3, with no regard to the family along with Childress, who worked long hard hours to put all of this together to honor their loved one.
Respect and dignity towards a NASCAR legend is what made this day possible, even though a family that was torn apart by greed was never forgotten.
Yet for this one special occasion, everything was put aside to honor the elder Earnhardt's induction into the Hall of Fame by running the car in a one-time only deal in the July Nationwide race at Daytona International Speedway.
“If [my dad] was here, we’d probably all still be together,” said Kelley Earnhard.
Kelley rounded out the days events with, “We’re not here to talk about what could have been. We’re here to celebrate my dad and honor him on this day.”