Dale Earnhardt Deserves better and So Does Martha

J Pat DyerAnalyst IAugust 1, 2008

It was bad enough they took down Dale's flags—now we find out it was because of Martha Stewart.

Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart was the guest of a billionaire developer who prompted local officials to take down flags honoring the late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt in his hometown, newspapers reported Friday." Stewart visited the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis on Thursday with David Murdock, the campus founder and owner of Dole Food Co.

Does the term "Yankee Go Home" mean anything?

Martha Stewart didn't know where Kannapolis was before this week, and the city, in their infinite wisdom, decided to insult the man who put the small textile town on the map because they thought she might not like the tattered Earnhardt flags?

Ask anyone what they know about Kannapolis, NC, and you might get a couple of "didn't Canon towels used to be there?"  You probably would get a whole bunch of "never heard of it." 

In Connecticut, where Martha Stewart lives, you would hear "who cares...isn't that in the south?"

Go to a NASCAR track and ask the question—what do you know about Kannapolis, NC?"  Whether it is a track in southern California, Michigan, or Richmond, VA, I believe you would get the same answer.

People would stop, stare blankly, at your stupid question and reverently say—"it's where The Earnhardts are from, it's where Dale and Junior was born."

Martha Stewart was literally a Connecticut Yankee in King Dale's court.

She was the guest. She deserves like all guests to be treated with southern hospitality. She like all guests should be made to feel welcome but that doesn't mean we sell the dog and throw out the old couch when she visits.

Martha Stewart may be a big thing to the rest of America, but in NASCAR, she is nothing but an ex-con.

To a nation of followers, Martha Stewart may be someone you listen to, someone you honor but not in The Earnhardt Nation.

In our nation, there is but one Martha. Our Martha doesn't try to tell people what to do or think. Our Martha is quiet and unassuming. Our Martha receives respect without once asking for it.

Our Martha, like Stewart, walks into a room, in our circles, and men take off their hats. Women greet her politely. The giants of NASCAR treat her like a queen.

Our Martha was married to the greatest dirt track driver ever to stir dust. Our Martha gave birth to The Intimidator. Our Martha played a big part in raising the most popular driver in NASCAR history.

Martha Earnhardt is the matriarch of the great Earnhardt family. She is the only woman in the history of NASCAR to be married to a NASCAR Champion (Sportsman Class), give birth to a NASCAR Champion ( Seven Winston Cups) and grandparent a NASCAR Champion (two Busch titles).

If young Jeffery has his way, she will also great grandparent a Champion.

She is a queen in our world. So how does a queen get treated in her hometown?

Obviously not well.

They take down the tattered flags which honor her dead son.

People have focused on what Dale would think if he was alive—that's not important.

What is important is how Martha Earnhardt feels.

She gave her son to the sport.

This week, Kannapolis was embarrassed by him.

How things have changed. Following the death of Dale Earnhardt the following was said; Moss, the Kannapolis mayor travels across the country frequently and often finds himself mentioning that he’s from Kannapolis. “Nobody knows Kannapolis until I tell them it’s the home of Dale Earnhardt,” Moss said. Towels built Kannapolis, but Earnhardt made it famous.

Kannapolis, you should be ashamed.