The Earnhardt Conspiracy: Why NASCAR Won’t Let the Driver Rest in Peace

POSTING BY JB MADDAWG

I’ll tell you how much of a race fan I am.  Back in around ’86, I stood along my father at a local asphalt speedway that more than a few Nascar racing legends have mixed it up at.  Darrell Waltrip had just finished the feature event (back when top drivers still would run at some of the smaller tracks) and was signing autographs.  When it was my turn, I stuck a pad of paper at D.W., and said, “Jaws, (his TRUE nickname for long time race fans) does it feel good to have people booing Earnhardt instead of you for a change?”  He shuffled nervously, and responded, “uh..I guess”, as the crowd around me chuckled and my dad pulled me by my shirt away from the line.  I guess I was in early preparation for my work here at The ThrowDown.

Believe it or not, this story has a point that a savvy race fan would pick up on.  People. Booed. Earnhardt.  Hardly a memory “modern” Nascar fans can relate to.  The mighty, legendary and even God-like Dale Earnhardt Sr. heard many jeers for many years at top race venues.  He was abrasive, ornery and he regularly blamed everyone around him in post race interviews for miscues that were his fault on the track, more often than not.  When I started watching racing in 1977, Darrell Waltrip was hated by millions for being a whiny little jerk in racing.  It was nothing compared to the loathing a vast majority of fans had for Dale Earnhardt Sr. in later years.  Yet, something happened along the way.

When the Pettys, Allisons, Yarboroughs and the legends of the track faded into history, Nascar ran into a problem that the NBA would suffer upon the retirement of Michael Jordan.  They ran out of a poster boy to peddle their sport.  Earnhardt Sr. had switched to Goodwrench as his primary sponsor, and unveiled his all black race car paint scheme.  Much like the unhinged Raiders fans in the NFL, all the crazies, bikers and outlaw fans in racing supported Earnhardt’s dirty tactics on the track, and instead of supporting a clean-cut image, Nascar decided to take the low road.  Well, that and the fact that it has been long suspected by insiders that Earnhardt had an in with Nascar’s powers that be, the France family.

Thus, a “legend” was born.  Truth be known for anyone who’s familiar with Earnhardt’s driving pre 1988, he was almost completely unable to make a clean pass without taking off a coat of paint.  Sure, contact is expected.  There’s contact, then there’s just plain nosing the bumper or quarter panel of the car in front of you with the sole purpose of putting someone out of the race.  It’s a dirty, shitty tactic of drivers that do not have the car or skills to pass for position.  And Nascar embossed Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s ass in gold for doing so.  Then, they really got ugly and came up with the nickname “the intimidator”, which slapped the face of just about every driver that had been black flagged for driving like an idiot.  Nascar had their chosen one, and they weren’t going to have it any other way.

All that changed on February 18th, 2001.  It was that day during the Daytona 500 that on the final lap, defending champion Earnhardt tried to cut off, or “block” the faster car of Sterling Marling on the final lap, lost control and his life.  Without going into long discussions of seat belt rigging and safety devices, there is one fact that is never uttered by fans, Nascar or the sheep in sports journalism.  But I will…Dale Earnhardt Sr. died driving the way he always did.  Reckless and crazy brave, and he paid the ultimate price for it.  This didn’t stop half-wit fans from immediately sending death threats to Sterling Marlin, which Nascar hardly lifted a finger to discourage, and turned the sport into a moving mausoleum.

Post death, race broadcasts would have a moment of silence on lap three, Earnhardt’s number, as some sort of creepy real-time race eulogy.  Currently, there has never been a moment of silence for Adam Petty (#42), Neil Bonnet (#12), Kenny Irwin(#28) or any of the other driver that has passed tragically on the track.  Earnhardt, though, was listed as a pioneer, whatever that means.  Any time the mere mention of the Earnhardt name was uttered on a broadcast for the next two seasons, viewers were made to feel as if a group suicide was the only proper way to react to the death.  Sickening didn’t begin to cover it.  Even son and driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., would start making statements to “let it go”.  But Nascar was only getting started.

When Nascar returned to Daytona in July, Earnhardt Jr. magically moved the boundaries of Heaven and earth by winning the next race at the track his father died at.  Mind you, I’m not saying the race was rigged…but it wouldn’t be the first time Nascar has looked the other way when certain cars weren’t exactly “legal”.  Quite obviously, Nascar had quickly found a replacement poster boy.  The logical choice was their martyr’s son.

The fact is Earnhardt Jr. has never been, and probably never will be a top-tier driver.  He has a handful of extremely questionable wins, and the backing of the governing body of the sport.  After struggling year after year, Jr. has still not reached potential, and Nascar cannot have a representative that hasn’t won a championship.  After a number of years of backing off the constant parading of Earnhardt Jr., Nascar has once again begun the full court press to elevate the man to deity status.  On June 18th, Jr. won his first race in four years…on Father’s Day.  The wailing of an entire sport once again filled the airwaves with “how ironic” the win was.  Ironic, indeed.

I’m sorry to see a sport I’ve loved and watched for so many years is equaling pro wrestling status.  I feel vaguely insulted every time one of the major race reporters utters a stupid phrase as “could this, could this, oh could it be the year Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins the championship?”.  Nascar has now moved into the realm of “sports entertainment”, and I have begun to question many of their recent actions.

Fooled by this grotesque charade are the fans that never knew Nascar’s B.E. (Before Earnhardt) period.  Long time fans on the other hand, have been slighted and are no longer paying decent money to show up at a wrestling match.  When Earnhardt Jr. finally hoists the championship trophy , which I believe will be much sooner than later, will it mean anything?  To anyone that truly knows what’s happening in the sport?

The one sure thing I can say in conclusion is that if I were the one calling the shots in Nascar, I sure as hell wouldn’t be honoring the memory of a dead driver by turning a truly unique sport into a sideshow funeral dirge.  I’m JB Maddawg, and I’m calling bullshit on you, Nascar.

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39 Comments

Filed under Mishmosh Ranting, Sports

39 responses to “The Earnhardt Conspiracy: Why NASCAR Won’t Let the Driver Rest in Peace

  1. Great article. I would love to read more about the inside rumors and conspiracies within the sport.

    • I do, in fact have quite a bit more material on this subject, but I’m undecided whether or not I should release it to the public. Thank you, and the large number of readers that have supported this article.

      • I’ve searched everywhere on the net and You Tube, and cannot find the real last pre-race interview for the race the fatal day. I started telling my friends from day two after his death, that he killed himself in that race on purpose, and it has been covered up. NOW, before all you diehard Dale fans come unglued, hear me out, as many of my friends were and still are loyal fans, and after what I had to say, had too start agreeing with me. There are 4 points I’ll make then you decide, and keep in mind, the kind of man Dale was, he always did things his way. This is the only guess I’m making the rest is facts, my guess is he went out of country and found out he was terminally ill. Instead of withering away in a bed he chose to go out the way he wanted too. Here’s the 4 points, in reverse order. 4-He drove like he never had driven before, he ran blocker swerving back and fourth, not trying too win, knowing someone WOULD turn him, 3- Was always reported as a CUT seat belt not torn. 2- Pay attention to Teresa as he’s buckling in for the race, she is crying and kissing him like she knows she’s not going to ever see him again alive. #1- Pre-Race interview, he is talking about pro’s and con’s of restrictor plate racing, at the end of interview he gets up out of the studio chair and starts to turn and walk away, but then turns back and POINTS STRAIGHT AT THE CAMERA AND SAYS, I QUOTE HIS EXACT WORDS “AND THIS WILL BE A DAYTONA 500 NO ONE WILL EVER FORGET” Now, Himself, his son, and Waltrip coming in 1, 2, and 3 would not be something no one would ever forget. But, him dying in that race would be, and he was right, even people that weren’t NASCAR fans remember that day… I bet this gets censored.

      • I only censor comments that are written for the purpose of trying to personally insult me, and even then, it’s just for my enjoyment.
        Here, you’ve made a very interesting and thought out case, and I’m glad you’ve expressed it on our blog. In fact, now even I really want to see that interview again, and the Theresa moment. The only point I have trouble with is that I just can’t see Earnhardt putting his death on the help of a fellow driver. Otherwise, your perspective is very interesting, and I do plan and taking a open minded look at it. Thanks Tony!

      • Ok, kool. Wish you luck, some of my friends darn near wanted too fight about it at first, but then one of them had the whole thing, with interview recorded. He later came back to me and said wow, it was all there, and made him start to believe it too. But, unless you can find the same thing, someone with a recording, I have had no luck in finding the real interview, the last full lap to show how much swerving he was doing, let alone the scene with Teresa just before the command to start engines. I don’t think he thought about the guy he would put his death on, but, he did know with him swerving at least 20 feet back and forth blocking the field that someone would turn him, just like he was famous for himself. To be honest… At the time I was NO kind of fan of Dale Earnhardt Sr. and that is probably the reason I noticed the rest later and put it all together. When he said, And this will be a Daytona 500 no one will ever forget. Myself thought what an arrogant prick. But by second day I had replayed it all in my head and came up with it, I was mad because of the death threats too Simpson Industry’s President and Sterling Marlin when I figured he got what he was counting on, but then the rest was history. P.S. That true last interview will be several minutes long, out in the grass well away from his trailer sitting in one of those Director’s studio chairs. Have had no luck locating it.

      • tom davis

        in regard to the suicide theory ,,, what kind of diagnosis would cause someone to do that , could it be one that was potentialy embarrassing like aids

  2. Kelly

    Fuck this article and fuck you.

  3. free penny press

    First let me ask, who the hell is Kelly? Seems like someone needs to get a life.. damn

    Anyway, while I personally know almost zilch about Nascar, my daughter is a fiend. That girl knows drivers, their stats, you name it she’s on it.. Going to share this with her..Very interesting post!!

    • I’ve narrowed “Kelly” down to either someone in NASCAR’s damage control department, or my ex-wife. You have to understand that in this sport, the Earnhardt family are sacred cows. They can hurl insults and death threats at me all they like, but in the end, they can’t stand the fact that there are people like me that won’t allow NASCAR, the sports media and Earnhardt fans to just rewrite the history of the sport. As you know, we kind of like being the “fly in the ointment” here! Thanks for the support.

  4. STFU

    Racing has always been about as dumb as roller derby. Fixed? Who cares. Chunky racist drunk rednecks watching cars go in circles.

  5. Joe

    I was at one point a Dale fan but you are right. The longer he drove the worse he got. I believe in God and His ways. I also believe that God snuffed out Dale before he killed other drivers as well as himself. Dale was gutsy but to what end would things have changed if God had not stepped in. Sterling did catch hell behind that but he did not have to be an idiot to win. My driver back in the day was Rusty. From the white Kodiak car to the beer ride that saw R. W. Retire. I like what you said in ya column. Finally a gutsy writer tells it like it is.
    Your friend
    Joe Coley

    • First, thanks for reading The ThrowDown, Joe. Second, thanks for paying me a big compliment, in my book. As a writer, I don’t need pages of comments or to have my articles constantly passed around, but I hope folks recognize that I write if its a popular opinion or unpopular. Since you are a race fan, you probably guessed that this article was extremely unpopular with many fans. Yet, I felt it had to be said, and there are at least a couple in Nascar’s garage area that would agree with me. Thanks again, Joe. BTW, I met Rusty the night before he won the championship in Atlanta. He was extremely decent to me and greatly professional.

  6. Hey ! Found someone who thinks like me, JB. ! I’m sick of the propaganda about #3. Your description is spot on JB.

    You do know why they race on an circular track don’t you ? If they road raced, the fans would get up and go home as soon as the cars went out of sight.

  7. LYNN WHITNEY

    IF YOU KNOW NASCAR AND THE EARNHARDT FAMILY. YOU’D KNOW THAT KELLY IS DALE, SR.’S DAUGHTER! THINK WHAT YOU WANT, I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN MOTORSPORTS SINCE 1959 AND YOU CAN BLOW YOUR CONSPIRACY THEORY UP YOUR BUTT!!!

    • Prove it. On both accounts. And by the way, if you’re so in the loop, I’ve got an off the record question about Dale Sr. which involves the personal life of Richard Childress. Do you REALLY want me to go there? Because I will. And responding in all caps makes you look like a moron.

  8. Mike Q

    It is so nice when people aren’t afraid to speak the truth!I am surprised you didn’t mention how suddenly Johnson becomes “great ” and wins as nobody ever has! Of course imaginary debris for caution at just the right time, penalties for cheating are reduced surety had nothing to do with it. I’m guess MWR figured if NASCAR could give Gordon a debris caution just as he needed it they would make their own luck! I prefer real racing but NASCAR has become as corrupt as our government. Hopefully both get fixed very soon! It usually means clear out the crappy leaders! Just do it soon while we have a country and bring back racing.

    • Great comment, Mike. Believe me, I’d love to do about a 2500 word article on Johnson and Knaus. Always good to hear from someone that hasn’t fallen for Nascar’s giant con. At the time I wrote this article, people thought my conspiracy thoughts were “out there”. That is, until the race at Richmond last Saturday night. Anyway, thanks for reading!

  9. Todd Griffin

    You know what,I ran up on this piece of shit article by chance. Don’t know what ta say really. Simply put. Your full of shit,plain and simple. Not to mention yourself being a piece of shit. Dale Earnhardt was,is,and always will be the Man. The Best.

  10. benny

    This article is retarded. look man…Earnhardt simply got killed racing alright there no huge conspiracy, people die in racing it happens, guys theres no need to cuss over this article hes just stating his opinion and i respectively disagree

  11. ryan

    While i agree that the before earnhardt NASCAR world was different, and largely better than todays over commercialized rich mans sport, i don’t see any conspiracy outlined in the article or in real life. I would also argue that the 90s were the true golden years, not Richard petty vs Pearson snoozers that occasionally produced EPIC finishes. At least that’s my opinion.

    For starters all those other drivers mentioned who were killed did in fact have moments of silence and tributes. They just weren’t 7 time champions with millions of fans. Only Richard petty and Jeff Gordon would have had similar reactions from the fans had they died under similar circumstances.

    Also NASCAR is the single most unriggable sport there is. Obviously debris cautions are awful suspicious, but wrecks, motors, tires, actual debris, pit stops and even weather play roles in the outcome.

    The coverage of earnhardts is ridiculous at times but it certainly is a better human interest story than the now common rich kids dad bought him a ride scenario, so why wouldn’t media cover it?

    Lastly if earnhardt wanted to die he wouldn’t have been trying to save the car like he was after marlin and him made contact…..what i am saying is, if Schrader had been higher, further ahead, or further behind, the sport would be different and we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Also just to be clear it wasn’t marlin or schraders fault, just fate. Thoughts?

    • Sorry for late response, but I wanted to do so, since your comment actually was respectful and not just a cheap attempt to hijack the page. So here goes:
      First, fate absolutely. It was just an accident. I think Dale became too comfortable at his level. I think there’s enough witness’ to say he was driving way over his head on the last lap.
      Second, about the rigging of NASCAR. Trust me, extremely fixable. If you’ve ever been a part of small town circle track racing, you’ll know exactly what I’m speaking of. Variables yes, and many variables that the league CAN control. I hate to tell you, per NASCAR, there is no Santa Claus, my friend.
      Lastly, I agree the press wisely covers the interest of the Earnhardt family over the spoiled young driver one. But if you’ve noticed, from the time this article was written, even NASCAR has now swtiched gears to Johnson. They have to have their Michael Jordan. Thanks for a well thought out comment!

  12. Hey Folks, JB here. A Trolling asshole under the name Todd Griffin typed this comment, but he’s so fucking stupid, he posted it in the wrong place. Didn’t want you all to miss out on the latest MENSA candidate to comment on this article. Todd’s comment:

    Jb. For some reason i ran into your article about Dale Sr. Trashing the greatest driver that YOU are I have ever saw. Your stupid,ignorant and have no clue at all what to look for in a great driver. Dale Sr won races because he was the best. He won doing things with a car Nobody could do or wanted to even attempt. He won races by knocking the crap out of you. And he won races well by any way he chose to do. O well. Probably just because he got bored racing against little girls that would cry when they got bump a little. You sound like you were probably a fan of one of them too. Cry cry cry. Later

  13. Steve

    You bring up some excellent points, JB. Those that are relatively new to following NASCAR may have the misunderstanding that Dale Earnhardt was some type of universally loved folk hero. Truth is, he was quite a polarizing figure. There were as many people who couldn’t stand him as there were people who loved him. Although I was saddened by his death, I was never a fan of his as a driver. I was also sad when we lost Alan Kulwicki, Davey Allison, Neil Bennett, etc. NASCAR had nice tributes for those guys when they passed away, but nothing like the 13-year vigil they’ve been having for Earnhardt. I also totally agree with you that some of those Dale Jr “too good to be true” wins probably were. I also think Austin Dillon had a little help in getting the Daytona 500 pole this year (much like Danica did last year) in the first race back for car #3. I respect Dale Earnhardt and I’m sad that we lost him, but it’s time to move on.

    • What a great comment, Steve. It’s always with one eye closed when I see there’s a comment on this piece. My intention has never been to disrespect or slander Earnhardt Sr. He was someone’s husband and someone’s father. I was just as shocked and saddened as any true race fan on that day. That doesn’t mean we stop telling the truth, however. The other drivers you mentioned were just as talented, but never seem to be held in as high of regard. That bothers me. NASCAR has always sought out a “Michael Jordan” to carry the sport and it needs not to do so. Steve, you sound like a very savvy race fan, and if you are, you know exactly what happens at Sat. night small town tracks. NASCAR just brings it to a higher level. One needs no more proof than when Felix Sabates painted Kyle Petty’s car like Earnhardt Sr.’s paint scheme for a race hoping for “better results”. He was telling us what was going on behind the curtain. Anyway, thank you very much for the input. One of my favorite comments to date.

  14. Greg

    All I can say about your article is FUCK YOU ASSHOLE!!!!

  15. Kyle w

    As far as I’m concerned you can go fu** yourself. Dale Earnhardt will be forever the greatest driver in nascar history in my eyes. No matter heat you say about how he drive and what he did he was a winner and did whatever he could to win. And him over coming the boos and all the bull spit people gave him during his time driving for nascar proves him to be one of the best drivers there ever was. Because he never cared what people like you said about him. He just did what he knew how to do and what he was born to do and that was to drive a car and maybe for comments below he did find out he was ill or for what ever reason what happened happened I don’t care. He will always be found in my heart as a hero among all others. A man who was not afraid of what people thought of him. And drove and did what he loved with all his heart. And that’s what makes a hero in my eyes someone who is not afraid to stand among all others and do and day what he felt was right an that’s exactly what he did out on that track everyday. Dale Earnhardt will always and forever be an icon and a hero to me as well as many others regardless of the bull spit or anyone else has to say about him. Long live the no. 3 and long live Dale Earnhardt

  16. Chris

    You can’t necessarily discount an MK-Ultra, since the justice department did step in and refused to release public information, mainly the autopsy report in its entirety, including the photos. If I remember correctly, the media was extremely crazy about this event for months. The people I know that are Earnhardt Sr. fans still wear the memorabilia and talk about him on a daily basis every Monday after a race like he was a god. People are not realizing that this is another attempt to desensitize us to violence, and make it acceptable to kill people for sport. The gladiators may be making a comeback.

  17. Michael

    JB….You are the one who needs to prove what you are saying is true.

    • Bullshit, Michael. Tell that to the New York Times. I’ve presented you a report built on facts AND anonymous sources. If you choose not to buy into the article I’ve written so be it.

  18. Bobby C.

    I came across this article and have only one word to say about it… ASTONISHING. I remember watching Nascar from the floor of my grandparents living room. My grandparents were Bill Elliott fans because they liked Ford and Bill was from GA the same as we were. In the mid to late 80 ‘ no one liked Dale Sr. And I would even say he was worse than a modern day Kurt or Kyle Busch because he wasn’t nearly as talented as either Kurt or Kyle but also that he had a bad temper in the car. The media was different back then and the driver’s didn’t have near as many press conferences or interviews as they do today and then as you pointed out Nascar made Dale Sr. the chosen one and glorified his dangerous behavior to gain popularity for the sport. Nascar picks winners and losers long before a lap is ever run on the track and just like sports entertainment there are good guys and bad guys. The media blasts Kyle Busch when he has a tirade over his in car radio but when their poster child Jimmy melts down and curses at Knaus no one really knows that it happened. Lots of drivers curse their spotters and crew chiefs but not all of them are vilified for doing so. As for all the mouth breathing idiots who took to this forum to say some ignorant shit like, “Dale Sr. Is the man” they can all go back to fucking their cousins.

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