2001 Daytona 500

2001 Daytona 500

The 43rd annual Daytona 500 was held February 18 at Daytona International Speedway. Bill Elliott won the pole. The race will be forever remembered for the final lap, Dale Earnhardt was in third behind his Dale Earnhardt, Inc. drivers Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Michael Waltrip when going through turns 3 and 4, the elder Earnhardt lost control of his car, and collected Ken Schrader in a head-on collision with the wall. Earnhardt was killed instantly by a basilar skull fracture. Also during the accident, his seat belts malfunctioned. The race was also marred by a 20-car crash that sent Tony Stewart's car tumbling down the backstretch on lap 173.

Shortly after Earnhardt's crash, Michael Waltrip, in his first race for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., in the #15 car, won the race. It was the first victory of his career, coming in his 463rd start.

Top Ten Results

#Michael Waltrip
#Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
#Rusty Wallace
#Ricky Rudd
#Bill Elliott
#Mike Wallace
#Sterling Marlin
#Bobby Hamilton
#Jeremy Mayfield
#Stacy Compton

After his crash, Dale Earnhardt was scored as finishing in the 12th positionFact|date=April 2008.

For the remainder of the season and the next Daytona 500, racing fans, television and radio broadcasters would fall silent during lap 3 of every Winston Cup race in Earnhardt's honorFact|date=April 2008.

Failed to qualify: Dave Marcis (#71), Todd Bodine (#66), Hut Stricklin (#90), Rick Mast (#50), Derrike Cope (#37), Norm Benning (#84), Carl Long (#85), Morgan Shepherd (#80), Dwayne Leik (#72)


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