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Lasting legacy: Earnhardt's death saved lives, forced change

Dale Earnhardt: 20 years since the crash that changed NASCAR forever
Posted at 11:34 AM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 11:34:59-05

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Newman survived a crash at Daytona International Speedway last year.

He now serves as a symbol of how far the sport has come since NASCAR’s darkest day 20 years ago.

That’s when seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt was killed in the final turn of the Daytona 500.

Earnhardt was the fourth national series driver killed in nine months.

His death forced the racing series to confront safety issues.

The dramatic upgrades since have saved multiple lives and are the hallmark of Earnhardt’s legacy.