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Kevin Harvick gives touching in-car tribute to Dale Earnhardt after winning at Atlanta

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Few drivers in NASCAR history are as revered as Dale Earnhardt.

The legendary Earnhardt has earned every last shred praise heaped on him.

He is tied for the most Winston Cup championships in NASCAR history, along with the legendary Richard Petty as well as Jimmie Johnson. He won the 1998 Daytona 500. He was the 1979 Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year. He finished his illustrious NASCAR Cup Series career with 76 wins and 428 top-ten finishes.

Earnhardt was inducted into the inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010 after his untimely death in 2001. During the Dayton 500 in 2001, Earnhardt was killed instantly due to a collision in the final lap.

But perhaps more important than any individual accolade, Earnhardt’s aggressive racing and exciting racing style helped inspire generations of future racers.

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One of those drivers who drew inspiration from Earnhardt is Kevin Harvick, who actually replaced Earnhardt after his tragic and untimely passing in 2001.

Harvick’s first win at NASCAR’s highest level of competition came at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2001, just three races after replacing Earnhardt. Harvick honored Earnhardt after his big win in 2001 by putting his hand out the window and raising three fingers, honoring the No. 3 car that Earnhardt made famous.

To put it lightly, wins at the Atlanta Motor Speedway would always hold a very special place for Harvick. He hasn’t been able to notch another win there, however.

That is, until 2018.

Are you glad to see Harvick win again at the Atlanta Motor Speedway?

Harvick dominated the field despite some early technical issues with his pit crew. The 42-year-old led 181 of 325 laps in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 as the clear class of the field.

A visibly emotional Harvick re-enacted his three-fingered salute to Earnhardt after the win.

“Been waiting 17 years to do what I’m getting ready to do,” Harvick said on his radio after finishing the race, according to USA Today. “I’ve waited a long time to do that.”

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“I’m just so proud of everyone on our team,” Harvick said following his win.

“(This) was the first win of my career, and to be able to do that and pay tribute to Dale was pretty cool. I’ve been waiting a long time to do that,” he added.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Birthplace
Hawaii
Education
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, Korean
Topics of Expertise
Sports, Entertainment, Science/Tech




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