Earnhardt in December 1994

Dale Earnhardt, right, and his wife Teresa smile during the <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="15039007" title="NASCAR" href="/topic/sports/auto-racing/nascar-15039007.topic">NASCAR</a> Award Banquet at the <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PLREC0000114" title="Waldorf Astoria Hotel" href="/topic/travel/hotels-accommodations/waldorf-astoria-hotel-PLREC0000114.topic">Waldorf-Astoria Hotel</a> Year Trophy in New York Friday, Dec. 2, 1994. The 43- year-old Earnhardt, whose seventh series championship matched a record set by <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PESPT008516" title="Richard Petty" href="/topic/sports/auto-racing/richard-petty-PESPT008516.topic">Richard Petty</a> in 1976, the year that Earnhardt was voted NASCAR Rookie of the year, still is awed that he finds himself in this position.

( ADAM NADEL, ASSOCIATED PRESS / December 2, 1994 )

Dale Earnhardt, right, and his wife Teresa smile during the NASCAR Award Banquet at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel Year Trophy in New York Friday, Dec. 2, 1994. The 43- year-old Earnhardt, whose seventh series championship matched a record set by Richard Petty in 1976, the year that Earnhardt was voted NASCAR Rookie of the year, still is awed that he finds himself in this position.

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