One of my favorite Earnhardt stories is Dale's supposed intimidation of Jeff Gordon and Gordon's reaction. Gordon won the first Brickyard 400, in 1994, and Earnhardt won the next year. Earnhardt got on TV and told a talk-show host that he was the first man to win the Brickyard 400. At one point, a rumor was circulating that Gordon was gay, and that apparently came out of the Earnhardt camp. Gordon, who was painfully young and youthful-looking then, took it well enough that the whole intimidation thing died out.
At a NASCAR banquet one year, Gordon drank a milk toast to Earnhardt, who responded with champagne. Gordon was certainly no milquetoast, and Earnhardt recognized that. The two actually became business partners, and in photos you can see Earnhardt's affection for Gordon.
Earnhardt had 76 Cup victories. Who would later pass him for sixth place on the all-time victory list? Gordon, of course. (NOTE: Gordon has since moved up to third all time with 92 victories, including his four wins in 2014.)
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