In the 2001 Rolex 24 sports car race at Daytona International Speedway, Dale Earnhardt and his son, Dale Jr., shared a No. 3 C5R Corvette with sports car racers Andy Pilgrim and Kelly Collins.
Side view of the Earnhardt No. 3 Corvette raced in the 2001 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The team finished fourth overall and second in class, an excellent run all things considered, though Earnhardt reportedly leaned over to Pilgrim on the podium and said, "Second sucks, doesn’t it, son?" which was about the most Earnhardt thing he could have possibly said.
Afterward, FOX play-by-play man and veteran journalist Mike Joy and Earnhardt had a long chat about the Rolex experience.
"We talked about how much he really enjoyed running the 24-hour race with Dale Jr. and he was looking forward to the day – still some years away — when he might be able to do more of that, maybe including racing in Europe and doing the 24 Hours of Le Mans," said Joy of Earnhardt. "He really enjoyed it, really had a great time."
Unfortunately, Earnhardt was killed in a crash at the 2001 Daytona 500.
Roof of the Earnhardt No. 3 Corvette, showcasing names of the four drivers that shared seat time in the 2001 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
As it turns out, though, the Corvette he raced in the Rolex 24 is still around.
It belongs to Lance Miller, the promoter of the Corvettes at Carlisle show that takes place every August in Central Pennsylvania.
With Feb. 18 being the 15th anniversary of Earnhardt’s death, Miller put together this tribute video to Earnhardt. Watch and enjoy.