Remembering Dale Earnhardt’s legendary stroll down pit lane

Video Details

The 'NASCAR Race Hub' crew looks back at one of the greatest moments in NASCAR history: Every crew member congratulating Dale Earnhardt on his Daytona 500 win.

- I think, no doubt, one of the biggest moments in the history of NASCAR is after Dale won the race, took the checkered flag, did the burnout driving down pit road, and all those crew members there to greet him and offer their congratulations. We caught up with a few of them to reflect back on what it was like to greet Dale after he finally won the 500.


ANNOUNCER 1: 20 years of trying. 20 years of frustration. Dale Earnhardt will come to the caution flag to win the Daytona 500.

ANNOUNCER 2: The win was historic. But it's what happened next that may never be topped.

ANNOUNCER 1: Look out on pit road. Every man on every crew has come out to the edge of pit lane.

ANNOUNCER 2: A celebration the sport hasn't seen since. And for those on pit road, a chance to share in a legend's iconic moment.

TED SEMINARA: Everybody's going nuts. Pit road's going crazy. And I'm looking around me, and I'm like, everybody's going down to pit road. What are they doing?

- I started to walk back to the garage. And then I realized that there was a huge, huge buzz going on.

- The excitement of just the moment in general was so big, you wanted just to go out and show your appreciation.

- Next thing I know, you look down, and everybody's going across the wall. Every team is just filing across the wall.

- When I walked off-- out on to pit road, there was 100,000 people out there, it seemed like.

- It was a flood of pit crew members all going to let him know, finally, you've accomplished what you've always wanted to accomplish. I think everybody just wanted to celebrate with him.

ANNOUNCER 3: This will be the longest receiving line in the history of celebrations.

- So I had two shots left on my camera, and I'm trying to play out, what am I going to shoot? I get out there, and here he comes down the line. And I had the presence of mind just to lean over, take a quick shot before he came up to me.

Yes. I got it. I was there. I got the shot. This was big. This was Dale Earnhardt finally winning the 500.

TONY GIBSON: I remember my hand hitting the windshield first in the A post, and then slapping his hand. And he makes eye contact. He's looking at everybody when he's driving by.

STEVE BARKDOLL: When I got to the car and when he was pulling up, he was still going real slow. That Chester cat grin that he had was on his face like you'd never seen before.

- I'm pretty sure it was the biggest grin I'd ever seen in my life.

- That smile was, man, touching his ears.

- I think he realized how big of a moment it was, too. And he's trying to see who's reaching in at him.

RAY EVERNHAM: I jumped around in front of him, so he'd realize it was me, and that I was there to congratulate him.

JEFF HAMMOND: I touched the car. And I looked him dead in the eye. He said, I did it. I did it. I [BLEEP] did it. And it's like he knew that this was important.

TONY GIBSON: The world is right. It'll turn, it'll rotate in the right direction now, because Big E has won the Daytona 500.

- I was like, god, wow, he did it. He won. I was here. I was part of it.

- Anybody you ask, they're going to know where they was at and what they was doing the day that Dale Earnhardt won the 500.

- I can remember like it was yesterday. I wish it was yesterday.

- I feel like he's right here with us today. He's letting me speak on behalf of a lot of people on pit road.

- Our lives in racing goes so fast, a lot of times you fail to stop and reflect upon what's important in the past.

- To have been able to have raced with him that day, in the end, those memories are what carry you through the rest of your life.

TONY GIBSON: It's one of the greatest things that I got to experience. It's etched in your heart and in your soul. And you can't let it go.

ANNOUNCER 2: It was a brief moment. A touch. A snapshot. A high five. A show of respect. But that moment will last forever.