AGE: 49 (April 29, 1951 – February 18, 2001)
CAUSE OF DEATH: Injuries sustained in a car crash.
COMPLEX SAYS: Even with over 25 years in the game and seven Winston Cup championships under his belt, the Intimidator still went hard at the 2001 Daytona 500 where he ultimately lost his life. As Earnhardt was trying to protect the lead of Michael Waltrip and his son Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the final lap, his car crashed into the wall on the final turn. He was pronounced dead at the hospital hours later. Earnhardt's death led NASCAR to implement the HANS (head and neck support) device in all race cars.