Before he became “The Intimidator”, before the black #3 struck fear in the hearts of competitors, Dale Earnhardt drove to his first NASCAR Cup Series Championship in a blue and yellow 1980 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Visitors to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame can find this car on display, donated by “Ironhead” himself, Dale Earnhardt.
The point’s race in 1980 was a tight one, with Earnhardt edging Cale Yarborough by only 19 points. Earnhardt won 5 races in the #2 Rod Osterlund car (Atlanta, Bristol, Nashville, Martinsville, Charlotte), while Yarborough won 6 races in the #11 Junior Johnson car. It was Earnhardt’s consistency that year (24 top-10 finishes with only 4 DNFs vs. 22 top-10 finishes and 5 DNFs for Yarborough) that gave him the edge in the final standings.
“It’s great to have the #2 car on display,” said Talladega Superspeedway President and IMHOF Executive Director Rick Humphrey. “Sometimes people forget that Dale was a championship winner prior to driving for Richard Childress. Visitors to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum have the opportunity to see one of the first cars that established Dale Earnhardt’s legacy.”
Visitors to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame will find the #2 Earnhardt car on display in the Bill France Room.
Opened in April of 1983, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum is dedicated to the preservation of the history of motorsports. It is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 7 days a week with the exception of major holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day and Easter). Admission to the museum is $10 for adults, $5 for kids age 7 to 17 and free for kids age 6 and younger. Combo packages that include both tours of the museum and Talladega Superspeedway are $12 for adults, $8 for kids age 7 to 17 and free for kids age 6 and younger.