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Defining the NASCAR Decade: Dale Earnhardt and 9/11 Continue to Impact

NASCAR is just like any other endeavor. It has moments that in hindsight become the forks in the road that send the individual, group, government, or in this case, sanctioning body, down a given path. In 62 years, NASCAR has had several defining moments. Just about any discussion of the sport marks a few of them on anyone’s list: NASCAR’s inception in 1948, the first Daytona 500 in 1959, the beginning of the modern era in 1972 with RJR’s involvement, the first televised Daytona 500 in 1979 and Richard Petty’s final win in 1984. The NASCAR that is about to take the track for the 2011 season is wildly different than the NASCAR that Bill France Sr. envisioned so many years ago. All of the forks in the road have had a co...

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