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Ralph Lee Earnhardt
Birth: Feb. 23, 1928
Kannapolis
Cabarrus County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Sep. 26, 1973
Kannapolis
Cabarrus County
North Carolina, USA

Race Car Driver. Born in Kannapolis, North Carolina to John Henderson and Effie Mae Earnhardt. The family were part of the farming community and on leaving school Ralph worked in one of the cotton mills for several years. The wages and conditions were poor and one of the ways to get out of the situation was to race. He started his racing career on dirt tracks where he was famous for keeping his car in top condition throughout each race and was the first car builder/drivers to understand and use tire stagger. During his later teens he began to build cars in the family garage. In 1953, at the age of twenty five Ralph turned professional and began his quintessential career, making a huge impression in the world of racing very quickly. His first race in the Nascar Sprint Cup Series took place in November, 1956 when he finished second to Speedy Thompson in the Grand National now known as the Sprint Cup Series at Hickory Speedway, North Carolina. Also in 1956, he won his first Nascar Sportsman title, a year in which he gained 32 victories. Over his career, he held track championships at seven different venues. The year of 1961 saw Ralph have his highest finish in the Grand National point standings, at 17th, and also saw him filling in for Cotton Owens as a relief driver in the Daytona 500, covering more than 300 miles and finishing in 5th place. His awards include:- Ralph was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame in 1989, the same weekend that Dale Sr. won the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Alabama, in 1997 and, along with his son Dale Sr., was named as one of Nascar's "50 Greatest Drivers". During the 1998 celebration of Nascar's 50th Anniversary, in 2004 Ralph was an inductee in the Oceanside Rotary Club of Daytona Beach Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame and inductee in the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame in 2007. Ralph died of a heart attack at the age of 45. (bio by: Shock) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  John Henderson Earnhardt (1875 - 1953)
  Effie Mae Furr Earnhardt (1901 - 1979)
 
 Children:
  Dale Earnhardt (1951 - 2001)*
  Randy Eugene Earnhardt (1952 - 2013)*
 
 Siblings:
  Mary Alice Earnhardt Eddleman (1897 - 1936)**
  Eula Earnhardt Castor (1898 - 1976)**
  Margie Earnhardt Hurlocker (1900 - 1993)**
  Octa Vayne Earnhardt Barrier (1902 - 1970)**
  Infant Daughter Furr (1919 - 1919)**
  Infant Daughter Earnhardt (1927 - 1927)*
  Ralph Lee Earnhardt (1928 - 1973)
  Harold Eugene Earnhardt (1930 - 1970)*
  James Aubrey Earnhardt (1933 - 1982)*
 
*Calculated relationship
**Half-sibling
 
Burial:
Center Grove Lutheran Cemetery
Kannapolis
Cabarrus County
North Carolina, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Julie Karen Hancock (Co...
Record added: Feb 10, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6168327
Ralph Lee Earnhardt
Added by: Collin Snider
 
Ralph Lee Earnhardt
Added by: Julie Karen Hancock (Cooper) Jackson
 
Ralph Lee Earnhardt
Added by: Julie Karen Hancock (Cooper) Jackson
 
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- Jeannie
 Added: Apr. 29, 2016
~ God rest you Ralph! ~
- born of God
 Added: Apr. 29, 2016

- Frosty
 Added: Apr. 3, 2016
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