DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The 10-year anniversary of Earnhardt's fatal accident falls on Friday, just two days before the season-opening Daytona 500.
This season, the past has a chokehold on the season's biggest race. The typical excitement of a new season has been overshadowed by memories of The Intimidator, whose death still very much defines NASCAR and those he left behind.
There's Dale Earnhardt Jr., the prodigal son forced out of his father's shadow the day Dale Sr. died. Richard Childress, the team owner who has tried so hard to block memories of that day. And Michael Waltrip, who talks freely about the friend who gave him his big break.
For all, Earnhardt's death remains a raw, open wound. Everything changed the day Earnhardt died, and it has taken every bit of the last decade to recover.

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