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Shocked, stunned' describes area NASCAR fans

By Staff
IN MEMORY n Rocky Lewis, center, sets flowers at a memorial in front of the headquarters of Dale Earnhardt Inc., near Mooresville, N.C., Sunday with his daughters Megan, left, and Mariah, right, after hearing of the death of NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt. AP photo
By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
Feb. 19, 2001
Local racing fans described themselves as in a state of shock or stunned disbelief today following the death of NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt at the Daytona 500.
Earnhardt died instantly Sunday from head injuries after his car struck a wall and was broadsided by Ken Shrader's car on the final lap of the Daytona 500. He was fighting for a third place finish after helping teammates Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr. finish first and second in the race.
Steve McCartney, head librarian for the Meridian-Lauderdale County Library, remembered that Earnhardt always sent some memorabilia to the library for its annual auction.
Jay Belcher, an area taxidermist, is a big Earnhardt fan and watches the races with his son, Jace.
Doug Deweese was in Daytona for the Thursday and Friday races, and saw Earnhardt compete in one of the twin races.
Deweese actually met Earnhardt a couple of years ago.
Charles Thrash has been around the local dirt racing circuit for years, either as a driver or a promoter.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at sswogetinsky@themeridianstar.com.
Star seeks your favorite Earnhardt memory
As NASCAR mourns the death of Dale Earnhardt, many racing fans are trying to find comfort in their personal memories of an outstanding driver and human being.
The Meridian Star today invites you to share your favorite memories and thoughts about what Earnhardt's life and career mean to you. E-mail your comments to sswogetinsky@themeridianstar.com, or fax to (601) 485-1275 for inclusion on a tribute page this week.

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