Twenty years ago, the world of racing lost one of its biggest stars when Dale Earnhardt died during a crash on the last lap of the Daytona 500. In a new special, ESPN’s E60 will take viewers back to that fateful day to explore the legacy of Dale Earnhardt and the effect his loss has had on the sport of NASCAR, including safety improvements to cars and racetracks
E60 Presents – Intimidator: The Lasting Legacy of Dale Earnhardt will debut on Sunday, Feb. 14, at noon ET on ESPN, just hours before the 2021 Daytona 500 gets underway at Daytona International Speedway.
ESPN senior writer Ryan McGee, who has covered NASCAR for more than 25 years, is the reporter for the story.
In the program, McGee has a revealing interview with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and the retired NASCAR star speaks openly about his father, what he remembers about that day 20 years ago, and how safety in the sport has evolved.
In addition to Earnhardt Jr., among those interviewed for the story:
- Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson.
- NASCAR driver Ryan Newman, who survived a spectacular crash in last year’s Daytona 500.
- Former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty.
- Dr. Steve Bohannon, trauma physician who was one of the first to reach Earnhardt’s wrecked car.
- Mike Helton, NASCAR Vice Chairman, who announced Earnhardt’s death.
- Steve Phelps, NASCAR President.
- Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President Chief Racing Development Officer.
- John Patalak – NASCAR Senior Director of Safety Engineering.
- Mike Massaro, former ESPN reporter who covered 2001 Daytona 500.
The multiplatform treatment will include a four-part series written by McGee for ESPN.com, beginning Tuesday and running on consecutive days through Friday.
Excerpts from the program will air on SportsCenter during the week and on Sunday morning, when McGee will be reporting from Daytona and will join the program. The Saturday edition of Outside the Lines on Feb. 13 will have a preview of the special as will the OTL on SportsCenter segments in the noon ET SportsCenter on Thursday and Friday.
McGee also will be a guest on the ESPN Daily Podcast on Friday, Feb. 12.
After the initial airing, the program will re-air multiple times on ESPN networks and will be available for on-demand viewing on the ESPN App.
The program was produced by Scott Cikowski, Jason Kostura and John Minton.
In addition to his work for ESPN.com, McGee is the co-host of Marty and McGee, which airs on SEC Network and ESPN Radio. He also co-authored Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s book Racing to the Finish in 2018.