When country music icon Charlie Daniels died on Monday after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke, fans began listening to his music with increased frequency to honor his memory. Some pulled up "Uneasy Rider," while others opted for a more NASCAR-centric tune. They listened to his Dale Earnhardt tribute song, "The Intimidator."
Daniels released the song in 2004, paying tribute to No. 3 after his death in the 2001 Daytona 500. The lyrics focus on Earnhardt's final victory of his career, which took place at Talladega Superspeedway. The song primarily revolved around Earnhardt but also mentioned several other top drivers. He specifically listed Jeff Gordon, Sterling Marlin and personal friend Darrell Waltrip. Daniels also mentioned Dale Earnhardt Jr. taking over as the new Intimidator following his father's death.
"Talladega Alabama hot day in the fall. It's pedal to the metal keep it off the wall," the song lyrics read in part. "Darrell's passing Marlin and Jeff just took the lead. He's burning up the track, but look out here comes No. 3. He's moving to the inside listen to that engine howl. Just move it on over; The Intimidator's on the prowl. Push it down and stand on it, put it on the floor. Roaring down the backstretch blowing off their doors. Eating up the asphalt and chewing up the miles, they're bringing out the checkered flag; the crowd is going wild. Carolina country boy could always find a way to win. Y'all wave bye-bye. The Intimidator's done it again."
The 2000 Winston 500 at Talladega still has a reputation for one of the most exciting races in NASCAR history. The primary reason is that Earnhardt mounted a stunning comeback to secure the first-place finish. He started the final six laps in 18th place but raced his way to the front of the pack, securing the win over Kenny Wallace by .119 seconds. This moment was the 76th — and final — victory of his career.
Interestingly enough, Daniels played a prominent role during the Winston 500. Driver Joe Nemechek, who finished third overall, drove the No. 33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet Monte Carlo. This car featured a special Charlie Daniels Band paint scheme, and the late country singer graced the hood while playing his fiddle.
Daniels was a longtime supporter of NASCAR before his death. He was friends with Waltrip, and he created songs about both Earnhardt and the Burt Reynolds movie Stroker Ace. Daniels even performed before the 2013 Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.