Ralph Lee Earnhardt ( born February 23, 1928 in Kannapolis, North Carolina, † September 26, 1973 ) was a NASCAR driver. He was the father of the legendary seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt and grandfather of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kerry Earnhardt. Ralph Earnhardt grew up in Kannapolis. Many years of his life were spent in a cotton mill. To add variety to everyday life, he began to race.
Ralph Earnhardt began his career on "Dirt Tracks". He won in the following years, hundreds of races and race track championships on many routes in the United States. If he was driving not racing or not worked, he screwed himself on his racing cars. In 1956 he won the " NASCAR Sportsman Championship", the predecessor of today's Series Nationwide Series. In addition, he managed to place in six consecutive years in the racing series in the top 10 of the driver standings.
Also in the Grand National Series, the top racing division of NASCAR, which is known as Sprint Cup today, drove Earnhardt. There he was active from 1956 to 1964. During this time he played 51 races. He reached 16 times the top-10 and six top- fifth Even though he has never shown this in the elite league of NASCAR, he was an extremely talented driver. He won more than 350 races in his 23 years of NASCAR career. Most of them in regional NASCAR racing series.
He died on 26 September 1973 while he was working at one of its racing cars, of a heart attack. In 1998 he was appointed because of his many successes to one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers, the 50 best drivers of NASCAR.
- In the movie " 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story" he was played by JK Simmons.