America’s greatest tragedy, September 11th forced NASCAR to make an unprecedented change in this way

2001 was definitely one of the worst years for NASCAR and the world. But what is interesting to note was that it was the only year that NASCAR ran a race on Thanksgiving weekend. Well, it’s Thanksgiving week now, so why not dig deeper into this extraordinary event?

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As always, the 2001 Cup Series season began in early February with a schedule of about 36 series races in 40 weeks. Furthermore, Thanksgiving, which has traditionally been a day off for drivers, was supposed to be a holiday according to the 2001 schedule.

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However, due to the unexpected and terribly unfortunate terrorist attacks of September 11th, NASCAR suspended New Hampshire racing. Originally scheduled for September 16, 2001, the Board of Directors has now set the next open date for the race.

And it won’t be easy. Because first of all, there were no weekends between the original date and the season’s scheduled packaging date. Moreover, the possibility of snow and cold weather was hanging over the event.

So, for added certainty, NASCAR has announced that they will have the final race on Black Friday. This was because if the weather halted the plans, the sanctioning body might at least have the option of moving them back to next Saturday or Sunday.

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However, the weather agreed with the sport on race day. As a result, for the first and perhaps only time, NASCAR ran a race on Thanksgiving weekend.

Why was 2001 particularly difficult for NASCAR?

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The Daytona 500 is always one of the most exciting and sought-after events in NASCAR. Furthermore, the Daytona 500 in 2001 was especially special because it would be the first race to be broadcast after the sport signed to its new contract with Fox Sports.

However, a fateful accident during the race changed the course of NASCAR history forever. During the final laps of the 2001 Daytona 500, NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt bumped into fellow racers Sterling Marlin and Ken Schrader.

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As a result, Earnhardt crashed into the track’s retaining wall. The impact of this crash was so strong that Earnhardt suffered a skull fracture. Unable to bear the injury, Earnhardt died instantly, leaving behind a crowd of fans and loved ones on that fateful day in Daytona.

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