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Earnhardt's Legacy, 10 Years Later: a Safer NASCAR
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Michael Waltrip still remembers how surprised he was the first time he smacked into one of the impact-absorbing SAFER barriers that sprouted on racetrack walls across the country in the wake of Dale Earnhardt's death.

Like so many drivers since Earnhardt died, Waltrip walked away uninjured.
With the 10 year anniversary of Earnhardt's fatal accident looming at Daytona International Speedway this week, the iconic driver's legacy can be seen every time one of today's drivers escapes serious injury in a crash.

Earnhardt's loss was the wake-up call that caused a safety revolution, including head and neck restraints, impact-absorbing walls and safer cars. There hasn't been a driver death on the track in NASCAR's top three divisions since then.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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