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Bobby Allison
The day that racing stopped
The day that racing stopped

I was covering motorsports for four years before I saw someone die in what might be considered a senseless crash. I didn't know Ricky Knotts, a 28-year-old driver who had spent every dime he and his parents could muster to qualify for the 1980 Daytona 500. He died on Valentine's Day in a simple crash, a crash exactly like the one that would claim seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt's life 21 years later. I was there for Earnhardt's death, too. Both of those accidents at first glance might seem innocuous, but they were both devastating, head-on collisions into the outside wall at Daytona International Speedway. When Knotts was killed what struck me was that everyone in...

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