Dale | Chicago Reader


NASCAR fans are the target audience for this documentary about racer Dale Earnhardt, though it makes a sturdy primer for the uninitiated. Directors Rory Karpf and Mike Viney trace Earnhardt's life from his hardscrabble childhood in North Carolina (where his father escaped the local cotton mill to become a legendary short-track racer) to his formative years as a grimly determined, somewhat reckless young driver and his 2001 death during the Daytona 500. Earnhardt became a working-class hero and a devoted family man, but unfortunately Karpf and Viney only allude to the darker aspects of his character that helped forge his success. 100 min.

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