36 user 4 critic

3: The Dale Earnhardt Story (2004)

Barry Pepper portrays legendary race car drive Dale Earnhardt, who died in 2001 during the last lap of the Daytona 500.


Russell Mulcahy


Robert Eisele

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Barry Pepper ... Dale Earnhardt
Elizabeth Mitchell ... Teresa Earnhardt
Ernest Whitted ... Pit Crowd
Andrea Powell ... Martha Earnhardt
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sean Bridgers ... Neil Bonnett
David Lewis Brooks David Lewis Brooks ... Earnhardt Pit Crew
Russell Brooks Russell Brooks ... Earnhardt Pit Crew (as Russell Dean Brooks Jr.)
Joe Chrest ... Jake Elder
Russell Cook ... Press Conference VIP
Teresa Delgado ... Kelly Earnhardt
Thunderbird Dinwiddie ... Connie (as Traci Dinwiddie)
Tricia Dyar ... Daisy (as Tricia Quattlebaum)
Corri English ... Kelly Earnhardt
Michael Flippo Michael Flippo ... Wayne Robertson
Daniel Freeze Daniel Freeze ... Dale Pit Crew


Biographical story of Dale Earnhardt, Sr. starts with his young life and growing up with his father, Ralph, who raced for a living, but initially wanted more for his son. When Dale quits high school to start driving full time, his father aids him and shows a reluctant pride when he is initially successful. Armed with many of his father's philosophies, Dale pushed himself to be the best. His aggressive track mannerisms earned himself fans and detractors. Fellow racer Neil Bonnett was one of those long time friends and whose death deeply affected Dale. Darrell Waltrip clearly was a detractor and the two men's rivalry is clearly depicted. Off the track, Dale's determination to make it impacts two marriages. Third wife Theresa was closer to racing and met Dale when he had started his rise into the Winston Cup circuit. The story also looks at his relationship with his children, particularly son Kerry from his first marriage and whom he did not see again after age 5 until Kerry in his late ... Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One man, One sport. One nation.


Biography | Drama | Sport



Official Sites:

ESPN Original Entertainment





Release Date:

11 December 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

3 See more »

Filming Locations:

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The song Kryptonite is playing on Little Dale's boom box when Dale visits him on the boat dock. Racing is his kryptonite, or weakness. See more »


Many cars depicted in the 2001 Daytona 500 are incorrect in terms of body styles and paint schemes. Most noticeable are the cars of Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, and Rusty Wallace. Gordon's car sports the old rainbow color scheme when 2001 was the first year his car sported the blue/red flame paint scheme. Bobby Labonte's Interstate Batteries car is Chevrolet Monte Carlo, his actual 2001 car was a Pontiac. Wallace's car in the film is a 1998 Ford Taurus using the old blue/white Miller Lite paint scheme (the actual car was a 2001 with an all-blue Miller Lite paint scheme). See more »


Dale Earnhardt: [helping Dale Jr. strap into a racecar] Wipe that look off your face, Dale. You'll wind up as ugly as me.
See more »

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User Reviews

Three cheers for "3"
12 December 2004 | by Blancmange19See all my reviews

I've watched "3" almost three times since it's debut Saturday night. I watched it in its entirety and then the better part of the last hour twice afterward. The last half hour is heartbreaking and very well done. After all the hype, I feared "3" wouldn't meet expectations, especially for Earnhardt fans. On the contrary, it exceeded them for me. You're not going to please everyone trying to tell the life story of a man like Dale Earnhardt in less than two hours. The main quibble I had was not telling the story of the lucky penny Dale carried during his Daytona 500 win. A minor criticism to be sure.

The casting and performances were outstanding. Hard to believe the actor who convincingly played another one of my sports heroes, Roger Maris, could also deliver a performance as Earnhardt deserving of an Emmy nomination.

As a longtime Earnhardt fan, I sometimes had to remind myself I was watching a movie and not Sportscentury. Barry Pepper, please play Johnny Unitas.

I won't spoil the touching way the tragic ending was handled, but if you don't shed a tear or ten, you'd better check your pulse.

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