St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

Earnhardt fan plans blood drive


© St. Petersburg Times, published April 29, 2001

Andy Kinworthy remains a fan, too dedicated to forget Dale Earnhardt.

"I couldn't let my driver go out like that," the 37-year-old from St. Petersburg said last week.

Earnhardt, who died in a crash Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway, would have turned 50 today.

Compelled to do something for his favorite driver, Kinworthy organized a blood drive to honor the NASCAR legend known as "Intimidator."

The drive, with two Florida Blood Services buses, is at 1-5:30 p.m. today at Gandy Beach in St. Petersburg. "I don't even donate blood, but I'm going to be the first in line," Kinworthy said. "I'm planning on this taking place every year on his birthday."

Earnhardt won seven Winston Cup titles (tied with Richard Petty for most), 76 career races (sixth all-time) and the 1998 Daytona 500 before crashing his No. 3 Chevrolet in the fourth turn on the last lap of the season-opening event.

Kinworthy said today's memorial includes celebrations at times significant to Earnhardt's life: 3:07 p.m. and 7:03 p.m. for the driver's car number and seven championships, and 4:29 p.m. to recognize the month and day the driver was born in Kannapolis, N.C.

Kinworthy, who owns a Pontiac Grand Prix painted to copy one of Earnhardt's early cars, was one of an estimated 2,000 fans gathered the day after the accident at Gandy Beach to celebrate the driver's life.

"I only met him one time," Kinworthy said. "I kind of actually find it odd that I like the guy so much. I'm not even this tight with my dad."

NAPA AUTO PARTS 500: Although Jeff Gordon is starting 17th in the 43-car field at today's NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway in Fontana, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to call him the favorite. Gordon has won two of the first four Winston Cup races at the 2-mile oval and has led 287 laps.

"Those are the types of numbers we need at every track," Gordon said.

Born in Vallejo, Gordon loves running in his native state. He has won five of the past eight Winston Cup races in California, including three straight at Sears Point in Sonoma.

The three-time series champion is second in points, behind Dale Jarrett, with one win and five top-fives. He has led in eight of nine races this season.

-- Information from Times wires was used in this report.

* * *

TODAY ON TV/RADIO: NASCAR, NAPA Auto Parts 500, 2 p.m., Ch. 13, WQYK-AM 1010.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk

Devil Rays
  • Rays coup was months in the making
  • Rays triumph by being less sloppy
  • Little faults add up with Rays fans
  • Rays tales

  • Bucs/NFL
  • Sapp: 'Let's go play ball'
  • Dungy after better play by defense
  • Sapp's loss: 27 pounds
  • NFL briefs

  • Running
  • Trio's tight finish caps storybook race
  • Montgomery finish shocks herself
  • Hayden's first Cup is trying

  • NBA playoffs
  • Orlando extends its series

  • Letters
  • Mutiny flat in Chicago loss

  • Soccer
  • Janss: WUSA start 'unbelievable'

  • Lightning
  • Lecavalier, 21, on top of the Worlds

  • Baseball
  • Baseball this week on TV
  • NL briefs
  • Baseball briefs
  • AL briefs
  • 'Ballplayer' Johnson is manager's MVP
  • McHale noncommittal about interest in Rays
  • 0-FOR-'01
  • Working for his walks
  • Ownership turmoil has Lopez in limbo
  • Twins may be built for long haul

  • Motorsports
  • Earnhardt fan plans blood drive
  • Auto racing briefs

  • Outdoors
  • Two rods plus a pier add up to big kings

  • Et cetera
  • Horse racing briefs
  • Sports briefs
  • Highs and lows
  • Golf briefs

  • Preps
  • Dragon's dream close to fruition
  • Eight elite teams, one survivor

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts