The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

August 20, 2013

Fan's faves cover many areas of interest

But NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt is top in her heart

(Continued)

She recalled standing in line for an autograph at Indianapolis a couple of days before the Brickyard 400. Earnhardt was busy greeting his fans and signing autographs. He saw people gathering near another driver’s camper. That NASCAR star had decided it was too hot to be out there. She said Earnhardt excused himself for a minute and went over and beat on the door, and said, “These are your fans. You need to get out here and meet ‘em. They’re the ones who make you!”

“That really made you appreciate Dale more, and showed how much he cared about the people who supported him,” she said.

As his son, Dale Jr., joined the chase, Shaw said, “Since Earnhardt fans felt like family, you had to be for his boy, too. He’s good, but not as good as his Dad.”

The No. 3 decal on Shaw’s car lets you know that she is a fan of “The Intimidator.” But that’s only the beginning of her collection of Dale Earnhardt Sr. memorabilia. That collection has grown and grown over the years as she would find something she just had to have, or as friends and family would find gifts for her.

When she started showing her collection, a visitor expected to see the T-shirts, key chains, calendars, pictures and the plastic and die-cast cars. But then, she brought out the lighters, flashlights, Christmas ornaments, blankets, throws, soft drink bottles playing cards, night light, wall plate, back pack, tennis shoes, shoe strings and even the “Number 3” earrings that a friend gave her one Christmas.

“That’s only the beginning,” she chuckled, as she saw the amazed look in a visitor’s eyes as she piled even more Dale Earnhardt “stuff” on the throw she’d laid out for the display.

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