There was a big heartwarming moment when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the 2001 Pepsi 400 (the first race to be held at Daytona after the Intimidator's death). His teammate Michael Waltrip helped hold off the field after Earnhardt, Jr. went from sixth place to the lead and overtook Johnny Benson, Jr. in the span of two laps. They finished in reverse order of the Daytona 500. It allowed Waltrip to celebrate his Daytona 500 win, which had greatly been overshadowed by Earnhardt's death. Both cars doing burnouts on the tri-oval grass is one of the most memorable moments of NASCAR's healing process.
Allen Bestwick: (after Earnhardt, Jr. took the checkered flag) "Sentimental favorite, emotional favorite...earlier in the broadcast, we talked among ourselves, some of the moves he made on the track today looked like his father behind the wheel."
- Speaking of which, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. also won the MBNA Cal Ripken, Jr. 400 at Dover, which happened to be the first NASCAR race to follow the 9/11 attacks. He marked his victory with a Polish victory lap while holding an American flag in salute. Weeks later, Junebug would win the EA Sports 500 at Talladega, the race where a year before, his father had recorded his last Winston Cup win.