Featured Photo #7 – Roller Coasters As Memorials

Featured Photos

Intimidator at  Carowinds

Today’s Daytona 500 marks the 10th anniversary of Dale Earnhardt’s fatal crash. With his enormous success and signature aggressive racing style, the legendary racer left an undeniable mark on one of America’s most popular sports, NASCAR. In 2010, Carowinds opened a new roller coaster with the aim of thrilling guests with its height and speed while also paying tribute to Earnhardt. Bearing the driver’s nickname (Intimidator), themed Chevy Monte Carlo trains, and a plaza showcasing Earnhardt’s career the Intimidator at Carowinds (and Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominions) is a roller coasters that also acts as a memorial.

This is one of my best photos of a hyper coaster as they’re sometimes hard to get close to. Unlike a lot of pictures of these rides you can actually see the riders and how B&M hypers have those elevated seats. I took this picture from the picnic pavilion area near Carowinds’ front entrance.

What’s Your Take?
How do you feel about a roller coaster as a memorial? Have you ridden Intimidator at Carowinds? What did you think? Leave a comment below.

Photos, content, and the most insightful, entertaining, or amusing reader comments from my Photo of the Week posts will be included my new book. Read more about my book project. All images are the property of TheCoasterCritic.com

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.


  1. Its cool how ten years after he died Dale Earnhardt is still remembered as a great driver.

  2. I believe that the theme would have worked better with a racing coaster. I wonder who gave Cedar Fair permission to this theme? It's also a shame Jr. didn't win though. Maybe he's dealing with the grief from the anniversary. Congratulations to Bayne though!

  3. Yep. It was a crazy race. Only caught the last hour or so and there so many wrecks it was insane. Obviously a dream come true for Bayne winning at 20 years old.

  4. ^ Yeah T-Bayne is still waiting to wake up. Definitely a good race. That being said, good pic. I'd love to get down to Carowinds sometime. It looks like a fantastic park. I love this coaster's bro at Kings Dominion and really like the memorial theming. It just adds another level of prestige and overall coolness of the ride. I'm sure the Carolina version does as great, if not a better job at commemorating and celebrating Dale and NASCAR.

  5. definately a great, fittingly fast ride AND outstanding tribute worthy of such a legend in racing.

    • Well said, Gearheart.

  6. Carowinds isn't a really big park with tons of coasters but the rides they have are very good, this is just one example. Very fast, very smooth. Great tribute to Dale Sr. RIP

    • Carowinds actually has more coasters than most parks in the U.S. For some reason it doesn't seem like it. 13 is a lot of coasters though! Here they are: Carowinds coasters.


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