Their first Cup title together came in 1986, and they won another one in 1987.
Earnhardt was on top of the stock car world again in 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1994. At the age of 43, Dale Earnhardt had won as many points titles as Petty.
In 1995 Earnhardt won five races but finished second in the points standings. He won two in 1996, and went winless for the first time in 16 seasons in 1997.
In 1998 he took just one checker, but it came in The Great American Race, marking the first time Earnhardt had ever won the season-opening Daytona 500.
In 1999 Talladega Superspeedway was the venue that saw Earnhardt get back on track, and by the end of the 2000 season Earnhardt was poised to regain his status as the best in the business.
After winning the 2000 Winston 500, Earnhardt had 76 victories and went on to finish second behind Bobby Labonte for the Winston Cup title.
Earnhardt, 49, was running third on the last lap of the Daytona 500 in February 2001.
Tragically, it was a lap he would never complete.