Second place is the first loser.

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Second place is the first loser.

proverb sports adage Coming in second place means you have still ultimately failed to win in the end. Popularized by (and often credited to) race car driver Dale Earnhardt, Sr. (1951–2001). You go out into that ring and you give it absolutely everything you've got! After all, second place is the first loser!
See also: first, place, second
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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