Rain-delayed race ends early for Earnhardt
By: Stephen Hawkins, The Connected Press on April 6, 2014
Dale Earnhardt Jr. wound up with his very first last-place finish in 7 seasons Monday following driving his vehicle into the rain-saturated infield grass before it shot across the track and slammed into the wall in a fiery crash.
Earnhardt, who was Ok right after climbing out of the burning No. 88 Chevrolet, took the blame for the accident that happened when he was following Aric Almirola down the frontstretch in the rain-delayed Sprint Cup race.
“You cannot run by means of there the way they have these vehicles on the ground like that. Just a mistake on my portion. I just didn’;t know I was that near to the grass, and created a error,” he stated. “It tears a vehicle up quite very good when you run by means of the grass.”
Jimmie Johnson had damage on the windshield and front left of his No. 48 auto from mud and debris following the crash by his Hendrick Motorsports teammate. Johnson was 3 laps down by time he acquired back in the race following his staff worked on the auto. Johnson also had an issue with a right-side tire.
Kevin Harvick finished only 28 laps ahead of a blown engine knocked him out of the race.
“Anything took place with the engine proper right after that restart,” Harvick explained. “It is aggravating. I will not know what else I can say. I didn’;t get any indication that something was going incorrect.”
The race began with 10 caution laps Monday to make positive the track was dry and suitable for racing. There had been only 3 laps under full green problems when Earnhardt, the factors leader, drove into the grass. About half of his auto was off the asphalt before pushing hard correct and across the track.
“Just didn’;t see the grass. Did not know the grass was down there. With the way the A-submit is on these autos you can not really see that good to that angle,” Earnhardt stated.
The accident assured a 43rd-location finish for Earnhardt. He hadn’;t finished last in the field since the 2007 fall race at Phoenix, a span of 222 races. The new rules in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship puts increased emphasis on wins, but Earnhardt previously has 4 top-3 finishes this season, which includes a win at Daytona.
Dale Earnhardt’;s Chevrolet created an early exit soon after catching fire on Monday throughout the opening laps of the Duck Commander 500.
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