Cup Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet, crashes early in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Published on April 8th, 2014 | by Michael J Smith


Dale Jr Crashes Early At Texas

In a day that saw a bizarre start to the Duck Commander 500, Dale Earnhardt Jr also had his share of bizarre luck.

On lap 12, the first truly green-flag lap of the race, Dale Earnhardt Jr was racing behind Aric Almirola when he looked to the inside of Almirola and just barely clipped the grass.

The mud from the previous day’s rain coupled with the low splitter height caused the splitter to buckle under the car, severely damaging the front of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy, and cutting its tire.

The No. 88 darted across the track, hitting the outside wall hard, and then continuing down the track, hitting the outside wall again. The car erupted in flames as Jr pulled it down to the apron. He climbed out of the car.

Earnhardt said:

 I just didn’t see the grass, didn’t know the grass was there that close. The way the A post is in these cars, you can’t really see that good to that angle. I didn’t have a good visual where the grass is. That’s all. You can’t run through (the grass) the way we’ve got these cars on the ground. Just a mistake on my part.

Earnhardt Jr finished 43rd, his worst finish in 2014. That result knocked him from the points lead to sixth place in the standings.

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About the Author

Michael J. Smith is a NASCAR enthusiast and blogger. In addition to founding this website, Michael is a journalist with over a decade of experience writing for prestigious media organizations.

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