Earnhardt Jr. victim of mid-race accident, finishes 40th
July 4, 2009Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified the Fastenal Chevrolet in the seventh position for the 100-lap event and wasted no time breaking into the top-three after the green flag dropped. By lap five, Earnhardt Jr. ran in the second position.
The race’s second caution on lap 46 brought the field to pit road. Earnhardt Jr. radioed the crew that he need more front grip. Crew chief Brian Campe called for four tires and air pressure adjustments. But as Earnhardt Jr. exited the pit stall, he made contact with the No. 40 car of Scott Wimmer, who was entering the stall adjacent to the No. 5 team. Earnhardt Jr. was forced to bring the Fastenal Chevrolet back down pit road to assess the damages. The damage was minimal, and he returned to the track in 32nd position.
Earnhardt Jr. worked his way back inside the top-20 by lap 55, and ran three car lengths behind the No. 81 of Patrick Sheltra, and the No. 07 of Chase Austin. Sheltra and Austin made contact, spun out, and collected Earnhardt Jr., along with two other cars. The damage on the No. 5 was substantial enough to end the night for the Fastenal team. They finished 40th.
“I was trying to save the right-front tire on our Fastenal Chevrolet," Earnhardt said. "I was going to try and save my tires, and then cut up through the field before we had to make our last stop. At least, that was the plan. It’s real tight off of turn two and some guys pushed up into each other and caused a crash. It was bound to happen.
"I was having a lot of fun out there, and the Fastenal Chevrolet was good. I’ll have to wait until Atlanta for my next run, so we’ll see what we can do there. But we’ve got some strong drivers lined up for the Fastenal Chevy over the next couple of weeks. It should be fun to watch.”
Next Up for JR Motorsports:
Event: Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway
Date: Friday, July 10 / 8:00 p.m. EST
TV/Radio: ESPN (coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. EST) / MRN (broadcast begins at 7:30 p.m. EST)
JRM Entries: No. 88 Degree V12 Chevrolet (Brad Keselowski), No. 5 Fastenal Chevrolet (Ryan Newman)