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Old 02-25-2001, 05:57 PM   #1
Dirt Man
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Join Date: Aug 1999
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2011 Subaru Forester

Unhappy Not a good day for Dale Jr.

Poor guy,
Looses his dad last Sunday, then on the first lap this Sunday wrecks his car.

Associated Press
Sunday, February 25, 2001; 4:03 PM

ROCKINGHAM, NC Dale Earnhardt Jr. crashed on the first lap of the Dura Lube 400 on Sunday, shortly after a moment of silence for his father, who died a week ago at Daytona. The son was bruised but not seriously injured.

"We're doing all right. That's for everybody back home," he said after being released from the infield medical center.

Earnhardt Jr., in his second full season driving on the Winston Cup circuit, started 25th in the 43-car field.

The cars were still tightly bunched heading into the third turn on the 1.014-mile North Carolina Speedway oval when it appeared rookie Ron Hornaday Jr. bumped the rear of Earnhardt's Chevrolet, sending it into the car driven by Kenny Wallace. Then it went nearly head-on into the concrete wall, setting off a six-car wreck.

Jimmy Spencer, Mike Wallace and Hut Stricklin were also caught up in the crash.

"I got bottled up going into (turn) three and somebody got into the back of me," Earnhardt Jr. said.

The 26-year-old driver got out of the car on his own and limped across the track to an ambulance for the ride to the medical center.

"It was just like a traffic jam," Kenny Wallace said. "Everybody was wanting the bottom of the race track and somebody got into the back of Earnhardt and got it starting. It was a bad deal."

Earnhardt Jr. said he had been looking forward to racing again after the long week since his 49-year-old father was killed on the last turn of the last lap of the Daytona 500.

"I guess we'll just have to wait and get ready to go racing next week in Las Vegas," he added.

The start of the race had been delayed 1 hour, 33 minutes by rain. After the first-lap crash, the race stayed under caution for an extended period when rain again began falling.
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Old 02-25-2001, 07:42 PM   #2
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yea, saw the replays on tv. the crash is amazingly similar to dale sr. in terms of speed and angle of impact. luckily it wasnt as severe...
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Old 02-25-2001, 08:48 PM   #3
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Not even close in terms of speed.

Rockingham is about 135mph in the corners. Daytona is 180mph in the corners. And then there's the whole energy is the mass times the SQUARE of velocity thing. Jr's impact, though severe, was less than half as violent than his father's. Still having said that...

Its good to see him walk away.
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Old 02-26-2001, 12:15 PM   #4
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Oh, and then there's the difference of not having a broken harness, and having a modern carbon seat (vs. the 20 year-old style sheet metal seat that Earnhardt Sr. still used...) Still wearing an open-faced helmet though. Jeez, what will it take to teach the kid?!
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