It's Called Racing, Folks! Earnhardt Style!
On lap 125 of Daytona 500, with rain threatening to red flag the race, everyone was jockeying for position when Dale Earnhardt Jr. caused a 10-car wreck.
With 73 laps to go, Brian Vickers pulled a strong block to the inside on Dale Jr., forcing Jr. below the yellow line. Junior came back with a vengeance, clipping the back of Vickers, causing him to spin and take out 10 other cars.
As the dust began to settle, announcers and drivers alike were in a fury, calling Dale's move a dirty shot.
Kyle Busch, who led most of the race up until this point, was taken out in this wreck. Kyle said "some guys having a bad day made our day a bad day" referring to Vickers and Earnhardt.
Jamie McMurray was also taken out, having run a good race until that point. Denny Hamlin was running second and was also involved in the melee. His team said "the guts were okay" and they were trying to put him back on the track.
Vicker's block was perfectly legal and no penalties were called against Earnhardt.
Normally, with half the race left to go, drivers don't push so aggressively, but the announcers of the race pointed out that there is a lot at stake with rain on the horizon having the potential to end the race early.
Vickers and Earnhardt were both a lap down "trying to stay in the free pass position in case another caution came out," said the news team.
In an interview after the wreck that took Vickers out of the race, leaving Earnhardt in, Vickers said, "Hooked me in the left rear. Typically, NASCAR penalizes for that, but I guess they're not going to this time.
"It's dangerous, that's my biggest problem with it," indicating the officials may have seen it as Earnhardt trying to get back and accidentally bumping Vickers. Vickers had a different take on the bump when he said, "To wreck someone intentionally like that is pretty bad; he must have wanted that caution pretty bad."
Dirty racing or good old fashioned racing? Let's think back to the very style that made Dale Earnhardt a legend. Aggression, tappin' other cars on the track and the ability to capitalize on every potential moment.
This is exactly what Jr. did when he made his move. He cut hard to get back in the pack, tagging the back of Vickers' car, spinning him up into the field and causing the 10 car wreck.
When Dale Jr was interviewed about the wreck, he said, "I eased on over, he blocked me and hit me in the fender, sent me to the grass and I bumped him coming back in."
When asked if the bump on Vickers was accidental, Earnhardt replied, "Yeah it was accidental!!!!!"
As the Fox commentators mentioned, Jr. would be the first to tell you if he did something on purpose. He's honest about what he does and doesn't do and is not a dirty racer.
As unfortunate as this was for the cars involved, it was just good, old fashioned, aggressive driving....Earnhardt style. It's the Earnhardt signature, their style, that keeps Jr. Nation and the rest of us tuned in to the races.
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