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Late Wreck Leaves Junior 30th at Watkins Glen

By Mike Hoag, JR Motorsports | Race Report Published 8/11/2013

Race: Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International
Track Specs: 2.45-mile road course
Weather: Clear, 75 degrees
Race Winner: Kyle Busch
Dale Jr.’s Finish: 30th

Dale Earnhardt Jr. limped to a 30th-place finish in Sunday’s CHEEZ-IT 355 at Watkins Glen International after being collected in a multi-car accident late in the race. Earnhardt Jr. was extremely pleased with the No. 88 National Guard’s Chevrolet performance throughout the race as he steadily moved forward from his 25th-place starting position. Earnhardt Jr. worked his way into the top 15 before the team’s final pit stop at lap 61.

Earnhardt Jr. took a lap 81 restart in 13th but quickly found trouble when Matt Kenseth, Marcos Ambrose and Kasey Kahne got together in the narrow esses. Kahne’s No. 5 Chevrolet hit a barrier on the right side of the track, but shot back across the track into the path of Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 car causing heavy damage to both. Earnhardt Jr. immediately took his car to garage where his team made quick repairs.

The team’s efforts were rewarded with two additional spots as Earnhardt Jr. made his way back on to the track for the checkered flag in 30th position. He drops to sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings, holding a 47-point advantage over 11th-place Kurt Busch with four races remaining until the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

On late-race crash…
“I probably could have lifted to see where the 5 (Kasey Kahne) was going to go, but I went where there wasn’t a car. He was on the throttle real hard and kind of John Force’d it across the track in front of us. We had a good car, we ran hard, and worked for everything we got today. It’s unfortunate it had to end that way.”

Watkins Glen Race Report
Start 25th
Finish 30th
Laps Completed (Led) 85 of 90 (0)
Standings (from leader) 6th (-138)
Condition Damaged


After GEICO 500
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 -- Joey Logano 3121 0
2 +1 Kevin Harvick 3117 -4
3 +1 Ryan Newman 3117 -4
4 +3 Denny Hamlin 3100 -21
5 +4 Matt Kenseth 3099 -22
6 -1 Carl Edwards 3099 -22
7 -1 Jeff Gordon 3093 -28
8 -- Kasey Kahne 3090 -31
9 -7 Kyle Busch 3086 -35
10 -- Brad Keselowski 3085 -36
11 -- Jimmie Johnson 3053 -68
12 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3045 -76
Full Standings