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Early Accident Leaves Junior 43rd at Texas

By Tyler Overstreet, JR Motorsports | Race Report Published 4/7/2014

Race: Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile quad-oval
Weather: Cloudy, 57 degrees
Race Winner: Joey Logano
Dale Jr.’s Finish: 43rd

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 43rd in Monday’s Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway after an accident on lap 13 ended his day very early. The finish drops Earnhardt Jr. to sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings after seven races.

Following 10 laps under both green and caution conditions, Earnhardt Jr. took the initial start 19th in his No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet. Racing in the tire tracks of Aric Almirola’s No. 43 car, Earnhardt Jr.’s left-front tire clipped the grass on the front stretch. The contact with the grass, which typically would cause minimal or no damage, destroyed the No. 88 car’s front end as the nose dug into wet grass after torrential rains from Sunday afternoon.

With no ability to control his car after the damage, Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 darted right into the outside retaining wall with fire trailing the vehicle. Earnhardt Jr. emerged from his damaged No. 88 safely but could not rejoin the race.

Joey Logano passed Jeff Gordon on the final lap of the race to grab his first victory of the season. Kyle Busch, Brian Vickers and Kyle Larson rounded out the top five.

“I just ran into the grass on the apron on the front-straightaway there. I was following the 43 (Almirola) and just didn’t see the grass, just didn’t know the grass was down there that close. The way the A-post of these cars are you can’t really see that good to that angle so I really didn’t have a good visual of where the apron or the grass was. That’s awful.

“You can’t run through there the way we’ve got these cars on the ground like that. It was just a mistake on my part. I just didn’t know I was that close to the grass and just made a mistake.”


Texas Race Report
Start 19th
Finish 43rd
Laps Completed (Led) 12 of 334 (0)
Standings (from next) 6th (-31)
Condition Out (Accident)


After Ford EcoBoost 400
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 +3 Kevin Harvick 5043 0
2 +1 Ryan Newman 5042 -1
3 -2 Denny Hamlin 5037 -6
4 -2 Joey Logano 5028 -15
5 -- Brad Keselowski 2361 -2682
6 -- Jeff Gordon 2348 -2695
7 -- Matt Kenseth 2334 -2709
8 +2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2301 -2742
9 -- Carl Edwards 2288 -2755
10 -2 Kyle Busch 2285 -2758
11 +2 Jimmie Johnson 2274 -2769
12 +2 Kurt Busch 2263 -2780
Full Standings