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Dale Jr. Collected in Accident at Bristol, Finishes 39th

By Tyler Overstreet, JR Motorsports | Race Report Published 8/23/2014
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Race: IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway
Track Specs: .533-mile concrete oval
Weather: Fair, 74 degrees
Race Winner: Joey Logano
Dale Jr.’s Finish: 39th

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s night at Bristol Motor Speedway came to an abrupt halt after being collected in a lap-160 incident. The misfortune left Earnhardt Jr. with a 39th-place finish and his second DNF in 24 starts this season.

Early on, the No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet crept forward from its 20th starting position. By the time the race reached a competition caution at lap 60, Earnhardt Jr. was scored 15th. Crew chief Steve Letarte opted to give Earnhardt Jr. right-side tires only under the caution and moved the No. 88 inside the top 10 for the first time.

After a second two-tire pit stop, this time for left sides, Earnhardt Jr. settled into fourth. As is typical for the tight-quarters racing at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile”, contact between leaders Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin sent Hamlin’s No. 11 car spinning into the inside wall. After nosing into the wall, the No. 11 darted back across the track into the path of Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88. Despite taking the absolute highest line in his attempt to avoid Hamlin, Earnhardt Jr. made significant contact with the No. 11 car, ripping much of the sheet metal from the left door of the Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet.

Diligent work by the No. 88 team allowed Earnhardt Jr. to make several additional laps before taking his car behind the wall for good.

Joey Logano cruised to his third victory of the season followed by Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch.

Bristol Race Report
Start 20th
Finish 39th
Laps Completed (Led) 176 of 500 (0)
Standings (From Leader) 2nd (-27)
Condition Accident

 

Standings
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