Mid-Race Accident Leaves Earnhardt 34th at Loudon

Tyler Overstreet | JR Motorsports | 9/24/2017

Dale Jr. NASCAR Nationwide New Hampshire News

Dale Jr. finished 34th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after being collected in a multi-car accident on the final lap of Stage 2 in Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race.

Race: ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Track Specs: 1.058-mile oval / 300 laps
Weather: Sunny, 86 degrees
Race Winner: Kyle Busch
Dale Jr.’s Finish: 34th

Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the checkered flag 34th Sunday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after being involved in a multi-car accident on the final lap of the second stage. After the incident, Earnhardt limped his No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet to the finish, ending the day 11 laps down.

On an unseasonably hot day in the northeast, Earnhardt started 15th and looked to leverage a pair of strong practice sessions Saturday into a solid run on Sunday. From the drop of the green flag, however, Earnhardt reported that his car was incredibly tight and left him searching for front grip on the flat one-mile oval. He managed to keep his Nationwide Chevrolet on the lead lap to take the first green-checkered flag 21st after the first 75-lap stage.

Prior to the second stage, crew chief Greg Ives made a myriad of changes including wedge adjustments in both the left and right rear, as well as adding a pair of spring rubbers to the right-rear spring in hopes of improving the car’s turnability. After advancing from 20th to 17th early in the stage, Earnhardt reported that his No. 88 car had no front grip as he maintained a position in the lower half of the top 20.

Earnhardt had just been lapped by race leader Martin Truex Jr. late in the stage when Kevin Harvick’s spinning No. 4 was sitting broad side out of turn two. The awkward location of the No. 4 car coupled with a thick smoke cloud left drivers darting left and right. When Earnhardt hit his brakes to slow down, the No. 88 snapped around sending Earnhardt into other cars. The damage to the nose, left front, and left rear were substantial, but the Nationwide crew was able to exact repairs to keep their driver in the race.

Over the final half of the race, Earnhardt soldiered his way to the checkered flag and ended the afternoon 34th.

Kyle Busch collected the win over Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski and Truex.