Dale Earnhardt Jr. was in seventh position when the right-front tire of his ...
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was in seventh position when the right-front tire of his #8 Budweiser Chevrolet blew out going down the front-straightaway on lap 61. The blowout sent the Bud car hard into the wall, causing extensive damage to the entire right side and ending the night early for the Bud team. Dale Jr. was checked out and released from the infield care center with no injuries. Full race report to come following the race.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Quotes:
Did you have any indication that the tire was going down?
"Not at all. It just went "Bam!" when it blew out and "Bam!" when I hit the wall. It was loud, sounded like a shotgun going off. Hitting the wall that fast, it hurts, but I'm OK. I had a great car. Man, that thing was flying. We were going to have a great night. I'm just excited about next week and the rest of the year. That car was flying. It's a shame. That was a new car, and we were going to test it next week at Atlanta. I guess our plans have now changed, because the car's tore up. I just want to thank (crew chief) Tony (Eury) Jr. and the Bud crew. They gave me an awesome car. We were really running great, and I was really excited. I'm really trying hard to give my fans something to be happy about and something to look forward to."
What caused the tire failure?
"We're not sure. You never really know exactly what it is. My car was tight. We didn't have a lot of camber in the tires, so that really wasn't an issue. The track obviously has caused tire issues all weekend. And with the tightness in the car beating the right-front up, I guess it couldn't handle it."
With the track the way it is, how much concern was there going into this race?
"I was really concerned. After last night (with a track-record 14 cautions in the Busch Series race), everybody was having some tire problems, and having trouble getting a hold of the race track. We don't blow too many tires out because of camber issues and air pressure issues, so it's kind of odd for us to have this kind of trouble with our cars. I don't know, it happens. It's happened all year. I'm not the one to point the finger, and I wouldn't know where to point it anyways."