posted on Mar, 29 2004 @ 10:16 PM
Earnhardt Jr., like a lot of others,
has his own spin on things
By JIM UTTER
BRISTOL, Tenn. - It was typical Bristol, but with a few new twists.
Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway caused its share of hot tempers, fiery words and involuntary trips to the NASCAR hauler.
The highlights this time:
# Dale Earnhardt Jr. admitted repeatedly after Sunday's race he spun out on purpose on Lap 431 of 500 to prevent from having to pit under green and
lose one or more laps.
"I had a loose wheel and I didn't have any choice but to spin the car out to get a caution. So I went down in the corner, had some clear room behind
me, and I just spun it out," Earnhardt Jr. said after the race.
"The caution came out, I put the clutch in and got going. What the hell else was I supposed to do? Go a lap down? Go two laps down?"
Earnhardt Jr. also engaged in a profanity-laced exchange with his crew over his radio regarding NASCAR's decision to extend cautions late in the race
to blow debris from the track. That earned Earnhardt Jr. a trip to the NASCAR hauler.
His admission of intentionally causing a caution - an act which has been penalized previously by NASCAR - did not seem to raise the ire of series
director John Darby.
" 'I spun a car out' - that's a great excuse for spinning a car out, but proving that is another story," Darby said. "To brag about it is not enough
for me to make a move on it."
[Edited on 3/29/2004 by crayon]