Dale Earnhardt Jr. has memories he’d rather forget

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet, talk to his crew chief, Greg Ives, during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500 at Phoenix. Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan | Getty Images

AVONDALE, Ariz. – In a long career that has produced its share of notable memories, there are certain moments Dale Earnhardt Jr. would just as soon forget—particularly when it comes to crashing other drivers.

Earnhardt was especially chagrined during the first superspeedway test of the new Gen-6 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car on Jan. 11, 2013. Attempting to bump-draft with Marcos Ambrose on the backstretch, Earnhardt triggered a huge wreck that sent at least 10 teams home with mangled chassis in their haulers.

“We’re testing, and it’s January and everybody’s cars are brand new,” Earnhardt said on Friday at Phoenix Raceway. “Everybody is testing their brand-new speedway car, and I started a crash on the back straightaway and I’m like ‘Oops, my bad.’

“You go in the garage and you are like, ‘Man, I just want to go hide in the trailer.’ Everybody’s torn up cars are coming in and all the crews are all pissed off… those are some of the worst moments as a driver, some of the most embarrassing moments.  So anytime you do anything like that, you hope people have short memories.”