Innocent bystander Dale Earnhardt Jr. sees Bristol race end in disaster

Dale Earnhardt Jr. climbs from his car during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. climbs from his car during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt Jr.  saw his night end early at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday night.  The Hendrick Motorsports driver started the NASCAR Sprint Cup Irwin Tools Night race in 20th and was working his way to the front and generally holding his own. But on lap 160 Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin were dueling for the lead when it all came crashing down.

Harvick slid up exiting turn 4 and got into Hamlin who was leading at the time. Harvick was able to race away; Hamlin however wasn’t as lucky. Hamlin’s Toyota careened into the inside wall and shot back up the track.  Earnhardt running just inside the top 10 went high but was unable to avoid Hamlin; Earnhardt clipped the front of Hamlin’s Toyota ripping off the driver’s side of his Chevy.

The Hamlin and Harvick tangle mirrored an incident the two had in last year’s race that left both driver’s upset with each other. MORE>>>

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