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. 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>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.