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Dale Earnhardt Jr crash history

Watch this video -- Dale Jr's Corvette crash



2000 400

March 19, 2000

Darlington Raceway, Darlington, SC


Dale Jr crashes at Darlington

Just 5 races into his rookie season in the Winston Cup series Dale Earnhardt Jr was involved in his 1st crash. He got a little more than a Darlington Stripe when he crashed in the 400 at Darlington Raceway on March 19, 2000.

Dale Jr spun the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet in the center of the corner coming off turn 3 late in the race and hit the inside retaining wall hard.

Junior was unhurt in the wreck.

He was credited with a 40th place finish, completing just 213 laps of the 293 lap event.




2000 Food City 500

March 26, 2000

Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, TN

For the 2nd time in as many weeks a crash would knock Dale Earnhardt Jr out of the race.

After running hard for 401 laps on the half-mile bull ring at Bristol, Tennessee Junior's red No. 8 was loaded onto the hauler. Heavy damage forced him out of the race just 50 miles from the finish.

NASCAR scored Dale Jr in 38th place when all the dust settled.

At least he could look forward to the next race at Texas, it would be his 1st Cup win.


2000 Dura Lube 300

September 17, 2000

New Hampshire International Speedway, Loudon, NH

Just 12 laps from the finish Dale Earnhardt Jr was involved in a multi-car wreck with Jerry Nadeau, Ward Burton and Jeff Gordon.

The crash left Junior with a 31st place finish

Dale Jr's DEI teammate, Steve Park, was also involved in a crash and finished 34th.


2000 NAPA Autocare 500

October 1, 2000

Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, VA

On 3 separate occasions Dale Earnhardt Jr brought out the caution flag due to crashes and spins he was involved in.

The final time with 20 laps to go caused more damage than the team could repair -- crew chief Tony Eury ordered the beat-up Chevy race car loaded onto the hauler.

Junior was left with a finish of 36th.


2000 Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400

October 22, 2000

North Carolina Speedway, Rockingham, NC


Dale Earnhardt Jr tore down the fence at Rockingham, with a little help from Kurt Busch.

"I'm not sure what happened," said a disappointed Earnhardt Jr. I was out there riding and the next thing I know I was headed in the other direction."

"My car was good. They said the 97 got into the back of me. I was the same way the first couple of races. He probably ain't used to all that motor."

The crash put the 8 car out of the race, and left Junior with a finish of 34th.


2001 Dura Lube 400

February 26, 2001

North Carolina Speedway, Rockingham, NC


When the green flag flew on the Dura Lube 400 only 1 week had passed since the loss of Dale Earnhardt in the Daytona 500.

Some questioned Dale Jr's decision to get back behind the wheel of a race car so soon -- but Junior pressed on.

It certainly wasn't the outcome he was searching for.

Dale Earnhardt Jr never completed a single lap.

As Junior's No. 8 Chevrolet entered turn 4 on the 1st lap he had to check up to avoid a slowing Robby Gordon just ahead of him.

He was then slammed from behind by Ron Hornaday, sending the 8 car hard into the concrete wall on the outside.

"Somebody got in back of me and I couldn't keep it under control," Earnhardt said. "I just wanted to get back to racing. I guess I'll have to wait to get to Vegas."

Dale Earnhardt Jr would finish the race in the 43rd, and last, position.


2001 Protection One 400

September 30, 2001

Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, KS


Dale Earnhardt Jr had a great car for most of the day -- and he really liked racing at Kansas Speedway.

But when his right front tire exploded on lap 228 the No. 8 Chevy made a hard turn into the wall.

"What a great racetrack," Earnhardt said. "My car just drove itself."

"I didn't have to push much at all. My right-front just blew. I thought we were going to get third or something like that."

Instead Dale Jr would finish 33rd.


2002 Samsung/Radio Shack 500

April 8, 2002

Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX


As the No. 8 car of Dale Earnhardt Jr made it's way around the lapped car of Shawna Robinson the 2 cars made contact sending Earnhardt's car into the wall.

Ironically, DEI had helped Robinson by providing crew members for her at previous races.

"I think Shawna's a good driver but they better put her in better race cars because she ran into me," Earnhardt Jr said.

This was the 3rd time in 4 races where Robinson was involved in an incident that took out another driver.

The crash left Dale Earnhardt Jr with a finish of 42nd -- in a race he had previously won.


2002 NAPA Auto Parts 500


April 28, 2002

California Speedway, Fontana, CA


On lap 229 Dale Earnhardt Jr slammed the Bud Chevy into the No. 29 of Kevin Harvick as Harvick was attempting to get to pit road for a flat tire.

The contact sent Earnhardt's careering into the wall nose first.

He climbed from the car limping from an injury to his ankle, and was immediately taken by ambulance to the infield care center.

When he emerged after getting medical attention Junior was walking with crutches.

"That was about as hard of a hit as I've ever taken," Earnhardt Jr said. "It just took every bit of air out of me. I could hear the guys on the radio, but I couldn't answer."

Despite being bruised and battered Dale Jr was back at work the next day for a meeting at Dale Earnhardt Inc. in Mooresville.

Earnhardt was scored with a finish of 36th at California.



2002 Pennsylvania 500

July 28, 2002

Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, PA


Dale Earnhardt Jr's day looked to be over almost before it began when a lap 1 crash with DEI teammate Steve Park heavily damaged the Budweiser Chevrolet.

Park in the No. 1 car and Rusty Wallace in the No. 2 car touched on the racetrack coming off Pocono's fast turn 1, sending Parks car spinning straight into Dale Jr's Chevrolet.

"Rusty got into me and got me pinched up, Jr. got into the side of me and the party was on," Park would later say.

With Park and Earnhardt's cars seemingly locked together the pair of race cars hurtled across the grass toward the inside guard rail.

When the 2 cars impacted the guard rail the No. 8 Chevy of Earnhardt was turned backward, while Park's machine flipped on it's roof.

Both cars continued to slide along the railing with Park's far continuing to turn over.

"I thought Steve and I would both go right through it (the guardrail) and end up in among the fans and the RVs and the campers, Dale Jr said, describing the wild ride.

When they finally came to rest Park's Chevrolet had landed on it's side. Dale Earnhardt Jr quickly exited his car and ran to check on his friend Steve Park.

Dale Jr arrived at the car before track safety workers and found Park trapped in the car but seemingly uninjured.

When the safety team arrived they righted the No. 1 Chevrolet and freed Steve Park from the wrecked race car.

Both drivers were taken to the infield care center, as the 2 heavily damaged race cars were towed to the garage area.

The No. 8 Chevrolet was badly damaged, but the crew decided the car was repairable, especially since it was so early in the race.

The chassis was extremely muddy from the high speed slide through Pocono's wet infield; it had rained for much of Sunday morning.

Juniors car would need a new hood, fenders and nose. Pretty much all the front sheet metal needed to be replaced.

The radiator was filled with mud, as was power steering pump and alternator.

At one point there were over 20 DEI crew members from both Dale Jr's team and Steve Park's team working on the No. 8 Chevrolet.

31 minutes later Dale Earnhardt Jr drove the Budweiser Chevrolet back onto the race track. He would finish the race in 37th -- gaining 5 positions -- thanks to the fast work by his crew.

"I could not be prouder of my guys right now if we were leading the race," Earnhardt said of the fast work by his crew. "That car was torn up bad, and there was mud everywhere. They did a great job."



2003 Aaron's 499

April 6, 2003

Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, AL


The No. 8 Chevrolet sustained only minor damage to the front end when Dale Earnhardt Jr was involved in a 27 car crash on lap 5 and took a 180 MPH ride through the infield grass.

Unfortunately, this was Talladega -- a track highly where teams need a perfect aerodynamic package -- where there is no such thing as minor damage.

The team had spent months perfecting the car and testing it in the wind tunnel, and the damage would surely hurt Dale Jr in a high-speed 200 MPH draft.

Dale Jr's shot at a record 4th consecutive win at the 2.66 mile Talladega Superspeedway seemed to vanish.

The crash started in the middle of the pack when Ryan Newman blew a tire and set off the chain reaction crash.

Dale Earnhardt Jr had qualified 13th for the race. He should have been ahead of the wreck, but an engine change had forced him to the rear of the field for the start of the race.

Following the wreck Junior headed to his pit for repairs, hoping to salvage a few points and stay in the race/

He would pit repeatedly under caution for quick work by his crew, then head back on the track before the pace car came by to avoid going a lap down.

But his car just wasn't fast -- the leaders were closing and Dale Jr was about to go a lap down when the caution flag flew for debris on the race track.

The team never gave up -- and with the right adjustments and a new bumper secured by heavy tape -- Junior found the speed he needed.

Dale Jr eventually made it to the lead, where he would pace 34 circuits around the high banks that day -- including the final 1.

Dale Earnhardt Jr drove a wrecked race car to a record 4th consecutive Talladega victory.









2003 Tropicana 400

July 13, 2003

Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, IL


Folowing a spin on lap 208 Dale Earnhardt Jr's No. 8 Chevrolet made contact with the wall ending his day.

The crash left Junior with a 36th place finish.


2003 GFS Marketplace 400

August 17, 2003

Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, MI


It was the battle of the beer cars when Dale earnhardt Jr and Rusty Wallace were involved in a wreck on pit road.

The crash happened on lap 78 when both cars were headed for their pits. At the last minute Wallace's crew chief called of the stop.

Wallace made a hard right not realizing Earnhardt was beside him. When the 2 cars made contact Earnhardt's car sustained heavy damage and was sent into a spin.

The No. 8 crew tried to make repairs, but the damage was too much.

Earnhardt parked thge car after 192 laps, leaving him with a 32nd place finishing position.


2003 Dover 400

September 21, 2003

Dover International Speedway, Dover, DE


While wrestling with an ill-handling race car Dale Earnhardt Jr lost control of the No. 8 Chevrolet, colliding hard into the wall on the driver's side.

When emergency personnel arrived on the scene they found the driver unconscious -- a fact that Junior himself disputes. After all, he had let the window net down on his car immediately following the crash.

Track safety workers helped him climb from the wreckage.

Dale Jr was placed onto a stretcher with his head and neck immobilized, and loaded into an ambulance.

Doctor's in the infield care center examined Earnhardt and ordered him to be taken by helicopter to Dover's Bayhealth Medical Center for further diagnosis.

He was diagnosed with a concussion and a bruised right front.

After being treated and released from the hospital Earnhardt flew home to North Carolina.

Dale Jr's status for the following week's race at Talladega, where he was going for his 5th win in a row, was in question.

"It's our understanding he has seen a doctor and is feeling fine, but we don't expect to make any sort of decisions about him until Wednesday, at the earliest," NASCAR Vice President of Communications Jim Hunter said the following Tuesday.

Junior would need clearance from NASCAR approved doctors before he could return to competition.

"We're going to talk to the doctors," Hunter said "It's not going to be as simple as him just showing up to race."

By Wednesday he was cleared to return to the track at Talladega -- a race he would finish 2nd in.

When NASCAR analyzed the data from the car's black box the forces in the crash were the worst they had seen since implementing the data recording devices.

"I heard some hearsay. They said that Kyle Petty's at Bristol was the hardest they'd ever recorded with the black box, and they said it was more than that," Earnhardt Jr reported.

The crash at Dover left Dale Jr 37th in the final finishing order.


2004 Pop Secret 500

September 5, 2004

California Speedway, Fontana, CA


Dale Earnhardt Jr was already locked into the chase when a spin on lap 218 damaged the No. 8 Chevrolet.

Dale Jr was able to continue for only 13 more laps before realizing the damage was too much.

On lap 231 Junior officially retired the car from the race, leaving him with a 34th place finish.


2004 Subway 500

October 24, 2004

Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, VA


Mechanical problems combined with a crash forced Dale Earnhardt Jr out of the Subway 500 just 51 laps from the finish.

At the outset Dale Jr had a top 5 car, but late in the race a pinion gear forced him to the garage for repairs.

The No. 8 team replaced the rear end and got Junior back in the race -- laps down -- but he was deep in the field and was soon caught up in a crash on lap 449.

The radiator was shot and the team called it a day.

Dale Jr wound up finishing 33rd.



2004 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500

October 31, 2004

Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA


A crash with just 14 laps remaining knocked Dale Earnhardt Jr out of a near certain top 5 finish.

Dale Earnhardt Jr was locked into a heated championship battle with Kurt Busch heading into Atlanta -- and Earnhardt saw a chance to gain points when Busch headed to the garage with a blown engine.

But Dale Jr could not capitalize on Busch's misfortune.

On lap 312 Dale Earnhardt Jr maneuvered the No. 8 Chevrolet past Carl Edwards on the backstretch.

It appeared that Junior thought he had cleared Edwards' Ford when he made a move to the high side of the race track preparing to enter turn 3 -- but Edwards was still there.

Junior clipped the nose of Edwards' car with his right rear, sending both cars slamming into the wall.

"I was racing for the win there, but I think I came up on Carl there and turned myself into the inside fence there and tore my car up,” said Earnhardt.

"We came here to win the race, and that is what I was trying to do," he said. "We could have gained a lot of points, and that would have been nice, but it's hard to race like that for me."

Following the crash Earnhardt headed to the pits where his team tried to make repairs -- and he was able to make a couple more laps, but then had to park it for good.

Dale Jr finished the race in 33rd position.


2005 UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400

March 13, 2005

Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, NV


Just 12 laps into the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 Dale Earnhardt Jr triggered a 5 car pile-up when he made contact with Brian Vickers.

"He just got in there a little easier than I expected him to and I got all over him, Earnhardt explained, taking blame for the accident. "It's a big mistake on my part, and I apologized to him."

The early crash forced Earnhardt Jr to a 42nd place finishing position, and dropped him all the way down to 27th in championship points.


2005 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard

August 7, 2005

Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway, IN


When Mike Skinner hit the No. 8 Chevrolet from behind during a restart on lap 63 it sent Dale Earnhardt Jr sideways and into the inside wall.

Before Earnhardt could regain control his car spun back up the track into oncoming traffic collecting his DEI teammate Martin Truex Jr, along with Scott Wimmer and Robby Gordon.

Junior's car was heavily damaged and could not be repaired.

Dale Jr finished the race in last place.


2005 UAW-Ford 500

October 2, 2005

Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, AL







When Jimmie Johnson turned race leader Elliott Sadler sideways 20 laps into the UAW-Ford 500 Dale Earnhardt Jr had nowhere to go.

Junior was inches off Johnson's bumper when the wrecking started and was immediately collected in an 8 car crash that sent Michael Waltrip on his roof.

"I'm really upset at Jimmie," said Sadler. "I guess he's trying to keep his streak alive He caused a big wreck here last year and he caused a big one again this year."

"Maybe that's his way of racing here at Talladega. Try to get rid of everybody so he can win the race."

But Johnson attempted to lay the blame on Earnhardt -- saying he was pushed into Sadler.

However, TV replays seemed to point the blame back at Johnson.

When asked about the aggressive driving Earnhardt simply explained "That's what we get paid for."

The crash left Dale Jr with a 40th place finish at a track he has won at 5 times.


2005 UAW-GM Quality 500

October 15, 2005

Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, NC


On a night when Goodyear had a right front tire failure approximately every 20 laps Dale Earnhardt Jr was one of the 1st victims.

On lap 61 Dale Jr's right front tire suddenly detonated -- sending the No. 8 Chevrolet careening into the outside SAFER barrier.

Junior summed up the incident with few words: "It just went bam and then I hit the wall," he explained.

Junior wasn't the only driver to have tire trouble. There were 15 cautions during the race, and most of them were due to exploding right front tires.

NASCAR considered calling the race early due to the tire trouble -- but Goodyear engineers settled on a plan of mandating higher air pressures in hopes of alleviating the tire problems.

Goodyear recommended a minimum of 50 lbs. of air pressure for right front tires midway through he race -- but drivers continued to suffer tire failures.

The crash left Dale Earnhardt Jr with a finish of 42nd.


2005 Checker Auto Parts 500

November 13, 2005

Phoenix International Raceway, Phoenix, AZ


Right front tire problems sent Dale Earnhardt Jr crashing into the outside wall on lap 114 of the Checker Auto Parts 500.

Junior inspected the tire after limping the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet back to the garage.

"It ain't wore out. I don't know where the hole came from, or if we ran over something, or the sidewall or something like that. It's frustrating."

After looking the car over, the crew decided the damage was to severe to repair, and loaded Junior's car on the hauler for a long trip back to North Carolina.

The wreck gave Dale Jr a 40th place finish.


2006 Pennsylvania 500

July 23, 2006

Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, PA


Dave Blaney bumped Dale Earnhardt Jr from behind on lap 67 sending the No. 8 Chevy spinning.

The No. 8 team worked to get Dale Jr back on the race track, but a lack of cars falling out of the race prevented Dale Jr from gaining even 1 position -- he finished dead last for the 2nd straight week.

"My motor blows up, and now I got wrecked," said Earnhardt of the 43rd place finish.



2007 Daytona 500

February 18, 2007

Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL



Just 5 laps from the finish of The Great American Race Dale Earnhardt Jr was involved in a crash -- spoiling his bid to win a 2nd Daytona 500.

When Jamie McMurray bounced off the outside wall and came back across the track several cars were collected -- including Dale Earnhardt Jr and DEI teammate Martin Truex Jr.

Junior was following close behind Ricky Rudd, and when Rudd checked up to avoid the wreck Junior had nowhere to go.

He nailed Rudd hard from behind, destroying the front end of the No. 8 Chevrolet.

Dale Jr struggled to maintain control of the 8 car, bit when he rolled to a stop with heavy front end damage steam and fluid were pouring from underneath the crumpled hood -- Junior's day was done.

Dale Jr was able to maintain his sense of humor despite the crash. When he climbed from his wrecked race car he took a bow to the crowd in the grandstands -- to thunderous applause and cheers.

The crash left Dale Earnhardt Jr with a 32nd place finish in the Daytona 500.



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