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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Dale Earnhardt Jr. triggered a nine-car accident in the Daytona 500 that knocked rival Kyle Busch out NASCAR's biggest event of the year.


Busch had led a race-high 88 laps before the accident, which came just after a restart with 75 laps to go in Sunday's race at Daytona International Speedway.

Earnhardt had just made his second mistake of the day in the pits under a previous caution when he pulled his Chevrolet too far out of his stall during a service stop. He was penalized one lap and returned to racing intent on putting himself in position to get back onto the lead lap.

He was racing with Brian Vickers, also a lap down, who blocked the move by pushing Earnhardt down below the yellow out-of-bounds line. When Earnhardt re-entered the racing surface, he clipped the left-rear corner of Vickers' car to trigger the accident.

"My goal is to keep Junior behind me," Vickers said. "I went to block him. I beat him to the yellow line and then he just turned us. To wreck somebody intentionally like that in front of the entire field is really kind of dangerous. That's my problem with it."

Vickers also wondered why NASCAR did not penalize Earnhardt for aggressive driving, particularly since it issued a five-lap penalty to Jason Leffler in Saturday's Nationwide Series race for a similar incident.

Busch, who was racing the approaching rain for his first Daytona 500 victory, said the accident was senseless.

"Some guys having some bad days and not doing their best out there, just made their bad day our bad day," Busch said. "It's just a shame. It's just unfortunate that two guys got together that were a lap down that were fighting over nothing."
Three-time defending series champion Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Robby Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Jamie McMurray, Scott Speed and Carl Edwards also were caught up in the accident, which sent Vickers to the garage.
 

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don't tell me he wasn't frustrated and did that on purpose ....

I don't buy that it was an accident from that experienced a driver

I guess this is where the phrase

"you can't beat 'em-wreck 'em"

comes from
 

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it's easy to blame Jr., and at first I did too, but after watching the replays several times, I put just as much blame on Vickers as I do Jr.

I think that with the run Jr. had on Vickers it was just as dangerous to block him the way he did.
 

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Agreed. If you want to block you better be prepared to pay the consequences. Junior HAD to get off that apron when he was doing 180 plus MPH as fast as he could. If Vickers hadn't PUSHED him down there by hitting him like the replay clearly shows he wouldn't have been there still for Junior to come back up and hit him. The source of the problem was Vickers.......
 

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And everybody INCLUDING Vickers forgets him taking out half the field last year in basically the same situation last year.
 

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he does have a right to try and block the guy though - right ?

here's the rule:

you are not allowed to advance your position below the yellow line
if you are forced below the yellow line - you must come back up, and blend in


I'm not a fan of either Vickers or Jr

but I think Dale got away with one

IMO Jr had a faster car than Vickers, Vickers put a block move on him, and Earnhardt got pissed and clipped him in the rear quarter

Those drivers are pro's - they know there's a big difference in bump drafting in the rear of someone and tagging someones quarter panel

The average speed was 132 MPH, so a tap on someone elses quarter panel at that speed, the car has no other choice but to spin out of control

it took out a ton of other cars

I don't see why the passing issue had to be addressed at that particular moment

Jr was under the yellow line, and he should have regrouped and passed him legally when he would have been in a better position to do so.

he tagged Vickers while he was still under the yellow line

look at it at 4 and 5 seconds into this clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNK-_XSQqeY

if the rule is - if you are forced below the yellow line - you must come back up, and blend in - then that didn't happen

that's my point
 

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oh I hear you man. Its ok to block......but sensibly. Vickers knew that Jr would have to REALLY slow down to not just run into him, or he would be forced below the line. Thats just not smart.......

Drama. I love it.
 

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Watch the Video again. It was VICKERS who RAN INTO and forced Junior below the yellow line. He didn't just block him, he ran into his front fender forcing him down into the infield. How was he still there when Junior came back up onto the track?
 

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Watch the Video again. It was VICKERS who RAN INTO and forced Junior below the yellow line. He didn't just block him, he ran into his front fender forcing him down into the infield. How was he still there when Junior came back up onto the track?
Maybe because he's a better driver?:D
 

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Vickers came down on Junior hit the front of his car forcing him onto the apron and all the debri and marbles down there. Junior had to get his car back up on the track as fast as possible so he himself doesn't wreck, in doing so he clipped Vickers and Vickers wrecked. I don't really think it was intentional Junior doesn't race that way, he would never intentionally wreck a guy and take out half the field. Now Vickers on the other hand would, I have no doubt thaat it was intention to force Junior down and in the course wreck him.
Least we not forget Talledaga when Junior and Johnson were fighting for the lead and Vickers(at the time driving for Hendrick) bump drafting Johnson pushed too hard in turn wrecking not only Junior but his own damn teammate. And for what all just to get his first win.

Really not hard to figure out who really was the aggresore in this unfourtunate mishap;)

Johnnyk
 

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Kinda like at Dega in Oct 06 when Vickers took out Jr and Johnson trying to bump draft going into turn 3 on the last lap to win the race, I was there and saw it.
 

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Boogity, Boogity, Boogity...Let's Go Racing Boys!
 
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