Dale Earnhardt Jr. has never made a mistake. Just ask him.
Alright, so maybe he’s willing to admit a few here and there. But if you watched Sunday’s race at New Hampshire, that initial statement may sound true.
Late in the event, Earnhardt, running fourth, got bumped in the middle of turns 3 and 4 by David Reutimann. The two were racing for position, and the contact was unintentional. What happened next was not pretty.
In his post-wreck interview, Junior called out Reutimann, stating “I should have known he couldn’t hold his line,” and, “He’s somebody you just can’t race with.”
It wasn’t so much what Earnhardt said, but rather how he said it. It was almost as if the two had been bitter rivals since their ARCA days. Or more like as if Earnhardt believed he was actually racing against Scott Speed rather than a guy who came one Pocono wreck away from making the Chase.
But as I listened to Earnhardt call out a driver who sits 5 spots ahead of him in the standings, I couldn’t help but think of a few incidents Earnhardt has caused in recent memory that were far worse than what Reutimann did to him. Let us recall five specific ones:
1. 2005 Coca-Cola 600: Earnhardt wrecks his teammate Michael Waltrip on the straightaway, causing a four-car crash that sends Terry Labonte to the hospital
2. 2009 Daytona 500: Seriously, do I even have to remind you what happened?
3. 2005 Aarons 499: Anyone remember the 25-car pile-up that was pinned on Jimmie Johnson(before he was a major NASCAR website’s poster child)? You know, the one that was caused by Dale Jr. sticking his nose were it shouldn’t have been?
3.5. 2007 Lifelock.com 400: Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrecks Chaser Kyle Busch out of the Kansas race after turning him head-on into the wall on the backstretch. I added a 3.5 because I figured there’d be an uproar from Junior Nation over 3.
4. 2008 Chevy Rock and Roll 400: Dale Earnhardt Jr’s revenge on Kyle Busch. He gets it in much the same fashion in which Reutimann wrecked him, only far more obvious.
5. 2006 Michigan Nationwide Race: Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrecks Carl Edwards going for the win with 2 laps to go, wrecking him on the(guess where?) back straightaway.
So there alone are 5(or 6) crashes caused by the man who called out David Reutimann. Now how many people has Rudy taken out during that time period?
1. 2009 Gatorade Duel at Daytona: Ryan Newman: “That’s why they call him ‘Reutimann’, because he just ‘Root a man’ out of the way.”
2. Sunday at New Hampshire.
Wow! Dale, you just called out one of the cleanest racers in NASCAR. The only reason you haven’t been chewed out by the media is because, well, we won’t go there.
Congratulations Dale Earnhardt Jr. You(the pot) have just been found guilty of calling the kettle black.