He showed us, didn’t he? After a week of “the luck of the rain” and all that, Kenseth drove that Ford Fusion to the stripe in the Auto Club 500 with every single lap counted and accounted for. There can be no argument that the #17 team really did win this one. Yet, the accomplishment of winning the first two races of the season is still put to the back as people still insist on dragging Dale Earnhardt, Jr. through the infield grass. Yes, yes, yes. Let’s give Kenseth the two races. His grill was in front at the end. That said, let’s give Dale Jr. the benefit of our eyes and look at what really happened.
Dale Jr. dove left to go under Vickers. Vickers dove much more sharply to block. Dale went below the line. Vickers maneuver made him go loose which made him slow a bit. Dale turned back to the track and… Oh look! The back of Vickers’ car is right there!
So now, the front of the 88 touches the back of the 83. Not fender to quarter panel, but front to back. A touch. But enough of a touch to send the already loose 83 up the track and into the traffic. So, what have we learned. We’ve learned that any action involving Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is a polarizing event on race day. We’ve learned that accidents and crashes happen in NASCAR. We’ve learned it is sometimes very easy to point a finger and ignore the very obvious.
The “obvious”…, at least for this incident and this running of the Daytona 500, is that any two cars could have made that same moves and the results would have been the same. You simply can’t throw cars around at those speeds and not expect they will go loose, slow down, speed up and touch. Who’s fault was it…? Dale Jr….? Vickers…? Both…? Nobody…? All of the above…?