Sunday’s STP 500 was part deux of the neighborly feud between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan Blaney.
This time, it started while they were racing at Martinsville Speedway – NASCAR’s shortest track where drivers are known to frequently knock or even wreck each other. But when Blaney’s No. 21 Ford made a little contact with Junior’s No. 88 Chevrolet – which “sent (him) for a ride” – Earnhardt was not pleased.
Although he said it’s hard to respond with anything other than an eye for an eye, it turns out, Earnhardt might be too nice to seriously retaliate. Plus, there’s a guaranteed media headache to follow.
During his Dale Jr. Download podcast Tuesday, the driver explained what was going through his mind after Blaney sent him flying – a move he didn’t think was intentional.
I thought I was going to run him down, but we never really did. He actually had a pretty good car, and we burned our stuff up maybe trying to get to him. And I never really got to a position where I had to make that mental decision of am I going to do anything here?
Usually, I don’t. Usually, I pass the guy, and that’s kind of my middle finger of ‘Hey, this is how you do it.'”
But Earnhardt did own up to trying to squeeze ahead of the No. 21 car with not enough room just before he spun out. And while he described bumping cars at Martinsville as “par for the course” and the “fun stuff,” he still wasn’t happy with Blaney.
“When you get spun out, you never really know exactly how to respond. And I guess it’s a case by case – how you get spun out and who does it. So I was like, ‘Man, if I catch him, what am I going…
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