Poor Cleanup Hurts a Pair of Chasers’ Chances

Charlotte Motor SpeedwayEver step on a Lego block with your bare feet? Hurts doesn’t it? Imagine how Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. felt hitting the wall at Charlotte Motor Speedway at the 2015 running of the Bank of America 500. When your kid doesn’t pick up his toys, it causes some hurt, but when NASCAR’s cleanup crew doesn’t pick up a mess, it can contribute to ending a drivers’ chances in the Chase.

Both the No. 18 driver, Kyle Busch and the No. 88 driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. were already fighting the Sunday racetrack, but things really boiled over after an oil spill on lap 182 from Justin Allgaier’s No. 51 was not fully cleaned up according to both Busch and Earnhardt, Jr.

In separate incidents, both the No. 18 and 88 drivers hit the wall after driving near the wall in between turns 1 and 2. Both incidents were within 15 laps of each other after the green flag had dropped following the cleanup of Allgaier’s blown engine.

Down Laps

Neither Busch, nor Earnhardt ended the race on the lead lap following their contact with the wall. Earnhardt lost three laps to the incident, finishing 28th four laps down.

Kyle Busch finished the race one lap down in 20th.

In post race interviews, an annoyed Kyle Busch said “You can’t pass anybody. It’s a single-lane race track and then put oil on the top lane to try to make anything happen and then you put yourself in the fence — so thanks to NASCAR for cleaning that up.”

Typically NASCAR takes into account both drivers’ and spotters’ accounts/complaints. NASCAR said that cleanup workers walked the areas where multiple drivers complained of fluid, but felt nothing.

Earnhardt Said Oil Was There

“I’ve raced this for 20 years,” Dale Jr. said.

“I know what oil and Speedi Dri is. We hit fluid, flew into the freaking wall hard. That’s not Speedi Dri. There was oil up there. … I hit the f—ing wall. I know I hit oil. I hit it. I promise. I’ll argue with them all day long because I know I’m right.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch Blame Wrecks on Shoddy Cleanup of Oil Spill

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