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Earnhardt Blames Johnson For Talladega Wreck

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Earnhardt faults Johnson for big Talladega wreck


By JENNA FRYER, AP Motorsports Writer


May 3, 2005


CONCORD, N.C. (AP) -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. called Jimmie Johnson an ``idiot,'' and blamed the Nextel Cup series points leader for causing a 25-car accident at Talladega Superspeedway.


``If there was one idiot out there it was him,'' Earnhardt said during a break Tuesday in a test session at Lowe's Motor Speedway. ``To be honest about it, I think Jimmie Johnson caused about all the wrecks out there.''


Both Earnhardt and Johnson were at the center of the massive accident in Sunday's race at Talladega that wiped out half the field and ranked as the second-largest melee in track history.


Earnhardt was behind Mike Wallace on the front straightaway when he used his car to push Wallace ahead. The practice is called ``bump drafting'' and the drivers had been asked by NASCAR in their prerace meeting to be cautious when doing it.


But when Earnhardt used his speed to get Wallace moving faster, Wallace wiggled just a bit. Johnson drifted up the track at the same time and ran into the side of Wallace.


The contact sent Wallace careening into the wall, and 24 other cars piled up behind him.


Earlier Tuesday, Greg Biffle blamed Johnson for the six-car accident that knocked Biffle and Earnhardt out of contention in the closing laps. Johnson bounced off the wall, and when he tried to save his car by moving back down the track, the cars piled up around him.


``I hate to point fingers, but if (Johnson) hadn't been in the race, we wouldn't have had those wrecks,'' Biffle said. ``I've seen both replays and I don't care what anyone says. I like Jimmie. He's a talented driver. But he caused both wrecks.


``Bump drafting had nothing to do with it. Restrictor plates had nothing to do with it. It was orientation to where you are on the racetrack and where the other cars are.''


Johnson deflected the criticism for both accidents, saying the first was a series of events that culminated in the big wreck and the second was ``hard racing.''


``I think that our wreck on Sunday was a racing incident,'' Johnson said. ``If you took one of those components out of what took place to start that big wreck, it wouldn't have happened. It's hard racing.


``You're an inch and a half apart from one another, cars bouncing all over. They're hard to drive.''


Johnson, who leads the Nextel Cup standings by 130 points over Kurt Busch, has been criticized recently by his fellow competitors for his driving style.


Jeff Burton was angry with Johnson after Bristol, where Johnson hit him from behind and sent him into the wall. And Tony Stewart has been feuding with him on and off since Daytona, when Johnson blocked him up and down the race track in the closing laps.


Then, two weeks ago in Phoenix, Stewart said Johnson hit him to cause a spin that also wrecked Rusty Wallace.


``I don't know what he was doing,'' Stewart said after the race. ``He was running guys up and down the racetrack.''


Both Johnson and Stewart said at Talladega that everything was fine between them.


Jeff Gordon, Johnson's car owner and teammate, defended his protege Tuesday and said Johnson is upset about all the criticism.


``I talked to him and I know he's feeling really beat up over it,'' Gordon said. ``But he really feels like it wasn't his fault. To blame one person in that accident is very unfortunate because I don't think it was any one person.''

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It was all Johnson on both of those. I'd have to agree with JR, had Johnson knwon where everyone else was around him (orentation), he wouldn't have drifted into another car @ 190MPH+. At the same time, rubbin's racin' and SR's son should know that better than anyone.

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Rubbing is racing, but you have to admit it is a little different at 190 with the packs that they run in. Awful hard for these guys to race that way for 3 plus hours without making a mistake. I place fault on the type of racing itself as much as I do some of the guys at fault. Tough to do what they do at those speeds as close as they are for as long as they race. I love racing but truthfully, I wouldnt want to do it. Easy to criticize from this side of the toob :D

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I was in the stands and when he drifted up before going into that turn I thought to myself "what is he doing?" and about that time he did it and wiped out over half the field. Everyone should have a gripe with him. Then when I got home and saw the replay it confirmed what I saw... he wrecked em all.

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Why is it that its always the OLD people that pick on me?



have you ever seen the old people watch the monkey's cage at the zoo? All they do is sit there poke fun at them and laugh at them. When you walk past the monkeys they have the same look as your aviator. Poor things

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