Media Statement: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Incident at Sonoma
SONOMA, Calif. – The General Motors Chevrolet Corvette Racing team will start Sunday’s race with two cars after an incident during morning warmup at Infineon Raceway. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had an accident when he left the track at Turn 8.
“We had an unfortunate incident in morning warmup today with our #8 Corvette,” said Doug Fehan, program manager for Corvette Racing. “The accident was caused by a combination of many factors, including a slick race track, cold tires and a full tank of fuel. The hit was so hard that it broke the filler neck off the fuel cell and caused a fire. We know Dale Jr. wishes he could be back here at the race with us and we’re going to try to win this one for him.”
Earnhardt, Jr. was treated for minor burns and was taken to UC Davis Hospital for precautionary measures.
“We believe it is a testament to the way that the Corvette has been engineered that Dale Jr. was able to get himself out of the car after taking such a hard hit,” said Fehan. “We engineer front and rear crash zones into the car, as well as a special aluminum side crash box. We don’t like to see any of our drivers involved in incidents like this, but when they do happen we’re glad they have the protection of the Corvette chassis around them.”