Dale Jr.: Watkins Glen car 'headed to the woods'

August 13, 2014, Stu Hothem, NASCAR.com

McDowell's No. 95 K-LOVE Leavine Family Racing Ford to join other cars on property

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The third caution of Sunday's Cheez-It 355 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International cost Dale Earnhardt Jr. a shot at a win, but it earned him a new car for his Whisky River ranch.

Earnhardt announced Tuesday night on Twitter that Michael McDowell's No. 95 K-LOVE Leavine Family Racing Ford Fusion that collided with Ryan Newman's No. 31 Caterpillar Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet SS would find a new home on his property in Mooresville, North Carolina.

On "The Dale Jr. Download" on Dirty Mo Radio, Earnhardt discussed how the No. 88 team's strategy was set to win a second consecutive race before the yellow flag cost him a shot at going to Victory Lane at what he called "his worst track statistically." (Among active tracks, Earnhardt's worst average finish in the series is indeed at the Glen (22.4), but in nine races at Rockingham, his average finish was worse at 24.7.)

"The car was definitely a top-five car, but we just got caught out on the race track when that one caution came out that had that bad wreck on the back straightaway," Earnhardt said. "We were going to pit in about two laps, but we needed that pit cycle to happen under green and it didn't.

"Basically the strategy that we used to win at Pocono, we got beat with (on Sunday), and it just didn't work out. It wasn't that we chose the wrong strategy from the start. It just depends on when the cautions fall, and we weren't there to take advantage of it."

His 11th-place finish was enough to earn him the points lead with four races remaining in the regular season. In a tie for most wins with three and with the highest points total among three-win drivers, Earnhardt would have the top seed in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. For now, he will appreciate the perks that come with the position.

"It doesn't really mean anything at this moment because once the Chase starts, they wash all these points off the table, but it's something to be proud of," Earnhardt said. "A little bragging rights and where you park in the garage is kind of neat so we'll get to enjoy that while we have the points lead for a few weeks if we can keep it, it would be nice."

Read more from Inside Groove here.


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