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Earnhardt Wins Shortened ARCA Race

October 5, 2001

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) _ Kerry Earnhardt won the EasyCare 100 on Thursday night when the ARCA race was called after a fiery wreck that sent Blaise Alexander to the hospital and Earnhardt’s car hurtling down the track on its roof.

Earnhardt, eldest son of the late Dale Earnhardt, was leading with four laps to go when Alexander passed him coming out of Turn 4. They made contact when Alexander pulled back in front of him, with both cars losing control and hitting the wall.

Alexander’s hit the outside wall almost head-on, spun back out, hit Earnhardt again and caused Earnhardt’s car to flip onto its roof.

Alexander’s car came to a rest on the infield grass. The 25-year-old driver, the 1996 ARCA rookie of the year, had to be cut out of the car, was placed on a stretcher and was rushed to a hospital. His condition was not immediately known.

Earnhardt’s car continued to hurtle down the track toward the start/finish line with flames coming out of the engine. It finally came to a stop near the line and Earnhardt was able to climb out and run from the car as the flames intensified

The race was called minutes later, four laps short of the 67 lap completion at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. There was no Victory Lane celebration.

``It was a wild ride, something I never experienced before,″ Earnhardt said. ``Blaise came up on me and turned in on me and knocked me outside down. It’s just crazy out there, that’s all I can say,″

Series points leader Frank Kimmel finished third, but was more concerned with Alexander’s condition.

``Thank goodness Kerry is OK,″ Kimmel said. ``Our hearts and prayers and wishes go out to Blaise and we hope he’s going to be OK, too.″

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