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Earnhardt, Ward Burton Knocked Out

April 8, 2002

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ Dale Earnhardt Jr. was knocked out of the NASCAR Samsung/Radio Shack 500 on Monday after he was clipped by the lapped car of Shawna Robinson.

The rear of Earnhardt’s car slammed hard into the outside wall in the first turn on lap 184.

Earnhardt’s accident came just 13 laps after Ward Burton blew a tire and crashed his Dodge into the same wall. Burton, the Daytona 500 winner, had precautionary X-rays taken on his neck but was later released.

The 334-lap race at Texas Motor Speedway was postponed from Sunday because of rain.

Earnhardt returned 74 laps later, his Chevrolet sporting a rear spoiler but not much else on the back after the mangled sheet metal was stripped away. He ran only eight more laps before a blown engine ended his day for good.

Earnhardt was trying to pass Robinson, who appeared to drift high in the corner. As Earnhardt tried the complete the pass, he made contact and the back of his car slammed hard into the wall.

``It wasn’t that bad,″ said Earnhardt, even though he appeared to favor his left arm after climbing out of the car. ``I think Shawna got into me a little bit. She’s a good race car driver. They need to get her in a better race car. It’s hard trying to dodge her every 15 laps.″

Earnhardt was 16th and the last car on the lead lap before the wreck. It was at Texas where Earnhardt won his first Winston Cup race in 2000, and got his first Busch victory in 1998.

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