Earnhardt gets a push back to pits from crew after doing post-race celebration and running out of gas
Dale Earnhardt Junior broke his winless streak at Michigan Sunday. Not many expected him to win at MIS nor did many figure the team would win the race on a fuel mileage gamble, yet they pulled it off.
In order to do so he had to conserve fuel. When the race had a late caution and set up for a green white checkered flag finish with Earnhardt in the lead, he took steps to save every drop of fuel. While running under caution, Earnhardt would shut his car off then restart it and go past the pace car, turn the engine off and coast allowing the pace car to pass. He would then repeat the procedure.
The procedure Sunday brought back images of a move by Greg Biffle at Kansas last season when he ran out of gas on the last lap and yet stopped before the line.
With that in mind, Earnhardt said he did wonder if NASCAR would have any problem with the move.
“I didn't know how much they were going to worry about it,” Earnhardt said. “I've been around other drivers that have done that for about a year. Maybe they have been doing it longer but I just started doing it here recently whenever I need to save gas if I'm under caution, I turn the motor off. “
As it turned out NASCAR did say something, but there is no specific rule against the practice.
“But I was getting a little greedy and making my car coast.” Earnhardt said. “I wanted to coast farther, so I would gas it harder and coast pass the pace car and just let him come on and catch back up and that way I could keep my motor on longer.”
“But NASCAR said if I did it again,” Earnhardt said turning to his crew chief and cousin Tony Eury Junior. ‘They were going to park me or what did they say exactly?
“They just said: "Tell him not to be passing the pace car, don't do it no more." Eury Junior said. “And I'm like: "Look, don't pass the pace car no more."
And they were like: "Okay, you're good, don't do it again." I was like, all right. Cupscene.com
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