|The crash ended Gordon's day.|
The Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet driver defended the contract between the two teammates, saying, “I'm sure some people might have thought that was a hard hit, (but) that to me was good hard racing. The pipes on my car cut the left-rear tire down. I feel terrible about that happening to my teammate… but there are four of us out there. We are bound to race each other and run into each other every once in a while.
Earnhardt promised to apologize to Gordon personally this week, saying, “I'll just have to sit down and talk to him and see where he's at. I've got to own up to my responsibility in the situation, which I will, and go from there."
Earnhardt was in contention for the win for much of the day, until a pit road speeding penalty in the late going dropped him to a disappointing 15th-place finish. “I'm frustrated about the finish,” he said, “but we did run good. We ran better than we ran here last year. We’ve run really good, pretty much everywhere except for Phoenix. Things are looking up for our team.”