left.gif (848 bytes) main.gif (882 bytes)
News The Earnhardt Connection
Text links are located at the bottom of the page.

Apology does little to ease Schrader's pain
David Poole
Long Pond, Pennsylvania (June 21, 1998)

Kenneth Schrader was not pleased by Earnhardt's apology...but what can you expect from Schrader?

Dale Earnhardt's apology didn't make Ken Schrader feel any better after a crash early in Sunday's Pocono 500.

"That's what he did the last time he wrecked me, too," Schrader said of Earnhardt's apology following a crash on Lap 6 at Pocono International Raceway.

Schrader's Chevrolet spun and slammed the outside wall after contact with Earnhardt in Turn 3. Schrader's car hit driver's side first, and he was clearly in pain as he was helped from the wreckage.

Schrader hit hard enough to put a crack in his helmet, apparently when it banged against something inside the car.

Earnhardt, who finished eighth, called his crew over the radio and asked it to pass along his apology to Schrader. He also said the wreck wasn't all his fault.

"I got under him coming off the Tunnel Turn," Earnhardt said, referring to the second turn on the triangular track. "I thought he knew I was there or that his spotter would tell him.  But he cut down and got into my right front and that spun him around. I just hate it happened."

Schrader said he didn't remember how the incident started.  "But I know the 3 (Earnhardt) apologized so that's probably a good indication," Schrader said.

Schrader said he had a sore neck and that his left arm was banged up. He said the sternum he cracked in a wreck at Daytona this year was OK, but that he was still hurting.

``Right now that Daytona wreck didn't feel like it was much,'' Schrader said. ``This one feels like it was a pretty big deal.''

The spin was a big deal to Andy Petree, owner of Schrader's No. 33 Monte Carlo.

``We've had some problems here with guys wrecking each other and no penalty being drawn from NASCAR,'' Petree said. ``I think it's time for them to look at it. This deal here finally got somebody hurt. ... I think NASCAR needs to look at it a little closer.''

Earnhardt's apology also left Petree unmoved.

``It's easy to apologize,'' Petree said. ``I don't want to hear that. I've got a hurt driver.''

Tempers flared two weekends ago at Richmond after incidents between Jeff Green and Ted Musgrave, between Jeff Gordon and Rusty Wallace and between Dale Jarrett and Terry Labonte.

Wallace and Earnhardt then wrecked during the final practice last weekend at Michigan. Earnhardt confronted Wallace in the garage after that wreck.