DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Marcos Ambrose apologized for crashing Dale Earnhardt Jr. Saturday night in the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway.
Ambrose was running behind Earnhardt with 10 laps to go when he clipped the rear of the No.88 car turning Earnhardt into the wall. NASCAR's most popular driver sustained significant damage and headed to the garage, but not before expressing his displeasure by nudging Ambrose on the backstretch.
"I was trying to push him and there was a little bit of a zig and a little bit of a zag and the next thing you know I helped him in the fence," Ambrose said. "I apologize to Junior. I'll try and find him later on if he wants to talk to me, but that's just what happens here. You've got 10 laps to go in a race that only counts to win and I'm trying to push him to the front."
Moments after climbing out of his battered Chevrolet, Earnhardt downplayed the incident.
"He bent the steering on my car; I couldn't steer very good," Earnhardt said jokingly. "We were just having some fun. His car was already torn up, so I didn't hurt it any worse than it already was."
Earnhardt said he couldn't see Ambrose when he moved up the track, acknowledging these kinds of accidents are typical in a race where drivers are bunched together. In the immediate aftermath he was bothered, but the anger quickly subsided. It was nothing more than "miscommunication" Earnhardt surmised.
Nevertheless, Ambrose for his part could understand why Earnhardt may have been frustrated.
"It's OK, he's entitled to do that," Ambrose said. "At the end of the day we didn't end up in the fence, so put the blame on me for that. We'll go to the next one and try not to make the same mistake."