Dale Earnhardt Jr. blames the flooding at Daytona International Speedway in May for ???ruining' the track.
The flooding in May came from more then 17 inches of rain that fell during the week of May 17 across the Central Florida area. Dramatic pictures obtained by local news organizations showed water filling up the new tunnel in Turn 1 and covering portions of the infield and backstretch.
At the time Speedway officials insisted there as no damage to the facility and urged local news organizations to focus their attention on residents whose homes had suffered damage.
"It's a significant amount of water, but all it is, is water,'" track spokesperson Andrew Booth said at the time. "We have people living around the speedway and in Flagler County with water in their homes. We believe that is more pressing than water in our tunnel."
Saturday night Earnhardt Jr. was swept up in a 13-car accident and forced to the garage. He finished 37th.
You can't expect that flood to come in here and do no damage, you know? We ain't all asphalt pavers, but we ain't stupid either," said Earnhardt Jr. "I mean it's racing at Daytona and this place has really got beat up from the flood and the track is real rough and a lot slicker and guys are going to slide into each other a lot more. So, uh, if you ain't leading you're always vulnerable, you know?"
Both track officials and race winner Tony Stewart said the track surface was fine.