Charlotte Roval Engulfed in Flames as Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Sonoma Nightmare Visits Ricky Stenhouse Jr

Published 10/08/2023, 8:36 PM EDT

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After days of waiting, the wild card race of the Cup Series finally undergoes a dominant culmination. With stage breaks being re-introduced in the road courses, the final race of the Round of 12 assuredly brought back the high-octane drama that the NASCAR audience had yearned for. However, amidst this theatrics and nail-biting race, it seems that one of the driver’s life was endangered.

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Apart from the stage breaks, in the race, the ROVAL race witnessed seven cautions, as drivers were enmeshed in various on-track incidents. These on-track incidents proved to be detrimental for a majority of the drivers, as they axed their playoff hopes, while some incidents re-opened the old wounds. The incident pertaining to Ricky Stenhouse Jr was assuredly one such instance.

Bellowing smoke engulfs the track of ROVAL, as the driver’s life threatened

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Proving to be intriguing till the last drops of the race, the Cup Series race at Roval witnessed the surging of Kaulig Racing and its star driver AJ Allmendinger, as he marked his fourth Roval victory, his first in the Cup Series. He outlasted Hendrick Motorsports prodigy William Byron to maintain his dominance on the course.

Nonetheless, apart from another underdog team creating a mark in the 2023 season, Sunday’s race also witnessed a harrowing fire as the smoke bellowed out of the car, engulfing the track. The driver who fell victim to this spine-chilling incident was JTG Daughtery Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

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The incident occurred with 13 laps left into the race, when Stenhouse, halted his car. The fire was spewing out from under the hood of the car, however, the driver seemed to be complacent in nature. He slowly unfastened the safety nets of the window of his car and marked that he was safe. However, the fire persisted and engulfed the inside of his car in dark smoke. After which the driver was carried to the infield center for further medical attention.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr’s incident brings back Dale Earnhardt Jr’s memories

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However, this was not the first time that NASCAR audience witnessed such an occurrence on the track. A similar incident had transpired in the Xfinity race at Bristol after a fire broke out in Dale Earnhardt Jr’s car, burning his race suit. Dale Jr was able to avert a massive tragedy from occurring.

Nevertheless, the most significant turn of events occurred back in 2004, when Dale Earnhardt Jr encountered supernatural forces, in the race at Sonoma. He expressed, “OK, this is a little dark, morbid, heavy, whatever people want to think, a looney. When I wrecked in the Corvette in 2004 at Sonoma and it caught fire, somebody pulled me out of the car.”

However, when Dale Jr later tried to find out who helped him in escaping, he was informed that no pit crew was near the car and that he exited on his own accord.

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With that being said, Ricky Stenhouse Jr after undergoing medical attention, was left from the infield care centre. Nevertheless, these incidents assert that nothing can be more important than the lives of the driver and their safety is of utmost priority at any given point on the track.

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Written by:

Ayantika Maitra

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Ayantika Maitra is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. It was initially Formula 1 that made her fall in love with the world of motorsports. But quickly, the raw and unfiltered nature of NASCAR is what led her to build an affinity for the Stock Car Racing Series.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal

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