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Video: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Narrowly Avoids 10-Car Pileup in Early Stages of South Carolina 400

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is still in contention to win Saturday’s South Carolina 400 at Florence Speedway, after getting on the brakes and avoiding a massive 10-car pileup in the race’s early stages. PC: Daniel Vining / PixelatedSPEED

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is still in the running to win the South Carolina 400 at Florence Speedway, after using his myriad of racing experiences to avoid a huge accident in the opening stages of the 200-lap event.

The accident, which happened just 40 laps into the race’s opening 75-lap stage, happened when Dexter Canipe Jr. and Kattier Hettinger made side-to-side contact at the entrance to turn one, spinning both cars to the inside wall.

From that point, things got clogged on track, as multiple drivers began spinning and making significant contact with others while trying to avoid the accident, one of those being Landon Huffman, who saw his night end early after slamming into Hettinger.

Somehow, amongst the chaos happening in turn one, Dale Earnhardt Jr. – a two-time champion of the NASCAR Xfinity Series – was able to bring his No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Camaro to a stop, avoiding the accident.

Things just about didn’t work out that way, though, after Austin Somero, running directly behind Earnhardt got on the brakes to avoid the crash, spinning his No. 99 and coming within feet of impacting the No. 3.

For those following Earnhardt’s progress in the South Carolina 400, the two-time winner of the Daytona 500 currently resides at the back-half of the top-20, as the race’s first break – after 75 of 200 laps – has commenced.

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