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Matt Kenseth hits hard at Sonoma after being clipped by Dale Earnhardt Jr. (video)

Jun 22, 2014, 5:22 PM EDT

Matt Kenseth earlier in Sunday's race before a hard crash at Sonoma. (Photo: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images) Getty Images

It’s rare you see hard hits that destroy a race car at Sonoma Raceaway, but that’s what happened to Matt Kenseth in Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.

Kenseth was racing side-by-side with Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Lap 75, got slightly ahead of Earnhardt and then Earnhardt hit a curb and bounced into the right rear of Kenseth’s car, sending the Joe Gibbs Racing driver head-on into a tire wall at full speed.

“My bad,” Earnhardt admitted over his team radio. “I took that curb and ran into him.”

Kenseth told TNT that he didn’t know what happened.

“He got under me going there into seven,” Kenseth said of Earnhardt. “I left him plenty of room … he just plowed into my right rear and wrecked me. So I don’t know if he got into a curb and moved his car over, I don’t know what really happened. At this point it doesn’t matter, it ended our day.”

The entire front end of Kenseth’s Toyota Camry was obliterated, with the radiator literally hanging by a thread on the ground, just barely attached to the car.

Kenseth got out of the car and appeared uninjured, waving and smiling to the crowd as he made his way to an ambulance to be checked out at the infield medical center.

This will be the first time in 15 career starts at Sonoma that Kenseth has failed to finish in a Cup race there.

The video of Kenseth’s wreck is below.

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  1. testover6370 - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    If you’re going to have a big crash an Sonoma, that’s one of the more likely places for it. High speed S’s with a lot of transition, a lot of curbing, and an access road thrown in for good measure all conspire to send cars spinning, and since it comes off the track’s big passing zone, you get a lot of red mist and close quarters as well. Bourdais and Newgarden in Indycar had a big crash in that area too, just on the outside rather than inside of the track.

  2. pierrejs - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Why do the drivers run over the curbs anyway? When I attended a Bondurant driver’s school for a week, Bob was insistent on not upsetting the car’s balance by running over curbs. Danica had a pretty fast time and barely nicked them.

  3. grgstrickland - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    didn’t really hurt the looks of that ugly ass camry anyway.

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