JULY 19, 2004
NASCAR's biggest star suffers burns
Dale Earnhardt Jr., the biggest star in the NASCAR Nextel Cup, suffered second degree burns after a practice crash during the American Le Mans Series's Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sears Point. Earnhardt was taking a week off from his NASCAR schedule to race a Corvette CR5. He crashed at Turn 8 and his car caught fire. Earnhardt Jr. was able to get out of the wreck and was then helped by marshals. He was flown by helicopter to the trauma center at the University of California Davis Medical Center near Sacramento where doctors reported that he had suffered second degree burns to his face and legs. He will remain in hospital until the morning. Earnhardt is the biggest racing star in the United States and the accident is likely to be the end of his non-Nextel Cup career as there will be pressure from his backers to not race in other formulae.
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