From the Marbles - NASCAR

Dale Earnhardt Jr. unhappy with Mark Martin after Michigan

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was cruising to another potential top-10 finish late in Sunday's Heluva! Good 400 when he and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Mark Martin made contact coming off of Turn 2.

The contact as Junior ran up on Martin forced the No. 88 into the wall and caused a tire rub that sent Junior toward the back of the pack with just nine laps to go.

"The defining moment probably was getting run into the wall by Mark," Junior said after the race. "We had fixed the car, we were moving forward and we were doing pretty well at that point, but, you can't do nothing about getting run over or getting run into the wall. Junior wound up finishing 21st.

"I got on the outside of Mark and he just came on up and drove us into the fence off the corner. I don't know if his spotter wasn't spotting good or whether he just couldn't see good or what but just ran us slap into the wall. I don't know how else to explain it other than that. It blowed the right front tire out eventually. We had got the car pretty good at that point and were kind of moving forward."

Martin said that he got loose and simply made a mistake.

"I don't have a history of having problems," Martin said. "I don't think I have one now. I think we will get it sorted out. I feel like I give everybody on the race track respect. I made a mistake."

(For his part, Tony Stewart, who finished seventh, issued his monthly "everyone drove like idiots today" comment after the race.)

After Junior's post-race comments, Martin and Earnhardt Jr. met in Junior's hauler to discuss the situation and said that everything was OK between the drivers moving forward.

While Earnhardt lost ground on points leader Carl Edwards, he remained third in the standings thanks to Jimmie Johnson's early trouble. Junior is now 27 points behind Edwards and seven points behind Kevin Harvick for second.

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