It was not the salute to his legendary father Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was hoping for at Talladega Superspeedway. Earnhardt, running a black paint scheme to celebrate the late legend, had trouble early. Earnhardt, who has won five of the last nine ...
It was not the salute to his legendary father Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was hoping for at Talladega Superspeedway. Earnhardt, running a black paint scheme to celebrate the late legend, had trouble early.
Earnhardt, who has won five of the last nine races at Talladega, got into trouble early. He made contact with Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart spinning the No. 8 Chevy into the infield grass.
"We had a pretty decent car," said Earnhardt. "Got loose getting into (Turn) 3 and it was four-wide and I got loose and got into Carl (Edwards) and spun myself out. I might have spun the motor backwards; that's probably why I blew up. We don't normally have engine failures. But right there just now, it just blew up and quit running. It was a tough day for us, but oh well."
The team worked feverishly under caution to make repairs to the car and keep Earnhardt on the lead lap. They managed to get everything done and when Earnhardt restarted as the last car on the lead lap he quickly managed to sail back into the top ten.
Earnhardt was up in the front pack battling for the win when on lap 153 his engine blew taking him out of the event. He wound up 31rst.
"I was real proud of them for what they give every week," Earnhardt explained. "It's no different this week. I might have done something to the motor when we spun the car around. We know we don't have engine failure so there has to be a logical explanation.We don't really experiment in the race conditions.
"Obviously you have days like this but I don't think we were doing anything out of the ordinary or out of our limitations. It's just a surprise because we normally don't have engine failures."
Additionally, Earnhardt's teammate Martin Truex, Jr. who was also running a the special celebratory paint scheme, was involved in the day's first multi- car crash; which came on lap nine. Truex finished 36th.
"I was running up high and the cars got together and ended up pitching me into the wall real bad," Truex explained. "Our day is pretty much done. It's just a same. The guys built a great car and we were just riding around there trying to get some laps in. This has ended way too early for us today. You can't let off and you can't slow down. You've just got to stay where you're at and hope it works itself out.
"Well, I'm just frustrated. Nine laps. It's 500 miles. So nine laps isn't a good way to end your day." Truex at least had a better weekend than Earnhardt. He scored the victory in the Busch race at Talladega ran on Saturday.