After a tire blows on the No. 88 Chevy, Earnhardt's day ends after 179 laps.
AVONDALE, Ariz. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. sustained major damage to the No. 88 Nationwide Chevy on Sunday after he blew a right rear tire entering Turn 2 at Phoenix International Speedway on Lap 180.
A Goodyear official confirmed that the bead melted on the right rear tire due to high braking.
“We’ve been really, really loose today,” Earnhardt said. “We’ll try to get it fixed up and get back out.”
Earnhardt was running 20th at the time. While mired in traffic, he radioed to his Hendrick Motorsports crew, “This (expletive) thing sucks.”
Although crew chief Greg Ives promised extensive adjustments on the next pit stop, Earnhardt wrecked before the team could help the driver.
“The tire was on fire there, good job of getting out,” Ives told his driver. “We can probably fix the right rear corner. We have to find out what was burning as well…Ok guys, the goal is to get some training here, make sure we look it over real well and assess the damage and how we can fix it properly and quickly.”
Earnhardt entered the weekend second in the Sprint Cup point standings. His average finish in the first three races was 3.3 prior to his wreck.