Edwards' winning streak ends as Earnhardt's steering wheel comes off

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Edwards' winning streak ends as Earnhardt's steering wheel comes off
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
May 1, 2016, 7:43 PM

Carl Edwards’ blown tire not only ended his two-race winning streak in the Sprint Cup Series but exposed a serious issue for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was also collected in the incident.

Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet crash
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Between Turns 1 and 2 on Lap 110 of 188 of Sunday’s GEICO 500, Edwards’ No. 19 Toyota blew a right-front tire and he shot up the track and slammed hard into the side of Earnhardt’s No. 88 Chevrolet, which had already been damaged in a previous wreck in the race.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH CRASH

“Something just let go there and you hate to collect anybody, so definitely sorry to (Earnhardt’s) guys for getting their car involved in that. We had something torn up there, drove down into Turn 1 and I just felt the right-front fall down and that was it,” Edwards said in the garage.

“You’re kind of just along for the ride, but we appreciate the fans coming out.”

Edwards, who entered the race as the series points leader, was coming off consecutive wins at Bristol, Tenn., and Richmond, Va.

After the wreck, Earnhardt was asked about his steering wheel apparently coming off during the previous caution.

“Yeah, the steering wheel came off and I was trying to get it back on and the car was headed toward the wall. Well, I wasn't going to let it hit the wall so I grabbed the column and steered it with that,” Earnhardt said.

“Tore my hands all up, but didn’t hit the wall. We have to look at something to keep that from happening anymore. We just had no luck this weekend.”

Asked if his car – nicknamed “Amelia” for the famous pilot Amelia Earhart – was not retired, Earnhardt said, “Hell, I’m going home. I’m done. We need to park the car for a while, too.”

Earlier this season during qualifying at Phoenix, Earnhardt’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jimmie Johnson, had his steering wheel become dislodged while his No. 48 Chevrolet was at full speed and he slammed into the retaining wall.

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