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Wheel Issues Take Dale Earnhardt Jr. Out Of Contention In His Final Race At Texas Motor Speedway

Photo credit: Brian Jones/Jalopnik
Photo credit: Brian Jones/Jalopnik

Much like the rest of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s NASCAR retirement season, there was hope this would be his weekend to go to victory lane. After all, his first win was at Texas Motor Speedway. It was a sign, wasn’t it?

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Nope. Not at all. That’s not how this season is working for him.

Earnhardt, who will retire from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at the end of the season, wound up in the garage with about 100 laps to go in the race. His car drifted up the race track right before he went into the garage, getting out of the racing groove in the fourth turn. He managed to avoid the wall, but it was clear something was wrong with the car:

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Earnhardt told the broadcast crew in the garage that he “burned the hub up on the left front,” and that it needed to be changed out. The hub helps attach the wheel to the car, making it kind of important at 200 mph.

The team got the repair done, and Earnhardt returned to the track 30 laps down. It probably isn’t how Earnhardt wanted to end his last race as a full-time driver in Texas—especially when the Dallas skyline lit up with an “88” for him—but at least he’ll get to finish the race.

Staff writer, Jalopnik

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DISCUSSION

thinkssmiles
Think! aka anotherburner111122223333

I haven’t gotten to watch much this year (I actually /listened/ to the last 50 today, which was a terrible way to follow), but...

I thought, new this year, if a car went to the garage, there was no returning to the race. No?