Sep 16, 2013, 3:00 PM EST
Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s hopes of becoming a Sprint Cup champion took a major hit out of the gate last night at Chicagoland Speedway, where things turned bad for him and then got much worse.
Earnhardt was plugging along in 12th when the caution came out on Lap 167 for debris. He subsequently came down to pit road under yellow, but congestion on pit road created a stack-up in which Earnhardt run into the back of Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne.
The damage left behind effectively ruined the competitiveness of Earnhardt’s car, and he was logging laps in mid-pack when on Lap 225, the engine blew in dramatic fashion.
Earnhardt was able to get out of the car once it came to a stop, but, like Joey Logano (who also had his own engine failure), he’ll now have to continue on in the Chase with no margin for error if he wants to truly contend for the title.
“I don’t know what was going on on pit road there, but we knocked the front end off of it on pit road,” Earnhardt said about his night. “Those guys all stopped on pit road in front of us. We were trying to get that fixed. We still had a chance to get that fixed and get the downforce back in the front. We cut the grill all up and the downforce was gone and we lost a lap there.
“We were going to get that patched up and maybe be able to make something out of it, but something broke there in the motor. It’s tough. It’s going to be really hard to win a championship this far behind.”
Earnhardt now finds himself dead last in the 13-driver Chase field at 53 points behind leader and Chicagoland winner Matt Kenseth.
Mar 6, 2015, 3:00 PM EST
Romanian driver to race alongside Sergey Sirotkin in 2015.
Mar 6, 2015, 2:00 PM EST
German driver reveals that he held secret talks with Ferrari following the 2012 season, but has only made the move to Maranello for 2015.
Mar 6, 2015, 1:00 PM EST
ART, Koiranen and Jenzer all announce drivers ahead of pre-season testing.
Mar 6, 2015, 12:05 PM EST
Frenchman hopes to make up for a difficult 2014 campaign that yielded just eight points in total.
Mar 6, 2015, 11:00 AM EST
A revolution has taken place at Maranello over the winter following Ferrari’s worst F1 performance in over 20 years.
Mar 6, 2015, 10:00 AM EST
Gene Haas may not be alone in bringing a new team into F1 in the near future.
Mar 6, 2015, 9:00 AM EST
After its remarkable comeback, the team is yet to confirm who its second driver will be in Australia.
Mar 5, 2015, 6:44 PM EST
“The Giz” heads to V8SC’s biggest team in a three-year deal as the team’s third car.
Mar 5, 2015, 6:13 PM EST
“RHR 2.0″ enters world on March 5, 2015.
Mar 5, 2015, 5:23 PM EST
“SK$” turns 20. Sage Karam will make his second IndyCar start at season-opening race in St. Petersburg.
Mar 5, 2015, 5:00 PM EST
JEV wants to clinch Andretti a home win when Formula E hits U.S. shores in Miami later this month.
Mar 5, 2015, 4:00 PM EST
All of the latest news from some of F1’s most prominent junior championships.
Mar 5, 2015, 3:00 PM EST
Filipino-Swiss driver moves from Formula Renault 3.5 for 2015.
Mar 5, 2015, 2:00 PM EST
British driver sends out an ominous statement of intent ahead of the first race of the year in Australia on March 15.
Mar 5, 2015, 1:00 PM EST
Can Massa and Bottas pick up where they left off at the end of 2014?
Mar 5, 2015, 12:07 PM EST
Team now all set to race in Australia on March 15 after passing the FIA crash tests.
Mar 5, 2015, 12:00 PM EST
Add another American to the Formula E roster for 2015 as Speed replaces Marco Andretti for the first of two home races.
Mar 5, 2015, 10:30 AM EST
Dutch driver reportedly seeking an urgent court order that would get him on the grid for the upcoming Australian Grand Prix.
Mar 5, 2015, 10:00 AM EST
Big night of F1 programming upcoming tonight on NBCSN.
Mar 5, 2015, 9:30 AM EST
With neither Hockenheim nor the Nurburgring prepared to host the race in 2015, the outlook is bleak for a German Grand Prix.
- Sebastian Vettel first discussed Ferrari move back in 2008 1
- FIA considering tender for new Formula 1 teams 5
- Manor passes final crash tests ahead of Australian GP 1
- WATCH: Mercedes F1: Road to Repeat at 8 p.m. ET highlights F1 block on NBCSN 0
- Manor Marussia F1 confirms trip to Melbourne 3
- Agag: Formula E off to “incredible start” heading into U.S. swing 2
- Fernando Alonso ruled out of Australian Grand Prix 3