Earnhardt wrecks in what could be final Cup start at Daytona

In what is expected to be his final race at Daytona, Dale Earnhardt Jr. watched his victory hopes take a hit when he scraped the wall on Lap 52. Paul Menard, Michael McDowell and Ryan Newman, all in Chevrolets, rounded out the top five. Some drivers, including Joey Logano, Daniel Suarez, Brendan Gaughan, Elliott Sadler, Ty Dillon, Ryan Sieg, and Erik Jones ran both races. The Mississippi native picked up his first career win on the circuit earlier this year when he won the GEICO 500 at famed Talladega Superspeedway. The most prominent faces to take a hit: Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray and win. Earnhardt managed to get back on the lead lap thanks to being the beneficiary on two caution periods - getting a lap back each time, because he was the highest-scored competitor not on the lead lap.

Stenhouse passed David Ragan for the lead with two laps remaining in the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola, and stayed there until the checkered flag flew. He drove his JR Motorsports Chevrolet to his first career win last weekend at Iowa.

The sport got one in Stenhouse, but could've had so much more. You never want to be racing just for points, but sometimes you do appreciate the points you can get.

For Menard, it's his third-straight top-10 finish on restrictor-plate tracks.

He may have riled up Elliott earlier in the night, but McDowell and LFR come away with a result similar to a win for most teams.

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"I've been caught up in wrecks and haven't been able to finish one of these things clean". He made his way to pit row, but lost two laps while getting repairs. Starting on the pole and running in the lead pack about 55 laps into the race, Earnhardt felt the vehicle having a flat tire, lifted off the throttle and got hit by Paul Menard, slapping the wall and losing two laps for repairs.

Rain postponed the race from Friday night until Saturday, and then a second weather delay of almost two hours made for a lengthy 250 miles. He took it down pit road once more but the team determined the damage was too much and had him drive the auto straight to the garage thus ending his night. He eventually earned back both laps with "lucky dog" free passes to the top-running vehicle not on the lead lap.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series continues its 2017 season next Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.

It was not a good night for sentimental favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr.

"I had a 4th of July party planned. It hurts. But we got a lot of racing left, and I'm a tough guy; I can handle it".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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