Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s return to NASCAR ends badly

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 27, 2012 in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

After spending two weeks sitting out due to a concussion, Dale Earnhardt Jr. made his return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup series Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. The end results however didn’t necessarily match the effort.

After starting the day 20th, Earnhardt methodically worked his way forward and held station in tenth by lap 38. By lap 60 Earnhardt was in sixth and in fourth by lap 74. From that point, Earnhardt was inside the top five and the top ten for most of the 500 laps.

Earnhardt’s hopes for a first career victory at the track began to unravel late in the race. On lap 476 during the next to last caution, Earnhardt and Brad Keselowski elected to stay out while most of the field on the lead lap decided to pit. MORE>>>

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