Dale Earnhardt Jr. sees his day end in disaster at Michigan

BROOKLYN, MI - JUNE 16: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard/Man of Steel Chevrolet, drives on the apron after blowing an engine, as AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Charter Toyota,  drives past during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 16, 2013 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)

BROOKLYN, MI – JUNE 16: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard/Man of Steel Chevrolet, drives on the apron after blowing an engine, as AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Charter Toyota,
drives past during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 16, 2013 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)

What a difference a year makes.  A year removed from his greatest race in recent memory, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s run at Michigan International Speedway ended in the garage Sunday.

Earnhardt came in as the race’s defending winner, having gone to victory at MIS last year and breaking a 143 race winless streak. Sunday in the Quicken Loans 400, it looked as though Earnhardt could repeat his win. On lap 77 Earnhardt took lead during a round of pit stops and held the point as the field took the green.

Earnhardt would hold the lead until he was passed by his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne on lap 90. He would regain the lead when Kahne’s Chevy lost a right front tire and slammed the wall hard on lap 104. By lap 118 Earnhardt was stretching out his lead over second place Matt Kenseth to over two seconds. It appeared that Earnhardt was the class of the field until lap when on lap 128 when Earnhardt suddenly began to slow. He reported the engine in his Chevy was going down a cylinder. MORE>>>

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