Earnhardt Jr. losing steering wheel part of disastrous day at Talladega

Dale Earnhardt Jr. heads to the pits after crashing during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 1, 2016 in Talladega, Alabama.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. heads to the pits after crashing during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 1, 2016 in Talladega, Alabama.

One thing is certain. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Amelia are no longer a happy couple.  Earnhardt brought the car affectionately named “Amelia” to Talladega Superspeedway hoping to defend the race win he scored there last spring. Amelia wasn’t a nice girl however and Earnhardt Jr. ended the NASCAR Sprint Cup GEICO 500 Sunday in the garage with Amelia nothing more than twisted hunk of metal.

The weekend started positive for NASCAR’s most popular driver. Saturday he qualified third and was running among the top five for a time as the field urgently raced towards halfway due to threatening weather. Earnhardt dropped back and was just outside the top 10 as the race neared 50 of the scheduled 188 laps.

“We had a real bad problem at the first run, the splitter was on the ground real bad,” Earnhardt said.

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