Dale Earnhardt Jr. battles pit road issues and Joey Logano at Bristol

BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 22: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, leads Trevor Bayne, driver of the #6 AdvoCare Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 22: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, leads Trevor Bayne, driver of the #6 AdvoCare Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
BRISTOL, TN – AUGUST 22: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, leads Trevor Bayne, driver of the #6 AdvoCare Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. fought with the leaders several times during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Irwin Tools Night Race Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. Unfortunately for the Hendrick Motorsports driver it was for all the wrong reasons.

After starting 20th, Earnhardt was moving steadily towards the front. But during the first pit stops of the night, Earnhardt took only two tires and prior to the restart he reported a possible loose wheel and had to pit again dropping from 13th to 38th. He was forced to battle then leader Kyle Busch to stay on the lead lap. He held off Busch for a few laps but ultimately went a lap down.  A wave-around got him back on the lead lap 125.  Earnhardt tried to move forward but found little progress on the half-mile track that is notoriously hard to pass on.   As the halfway point of the 500 lap race neared Earnhardt found himself fighting with new leader, and eventual race winner, Joey Logano to stay on the lead lap. The duo fought for several intense laps until Earnhardt brushed the outside wall allowing Logano to rocket past.

A well-timed caution shortly after allowed Earnhardt to once again make up his lost lap. MORE>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.