Dale Earnhardt Jr. mourns family loss while racing at Indy

NDIANAPOLIS, IN - JULY 27: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samuel Deeds 400 At The Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
NDIANAPOLIS, IN - JULY 27:  Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samuel Deeds 400 At The Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
NDIANAPOLIS, IN – JULY 27: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samuel Deeds 400 At The Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had more than one obstacle to overcome Sunday while racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Despite starting 15th Earnhardt was moving his way forward shortly after the green flag fell. On lap 13 however disaster struck as Earnhardt called his crew and told them he felt a loose wheel on the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy. Crew chief Steve Letarte called him in and the crew changed all four tires. Earnhardt found himself a lap down and in last place.

“I knew it was loose,” Earnhardt said. “The car was shaking real bad, and wandering in the back-end on the straightaway. You have a wheel falling off; you have something serious happening. Come in, it’s dangerous staying out there. You can hit the wall, or wreck something, or wreck some other people. I don’t want to do that.” 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.