Earnhardt runs from back to front to remain in NASCAR title hunt

ale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 AMP Energy/7-Eleven/National Guard Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 16, 2012 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
ale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 AMP Energy/7-Eleven/National Guard Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 16, 2012 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a huge obstacle to overcome even before the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup GEICO 400 Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway.  After qualifying fourth, Earnhardt’s Hendrick Motorsports crew was forced to change engines in his Chevy, relegating Earnhardt to start Sunday at the rear of the field.

The engine change was due to a mistake he made in qualifying according to Earnhardt.

“We ran a qualifying lap and when you cross the finish line you bump it out of gear, which is what I’ve done every time I’ve run a qualifying lap; however many of those I’ve ran,” Earnhardt said. “In practicing mock runs, I bumped it out of gear and it went in third and over ran the engine way over. “

“The valves and the piston had a little party and they all ended-up with a hangover,” he added laughing. 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.