Hendrick Motorsports struggles at Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, VA - MARCH 29: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, looks on as his team makes repairs to the car after being involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 29, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
MARTINSVILLE, VA - MARCH 29:  Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, looks on as his team makes repairs to the car after being involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 29, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
MARTINSVILLE, VA – MARCH 29: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, looks on as his team makes repairs to the car after being involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 29, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

For a team that was considered a dominate force not all that long ago, Hendrick Motorsports had a day at Martinsville Speedway Sunday they will not remember fondly.  Three of the team’s four driver have 17 wins at NASCAR’s smallest track: Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson both have eight, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. scored his first last fall.

In Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup STP 500 however the Hendrick dominance was nowhere to be found.  Dale Earnhardt JR. had been looking forward to the return to Martinsville after his emotional first win here last October.  His problems however started early. After starting 14th, Earnhardt quickly made his way forward running as high as third at one point.

But around lap 80 Earnhardt began to report a vibration in his Chevy.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.