Dale Earnhardt Jr. was leading the Quicken Loans 400 on Sunday when he started losing power with his car on Lap 128 of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
It appears that a sour engine became the kryptonite for the No. 88 Man of Steel Chevrolet.
“You put together a real nice race,” crew chief Steve Letarte said. “Sorry it didn’t make it all the way.”
Said Earnhardt: “The last run, good lord, that thing was fast. I had to get off the racetrack. Man, I was trying not to wreck.”
Earnhardt, the defending winner of the race, started 12th. He led four times for a total of 34 laps. The No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team entered the race fourth in the point standings. However, his second engine failure in the past four races could be a setback for the team.
"We were disappointed," Earnhardt said. "We had such an awesome race car. We improved the car on the last stop, and I thought we were going to be able to give Jimmie (Johnson) a run. He was probably the best car out there. It’s frustrating, but you would rather be leading the race than running in the back and have problems. At least we were strong. I feel confident that we can go back to racing again next week and be confident.
"We run good. We just got to figure what’s going on under the hood."