Saturday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is all about Dale Earnhardt Jr., but it now will be a lot harder for the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet SS to get to victory lane.
Earnhardt was forced to return to the pits early in Stage 2 after a flat tire sent his car into the outside wall, damaging his front end and all but taking him out of contention for the victory.
The 42-year-old was one of the fastest cars on track during Stage 1, narrowly missing out on the stage win after an intense battle with Brad Keselowski. Earnhardt’s chances of winning got a lot smaller after his blowout on Lap 52, though, as the repairs caused him to rejoin the race two laps down.
Regardless of where he finishes, Earnhardt will remember Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola for a long time. It likely will be his last race at Daytona, so the track has planned various activities to honor him.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images