Junior’s Final Season Can’t End Soon Enough

By Jared Turner

Thought all that could go wrong had gone wrong for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2017, his final season of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition? If so, well, you thought wrong. Making his last start at Darlington, a track where he’s never gone to Victory Lane, Earnhardt Jr. sputtered to a 22nd-place finish. To make matters worse, NASCAR discovered after the race that two lug nuts on his No. 88 Chevrolet were loose, which means a likely $20,000 fine and one-race suspension for crew chief Greg Ives. “[NASCAR] pulled me over because I’ve got some loose lug nuts on the right rear,” Earnhardt Jr. said after limping home two laps down. “Yeah, I mean, when they saw they picked right up on it. I had a really bad vibration that last run and there was a bunch of [lug nuts] loose on the right rear. They must have just kind of had a screw-up.”