Valve Train Issue Ends Junior's Day at Watkins Glen

Tyler Overstreet | JR Motorsports | 8/6/2017

Axalta Dale Jr. NASCAR News Watkins Glen

Dale Jr. finished 37th at Watkins Glen International after an engine problem ended his afternoon after only 22 laps.

Race: I Love New York 355 at The Glen
Track Specs: Road Course / 90 laps
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 70 degrees
Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr.
Dale Jr.’s Finish: 37th

A valve train issue ended Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 Axalta team’s day after just 22 laps Sunday at Watkins Glen International. The resulting 37th-place finish moves Earnhardt to 23rd in the NASCAR Cup Series standings through 22 races this season.

Earnhardt started the 90-lap race 28th and spent the opening laps settling in. After making minimal progress on the initial start, the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet began picking off positions and climbing his way forward. As the race neared the completion of the opening 20-lap stage, Earnhardt had cracked the top 25 for the first time.

Shortly after that pass, Earnhardt radioed to crew chief Greg Ives that he was losing power in his Chevrolet. He was able to nurse the car to the caution period. Once the pits opened, Earnhardt came to the attention of the Axalta crew. The No. 88 team looked under the hood of the Axalta Chevrolet to attempt to diagnose the issue. The problem proved to be terminal, ending Earnhardt’s day after only 22 laps.

Martin Truex Jr. claimed his fourth victory of the season over Matt Kenseth, Daniel Suarez, Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer.