Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s season of unrelenting misery and inexplicable failure continued at Kansas Speedway, where the 88 team qualified on the front row, led 41 laps early in the Price Chopper 400 and proceeded to blunder away victory on pit road. During a green flag stop, the pit crew failed to attach all of the lug nuts to the left rear tire. Earnhardt Jr. was black flagged, penalized a lap and had to return to pit road to secure the rogue lug nut. Oh, but there was more misery and failure to come.
Later in the race Earnhardt fell another lap off the lead when he pitted under green while a caution came out. (See. It’s not all blundering for the 88 team. Some of it is just bad luck.) But none of that would matter anyway, as the belt on his oil pump belt would later break (when does that ever happen?), giving him a 36th-place finish in what Junior said after the race was a top 10 car. For the 88, that’s five straight races outside of the top 17 and Earnhardt’s 50th straight race without a trip to victory lane.
Junior’s last win came at Michigan on June 15, 2008.