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Earnhardt suffers blown motor in first practice

February 20, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com

Earnhardt suffers blown motor in first practice
Three-car wreck, flat tire also issues for drivers

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    Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran 11 laps before suffering a blown motor and going to the garage during first practice Wednesday for the Daytona Duels. He will change his engine and have to move to the back.

    Earnhardt wasn't worried at all about the blown motor, saying the team will figure out what happened and that it was probably something logical.

    "Everything seemed like it was working," he said. "Just trying to find a little more speed, and we found a few things that seemed to help the car. We'll try to get out in this next practice, and see what else we can learn, but everything should be fine."

    Just a few laps before his motor issues, a three-car wreck involving Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman and Mark Martin sent all three to the garage. Martin's crew said they would be done for the day, while crews worked on Newman and Edwards' cars to attempt to get them out.

    Newman, who came down on Edwards, saw a replay of the wreck and talked with Edwards.

    "I think it’s just an aero situation, but that was news to me.  Carl (Edwards) came over and said ‘hey man’… I said ‘I don’t even know what to tell you yet’.  It was unfortunate for our Quicken Loans Chevrolet, but that is why we had practice," Newman said. "That was my first experience, but I guess my car just got light in the back going into the corner.”
  • Edwards had a similar assessment of the accident.

    “I was up close to Ryan and then all of a sudden his car just got a little loose and there was no space.  I could have given him more space, but I don’t think either one of us really understands why his car got so loose. It was just all of a sudden and he was turned sideways. It’s really interesting and something I’m gonna be careful of during the race.”

    Matt Kenseth got a flat tire while simulating a pit stop but was able to get back out on the track quickly.

    Reigning champion Brad Keselowski had an issue early on in his run when he had an issue with his fuel system.

    "Something went wrong with the fuel system in the car," Keselowski said. "That’s not what you want when you’re in front of the pack because when your car slows down, they’ve got nowhere to go and it could cause a wreck. So we’re gonna spend a little extra time to make sure we’ve got whatever it is figured out.”

    Michael Waltrip posted the top speed at 198.347 mph with a best time of 43.375 seconds.

    Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer said they would not practice in the final practice of the day.

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