Tight race car causes Charlotte fade for Dale Jr.

Leave a comment

Dale Earnhardt Jr. looked as strong as his Hendrick Motorsports teammates early in last night’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but fell back to a 15th-place result as handling issues progressively got worse on his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Earnhardt led 19 laps in the opening stages of his 500th career Sprint Cup start, but a long green-flag run following a restart at Lap 178 proved detrimental as his car went tight on him.

By the time the final caution came out for debris with 28 laps to go, he had been lapped and had also fallen to 14th in the running order.

“The car was real quick at the start of the race and I was real happy with the speed,” Earnhardt said about his night. “The 5 [Kasey Kahne] was really good and the 48 [Jimmie Johnson] got really good, but I still thought we had a Top-5 car. We lost a rubber out of the right-rear spring or something like that, but it just would not turn at all that last half of the race pretty much. We’re just trying to figure out what’s going on.

“…The car just don’t get that tight from running that good without any adjustments. We were freeing it up – moving the track bar, taking wedge out and it just kept getting tighter and tighter.”

As a result, Earnhardt dropped one spot to ninth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup (66 points behind Chase leader Matt Kenseth) and now finds himself in a battle to stay in the Top 10 of the standings. Carl Edwards sits 10th at one point behind Earnhardt, while Joey Logano is just nine points behind Earnhardt in 11th place.

FIA returns Manor’s F1 entry fee for 2017

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Good news: Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited got a refund of an entry fee it paid to the FIA to run in this year’s F1 season.

Bad news: Manor still hasn’t run this year, and won’t be for the foreseeable future (especially as Manor’s former leadership staff is moving that team into FIA WEC’s new-look LMP1 class in addition to its LMP2 program).

Manor Group’s receivership outfit, Just Racing Services Limited, went into administration earlier this year. As there was no new buyer for the F1 team, Manor dropped from the 2017 grid before the season.

The FIA said it would return its entry fee to help Manor Group pay off outstanding debts.

It basically means nothing in the grand scheme of things since Manor missed out on 10th place in the constructor’s standings in 2016 and fell from the F1 grid as a result, but hey, it’s a goodwill gesture going into Thanksgiving this week.