Plane crazy: Dale Jr. forgets Ryan Newman at the airport

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. will have some explaining to do when Ryan Newman gets to Michigan International Speedway this afternoon.

The Richard Childress Racing driver was set to fly up to MIS this morning with Earnhardt. But as it turns out, Earnhardt forgot about that and left without Newman.

Whoops.

Here’s what Junior tweeted from earlier this morning:

Earnhardt’s road manager, Mike Hoag, got a text from Newman:

The good news is that Newman ended up hitching a ride with Dale Jarrett to Michigan. That allowed him to not miss any track time.

After today’s Sprint Cup practice session, Newman said that he had spoken to Earnhardt on Monday about bumming a ride from him since his family was flying up on his own plane.

“He said ‘Yeah, no problem,'” Newman recalled. “I double-checked and made sure that we were 8:30 Friday morning and everything was good because it was pretty much the last ride that I thought was going to go out to come up here.

“It was convenient and we were flying into the same airport and we were supposed to leave at 8:30 and I showed up before 8:30 and his truck was there and the airplane was gone.

Luckily, after a quick drive across the airport, Newman came across Jarrett’s plane.

“I walked in and Dale wasn’t there yet, but his pilots were. And I said, ‘I’m hoping you guys are going to Michigan, right?’ And they said yes and so I bummed a ride,” he said.

“It was extravagantly convenient and lucky at the same time.”

IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama final practice report

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Will Power posted the fastest lap in the third practice session for the Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. with a speed of 122.953 mph.

Rookie Robert Wickens (122.552 mph) was second fast, foretelling a continuation of his incredible rookie season.

Scott Dixon (122.237), Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.231) and Alexander Rossi (122.106) rounded out the top five.

The practice was interrupted several times for incidents. 

Ed Jones spun off track in turn five after locking up his brakes with 30 minutes remaining in practice three. He was able to drive back to the pits under his own power.

With 20 minutes still on the clock, Jordan King took a trip into the fence after posting a fastest lap of 121.753 mph. He sustained substantial left side damage to his car and came back to the pits on the hook.

“I’m annoyed really,” King said afterward on the live stream at IndyCar.com. “I slightly locked the inside front, then just stayed off onto the grass and that was it. But I wasn’t really even pushing that hard.”

With two minutes remaining, Charlie Kimball lost power and pulled off the track, bringing an end to the practice session.

Dixon also had an off-road excursion.