Dale Earnhardt Jr. persevered in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway to earn a 17th-place finish despite an early altercation and a less than generous teammate on Sunday.
Earnhardt started the Aaron's 499 12th, but 20 laps into the race he said he thought there was an issue with his left rear tire following contact with Travis Kvapil. Coming off of Turn 2, David Stremme squeezed Kvapil and the No. 93 Toyota pinched Earnhardt, with the two cars making contact.
"I was going around the outside of somebody and I don't know if they got tight or whatever, but we got together," Earnhardt said. "It just tore the quarter panel off; the tire didn't actually go flat. The quarter panel rolled up on top of the tire and tore the tread off the tire, but the tire was still up. Goodyear builds a good one. ... I just (did) not have room right there.
"When we hit, I thought we had a flat; it kind of turned me down and inside there. Luckily, we didn't have any more trouble than tha...