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NASCAR Cup: Dale Earnhardt Jr. likely without regular crew chief at Richmond

No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt Jr. (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt Jr. (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Dale Earnhardt Jr. probably will be without crew chief Greg Ives for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular-season finale Saturday night at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, as his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet had two lug nuts either missing or loose in post-race lug-nut inspection Sunday night at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway after the Bojangles’ Southern 500. Earnhardt finished 22nd at Darlington after an unscheduled pit stop.

The normal penalties for such an infraction are a $20,000 fine and one-race suspension for the crew chief. NASCAR is expected to make a penalty announcement around Wednesday.

A win at Richmond is Earnhardt’s only chance to make the playoffs in his final season of full-time Cup Series competition, as he’s too far back in the points standings to claim one of the few remaining playoff spots on points. Three playoff positions remain to possibly be claimed by points, should there not be a new 2017 winner at Richmond.

There have been 14 different race winners in the first 25 races of the season, but Joey Logano’s win at Richmond earlier this season was classified as “encumbered” by NASCAR because of post-race inspection failure. As a result, Logano can’t use that win to get into the playoffs.

Earnhardt is a three-time winner at Richmond, but his last win in Cup Series action at the track came in 2006.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer).

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Posted by on September 4, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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