Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his Man Of Steel Chevrolet had been hyped up in the media for a potential win in Michigan for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup race. Promoting the latest Superman movie, Earnhardt only had to think back 12 months to see himself in Michigan’s Victory Lane, although it was an entirely different superhero inspiring him then.
Whilst promoting the Batman movie Dark Knight Rises in 2012, Earnhardt Jr. finally put an end to a 143 race-winning drought. His first win at Michigan in 2008 until his second in 2012 both signified the beginning and the end of this drought, and although he looked good for a win driving his Man Of Steel car on Sunday, the Michigan International Speedway finally proved to be kryptonite to his No 88 Chevrolet.
All looked well as the North Carolina native led the Quicken Loans 400 until his car started to lose power on lap 128 and its engine finally gave up on lap 132.
Having qualified 12th, Earnhardt Jr. also led the pack four times with a total of 34 laps led. Hendrick Motorsports‘ No 88 started the race fourth in the point standings before the engine failure knocked them down into seventh. This is now Earnhardt’s second engine failure over his last four outings.
This question of reliability will surely avert the attention from Toyota and focus it more on Chevrolet as the TDR engines in question finished in the top six and both Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch also climbed a place in the standings.
After a storming Jimmie Johnson punctured in the final laps, ruining a potentially exciting climax, Greg Biffle won the 2013 Quicken Loans 400, his second straight Sprint Cup victory.