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Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Pit Crew Issues: Why It's Not Their Fault

AVONDALE, AZ - APRIL 18: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on April 18, 2009 in Avondale, AZ.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Logan Riley Contributor IApril 20, 2009

The race at Phoenix is just another chapter in what has seemed to be a disasterous year to be a crew member for some teams. Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew is a firm example.

Every race has seen Jr.'s chances of winning a race quickly evaporated by a pit miscue. Everything from loose lugnuts to a shortened pit sign have transpired. Loose lugnuts clearly being the problem, Jr. has seen many mistakes by his team that would personally have slayed me after the third straight race.

The problem doesn't come with Jr.'s crew as much as it does by the new rule mandating that the fifth lugnut must be placed farther against the wheel than the other four. Why NASCAR made this rule change I don't know but it will require Jr.'s crew hitting the practice wheel a couple more times than usual if they want to make a run at the championship.

It's never to late to correct mistakes, for example, take Mark Martin winning at Phoenix.

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