NBC twisted the knife as Dale Earnhardt Jr. spent time in the garage

NBC went into the race with a cool tribute to Dale Earnhardt Jr. locked and loaded. They probably hoped they could air it to cap a successful last run at Texas Motor Speedway. Instead, it ran immediately after Earnhardt went to the garage for a mechanical failure.

Earnhardt's 88 car suffered mechanical failure in the final stage, and he was forced to head to the garage.

"We burnt the hub up on the left front," he said. "So we've got to change the spindle and change the hub, and we'll try and get back out there and finish the race."

Related: Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s day ruined in Texas

Earnhardt had previously led for a couple of laps, but he began to struggle after the conclusion of Stage 2. He said he was running between 11th and 20th all weekend, but he felt good about how it was running during Sunday afternoon.

His team was able to repair the car and he returned to the track 3o laps down.