Dale Earnhardt Jr. wanted to go out on a high note, but the note is going to be pretty low.
After another disappointing finish — he came in 22nd at the Southern 500 — a post-race inspection found two unsecured lug nuts on his No. 88, and with that will come a painful penalty.
NASCAR.com reports that the team is facing a $20,000 and the crew chief Greg Ives could be suspended one race. If that happens, Ives would miss Earnhardt’s final face, scheduled to be at Richmond Raceway. Junior is a long shot to make the playoffs.
It will be interesting to see what NASCAR does in this case. Will it make the crew chief that Earnhardt has so staunchly defended miss what could be the final race of his career? Of will NASCAR dole out some other penalty that will allow Ives to take his normal seat.
We’ll find out when NASCAR announces penalties later this week.