NASCAR: Engine failure demotes Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the back of the grid for Duel image

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will move to the back of the field for the start of his Daytona 500 Duel on Thursday.

The Hendrick Chevrolet driver had qualified sixth on the grid for his Duel, but had an engine failure in Wednesday’s practice session. The Duel will decide the starting order for Sunday’s main race.

“I’m sure there is some logical explanation as to what happened, but we’ll just put a new one in and start at the back of the qualifier and race up through there,” Earnhardt was quoted as saying by Autosport.

Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski had a fuel pump problem on his Penske Ford that sidelined him for some of first practice. However, his delay was less serious. The main incident of the day was a tangle between Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman.

“I didn’t know what happened, and he honestly admitted that he didn’t know what happened. Just all of a sudden, my car was going across his nose. It was just something new, and a different characteristic of this car I guess,” Edwards said.

Michael Waltrip was fastest in practice one for the Swan Racing team, with Hendrick’s Kasey Kahne leading the following session.