Earnhardt Jr.'s replacement makes early exit

2012-10-14T00:00:00Z Earnhardt Jr.'s replacement makes early exit
October 14, 2012 12:00 am

Earnhardt Jr.'s replacement done early

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s replacement made an early exit Saturday night in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Regan Smith, filling in for the concussed Earnhardt for at least two races, went to the garage with a blown engine early in the race.

Smith was running extremely well early having moved up from 26th to 10th before smoke began billowing from his car. He said he wasn't sure exactly what went wrong with the car, but immediately parked it behind the wall for the night.

"It's disappointing and it's a shame," Smith said.

Smith also will drive Earnhardt's No. 88 Chevrolet next week at Kansas.

Gordon would hide concussion • Earnhardt Jr. was praised by his competitors for having the guts to seek medical attention that led to him being sidelined.

But, at least one driver wasn't sure he'd do the same with a championship on the line.

"Honestly, I hate to say this, but no, I wouldn't," four-time champion Jeff Gordon said. "If I have a shot at the championship, there's two races to go, my head is hurting, and I just came through a wreck, and I am feeling signs of it, but I'm still leading the points, or second in the points, I'm not going to say anything."

Grand Prix • Mark Webber took the pole position for the Korean Grand Prix, upstaging Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

Associated Press

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