NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
 
        === Earnhardt Jr. suffers engine failure in Daytona practice ===
 
 Daytona  Beach,  FL (Sports Network)  - Dale Earnhardt  Jr. will have to start
 from the rear of the field in Thursday's first qualifying race for the Daytona
 500 due to an engine change.
 
 During  Wednesday's  practice at Daytona International Speedway, Earnhardt Jr.
 blew  a motor in his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. He suffered engine
 failure  halfway through  the  first  of the  two  practice  sessions for  the
 Budweiser  Duel  (twin-qualifiers). He completed  just 11 laps around the 2.5-
 mile speedway, with his best lap clocked at 191.579 mph.
 
 "We  just broke a motor, simple as that," Earnhardt Jr. said. "(The team) will
 figure  out what  happened. I'm sure there's some logical explanation for what
 happened.  They'll just put  a new (engine) in, and we'll start at the back of
 the qualifier tomorrow. We'll just try to race up through there."
 
 Earnhardt  Jr. finished 11th in last Sunday's time trials for the Daytona 500.
 It  had earned  him the  sixth  starting position  for  race one  in the  twin
 qualifiers.
 
 Early in the first practice session, Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman made contact
 while  running in  a five-car draft. Edwards hit the left-rear of Newman's car
 and spun him around.
 
 "It  was unfortunate,  but that's why we have practice," Newman said. "I guess
 my car just got light in the back going into (turn) four."
 
 Newman  sustained cosmetic  damage to the left side of his No. 39 Stewart-Haas
 Racing  Chevrolet. His  team was able to  make repairs to the car. Edwards did
 not suffer any damage to his No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford.
 
 "I  was underneath  Ryan, and I was going  to side draft him a little bit, but
 all  of the sudden, his car just turned sideways," Edwards said. "I don't know
 if it was a function of the 18 car (Kyle Busch), which was a little bit behind
 him. This to me is something new with these cars."
 
 This year's Speedweeks at Daytona has marked the competition debut of NASCAR's
 new  Generation-6 race  car in the Sprint  Cup Series. There has been at least
 one  multi-car  crash in  each  of  the  Sprint  Cup practice  sessions  since
 Speedweeks  activities began  last Friday.  Edwards  was one  of five  drivers
 involved in a crash during practice for the Sprint Unlimited preseason race at
 Daytona. The event here last Saturday featured a nine-car accident as well.
 
 02/20 15:12:31 ET

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