Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Cut Tire Sends Earnhardt to Rear to Start Auto Club 400

By David Morgan, NASCAR Contributor

On the day he makes his 600th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will have his work cut out for him as he will have to start from the rear of the field in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 after discovering a cut tire.

Under the new rules this season that drivers have to start the race on the tires they qualified, Earnhardt will have to vacate his 19th place starting position to join some other big names at the rear of the field, including Jimmie Johnson and Joey Logano. The same issue happened to Denny Hamlin last weekend at Phoenix.

On Sunday morning, Earnhardt tweeted a photo of the cut in the tire and noted that Goodyear had recommended they change the tire.

Despite having to start from the back, the layout of Auto Club Speedway should provide Earnhardt and others a good opportunity to be able to make their way through the field as the race plays out. Even with that in mind, Earnhardt is still not a fan of the rule, and let that be known on Twitter.

In 24 starts at Auto Club Speedway, Earnhardt has five top-five finishes, seven top-10 finishes, 28 laps led, and an average finish of 18.6.

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.