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Dale Earnhardt Jr. hits wall at Daytona, claws way back from 2 laps down

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had to head to the pits after hitting the wall during Stage 2 and suffered damage to the car's right side.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s hopes of winning one last time at Daytona International Speedway have taken a big hit.

In a single car incident, Earnhardt hit the Turn 1 wall on Lap 52 of Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 and then limped his car around the track to get repairs on pit road.

It initially appeared Earnhardt may have suffered a flat tire that pushed him into the outside retaining wall, but NBC’s Marty Snider reported the tire was up when Earnhardt hit pit road, and that the incident may have been triggered by contact with the No. 27 of Paul Menard.

Earnhardt’s team repaired the damage, although he dropped two laps down.

UPDATED: Earnhardt has clawed his way back to being on the lead lap on Lap 90. He’s currently running 31st.