Dale Earnhardt Jr. Loses Steering Wheel During NASCAR Race, Still Drives With One Hand

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Loses Steering Wheel During NASCAR Race, Still Drives With One Hand

No steering, no problem. 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. found himself without his steering wheel for part of the NASCAR GEICO 500 race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, but the star driver was able to keep control of his car anyway. 

Following an earlier crash in the race, Earnhardt’s steering wheel came off suddenly—forcing him to use one hand on the steering column to keep from spinning out. Earnhardt was able to keep control for long enough to spin the steering wheel back on—showing off some major concentration in the process: 



“The steering wheel came off and I was trying to get it back on and the car was headed toward the wall. Well, I wasn’t going to let it hit the wall, so I grabbed the column and steered it with that — tore my hands all up, but didn’t hit the wall,” Earnhardt told ESPN after the race.

The rest of the day was not so lucky for Earnhardt. 

Earnhardt had already crashed once when the steering wheel problem popped up, and soon after that he got involved in a second wreck after Carl Edwards blew out a tire on Lap 110. Earnhardt said after the race that he was not happy with the way his car ran on Sunday, but that his team would “keep grinding.”



Earnhardt was not the only driver to deal with some issues—the Talladega track was basically a crash-fest on Sunday. 

Danica Patrick got into a scary wreck, while Chris Buescher’s car did a barrel roll in a separate crash. Patrick spun out in what she called the “worst” wreck of her career in a collision with Matt Kenseth. Kenseth’s car was turned upside down, and the accident caused Patrick’s car to catch fire—on the inside—sending the driver scrambling out of the vehicle before any major damage could go down:



“I would say that’s probably the most scared, trying to hop out of a car with the fire on the inside. I haven’t had fire on the inside before. I have a pretty decent bruise on my arm and my foot, and my head feels like I hit a wall at 200. My chest hurts when I breathe,” Patrick told USA Today after the race.

Buescher had a scary moment himself when his car was tapped down the backstretch, sending it airborne for multiple barrel rolls:



Brad Keselowski was able to avoid the wrecks on Sunday, winning the race without much trouble ahead of Kyle Busch.

The NASCAR schedule next heads to Kansas Speedway on Saturday, May 7 for the Go Bowling 400 Sprint Cup race. 

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