Earnhardt crashes in practice at Charlotte

Dale Earnhardt Jr
FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2016, file photo, Dale Earnhardt Jr looks from the garage before practice at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Hendrick Motorsports says Dale Earnhardt Jr. will retire at the end of this season. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

By JENNA FRYER
AP Auto Racing Writer

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) – Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final weekend as a full-time driver at Charlotte Motor Speedway got off to a rough start when he crashed moments into Friday’s opening practice.

Earnhardt drove into the high line of the track and slipped in the grippy substance Charlotte officials had used on the surface. It caused him to hit the wall and his Hendrick Motorsports team had to pull out his backup car.

Earnhardt wasn’t very happy about his misfortune and felt the substance – known as PJ1 – was too slick.

He had to make a quick visit to the care center before he was cleared to return to practice.

Earnhardt is retiring at the end of the season, in part because of multiple concussions he’s received while racing.

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