Dale Jr. wrecks car, surrenders top Daytona starting spot

Dale Earnhardt Jr. walks on pit road on Sunday afternoon after his qualifying run for the NASCAR Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, which won him the pole position.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. has wrecked his pole-winning Daytona 500 car.

Earnhardt was pushing Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson in Wednesday's practice when the contact caused Johnson to bobble.

A second pack of cars led by Martin Truex Jr. closed quickly on Earnhardt's bumper, causing the No. 88 Chevrolet to spin across the track and into the inside wall.

Hendrick Motorsports immediately pulled out a backup car for Earnhardt. He will have to forfeit the top starting spot in Sunday's season-opening race.

It will be Earnhardt's third car of Speedweeks. He wrecked one in last weekend's exhibition Budweiser Shootout.