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Originally published Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 12:49 AM

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Bad battery stalls strong Texas bid from Earnhardt

Dale Earnhardt Jr. looked like he had a car good enough to win the Sprint Cup race in Texas on Saturday night.

AP Sports Writer

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FORT WORTH, Texas —

Dale Earnhardt Jr. looked like he had a car good enough to win the Sprint Cup race in Texas on Saturday night.

Then he had the kind of problem that would make anyone in his massive fan base say, "Hey, I can relate."

A dead battery.

Earnhardt was a steady presence in the top three for the first half of the race when the car lost power on Lap 187. Turns out, if Earnhardt had just flipped a switch to the backup battery, he would have been fine.

"I didn't know it was a battery until we got down on pit road and I got to looking at the gauges and really understanding," Earnhardt said. "At that point we had lost a couple of laps."

The power loss also cost Earnhardt a penalty for speeding onto pit road because his gauges had gone out. He went as many as five laps down and ended up 29th.

Earnhardt was leading the points race two weeks ago, but has dropped to sixth after two straight finishes in the 20s. He was no lower than seventh through the first five races.

"It's been rough, but we had a really good car tonight," he said. "If we were running bad and having these kinds of nights, we would have a hard time making that Chase. But running good, eventually things will turn back around for us."

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