Dale Jr’s CARS Tour Star Suffers Massive Heartbreak As Blown Motor Jeopardizes Whelen Modified Dreams

Published 02/12/2024, 6:29 AM EST

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There was a lot of hype in November of 2023 when Dale Earnhardt Jr’s CARS Tour driver Landon Huffman announced that he would be making his debut in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour this year. He revealed that he would be driving the #98 car for Shamrock Motorsports. However, it seems like his first race may end up being a bust after an engine failure as the 28-year-old explained the situation and implored fans for some help on his X account recently.

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Huffman has a lot to look forward to in the 2024 season. The CARS Tour may be the competition he focuses on the most but the 28-year-old was quite excited about participating in the Whelen Modified Tour as well. When he announced his decision to race in the competition, Huffman said that it was an opportunity to do something different and learn something new.

CARS Tour driver seeks help from fans after engine failure in Florida

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The #98 team was supposed to make its debut at the New Smyrna Speedway in Florida during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing but things did not go to plan. Huffman’s engine reportedly locked up 8 laps in practice and the driver just could not figure out why. Now, the 28-year-old may end up not taking part if the team does not find a backup for the World Series of Asphalt race.

“Update on the motor: Completely killed. Locked up 8 laps in with no sign or reason. Still searching for something to lease for the week or we may be done before we start. If anyone has a lead on a tour mod engine in FL or one that can be hauled down for lease let us know,” he wrote in his X post, asking fans for some much-needed leads.

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Shamrock Motorsports put out a post on Instagram as well, outlining the issue that they faced during the event, stating that they were working towards getting a backup for Huffman in time. “Racing is always full of ups and downs. Unfortunately, we blew a motor during practice and working on a backup for this week at the World Series of Asphalt,” the caption read.

It is a disappointing start to the season for the 28-year-old who had a lot of hype surrounding him in 2024. Landon Huffman is a talented race car driver and he has a lot of fans, including his good friend Dale Earnhardt Jr. The 2-time Xfinity Series champion even extended his support when the CARS Tour star outlined some of the issues he was facing with the organization at the New Smyrna Speedway.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr tweets in support as racer slams New Smyrna Speedway

Huffman put out a lot of tweets during his time at New Smyrna and one of them was about the track officials not letting him set up a stall for his merchandise. For someone like Landon Huffman, merchandise sales make up a significant part of his earnings and he was not happy with how things had been organized at the venue.

Taking to X, the driver of the #98 Shamrock Motorsports car wrote, “Ran 8 laps and was p13 on charts and motor locked up. Not sure what plan is at this point. Track says have no space in midway for merchandise & says I can’t set up outside so not sure what I’m going to do on that either. Volusia looks like carnival, asphalt tracks should learn.”

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Dale Earnhardt Jr was one of the people who empathized with the CARS Tour and Whelen Modified Tour star as he shared the post and wrote, “Dude went all the way to Florida immediately after the Icebreaker, cut him some slack on the merch trailer why don’t ya.”

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Fortunately, Huffman later revealed that his merchandise would be available at Cup Series driver Ryan Preece’s stall. Preece already had a vendor spot at the track. The 28-year-old, however, is still quite dejected about his car’s engine failure and might miss the main race unless there’s some miracle waiting to happen.

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Written by:

Nilavro Ghosh

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One take at a time

Nilavro Ghosh is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports, where he is known for his creative yet easy-to-read writing style. Before taking up his role as a sports journalist at ES, Nilavro has written for some of the top publishing houses, like The Telegraph. While most journalists stop at covering live events and taking the news to the readers, Nilavro goes the extra mile to give fans a platform for them to express their thoughts through his 'race reaction' pieces.
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Edited by:

Ariva Debnath

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