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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hilariously Reveals Indy 500 Has “Lost the Handle” Hours Before Commentating the Race

Published 05/28/2023, 7:30 AM EDT

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This weekend is a massive one for the world of motorsport, for a variety of reasons. Firstly, there is the Monaco Grand Prix, which makes up one-third of the famous Triple Crown. On the same day, there is the Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, representing NASCAR. Finally, there is the Indianapolis 500, which is the second race in the Triple Crown and caters to IndyCar. For this weekend’s Indy 500, Dale Earnhardt Jr has the honor of being a commentator for the iconic event.

Admittedly, he has never raced in the event, but this is probably the closest he will ever get. Not many NASCAR drivers have competed in both NASCAR and IndyCar, but there have definitely been some participants. The most famous ones among them are Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya, Danica Patrick, and many more. As for Dale Jr himself, the only time he ever raced in a non-NASCAR car was during the 2001 and 2004, 24 Hours of Daytona.

Dale Earnhardt Jr reported a minor mishap in the buildup to the race

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In a recent tweet, Dale Jr was at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he spotted something inconvenient. As it turned out, a door handle had broken off and was lying on the ground. The former NASCAR driver even joked that IndyCar had ‘lost the handle’.

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Naturally, people wondered about which door it fell from, and the guessing game began. If it was from the door leading to the commentary booth, then Dale Jr. and his co-commentators would be in a spot of bother. In the worst-case scenario, the broken door leads to somewhere important, in which case, it is imperative to fix it.

However, the best-case scenario means that the door either led to somewhere inconsequential or there was another door. It was quite fortunate that the problem was discovered on Saturday and not on race day. Imagine the chaos if it had happened then, and the door led to an important room. However, we cannot dwell on what-ifs, and the actual location of the door still remains a mystery until Dale Jr spills the beans.

How does the 2023 IndyCar grid line up?

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Dale Jr. will probably be in for a treat, as the 107th running draws closer and closer. 2021 IndyCar champion Alex Palou starts on the pole position, alongside Rinus VeeKay and Felix Rosenqvist. Santino Ferrucci is the first of the home heroes in 4th place, alongside Pato O’Ward and 6-tine IndyCar champion Scott Dixon. Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato, and Tony Kanaan make up Row 3 of the grid.

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Finally, defending 2-time champion, Will Power, starts 12th, with Marcus Ericsson and Benjamin Pedersen ahead. In all, there are four rookie drivers, who include Pedersen, Agustin Canapino, RC Enerson, and Sting Ray Robb.

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The 2023 field also boasts 9 Indy 500 winners. In order, they are Dixon, Rossi, Sato, Kanaan, Ericsson, Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves, and Simon Pagenaud. Without a doubt, with a field this stacked, the battle for the win will be fierce.

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Written by:

Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a Senior Motorsports Writer at EssentiallySports, with an impressive track record of over 13K articles. He not only writes engaging content but regularly connects readers with some of the biggest racing names thanks to his ability to churn out exclusive interviews. From F1 driver Pierre Gasly to Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino, Dhruv has established himself as an authoritative voice in the world of motorsports.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare