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Fuel mileage dooms Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Updated: May 30, 2011, 2:12 AM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

CONCORD, N.C. -- About the only chance NASCAR had of equaling or even topping the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 for drama on Sunday was for Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win.

It almost happened.

Like at Indianapolis, what seemed like days ago instead of hours, the car with the National Guard paint scheme and a driver with JR in his name came to the final turn at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the lead. Like at Indianapolis, that car didn't win.

Rookie ...

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