The race however left me with mixed emotions as Dale Jr. who fought so hard and I believe it was Rusty who commented on how he had never seen a driver work so hard in these past few races, but ended up with yet another DNF as yet another DEI engine failed on him. With just 5 laps to go he was running up in the 3rd position fighting for 2nd with Stewart when his engine failed him. This was really heartbreaking to watch. The look on his face when he was interviewed afterwards showed how much this would have meant to him to finish near the front for his fans, team, and sponsors even if he didn't make the Chase and it actually made me tear up. Wait there's no crying in racing!! But this moment brought so much emotion and it really saddened me. Dale Jr. is an incredible race car driver and no one can ever question his heart ever. If only his equipment wouldn't fail him I believe he would have made the Chase. He drove another great race and this engine problem is getting old. I hate to open up this can of worms but why so many engine problems with his car while his team mate doesn't seem to be having the same type of problems for the most part? Is there something fishy going on here? On a positive note, ever since the Chase was implemented the top driver (points) outside of the Chase would also be honored at the season ending ceremony in New York. In the past this was the 11th place driver and in 2005 when Jeff Gordon was locked out of the Chase he wound up in 11th and made the trip to New York and was honored at the event as well as being awarded a substantial check! This gives the drivers outside of the Chase something to race for and I think is very important to the sport. This would mean that Dale Jr. can still fight for the 13th position and win a seat at the season ending ceremony. Dale Jr. has really shown a lot of heart and I'm looking forward to next season when he will become team mates with Gordon, Johnson, and Mears in the sports best organization (at least in my opinion! :P). Hendrick Motorsports will give him the best equipment to drive along with incredibly talented and dedicated employees! It's also great news that his cousin and long time crew chief Tony Eury Jr. will be going along with him to Hendrick Motorsports as he's already signed a contract for next season! With their chemistry and the best team mates in the sport Gordon and Johnson I strongly believe that Dale Jr. will be more successful than ever in NASCAR's elite racing series which will next season be called the Sprint Cup. Now if only those fans at Talladega would stop throwing things at Gordon when he wins there. With Dale Jr. as his team mate next season…one can hope.