The valve train parts that failed in the engines of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin last Sunday at Auto Club Speedway weren't unique to those two cars, Hendrick Motorsports vice president of development Doug Duchardt said Saturday.

Duchardt confirmed that the failures were part of a batch problem but said that all Hendrick Chevrolets and all the Chevrolets of Hendrick engine lease customers - notably the Stewart-Haas Racing cars driven by Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman - all contained parts from the same batch.

"Both cars (Earnhardt's and Martin's) had valve train failures that were related to a specific batch of parts from a vendor," Duchardt said. "All of our engines, lease programmes included, had parts from the same batch, so we're glad it wasn't more widespread.

"It's always extremely disappointing when something like that happens, but, fortunately, it's a problem we can quickly address and fix. Our engine team did a great job identifying the root cause, and it shouldn't affect us moving forward."

In a Friday interview at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Cup champion Jimmie Johnson gave the impression that only the cars of Earnhardt and Martin used engine parts from the batch in question.

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News



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