Dale Earnhardt Inc. Takes Out the Fork, Fights On

Jim CrooksCorrespondent IOctober 7, 2008

Dale Earnhardt Inc. made a very strong showing at the Amp Energy 500 at Talladega on Sunday.

Regan Smith (basically) won the race, by passing the leader, albeit below the yellow line. He got penalized for it, though, and was classified on the tail end of the lead lap in 18th place.

Martin Truex Jr. and Paul Menard, along with Aric Almirola, also had good cars and ran well. Truex got wrecked while running in the front, but the DEI cars were always near the front throughout the race.

Truex had to be at least as frustrated as Regan Smith was on Sunday. A blown tire on the car of Brian Vickers ended his day early after Truex made it known he had a car that could win.

DEI's day will come, and probably soon, if they can keep up the kind of performance they showed at Talladega.

They have definitely shown some muscle in at least their super speedway program this past week, even after it was announced that Paul Menard was leaving the team after the 2008 season for Yates.

I was among those who thought DEI was headed for trouble. But, here I stand, totally reprimanded. They are still a factor, and even though they have no drivers in the Chasep, they can still upset the apple cart by putting a driver in Victory Lane.

Races are still won by drivers who have the ability to become "creative." What Regan Smith did certainly wasn't a sin, at least to me. By NASCAR's standards, I suppose it was.

To me, it was a driver doing whatever it took to win. If the guy ahead of you blocks you low, go lower. On any other track on the circuit, except Daytona of course, this move would have been totally legal.

DEI is not out of the game yet. They still have some cards to play.