NASCAR: A Sport of Bone-headed Moves

Kelly CrandallSenior Writer IOctober 9, 2008

As a NASCAR fan, it's not uncommon to ask yourself and others, "What were they thinking?" It's probably our most used and favorite question.

After Talladega last Sunday, I found myself asking that question, and it had nothing to do with the Regan Smith and Tony Stewart finish.

No, my thinking comes from 14 laps earlier when 12 cars created their own junkyard in turn three. Six of the 12 damaged cars were Chase contenders, including Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, and Greg Biffle.

Carl Edwards caused the melee when he hit and turned teammate Greg Biffle. So Carl, what were you thinking?

"I was worried about the idiot when you come here, and I was the guy that caused that one." No, I didn't mean what you were thinking after the wreck, I mean what were you thinking when you knew that bump-drafting in the turns is a no-no and you still pile-drove your teammate?

"It's my fault, and I apologize to everybody caught up in that wreck," Edwards said. Well, it's a start but it doesn't change the fact that he possibly eliminated drivers from the championship, and made it harder for himself and Biffle.

Edwards isn't the only one that has us making confused faces.

Remember Michael Waltrip's cheating scandal at Daytona in 2007 which started the season with a black cloud? Prior to the Daytona 500, Waltrip's car was found to have a fuel additive in the manifold.

He said that the additive was not approved by himself or any of his management personnel, but it didn't get there by itself. NASCAR confiscated the car then fined and suspended various team members.

What was Michael Waltrip Racing thinking?

Now, we fans love to jump on NASCAR and point out all their incompetence. It's also no secret that many don't like the west coast races.

After February in California, it's really not shocking why. NASCAR made a bone-headed move when they attempted to run the Auto Club 500 on Sunday night after the rain cleared away.

But the kicker was that they didn't make a decision until midnight on the east coast, when many had to get up early the next morning.

NASCAR's main concern is to have the race run, but it seems they need to make sure their audience will be watching and their competitors safe. The track also needs to be ready and when chainsaws are out cutting the track, that doesn't seem ready.

Days later, many still questioned and wondered why NASCAR waited so long to make a decision.

The word decision played a major part in out next two suspects' "What were you thinking?" moments.

Let's start with Teresa Earnhardt letting Dale Earnhardt Jr. walk away from his father's company.

Teresa took a lot of heat from fans, drivers, and the media. One journalist went as far as to compare DEI's decision to that of the Boston Red Sox trading Babe Ruth, saying that it only took 86 years for Boston to recover and DEI may be in the same boat.

Now, Earnhardt Jr. is in a better place both personally and professionally, we still have 85 years to deliver the verdict on DEI.

Remember talking about decisions? Well, someone at Joe Gibbs Racing made the decision to put magnets under the gas pedals of the No. 18 and No. 20 cars in the Nationwide Series at Chicagoland.

We all know why they did it, in order to have NASCAR feel bad for them because of the new engine rule.

But some still asked "What were they thinking?" when they have the strongest team in NASCAR. They felt it wouldn't hold them down and they would obviously be caught and they were.

They didn't find a very creative or non-obvious way to get their point across.

There are plenty of dumb and questionable moves that happen every week on the track, bad pit calls, certain on track moves or contact, tire choice and interesting interviews.

Then eventually off the track, company changes, firing and hiring and NASCAR rule changes or lack thereof.

They normally result in us shaking our heads and wondering, because we NASCAR fans have tons of questions....