Jay Busbee

Dale Earnhardt Jr. calls Talladega a 'lottery' race

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Everybody loved Sunday's Talladega race, right? Tons of lead changes, tons of drama, tons of carnage and twisted sheet metal. What's not to love? Well, if you're a driver, plenty. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was running top-10 all race but got shuffled back late, was a bit frustrated with the Talladega Experience, and after the race let fly:

"It gets real old, knowing these wrecks are going to happen late," Junior said. "I got over the frustration of that a long time ago. I've probably caused a few. That's just the way racing is here ... I don't think they need green-white-checkers here. Maybe one is enough. It gets expensive. Man, we are in a tough economic environment ... [I] know it is great seeing cars hitting the fence and drivers climbing out and everybody getting excited about the drama that brings. It is exciting. It is wild to witness something like that. It is just not a good practice, I don't think, so maybe, just for this place, cut off two of them. Maybe both here and Daytona ... Racing for a championship shouldn't be a lottery. These races here are lottery picks."

Junior gets grief from a certain segment of the NASCAR population no matter what he does, but he's got a point here. He ran very well throughout the afternoon; take a look at his driver chart tracking his place in the race lap by lap. That thing looks like a heart-rate monitor, which is a testament to the rapid changing of places at Talladega. But note that Junior never dropped below about 20th place the entire afternoon. He had a late-race plummet in those last few laps, but it's undeniable that right now, he's one of NASCAR's top 10 drivers.

However, the drivers don't run the whole show, and Talladega was hands-down the best race of the year. Yes, it is a lottery, but everyone runs the same race under the same rules. And you can't deny that Kevin Harvick ran an exceptional race. (Junior gave him full credit.) So in this case, the drivers and teams may have to just deal with the added cost and the potential for further wreckage.

Still, you're the fans, so you have your say. Is the carnage and guesswork of the green-white-checker finish worth keeping, or should NASCAR institute different rules at different tracks?

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