Talladega Turmoil: Another Rough Day for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Jared LillyCorrespondent IOctober 5, 2008

The Amp Energy 500, a Sunday marked on every member of Junior Nation's calendar.

It was supposed to mark the series of butt-whoopings that were to occur at the hands of Dale Jr. throughout the Chase of the Sprint Cup.

An Earnhardt at Talladega, he was driving the "Amp Ride with Dale Jr./National Guard" Impala SS at the Amp Energy 500, it was a day set by God for him to win, right?

Apparently not.

Junior had a rough day at practice when his tire exploded, forcing him to go to a back-up name drenched car. This led to him starting dead last.

Junior shot from 43rd to first in 26 laps and stayed within the front few spots for most of the day. While Carl Edwards on the other hand, decided to hang towards the back.

Throughout the race, many experienced the same fate Junior did in practice. Tires were blowing left and right, as Goodwrench scrambled to find an answer as to why.

Denny Hamlin was sent to the hospital after his tire exploded while he was in the lead, and he slammed into the wall.

After a record-setting day in leaders and lead changes, Carl Edwards decided to start making a charge with just under 30 laps to go.

The same man who hung in the back all day, for the sole purpose of avoiding "The Big One," caused "The Big One 2". Carl Edwards was drafting teammate Greg Biffle into the corner, and gave him a little too much chrome horn, causing him, Biffle, and six other Chase contenders to wreck with just a handful of laps to go. One of them was Little E, who ended up with a disappointing 28th.

More Talladega racing continued, and with four laps to go, a caution drew a green-white-checkered finish. Tony Stewart led the DEI cars of Regan Smith, Paul Menard, and Aric Amirola in second, third, and fourth place.

The green flag dropped, and Amirola quickly fell to the back while Smith and Menard drafted behind Stewart. Smith on the last lap made his move underneath Tony Stewart who then forced Smith beyond the yellow line. Smith passed Stewart and appeared to have won the race.

However, NASCAR issued a ludicrous call, stating Stewart scored his first Talladega win.

NASCAR has a rule saying that racers cannot advance underneath the yellow line, and if a racer forces a racer underneath the line, they will be penalized.

During the drivers meeting, competitors were told if forced below the line, with the checkers in sight, keep moving.

However, NASCAR ignored its own statement and gave Smith a pass-through penalty, making him finish 18th, and awarding Stewart the unjust win.