Your Turn: Earnhardt the scapegoat?

Updated: August 22, 2012, 7:06 PM ET
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Was Jeff Gordon right to criticize teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Michigan?

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This week's question: Was Jeff Gordon right to criticize teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Michigan?

Gordon, remember, lashed out at Earnhardt on the radio midway through Sunday's Pure Michigan 400. Earnhardt had overtaken his Hendrick Motorsports teammate using what Gordon believed was a risky pass, and Gordon used a series of expletives for all to hear.

Earnhardt finished fourth. Gordon ended up 28th.

"It wasn't the smartest thing to do, especially to a teammate," Gordon said afterward in the garage. "But he chose to do it and it all worked out. I don't care who does it, I'm going to show my displeasure if they do something like that."

So what say you, NASCAR Nation? Was Gordon justified in bashing Earnhardt?

Now have at it …

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• 01AMGFan -- Dale Earnhardt Jr did nothing wrong. It boils down to this: if Gordon didn't like the 88 sneaking inside of him, why wasn't he on the bottom groove? These restarts are wild, where everyone gets what they can. Nobody gives anybody a break  and this intensity is what makes the restarts so exciting. If Jeff has a problem with that, then he has a problem with racing. It might just be me, but ever since double-file restarts were introduced, Jeff has been sluggish at it. He takes a little time to get up to speed. However, Gordon is usually a very measured person, so I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt. Everyone gets frustrated, and that was sadly aired to the world last Sunday.

• txtechjmacattack -- Here's the deal, Earnhardt didn't do a thing wrong. He saw a chance to grab several spots on a restart, took advantage, and pulled off a really nice little pass. But we all need to put ourselves in Jeff Gordon's shoes for a second. He was at the bottom of three wide on a track with a relatively thin groove, yet still a car snuck up underneath him to pass him. Then that car slid up in front of him and contributed to impeding his progress. All of this is happening while he's fighting for his Chase life, needing every position, every point he can get. Any of us with a competitive bone in our bodies would have been frustrated and likely reacted the way he did. NEITHER driver is in the wrong here.

• BruDawg1966 -- I'd like to know what this thread would look/read if Gordon had not lifted off the gas and then correspondingly wrecked the 88. It would be a whole different conversation. JG was frustrated by an ill-advised pass by Jr. Period. Personally, I like to see the tempers flare every once in a while. That is what "NASCAR used to be about"... at least in part. It was called "racing" a foreign concept in today's "clean air" cars.

• ajs81663 -- How many of us haven't sworn at others cutting us off in traffic? I'd cuss at my own mother (granted mildly) if she cut me off. Dale was aggressive, Jeff was frustrated. Neither was wrong. The real mistake was Jeff complaining on the radio because that just opens him up to all the haters once it goes public.

• jb3moore -- How many times have I seen Gordon make an aggressive pass on JR and JR would give him room. Finally JR is in a fast car and he has a chance to be the mover/shaker. It's great to see JR aggressive again and I think Gordon feels a little left out as Johnson, Kahn, and JR are all doing well. At Michigan everyone is in a mad dash to get up front before the leaders could get away. Expect JR nation to let Gordon know where he stands in this sport.

• Thizboy27 -- Should Jeff Gordon have blasted off like he did at Dale Jr. over the radio? Probably not. But Junior shouldn't go 3 wide (possibly 3.5 wide) on his teammate when Jr could just as easily have passed Jeff in a better situation. It's give and take out there and Jeff felt the need to let everyone know that he gave a lot in that situation while his "teammate" failed to do so which could have taken both racers out. Seems to be more frustration than actual anger towards Dale Jr. coming from Jeff. Gordon's got to get past this as he now needs to focus on winning if he wants in on the Chase this season ...

• h5244888 -- Jeff Gordon is just frustrated about his bad season he has had. It wasn't about the risky move Earnhardt Jr. made. But yet again, it was unnecessary for Gordon to criticized Jr. about the move he made. It's just hard racing and drivers just have to deal with it wether they like it or not. Every athlete has their bad seasons, and the frustration level builds up quickly.

• brad0392 -- It feels like its over for the 24, but he can still win any race, and if he does he'll make the chase. Then anything can happen.

• EliasJauaMilano -- Jeff Gordon: 41 years old, 86 cup wins, 4 Sprint Cups. Dale Junebug: 37 years old, 19 cup wins. Nuff said.

• Progdrummer73 -- I do not think it was a big deal, Gordon had to let off a little but Jr's been criticized for years for not making any aggressive decisions so at the same time I can't fault him for it. I don't think Gordon's ability is what it used to be, though. I'm not a fan or hater but at the same time I think he's only got a few full-time years left; he's beginning to enter a similar decline akin to what Richard Petty endured in the latter half of the 80s. Plus, he has stated in the past that he wants to be a real father to his children, so he's bound to cut time from racing sooner or later ...

jdawg24_99 -- This is the whole problem with NASCAR now.. The most popular drivers are complaining about having to race! They want to ride around in circles, with teammates, until the checkered flag. Collect their paychecks and move on to do it again next week. Its very boring.

Trident60 -- While I agree with Miller that Jeff's frustrations over this season altogether seem to be coming out a little more, I think people are also overlooking Jeff saying he had to back out and let Jr go otherwise they would have both wrecked. I don't think the four wide pass would have been near the issue for Jeff had Jr made it clean without squeezing him. In the end when they were interviewing Jeff I thought he was pretty composed in his interview. Don't take to much out of what he said over the scanner, heat of the moment kind of thing. Big whoop.

• Baldy Feathers -- As much as I am a fan of Jeff, his racing skills are just not what they used to be, he seems bothered in tight packs and has been making bad choices on the track way too much this year. ... His equipment for the most part has been spot on, although at some races obviously down a bit on horsepower and speed ...

• d0re -- People have been clamoring for Dale Jr. to be more aggressive for years; now he is. Maybe 'ol Four Time doesn't like getting outshone by his less-accomplished teammate, but he should get over it, because the 88 is strong this year.

• Bill K. Cunningham -- My brother Ross and I think Dale Jr. had every right to pass Jeff. I don't know, but maybe Jeff is getting a little jealous of the attention his teamates are getting. Man-up Jeff and deal with it!

• miller_time52 -- Not a fan of either driver, but I side with Jr on this one. I think Gordon was/is frustrated because his Chase hopes are on the line, but I still think he had a bit of an overreaction. It's honestly not a big deal in my mind.

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