#2 Not penalizing driver.
It doesn’t happen very often, but when NASCAR does have to make a decision to penalize a driver or not, they usually make the wrong one. The perfect example of this was during The Fall playoff race at Martinsville Speedway last season, where Denny Hamlin pushed Chase Elliott through a corner and caused him to lose control of his car. The incident cost Elliott a spot in The Final four and robbed him of his first ever Cup Series win.
With that being said, NASCAR for some reason or another, decided not to penalize Denny Hamlin for what he did to Elliott that Sunday afternoon. Furthermore, Chase Elliott seemingly cost Denny Hamlin his spot in the final four by racing him too aggressively in final laps of the race, which ultimately resulted in Hamlin blowing a tire. NASCAR didn’t penalize Elliott either and the two were left to settle things for themselves.
Not only does this seem like a case of NASCAR intentionally not wanting to resolve the issue in order to increase ratings and track attendance, it also showed just how afraid NASCAR was to take either driver out of the game. NASCAR did the same thing a couple of years ago with Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon, when Gordon intentionally wrecked Clint Bowyer and cost him a championship in the process.
In the end, NASCAR has made the right choices on occasion when it comes to properly penalizing drivers and if they want to maintain any sense of integrity, they will start trying to deescalate situations like they did in the past and put an end to rivalries that tend to go towards the extreme side.