Is Next Week’s “Bachelor” NASCAR Date Grossly Off Track?

I’m just not sure what to make of this clip from next week’s episode of “The Bachelor.” In it, Brad Womack takes the woman on a group date to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a NASCAR date. Midway through, he looks at Emily Maynard, the Southern blonde who has quickly become a fan favorite, and notes, “I’m realizing something’s really wrong with Emily.” Ya think, smart guy? Remember when she told you that she had been engaged to a NASCAR driver (Ricky Hendrick) who was killed in a plane crash in 2004, a week before she found out she was pregnant with his baby? Did it really not occur to you that going to a NASCAR track on a date might bring up some emotions? Realizing something is up, Brad pulls Emily aside to talk to her about it. Because she is the sweetest person ever, she says, “I’m fine. I’m so excited just to be here with you. I don’t want you to think I’m ungrateful or that I’m not excited to be here or anything. … You think you leave it behind, you come here…”

“I feel like a jerk,” replies Brad.I supsect that i not an unfamiliar feeling for him.

It’s unclear if Brad absorbed the detail Emily had told him about her fiance working in racing. If he had, I do actually think he would have chosen someone else for this date. But the producers 100 percent knew that Emily’s fiance was a NASCAR driver and probably had a good idea that he had once been injured in a race at that very track. This just seems like such a wrong thing to milk for drama.

Naturally, people are very up in arms over this. In a poll on the show’s website, 75 percent of people voted that Emily being asked no this date was “cruel and completely inappropriate.” What do you think? [EW]