Kentucky. Lord, please not Kentucky. It is a track I have no affinity for, but I will be watching on Saturday night. It is all due to NBC. If you watch the broadcast, and still can not stand NASCAR, it is just not for you. If you do watch it and have any love of the sport, you will stick around. The boys and girls make it damn hard to skip forward, no matter how much you try.
NASCAR fans are always looking for one thing; side by side racing, and passing for the lead a hundred times a race. That is what the fans say they want to see. But that just isn’t the reality, and it never has been.
Jeff Gordon. Four-time NASCAR champion. Three-time Daytona 500 champion. Four-time Brickyard 400 winner. Six-time Southern 500 victor. Three-time World 600 champion. Three-time All-Star race winner. Winner of 93 Cup races. He probably was the most automatic inductee into the Hall of Fame since Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.
Texas. That may have been the worst NASCAR race I ever watched. If not, I hope I never remember a worse one. Indianapolis in 2008 might challenge it, but that was due to having to throw out a caution every 10 laps to prevent the damn tires from exploding.
Unstable. Set to go off with the least provocation. No, I’m not talking about CNN or late night talk show hosts, most celebrities, or more than a few politicians. What I am referring to is the Daytona 500.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Darlington Raceway this Labor Day weekend for the Bojangles’ Southern 500. This is the third straight year of Darlington’s throwback campaign and this edition will focus on the 1985-89 era. There are 40 drivers on the entry list and 32 will run retro paint schemes to honor the rich history of the sport.
With the Southern 500 coming our way from Darlington this weekend, it seems like a good time to talk about tradition. The first one in the books was back in 1950, making it the oldest of the sport’s iconic events. Most of the time, it goes to someone who is in or will be in, the Hall of Fame. That number will only grow once Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson get in, along with a few other contenders I can think of.
Bristol is where the legends win. Darrell Waltrip won a dozen times there. Cale Yarborough, Dale Earnhardt, and Rusty Wallace each had nine. Then there is Kyle Busch, who’s victory on Saturday night pushed him to six, one more than his brother Kurt and David Pearson. Each one in the Hall of Fame, or will be. No exceptions.
Did his lack of success over recent years stunt NASCAR's growth? Maybe, it was his continued presence that kept it from sliding further down the tubes. In fact, the champion has only taken the Most Popular Driver award six times in the season they won the championship. The last was Bill Elliott nearly 30 years ago. So much for Harvick's theory.