Legends are rare. Many get an honorary title, no doubt stars in their own right at one time long ago or a pioneer of some description. However, to be a true legend, an icon, it takes a lot to make the grade. In NASCAR, David Pearson was an undisputed legendary driver, one of the best all-time, a true giant of the sport.
Talladega was a ratings bust. Talladega. For fans who follow the sport, those four Stewart-Haas cars up front, doing what they had to do all day long, was something to behold. For those who simply tune in to watch incredible action, they had to wait for the final 20 laps for the payoff. However, they had to have tuned in to witness either. They did not even bother. That is troublesome.
They thought Talladega was a wild card. Boy, something tells me that Charlotte’s Roval is going to test them like never before. This one makes the World 600 nothing more than a nice test, a rest in some ways, before the storm coming their way on Sunday.
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.
It was a nice prelude to the All-Star Race in Charlotte on Saturday. First, we had a down and out established team show some life by taking the front row. The pole went to a former champion just a week after he ran his first race of the season.
This Sunday, NASCAR action takes us to Kansas. We just can not get enough of Kansas, which is why we find ourselves watching the action from there for a second time this season. If not Kansas, I guess there is always Kentucky, Chicago, Dover, Fontana, or Pocono , but allow me to calm down my beating heart.
When one of the legends in the sport leaves us, we remember. If a man is known simply by the company he keeps, Robert Yates did very well. As a team owner, he was the boss to such NASCAR luminaries as Davey Allison, Larry McReynolds, Ernie Irvan, Dale Jarrett, and Ricky Rudd.
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.
Gentlemen, start your engines. That is what was customarily said prior to races, but no longer. You probably thought that was due to a woman being in the field. Nope. There are just not enough gentlemen. Just ask Danica Patrick.