Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Diggin' Taters 'Picture'

Remember folks... The title of each of my blog entries are the CD's or tapes that I'm listening to on the day it was posted.

It's a commonly asked question for those just getting on board...

I wanted to get all the information straight from my father. I didn’t want to get anything wrong and I approached him with my tiny rock concert worn notebook in hand.

I’ve heard him rumble about some of the things that go on during a NASCAR season. He points towards a conspiracy with the frequent winners and how they tie in with certain venues and sponsors.

I’ll admit that since I have come on board as a NASCAR fan, the sport has become more and more corporate. The team owners lean towards youth and good looks when it comes to their drivers. Old dogs like Morgan Shepard, Dick Trickle, Ken Schrader, and Ricky Rudd have been either pushed out or run out the rest of their careers in less competitive cars.

Those drivers are capable of winning if given the same rides that these young ‘uns are cruising around in but, the folks that pass out the big checks aren’t into experienced veterans.

Unfortunately, it’s turning into a young man’s sport. You don’t have the Harry Gants of yester year winning races in their mid 50’s. The sponsors want someone young and pretty to push their product.

I find that many of the young drivers lack personality, which is very important to me as a fan. I can’t follow a driver just because he wins on a constant basis. Hell, the drivers that I like rarely win and that’s very satisfying to me.

Take Robby Gordon for example…

I didn’t take to him right off. He’s brash and he comes across sometimes as a jerk. Robby Gordon will mix it up with anyone on or off the track. He did a dumb thing last year that cost a couple of drivers their chance at the Nextel Championship.

But, for many reasons, I like him.

During the most recent Coca-Cola 600, Robby’s car was leaking fluids. NASCAR black flagged him and made him fix the problem. The Fruit Of The Loom number 7 car came back onto the track 2 laps down.

NASCAR has a “free pass” for the first car that’s a lap down. It’s just handed to them because they can no longer race back to the start-finish line. They get to make up a lap because of safety reasons and I think that it’s totally fair.

I may not be correct but I think Robby Gordon was one of the drivers that instituted this rule. Anyway, Robby raced the leaders twice to get back on the lead lap last Sunday night without using a “free pass”. He wasn’t going to lie down and take what was handed out to those who don’t work for it. He WANTED it.

A few laps pass by and a caution comes out. The announcers look past the first few frontrunners and whom do they find? Robby Gordon is sitting in sixth place.

He had fought his way back to the front all the way from the back. His car looked as if he drove through a sledgehammer factory to check on quality assurance. Sheet metal was missing and in other places there were wheel donuts from some of the cars he met along the way.

Eventually, the damage to the car and old tires caught up with him. He ended up finishing twenty-seventh or twenty-eighth.

Robby Gordon does not give up. If the car is running, he’s out there clawing for everything that he can get. He’s hungry like the wolf, baby!

That’s why I like Robby Gordon. He’s an underdog that is not only the driver but he’s the owner as well.

You know, I started with the intention of explaining my father’s conspiracy theories. I got sidetracked and I’ll have to take care of that tomorrow.

Please accept my apologies.

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