Now, I know some of you might be thinking, "here we go, another Gordon fan, ugh...", but, the reason I am a fan of his is quite different than most people's.
You see, I started watching Nascar at about the same time I started working on cars for a living, sometime in the 1995-96 timeframe. During that time, Jeff Gordon was on a tear, winning 10+ races a year, and pretty well being a contender in every other race that he didn't win lol. So of course, I assumed that he was one of the best drivers on the circuit.
But here's the "different" part. I found out, when I started researching his career to find out where he gained his experience, that he and I are the same age, he just a month and 2 days younger than I. And at the time, he was the youngest driver out there, so, of course I HAD to root for him, and I have ever since. It's my way of racing vicariously through him, since I never had the chance. I barely even knew what Nascar was growing up, let alone have my parents have me racing go carts at the age of 5, like Jeff Gordon.
I'm also not what you'd call a "rabid" fan. I respect the fact that every driver, well, most of them, who can get to that level are fairly skilled drivers. As a matter of fact, unlike most fans, I don't feel like "my" driver is the best driver out there. Nope. He's number 2. To Tony Stewart. That guy can drive anything with wheels and win with it, and has the championships and trophies to prove it.
I can also say I like several other drivers, however not for their accomplishments on the track, but for their personalities, and their attitudes. Matt Kenseth comes to mind as one of them, as does Mark Martin. They may not have a things to fill a stat sheet with, but they are the kind of guys you'd want to let your daughter marry, because they know when to be aggressive, when to back off, and more often than not, they are respectful to the media and other drivers, even when they are visibly upset over the outcome of the race.
Overall, I can say I am more a fan of the sport itself, rather than any one driver, save Jeff Gordon. I am happy to see him win, of course, but I am equally happy to see anyone else win, should I feel they deserve it. There are a few "cheaters" out there, and they have shown on more than one occasion that they will indeed wreck someone else to get the win, so if they DO win, even legitimately, I am not overjoyed. I will not name any specific names, but suffice it to say that one driver in particular, who in my opinion is one of the "cheaters", shares my Polish heritage, much to my chagrin.
All in all however it's a great sport, and while yes, it DOES appear to be just "guys going in circles", there IS a strategy to it, there is a lot more going on than the untrained eye can see, and I find it to be very captivating.
Here are a few pics of a few of my favorite driver's cars, and a few of my favorite tracks where I like to see them race. Also, if you've never watched it, and would like to learn more about Nascar, here's a link to Nascar.com, the perfect website for you to find everything from A to Z about the sport.
Enjoy the pics, (all of them courtesy of Nascar.com, except where noted otherwise) and I'll talk to you again tomorrow!
|Jeff Gordon, not a bad looking guy for 41, eh?|
|Jeff Gordon's car|
|Tony Stewart, who by the way is also 41 lol.|
|And here's the car Tony drives.|
|Mark Martin, at 53, the oldest full time driver on the circuit, and the one who many feel deserves to win a championship before he hangs up his helmet.|
|Matt Kenseth, who just won last weekend's race actually...........|
|........at Talladega, my favorite track.......as you can see in this pic, it's a very wide track, and the cars sometimes even go 5 wide.......and it's also a very long track, a 2.66 mile "D" shaped oval.|
|Aerial view of Talledega|
(Got this one from my own pc, don't remember where I got it, and I've seen it in several places on the internet, so I'm not sure who to credit, but just know it's not MY image.)
|Dover International Speedway, in my home state of Delaware.|
It's exactly a mile long, and very fast, I once saw a race where the winner lapped everyone up to 4th place.
That's almost never done these days.
(Pic courtesy of Chad's Fantasy Racing Blog)
|Bristol Motor Speedway, in Tennessee.|
It's only a half a mile long, but it's not short on action, the fall race run at night is sold out every year.
(Pic courtesy of visitbristolnva.org)