Posted on: May 25, 2009 10:33 am
Edited on: May 25, 2009 1:33 pm

What? Cavs lost game 3? Don't they have LeBron?

After Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, I refused to watch any highlight shows, especially a certain highlights show on a certain sports network.

I figured it would be all LeBron this and all Lebron that and as a Magic fan, after a loss like that I didn't need to see more of the typical overreaction nonsense.

One glance at our message board was enough for me. One particular post that caught my eye proclaimed after "the shot" the Cavs would now win the next three games. And then there were the obligatory "We are witnesss" posts.

Garbage. All garbage.

Even our own Gregg Doyel, who usually isn't spellbound by hype, launched into hyperbole, calling Game 2 LeBron's "Michael Moment". Nevermind the fact that in came it Game 2 and merely saved the Cavs from choking away two games at home.

Jordan won series and championships with his clutch shots.

All LeBron did was ensure that this series would go at least five games.

Anybody who thought the Magic would wilt after Game 2 hasn't been paying attention. The Magic were beaten on last second shots against both the 76ers and Celtics during this postseason. Lo and behold, they didn't go in the tank.

Rather than one shot, fans and media should have taken notice that the Cavs even needed a last-second miracle to avoid falling into an 0-2 hole. Instead the focus was on coronating Lebron as usual.

Don't get me wrong, LeBron is a great player, but my (admittedly biased) opinion is that the Magic have the bigger, more athletic team.

LeBron may be the best player on the court, but the next best three all play for the Magic, Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis. Unfortunately for the Cavs, LeBron can't guard all three.

That's not to say the Cavs can't win this series. As any Magic can attest, this team is maddeningly, frustratingly inconsistent because they can get too 3-happy at times. And if they're just firing up 3s (and missing) instead of attacking, they're ripe for the taking.

But so far, so good. And thankfully, after a Game 3 victory by the Magic, I can go back to watching NBA highlights again.

Posted on: May 21, 2009 11:06 am

Mayfield's attorney keeping things a mystery

Good grief.

Bill Diehl, the attorney for suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield, was on "Sirius Speedway" on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio with host Dave Moody on Wednesday. The quote I love most is when he's asked if he could reveal what substance Mayfield is accused  of taking, Diehl responds -- "I could tell you.  I'm not." -- What? Are we in elementary school?

I don't quite understand the secrecy from NASCAR's standpoint. If it is confident of the test results, then it has nothing to hide. Making it a secret is just adding to the circus. It's playing right into Mayfield hands because he keeps feeding the beast, trying to get public sentiment on his side. 

Host, Dave Moody:
"Has there been at this point and will there be a lawsuit filed in this matter?"

Bill Diehl: "First question, no lawsuit has been filed. Will there be a lawsuit? That will depend on what happens between Jeremy and NASCAR which ought to be known in the next couple of days."

Moody: "What kind of conversations are being had between Jeremy and yourself and NASCAR and their representatives right now to try and settle this?"

Diehl: "The conversations I'm having with Jeremy I'm not going to tell you about.  The conversations I'm having with the NASCAR lawyer with whom I've been dealing I'm not going to talk about.  But they're obviously focused on whether or not Jeremy was suspended properly. Is what happened to him legitimate and should he stay suspended?  Should he have to go through some type of rehabilitation, if you will, that they've asked for?  So those issues are what we're talking about.  Should that happen?  Or, the alternative is, has he been mistreated and have they improperly deprived him of a way to make a living? There are some side issues. They've said a lot of unpleasant things about him that Jeremy doesn't believe are true. There's a separate remedy for that kind of behavior."

Moody: "Specifically what has been said about him?"

Diehl: "I haven't heard it directly so what I'm telling you is what's been published.  I read a report where Mr. France gratuitously announced that the serious recreational drug use by Mr. Mayfield was very difficult, very bad and they weren't going to tolerate it.  Accusing somebody that's driving a race car a couple hundred miles an hour of serious recreational drug use, that's probably not too good thing to say about him. Especially if it's not true."

Moody: "Can you tell us what specific substance has NASCAR accused Jeremy of having in his system?"

Diehl: "I could tell you.  I'm not.  But we do have two reports that they furnished me yesterday and then they just sent me one a couple hours ago that they hadn't furnished.  So we've got two reports but I'm not going to talk about them yet. If we get in a situation where we've got to talk about them then we'll talk about them.  But I'm not going to talk about them today."

Moody: "Do the two reports come to the same conclusion? Do they name the same chemical substance?"

Diehl: "I'm not going to talk about what the reports say except to tell you I have them. And then you've already been told or I've read lots of stuff that indicate what the NASCAR reps have said and what this guy, [drug test administrator Dr. David] Black, has said. The game about what is in the report is probably just that at this point. It's a game but I'm not going to participate in that game currently beyond saying that they finally furnished us two reports which they probably should have given to Mr. Mayfield long before this week."

Moody: "Jeremy has said from the start of this that this all boils down to a prescription medication that's been prescribed by a doctor for his allergies combined with a couple of Claritin D tablets that he took on the day in question in Richmond. Can you tell me what the prescription medicine that he is taking was?"

Diehl: "No, I won't reveal that yet but again that's something that he's told NASCAR. They know what it was and they've gotten the information from the doctor.  They're dealing with everything Jeremy could have furnished them about anything that he'd taken, according to Jeremy. He did take a prescription drug and he does have a medical doctor who prescribed it and they have that data and they had the information about the Claritin D."

Moody: "What would it take at this point to avoid taking this to the court system?  What would have to happen here in the next few days to avoid a lawsuit?"

Diehl: "Some type of acknowledgement that what happened was a mistake on the part of somebody in connection with what they did and how they did it. We're exploring that with them. We can't put Humpty Dumpty back together again. They've said it.  They've suspended him.  We know there are a couple of reports because we now see them. Somebody is going to have to come forward and acknowledge that, well, we thought we did what we were supposed to do, maybe we made a mistake, let's try it again."

Moody: "What's Jeremy's frame of mind and attitude right now?"

Diehl: "I think he's very upset and he's insulted.  He's had a 17 year career, had some successes.  He's just getting started with his own team, and this sort of takes you out at the knees if you're suddenly accused of being a recreational drug user and you're suspended from doing what you get paid to do.  So, he's upset.  He's trying to keep a handle on it, I think.  Hopefully he's listening to what I tell him to do.  He wants everybody to know that he's not guilty of what he's accused of."

Show personality, Suzie Armstrong: "How soon did he contact you after he was notified by NASCAR about this?"

Diehl: "I don't remember the date.  When I knew about it I think I was watching the race from Darlington on television and it came on that he'd been suspended.  And that occurred, if my memory was right - I'm not looking at a calendar - May the 9th, a Saturday.  And then he called me the next week when I got back in town."

Moody: "Is there any unofficial timeline at this point for you to decide whether or not this takes the next step into the legal system?"

Diehl: "Yes, there is but I'm not going to tell you what it is."

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: May 15, 2009 4:59 pm

Kenseth talks Jr., drugs, Pocono and more

Matt Kenseth touched on a number of subjects during his weekly Q and A on Friday. Not sure why he should care about Earnhardt Jr.'s plight considering he's having problems of his own (despite those two wins to open the season), but it was asked and he responded as one might think he would. Anyhow here's what he had to say ...

WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH FOR THIS WEEK? “I don’t really approach it much different than any other race. You go there and just race hard and try to win. You try to win every race you’re in, but the only thing we’d probably do a little bit different is maybe try some setup stuff with the car that maybe we haven’t tried before and maybe gamble a little bit on that because if you miss it, it’s not like missing it for 600 miles. So we might be a little bit more aggressive with some of that stuff, but, other than that, we just try to run it like any other race and try to be up front at the end.”

HOW IS THE ROUSH FENWAY INTERMEDIATE TRACK PROGRAM? “Our intermediate program is probably the strongest part of Roush Fenway Racing right now, I think. It certainly has room for improvement and we could make it better, but where I think we’ve really struggled is like Richmond and Phoenix and Bristol and Martinsville and the shorter tracks, so I don’t think our intermediate stuff is as far off as what our other stuff is. I think some of our cars will be pretty competitive here, but we have been working on it. We’ve been trying to work on all aspects of the program.”

DO YOU HAVE ANY SYMPATHY FOR DALE JR. AND THIS DROUGHT HE’S GOING THROUGH? “I don’t know how to answer that. I don’t have sympathy for Dale Jr. for who he is and how popular he is and how successful he’s been. He’s won a couple Nationwide championships and he’s won I don’t know how many race, 20 races or something. He’s won a lot of Cup races and he’s had a lot of success. I don’t think there’s anything to feel bad about. Certainly as a friend and as a competitor and stuff I feel good when he does do good and when he wins and runs good, I’m always happy for him, but, to be honest, for us it’s about us trying to win and we focus all of our energy and effort and time in trying to make the 17 competitive and try to win and don’t really worry about the competition that much. Certainly when a friend wins and you don’t win you feel good for them, but I don’t really spend a lot of time really thinking about his program to be honest with you.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON POCONO? THAT TRACK SEEMS TO BE MALIGNED A LOT. “I don’t know who ridicules it. I don’t know that I have in public, so I don’t know. If you pick out all the facilities that we go to, it’s not one of the nicer places we go and it’s a long race and it’s got a straightaway that’s really long. It’s unique. I enjoy racing at the track and going there and competing, but it’s just kind of an older facility and kind of a big, long race. I think if it was a little shorter it would be a little more exciting, but it’s all right.”

DO YOU LIKE THE ACTUAL RACE AT POCONO? “It’s a little bit like anywhere, if you run good there, you probably really enjoy it and I’ve never really run that great there, so I haven’t probably enjoyed it as much as some other guys have that have run good there and won races and been really competitive, so it’s not up on the top of my list as one of my favorite places, but there are certainly places that I probably look forward to less than Pocono.”

DO YOU THINK THE NASCAR DRUG POLICY NEEDS A BANNED SUBSTANCES LIST? “I don’t know. I’m not uncomfortable not having a list. I’m not uncomfortable with that in the least. When we had the meeting in the beginning of the year Dr. Black gave every single driver and owner and everybody there his personal cell phone number and said if you have any questions about any medication, about any vitamin or supplement you can call me and we’ll talk about it and make sure that’s OK – or have your doctor call. If I got to the point where I had the flu earlier in the year and there was some medicine I had to take and I had any question about it, I would probably call and ask him. So I’m not worried about a list. After we were in the meeting I was under the impression that he was gonna work with us as much as we could if there was any chance at all of it being legit, so I felt pretty comfortable with that when we got done with him.”

HAVE YOU CALLED HIM A LOT? “I’ve never called him. Unless my multivitamins are on the list, I’m good.”

DOES THIS RACE HELP FOR THE 600 SINCE THERE’S NO TESTING? “I kind of always look at the All-Star Race as a test. It’s kind of a fun weekend, but it’s sort of test too. Now these days it’s not quite what it used to be because there are so many rules and regulations on these cars, but it used to be that you’d build kind of maybe a more wild car like Jeff Gordon did that one time – that car that got outlawed – or you try something different on the body or whatever, but these cars are pretty well set. There’s not a lot you can do to them, but certainly the few little things we can change or try different that we think might be better or different than we would normally try, we’d try that this weekend and hopefully it would work and you could go on and run it again in the 600. So, in a way, it’s kind of a fun, relaxing race. The pit crew had their competition last night to have fun qualifying tonight and do a live pit stop and stuff, which is really unique and fun to do in the middle of qualifying, so it’s a fun night tomorrow night.”

WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO MAKE THIS ALL-STAR RACE MORE EXCITING OR DEVELOP SOME CONTINUITY? “I don’t really know what you could do to make it more exciting. The way they try to set it up, the double-file restarts and the short run at the end and the break and the one live pit stop – all that stuff – qualifying with a pit stop – I think they do everything they can to try to make it a show and make it as exciting as they possibly can. I really have never honestly sat and thought about, ‘Boy, how can we make it more thrilling,’ because that’s not really my job. I try to look at the rules they come up with and say, ‘OK, how can we figure out how to try to take advantage of that and try to win the race?’ I haven’t really thought about that. I think they do a good job every year of trying to make it as entertaining as they possibly can.”

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: May 4, 2009 1:07 pm
Edited on: May 4, 2009 1:08 pm

Could color change boost Danica to more success?

Fans who have become accustomed to seeking out Danica Patrick's blue No. 7 car when watching a race will need to change their habits.

Starting this month at Indianapolis a new sponsor joins the mix and with it comes a newer and brighter, orange paint scheme.

Here's the new look:

Danica Patrick new car

Here's the old look:

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: April 26, 2009 6:45 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2009 9:12 pm

NASCAR rules force drivers to play dangerous game

Thrilling. Amazing. Unbelievable.

There are many different ways to describe Sunday's race at Talladega (be sure to read all about it here).

  • Read driver reaction: Keselowski | Edwards | Roush | Earnhardt/Newman
  • How about these?

    Insane. Ridiculous. Stupid. Dangerous.

    I'm curious as to what NASCAR's reaction will be to what happened this weekend at Talladega, most notably the last-lap wreck on Sunday.

    What ensued on the final lap all dates back to last October's penalty on Regan Smith, when he overtook Tony Stewart below the yellow line to beat him to the checkered flag at Talladega. NASCAR penalized him, giving Stewart the victory.

    Almost every driver not named Stewart thought the ruling was bogus and basically predicted Sunday's events. With NASCAR ruling with such a heavy hand, many drivers said if they were put in that position they would stick to their ground and if it led to a wreck, so be it. NASCAR was forcing their hands.

    And so it was Sunday.

    Keselowski said there was no way he was going below the yellow line and so when Edwards tried to block his momentum, he didn't back off or swerve, he just continued with his head of steam and the rest was history. What's more, Edwards didn't blame him.

    Imagine if Edwards' car had broken through the fencing and into the stands. Yes, the fence is built to withstand such a catastrophe, but there are no guarantees, and it's certainly nothing a track truly wants to see tested during a live event. As it was, there was debris that struck fans in the stands.

    That's what restrictor plates and NASCAR iron fist has wrought. Not only is NASCAR putting the drivers' safety at risk, but now the fans.

    Category: Auto Racing
    Tags: NASCAR, Talladega
    Posted on: April 24, 2009 2:38 pm
    Edited on: April 24, 2009 2:46 pm

    Childress not above making more changes

    Richard Childress met with the media Friday to discuss the changes made to Kevin Harvick's No. 29 team and Casey Mears' 07 team earlier this week ...

    THIS SWAP ON YOUR CREWS, IS THIS MORE A SENSE OF URGENCY ON YOUR PART OR WAS IT PRESSURE MAYBE A LITTLE BIT BY THE SPONSORS? “I think it’s the whole sport itself. In today’s environment you can’t wait sometime half-way through the season. With the point structure like it is you’ve got to make changes to make the Chase. We only have so many races before the Chase. I originally started looking at Bristol where we were at with our race teams. Four of our best race tracks were Bristol, Texas, Martinsville and Phoenix. When I went to Montana I made up my mind out there that right after Texas I was coming back and making the changes and we started the motion right after Texas and it took some time. Mike Dillon and Will Lind both worked through this with me and we made a decision of what we were going to do. We owe it to our sponsors and our fans to run better than we are and I felt these were the two teams right now that were the weakest. They’re great race teams. Both of them are great race teams. The No. 07 with Gil Martin and those guys have finished in the top-five two years in a row in the points. Kevin (Harvick) finished fourth last year with his team in the points. Sometimes a little chemistry or sometimes a little change makes a big difference. I’m not only doing it for these two race teams, we’re doing it to help RCR (Richard Childress Racing) as a whole.”

    KEVIN AND TODD (BERRIER) HAVE BEEN SO SUCCESSFUL TOGETHER WHEN DID IT STOP WORKING WITH THAT COMBINATION? “I don’t know. I don’t know that it has really. We just need to fix all of our race teams and this is the first step. I’m not above making more changes if that’s what it takes. I’m going to be looking hard at everything. We don’t have a choice. We have to be competitive.”

    WHY DO YOU THINK THIS WILL WORK? “You know sometimes it’s kind of like a divorce, when a man and woman are getting a divorce and they think they’re both giving 100 percent then the first thing she wants to do is get in the tanning bed and lose 30 pounds. He goes and gets rid of his gut and a sports car. Maybe the change it’s always worked for us in the past and hopefully this will make it work.”

    WHAT IF IT DOESN’T? “We don’t have an option. It has to work. There’s no option.”

    WHAT’S THE BENEFIT OF CHANGING EVERYTHING RATHER THAN JUST THE CREW CHIEF? “Because of the relationship and the strength of both of these race teams is very strong, the engineering relationship and the pit crew relationship with the crew chiefs and everything. Each one of them has their own team and they’re both very successful race teams so you don’t need to break the racing teams up. We just needed to make the change and we’re
    not doing it just to make a change, we have a lot of other things. This isn’t the only change at RCR we’re making right now. We’re making a lot of other changes as well.”

    DID THE DRIVERS HAVE ANY INPUT IN THE DECISION? “I told them what we were basically going to do.”

    DID IT JUST COME DOWN TO THE CREW AND THE DRIVER AS TO WHAT YOU WERE LOOKING AT TO JUST CHANGE THE CREW? “That and communication. I think that could be a lot of it. A lot of the communication between the driver and the crew chief and sometime if they get a little bit off you want to make a change.”

    ITS ONLY EIGHT RACES INTO THE SEASON AND YOU’RE MAKING THIS CHANGE, CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHY YOU CAN’T WAIT? “Like I said earlier a lot of it is driven by our points system. To make the Chase, we’re not that far away if you really get to looking at how many more races, we’re a third of the way there. It will probably take two or three races to get this thing really working and you can’t afford to lose 50, 75, 100 points each race. So that’s the biggest reason we’re doing it when we’re doing it.”

    WHAT WAS THE REACTION OF THE DRIVER’S AND THE CREW CHIEFS? “Like I say when I was in Montana sitting on the mountain out there I just decided this was the best for our organization and all of them wants what’s best for RCR. That was the comments I got back from the crew chiefs, the drivers and everything. Whatever is going to be best for RCR we’re willing to do it. And we’ve got Jeff Burton’s and Clint Bowyer’s support of this too.”

    SEVERAL YEARS AGO YOU SWAPPED THE TEAMS AND CREW CHIEF’S WITH THE NO. 31 AND NO. 3, HOW DID THAT HELP THAT SITUATION AND DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING TO SEE THAT AGAIN? “Well if history repeats itself it should help both of these race teams. Like I said it may take two or three races before it will work but we can’t wait eight or ten races and see if it works. When you see it doesn’t then you’re out of time to make the Chase.”

    HOW DID THAT HELP? “We’ve made a crew chief change in the past and each time it’s always seemed to be successful. You just can’t sit here and accept running like we’ve ran in the last four races. I’m just making the statement that we’re not going to do it.”

    WHY THE NO. 29 AND NOT THE NO. 31? “The No. 31 has been performing well. He’s been one of our better cars these last few weeks and that deal is working well. The No. 33 is working well. These two teams right here, looking back and looking at what’s happened at the race tracks that a lot of people may not see that I’m on the radios, I’m watching and watching what’s happening and listening, I felt these were the two that needed the changes.”

    YOU TALK ABOUT THE RADIO, OBVIOUSLY KEVIN CAN BE ANIMATED ON THE RADIO, DID THAT PLAY A PART WHEN YOU HEAR HIS FRUSTRATION THAT MAYBE IT WAS TIME FOR NEW CHEMISTRY THERE? “If you were listening I said I started this right after Bristol and he was fine on the radio up there. Sometimes you hear me and I get a little excited on the radio as well. That doesn’t have anything to do with it.”

    WHAT ABOUT THE FACT THAT GIL MARTIN HAD WORKED WITH KEVIN BEFORE, DID THAT HAVE ANY IMPACT IN THIS DECISION? “Yeah, that was one other reason. Those guys already had a relationship and I felt that was going to be our best opportunity to do better. Gil and Todd both will be working close together on making sure both of these teams get better.”

    HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS WITH THIS BECAUSE A LOT OF TIMES WITH CREW CHIEF CHANGES THERE’S A SPIKE IN PERFORMANCE THE NEXT FOUR OR FIVE RACES THEN A LOT OF TIMES AFTER THAT IT JUST GOES BACK TO WHERE IT WAS, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO LOOK AT THAT ESPECIALLY IN THIS TIME TABLE TRYING TO GET INTO THE CHASE? “Well what I did is I had a meeting with our whole organization. Everybody that works on the four race teams and explained to them that we would make more changes if we had to and we were going to do what it took to make these cars competitive. I’ll be watching it and I’ll be monitoring it. I was supposed to have been turkey hunting for the last three days and I’ve been working. I came back with an attitude that we knew we had to make changes.”

    WHY HAS THE NO. 33 WORKED SO WELL SO QUICKLY? “I think the key there again is what I’m looking at here. Something else I’ve looked at real hard is that’s a race team, most of those guys came up with Clint that ran the Nationwide Series and Shane’s (Wilson) is a great crew chief and he had worked with Clint a couple of other times so I thought that would work. I think that’s been one of the successful reasons for that race team.”

    GIL (MARTIN) WORKED WITH KEVIN BEFORE, WHY IS IT GOING TO WORK THIS TIME BECAUSE DIDN’T (TODD) BERRIER REPLACE HIM BECAUSE THINGS DIDN’T WORK OUT BETWEEN THEM? “It wasn’t clicking at that time. It did, it did for a while. If you look back through the history, Kevin had a pretty hard wreck at Darlington when Kyle Petty blew that engine and I think he was a little bit off at the time and with the frustration and everything it was time for a change. This sport isn’t no different than football or baseball. When things aren’t working tough decisions sometimes have to come from the coach or the owner’s or whatever and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to make those work. If you sit there and let things stay still too long it will hurt your whole organization.”

    ANYBODY TRY TO TALK YOU OUT OF IT? “I think after Bristol we had some conversations and we were going to look at it and after Martinsville I wasn’t happy with the performance there.
    I walked right out of the race track at Texas after our performance there and knew I was going to make the change I just needed to know what change I was going to make and sitting over there in the mountains I had time to clear my head and say this is what I think is going to be good for all of our sponsors involved, for our drivers and crews.”

    WHAT ABOUT CASEY MEARS AND HIS POTENTIAL WITH YOUR ORGANIZATION? “Casey has really ran good. We seem like we get a lap down, once we get up there he’s a top-five, top-10 car so I’ve still got a lot of confidence in what Casey can do.”

    SO YOU’RE MAKING OTHER CHANGES? “Made a lot of engineering changes and a lot of stuff inside our company that just goes really deep. I’ve decided that some things we needed to make changes in so we made several of those changes as well. It may take a couple of weeks to show but I think you’re going to see a difference. Hopefully we’re going to be real competitive here and with the changes that we’re working on by Richmond.”   

    Posted on: April 22, 2009 2:48 pm
    Edited on: April 24, 2009 11:41 am

    RCR shaking things up

    Is it panic time at Richard Childress Racing?

    With Kevin Harvick and Casey Mears struggling with just two tops 10s (both by Harvick) through the season's first eight races, team owner Richard Childress is making wholesale changes.

    Following this weekend's race at Talladega, Mear's crew chief Gil Martin and his crew will move to the No. 29 team with Harvick while Todd Berrier and his crew shift over the No. 07 team with Mears. In addition to the crew chiefs, the transition will include car chiefs, engineers, shock specialists, engine tuners, tire specialists, mechanics, transporter drivers and over-the-wall pit crews.

    “The decision to interchange the 29 and 07 teams was made to make both programs stronger and more successful,” said Childress. “Our main objective has always been to have all four of RCR’s teams qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Neither team has had the success this season that we know they’re capable of, so we decided it was time to make a change to improve the two teams and the overall strength of RCR. We feel this change positions us to achieve that goal.

    “Todd and Gil are proven winners who have strong and successful teams behind them. Chemistry is an important part of any successful organization and I felt it was time to change the makeup of these two teams. We’ve done this before with positive results.”

    I'm not sold this move will make either team all that much better.

    Martin and Harvick have actually worked together before and the results weren't all that great. Martin served as Harvick's crew chief in 2002, Harvick's second full-time season, and though they did capture one win together, he finished 21st in points (the worst points finish of his career) with five top fives and eight top 10s (the fewest top 10s of his career).

    As for the new Berrier-Mears tandem, while I like Berrier as a crew chief, the bigger problem with the 07 team is the driver. I thought Mears' addition to RCR was a mistake from the get-go. He has had plenty of opportunities to succeed in quality equipment, most recently with Hendrick Motorsports, and has never lived up to the potential so many in the industry seem to believe he has.



    Posted on: April 9, 2009 6:15 pm
    Edited on: April 9, 2009 6:17 pm

    Where do you stand on Jeff Gordon?

    It's been a rough couple of months with some long days and nights, but now that March Madness is in the rearview mirror, I can hopefully get back to blogging on a regular basis for the three of you who actually enjoy my commentary from this small speck of the World Wide Web.

    This week, I'd like to touch on the subject of one Jeff Gordon.

    Last week at Texas, Gordon ended a winless skid of 47 races and, you know what, it wasn't met with jeers as have come with many of his 82 wins, but with cheers. It seems that even non-Gordon fans were able to appreciate seeing the four-time Cup champion back in Victory Lane -- for one weekend at least

    And that's good to see. Gordon has been great for the sport and unlike a current young driver enjoying sucess at an early age, he has -- for the most part -- handled himself with grace and composure.

    I've noted before that when I became a fan of NASCAR in the mid-80s, Dale Earnhardt was my driver. And if Earnhardt couldn't win, then my preference was to see a Chevy/Pontiac in Victory Lane. So when Gordon came along, I was actually excited. To me, I didn't see an Earnhardt rival, I saw another strong Chevrolet driver I could root for.

    Eventually I came to work with another fan of Earnhardt and he despised Gordon. Because of him, I toned down my support of Gordon somewhat. I think part of the reason was that another co-worker was a big Gordon fan, so he began to gain the upperhand as Gordon began to enjoy more and more success. So that became as good enough reason to root against Gordon than any.

    But I don't know that I really ever truly minded seeing Gordon in Victory Lane. It was almost as if I was going through the motions more than anything because that seemed the thing to do as an Earnhardt supporter.

    Nowadays I just like to see a good race, I don't really care who wins.

    So what are your feelings on Gordon? Love him? Hate him? Anybody else out there who was a fan of both Earnhardt Sr. and Gordon?


    Category: Auto Racing
    The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or