This, folks, appears to be the year of Jeff Gordon. Love him or hate him, you've got to admit that he appears not to be cruising, but literally roaring his way to his 5th Cup championship. With only 5 more races to go in the Chase for the Cup, Jeff looks to be unstoppable.
With his 81 wins, Jeff is now 6th on the all time win list, just 2 behind Cale Yarborough, and 3 behind Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip. The way Jeff's been running as of late, he could possibly pass all 3 drivers in total wins in 2007! Even if he doesn't, Jeff's place in history is nearly assured at 3rd in all time wins at least. The 5th championship looks to be inevitable, and though he may never win 7, he will be 3rd all time in that category as well at 5, or even 4 if he somehow fails to win the Cup this year.
I say give credit where credit is due. Jeff Gordon is an extraordinary race car driver. He is by far the most successful driver currently driving today. He will go down in history as one of the all time best. As I say, love him or hate him, you have to admit that he's one of the best.
On a different note, I have to give some kudos to Michael Waltrip, a frequent target of this blog earlier this year. (Yeah, I know. This blog didn't target him, I did!) Michael has lately been qualifying much better, and even won a pole at Talladega! I was very impressed with the turnaround his program has been undergoing. He's got a new business partner, and says he is committed to running 3 cars full time next season, with Dale Jarrett giving up the 55 UPS ride after 7 races to sophomore David Reutimann. It's still unknown who will drive the 00 car for the remainder of 2008, or who the sponsors will be, since it looks like Burger King and Dominoes Pizza will not be returning.
I also have to commend my man Dale Earnhardt Jr., who just celebrated his 33rd birthday on October 10. Dale Jr. has been under the most intense media microscope ever in the history of Nascar this year, and he's been driving some cars that quite frankly are embarrassingly bad. It's not just the engines blowing, but the lack of just pure luck. Junior hasn't given up though, and has fought for every position on the track and every point in the standings. For most of his fans, and me, this year just can't end soon enough. 2008 is going to be exciting for Dale Jr. and his fans next year.
Finally, I'd like to give a shout out to my other man, Bobby Labonte. Despite some bad luck, he's been running very well in the legendary 43 car this year, and I think he's on the verge of getting the first win that Petty has had in ages. I hope he'll be in that car for a long time. He and his crew have done a fantastic job this year.
It's on to Martinsville this week, home of the famous hotdogs, and also some great, close short track racing. Everyone have a great week, and we'll see you on the Pit Board soon!