Y’all indulge me in a little NASCAR talk.
All of “my” drivers are getting old and ready for retirement. Marlin, Martin, Jarrett – the end is near, and it’s no fun following drivers who are either part time or always finish 25th. I knew going into this year, I’d have to pick a new driver to follow.
I knew I just can’t choose Jimmy Johnson – every time I see him, the word that pops into my head is “snotty”. For that matter, that goes for Matt Kenseth too.
Jeff Gordon is too business-like for my tastes. Watching him race, even when he wins, is like watching an assembly line. An accountant assembly line.
Some fit into the jackass category: Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya. I’m not talking about jackassery in the heat of battle – all drivers are guilty of that. I’m talking about a general, proud of it jackassery.
Kyle Busch is fun to watch, but he drives like he’s insane. He’s going to get somebody killed out there. I like him, though.
I would cheer for open-wheel-turncoat, local favorite Dario Franchitti, but 1) He’s going to have some growing pains, and 2) he’s driving a Dodge. Not a recipe for early success if you ask me.
I’ve decided that Kasey Kahne is the Danica Patrick of the NASCAR world. Except he’s actually won a race or two. But, let’s face it, he’s more known for being pretty than winning races.
And I didn’t want to buy into the Earnhardt hype. I don’t like being a joiner, or being considered ignorant of NASCAR intricacies and just choosing the most famous driver.
But, today, I’m coming out. I am a Dale Earnhardt Jr. Fan . It actually started last season. I follow the races on TrackPass Raceview (I highly recommend it to any fan; you “see” the race from a whole new point of view, literally). Last year, after Marlin lost his ride, I had this really cool app, and no driver from whose POV I could watch.
Y’all, one week I switched to Junior’s view, and it was hard not to become a fan. At the time, he was practically out of the Chase (NASCAR’s playoffs), but he was driving the wheels off his car. He was doing things I had never seen from a driver before, and he would curse out his crew chief one minute, and apologize the next. He wanted to win so bad, you could feel it through the computer screen.
Knowing he didn’t have to do this – he’s rich beyond measure, he had already announced he was switching teams, and the 07 season was all but mathematically out of reach – but he drove harder than any modern driver I’ve seen. I’m told, this is what it was like to watch his father (with a bit of meanness thrown in). Junior is a rock star, but at the same time, he’s human.
So, laugh at me if you will, but I’ll be following 88 this year.