by Steve Wronkowicz
I am co-host of the syndicated radio show: ON PIT ROW. Over ten years on the air and three on the net; see what can happen when I don't let the facts get in the way of my opinions.March 1, 2011 7:46 am UTC No Comments
Gordon had gone 66 races without seeing victory lane. Not a long time for some of the sports veteran drivers but an eternity for the four-time Cup champion. Interestingly Gordon hasn’t won a championship as a driver since he became a Cup car owner. Gordon is part owner of the #48 team that has won five championships since he won his last.
There was a time in the sport that the cries of “anyone but Gordon” were heard loud and clear well before the statement came to be used for Gordon’s protege Jimmie Johnson. But with the long winless streak now behind him the question is has Gordon moved into the next level of fan recognition?
There seems to be a point in a lot of athlete’s careers where they move from a polarizing figure to the beloved veteran and it seems that Gordon may have made that move with his win this past week in Phoenix. Other drivers have been there; from Darrell Waltrip to Rusty Wallace to Dale Earnhardt, Sr., drivers who early in their careers had a “love ‘em or hate ‘em” persona. Then a defining moment moves them into a new realm of fan acceptance.
Many times it revolves around a single win, championship or moment after suffering months or years of toil. Hardship and lack of success for a period of time after a career full of triumphs somehow makes the fans find a new respect for their former nemesis. The phenomenon isn’t relegated to the sport of racing; but can be found throughout the sporting world. Athletes like Reggie Jackson, Brett Favre and Jimmy Conners all have seen the acceptance of fans at a new level once their heyday has been completed.
Gordon may be beyond another championship; but never again will you hear fans bemoan him his victories. Gordon has proven once again that he can win a race and for NASCAR fans a smattering of them as he winds down his career will be just fine, thank you.
As an aside–Is it just me; or does Jeff look a lot like Ray Evernham in the above picture?
photo credit: BethAnne Heisler/ON PIT ROW
by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowFebruary 19, 2011 12:31 pm UTC 4 Comments
But since Earnhardt won his first Daytona 500 pole on Sunday, the reaction has been enthusiastic. That is not the same thing as unanimous though.
This 500 will be Junior’s 400th career Sprint Cup start. As milestones go, even Earnhardt has put it in the perspective of the sport. Not that big of a deal, ya know?
But after qualifying on the pole, it didn’t take a full minute for the conspiracy theorists to rise to the bait. Though most did it tongue in cheek. I tweeted this as Junior got the checkered flag Sunday…
How long for the first “fixed” tweet or post if Junior’s pole holds up? #NASCAR over/under is right now
RacingWithRich replied within seconds…
@onpitrow If my dad was on twitter you would have already gotten it. LOL
Within the space of about 15 minutes, I had emails and texts heard unsolicited comments, all claiming that the fix was in. But the funny thing was/is, that nobody seemed to be complaining that there might be some tilting of the table in Earnhardt’s direction. It was more like they were cheering the fact. Junior just doesn’t have many haters. And that’s good. He doesn’t deserve haters.
So, fixed or fair, I hope that NASCAR gets its storybook finish this Sunday. Would be fun to talk and write about.
Photo credit: Getty Images for NASCAR
by Matt Mercer, Special To NASCAR commentary and driver pictures, 2012 NASCAR schedule, video, Bench Racing With Steve and Charlie
I'm the former blogger of The Catfish Show NASCAR Blog and a contributor to On Pit Row. Follow me on Twitter: @mattmercerFebruary 17, 2011 10:29 am UTC 1 Comment
Formerly (and maybe should still be, but that’s another blog) the Twin 125s, the unique way in which the field is set for the Daytona 500 will be run today at 2 PM on SPEED. Since the Daytona 500′s inception the qualifying races have been part of the Daytona experience. Not only do you get a preview of what Sunday will be like, but you get so many great stories to last until Sunday. The transfer spot, the underdogs, the surprises. Dale Earnhardt had the incredible streak of 10 consecutive wins in the Twin 125s from 1990 through 1999.
For racing junkies its a bonus to see cars on the track with something on the line. These races whet the appetite for Sunday’s big race. I can’t wait until they drop the green flag today.
Photo credit: Icon Sports Media
by BethAnne, Special To NASCAR commentary and driver pictures, 2012 NASCAR schedule, video, Bench Racing With Steve and Charlie
I am the field producer/photographer of the syndicated radio show/website ON PIT ROW. When Steve and Charlie ask me to 'jump', I say "Yeah right."January 14, 2011 11:00 pm UTC No Comments
Exclusive Pictures of NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon
Two drivers still get the loudest cheers during driver intros at Sprint Cup races nationwide. It hasn’t changed in 15 years really. One has been named Earnhardt. The other is Jeff Gordon. Here are a bunch of my photos of Jeff Gordon from 2010. If you need pictures of Jeff Gordon for your blog or site, help yourself, just link back here and give attribution please.
Photo credit: BethAnne Heisler – OnPitRow.com
by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowJuly 2, 2010 11:17 pm UTC 4 Comments
The win was the first for Junior, in a points paying race, in any series, in a long time.
He won in a retro, Wrangler paint schemed, car emblazoned with the famous number three of his daddy, Dale Senior.
Junior has said that this would be the last time he would drive the number three. Ever.
This was the first race ever for the brand new, pony-car bodied Nationwide Series cars.
The race was a big deal. And NASCAR’s biggest deal won the dang thing.
The crowd went wild. I couldn’t hear the announcers, but I am SURE that they heaped praise on Junior as if he were Senior.
And Junior didn’t even do a burn out. No passion. None.
Why is he so freakin’ popular?
Photo credit: Jordan Tabak – OnPitRow.com
by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowFebruary 7, 2010 5:25 pm UTC No Comments
The best thing about being part of On Pit Row is the people we get to meet and talk to. Racing fans are passionate about their sport.
We broadcast On Pit Row live from the Original Ginos Pizza and Grill in Toledo. It’s a great place for us and the show. There is a real racing atmosphere. And the pizza is the best. Seriously. But we get a great opportunity to talk to race fans during and after the show.
Last week, a fan brought in some pics he had taken during the 2001 Daytona 500. Wally is a Dale Earnhardt Sr. fan. There are some very cool shots of Senior alone at the track that fateful week. There are pictures of Teresa Earnhardt, Dale Sr with Dale Jr and Kerry Earnhardt. I really like the pic of Dale and Teresa Earnhardt holding hands. And the photo of Earnhradt Senior with his two sons. Enjoy.
If you use any of these pics, please give attribution to Wally for OnPitRow.com