An interesting interview

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 4, 2006

I have not been a huge fan of NBC’s coverage of NASCAR events over the last several years and I am very excited that ABC and ESPN signed on to cover the second half of the season in 2007.

However, the interview by Dave Burns of Robbie Gordon after the race in Atlanta last week was classic.

There was no doubt that Gordon threw something from the drivers’ window of the car to cause a caution late in the race. After Jeff Burton’s seething interview about the purposeful caution and really laying the leather to whoever caused it, Burns went on the hunt.

The first live shot of Burns showed him peering into Gordon’s hauler, knowing full well that Robbie wanted to be anywhere except in front of a camera at that point. When Burns finally ran Robbie down, in what looking like an alleyway, Gordon looked like a five-year old with chocolate all over his mouth swearing that he didn’t eat the cookies.

The &uot;rewind-stop, no rewind it again, back, back, THERE!! that’s it, did you see it Robbie? Right there, in the circle. What was that coming from your car? Did you throw something from your car to cause a caution since you were in position to get the lucky dog?&uot; line of questioning was great.

Robbie claimed he didn’t know what in the world Burns was talking about.

&uot;I didn’t see anything and if I did, it looked like it came from the rear of the car&uot; Gordon sheepishly responded. Great television and very entertaining.

By the way, Tony Stewart won the race, pretty much wrapped up a cool $1 million bonus for finishing in 11th position, and NASCAR fined Gordon $15,000 plus a deduction of 50 points for purposely causing the caution by throwing a piece of roll bar padding out the window.

The big track in the Lone Star state is the eighth race of the chase this Sunday afternoon and there are still seven drivers who could walk away with the championship trophy. The spread widened a little after Atlanta and Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, and Mark Martin are pretty much out of the equation.

More than likely, the champion will come from what are currently the top five drivers. Matt Kenseth leads the chase, with Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jeff Burton rounding out the guys with the most realistic shot at winning the whole deal.

This will be the 12th cup race at Texas Motor Speedway and there have been 11 previous winners, no one has repeated. Jeff Burton won the inaugural race here in 1997 and Jeff Gordon has never won here.

Who will wear the cowboy hat in victory lane Sunday? Kasey Kahne won the April race and has been very strong at these intermediate 1.5 mile tracks.

I think the non-repeat winner streak ends Sunday. Matt Kenseth won here in 2002 and he wins again this year. With the win, Kenseth really puts the pressure on with only two races remaining.

Have fun and enjoy the race.