Jeff ends misery; AJ inks new contract
Published 7:55 am Monday, April 20, 2009
Speaking of breaking a string, Jeff Gordon broke a string of a negative sort two weeks ago at Texas.
With his win at Texas, Gordon broke the longest winless streak of his career, dating back to the October race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 2007. Now, finally, Gordon can mark Texas off the list of tracks where he has never won a race, Homestead being the other.
But I am more excited about not having to hear Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds talk about “the only two tracks that Jeff Gordon has not won at.” Now, maybe DW can give us his opinion of why “Ole Junebug” (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) is winning races and making bone-headed decisions in the pits.
A good friend of mine said that Junior needed to attend “Pit Road 101” classes after the debacle at Texas. I disagree, he may need the remedial classes in pitting a racecar.
Good thing the points get reset after the first 26 races, because Jeff Gordon looks to be checking out on the field in the points standings. After seven races, Gordon leads Jimmie Johnson by 162 points. And he is ahead of the last eligible chase driver, Jeff Burton in 12th position, by a whopping 319 points.
The good news for the other drivers is that it is early in the season, but the bad news is that it is early in the season. The point’s standings are typically tighter at this point of the season, but Gordon has really put on a great of show of consistency so far.
Richard Petty Motorsports has signed A.J. Allmendinger, who is quickly moving up my favorite drivers list, to a contract through the 2010 season. This guy has to be considered the surprise of the season, by a wide margin.
Kicked out of the second-tier Red Bull No. 84 car last season in favor of the eccentric Scott Speed, A.J. has run well each week, save a 34th finish at Texas, in a car with rotating sponsors for RPM. A.J. is currently sitting 20th in the standings with a thrown together team that was only promised the first five races of the season.
While running the entire season is still in doubt because of sponsorship sorrows, A.J. will run at least through August. Here’s hoping something is put together sponsor-wise to keep this team on the track.
Phoenix has produced very streaky winners over its 25 cup race existence. Jimmie Johnson has won the last three races on the flat one-mile track and Kevin Harvick has won back-to-back races there also.
I say Tony Stewart breaks Johnson’s streak and picks up his first win as a car owner.
Jeff Findley is the Publisher of The Post-Searchlight in Bainbridge, Georgina, a sister publication of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, and a syndicated NASCAR columnist. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.