My Brain on NASCAR: Even Jeff Gordon gets lucky sometimes

There are some words and phrases that simply don’t fit together, things like “Rush Limbaugh and open-minded discussion” or “Ellen Degeneres and lunch at Chik-Fil-A.”

For race fans, one such line often uttered during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) has been particularly jarring: “Jeff Gordon is really unlucky.”

Gordon, after all, is synonymous with winning. Since entering NSCS competition fulltime in 1993, Gordon has literally become the face of modern NASCAR, winning four championships and 86 races, placing him third on the all-time win list behind Richard Petty and David Pearson.

Most of us have lived through those trying time when our favorite athletes start to slip somewhat in their performance, maybe try to hang on a little too long before retirement. Even in racing, where athletes have longer careers than in most other sports, there comes a time to hand the wheel off to the younger guys.

Jeff Gordon is not immune to this. Inarguably one of the greatest drivers of all time, recent years have seen him taken to school time and again by his own teammate and friend, Jimmie Johnson, who has won five championships in the past six seasons. Some have speculated that perhaps Gordon’s days of dominance are done.

Not so fast, naysayers; Gordon is smart, has a great working relationship with crew chief Alan Gustafson, and has certainly not forgotten how to drive. When an accident took out Johnson and several other frontrunners in the Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 5, Gordon seized the opening and eventually the day, maneuvering his way to the front just minutes before the race was called for rain.

The win, Gordon’s first of the season, moved him up to 13th in the overall driver standings and gave him possession of the second wild card spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, which begins in only six weeks.

“It’s been a very interesting year, to say the least … we’ve had some trying times,” he said after the race. “To see this race unfold the way it did certainly makes up for a lot of those would have, could have, should haves this year. Things are coming together at the right time. The attitude of this team is that we don’t ever give up. We keep fighting.

“It’s nice to know that things can still go our way.”

Rain literally puts a damper on everything at a speedway, and Pocono Raceway was its latest victim, as downpours forced a late race start and an early finish. Tragically, the excitement of the day was marred by a lightning strike that occurred in the parking lot after the race, killing one fan and injuring several others.

The win was significant to Gordon not only because it moved him into championship contention, but for a far more personal reason; it marked his first Victory Lane celebration with his wife Ingrid, daughter Ella and son Leo in attendance.

“Today was an amazing victory experience, probably one of the best in my career because with the rain, the lightning, the wind blowing sideways, everything going on, you know, I was just so excited to be able to have my family here. It’s the first time I’ve had all of them here for a victory. That experience to me today means so much more than anything else,” he said.  “Even my wife, she’s not been able to experience all those wins, those multiple-win seasons and stuff.  I want her to be able to feel what it’s like. I know how much it means to her.

“Ella is getting to the age where it’s exciting. Leo was able to hold up his finger, No. 1; that was cool. This is a cool day. This is one that I’m not going to forget.”

 

Comments

comments

State runners hold home turf at MB Mini-Marathon

State runners hold home turf at MB Mini-MarathonA pair of Upstate runners from Greenville took top honors [more]

CAC swimmers impress at Coastal Classic Invitational

CAC swimmers impress at Coastal Classic InvitationalCoastal Aquatic Club (CAC) hosted its Ninth annual Coastal Classic [more]

Chants fight Mountaineers to finish but come up shy

Chants fight Mountaineers to finish but come up shyFor the fourth time this season, Coastal Carolina had a [more]

Conway claims region title with special win at Sumter

Conway claims region title with special win at SumterA bizarre special-teams turnaround proved to be very special for [more]

Region 7-4A: Chiefs win, take piece of region title

Region 7-4A: Chiefs win, take piece of region titleThe No. 2-ranked North Myrtle Beach High football team apparently [more]

Football Roundup: Braves, Saints win; Panthers falter

Football Roundup: Braves, Saints win; Panthers falterThe Socastee High offense had another big night to beat [more]

Chants shock No. 2 Terps amid late-season surge

Chants shock No. 2 Terps amid late-season surgeFor the second consecutive match, the Coastal Carolina men’s soccer [more]

Week 10 Previews & Picks: Points aplenty this season

Week 10 Previews & Picks: Points aplenty this seasonYou don't have to be a math major to keep [more]

Volleyball: 4 area teams sweep playoff openers

Volleyball: 4 area teams sweep playoff openersThe North Myrtle Beach High volleyball team opened the Class [more]

Former CCU fan favorite Gray dies in car accident

Former CCU fan favorite Gray dies in car accidentFormer Coastal Carolina University standout basketball player Chad Gray was [more]

Tennis: Saints, Seahawks, Braves win playoff debuts

Tennis: Saints, Seahawks, Braves win playoff debutsThe Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach girls tennis team waltzed [more]

Socastee boys make it seven straight region titles

Socastee boys make it seven straight region titlesThe Socastee High boys cross country team captures its seventh [more]

Lady Sharks capture fifth straight Lower State title

Lady Sharks capture fifth straight Lower State titleThe St. James High girls golf team officially made it [more]

NMB girls, SJ boys run to region XC championships

NMB girls, SJ boys run to region XC championshipsThe North Myrtle Beach girls and St. James boys cross [more]

Carolina Forest, Socastee qualify for state golf finals

Carolina Forest, Socastee qualify for state golf finalsThe Carolina Forest and Socastee High girls golf teams qualified [more]

Washington strikes gold, silver at SCISA state meet

Washington strikes gold, silver at SCISA state meetChristian Academy of Myrtle Beach sent eight qualifiers to the [more]

Trio of Lady Chants sweep weekly conference honors

Trio of Lady Chants sweep weekly conference honorsCoastal Carolina nearly swept the Sun Belt Conference weekly volleyball [more]

CCU shoots under par as team for top-five showing

CCU shoots under par as team for top-five showingFor the ninth time in nine opportunities this season, the [more]

Two local swimmers claim gold medals at state meet

Two local swimmers claim gold medals at state meetCarolina Forest's Taylor Steele and St. James Casey Mitchell were [more]

Keane injured as Coastal routed by Arkansas State

Keane injured as Coastal routed by Arkansas StateArkansas State quarterback Justice Hansen threw five touchdowns to lead [more]

Melchor's hat trick helps Chants upend Monarchs

Melchor's hat trick helps Chants upend MonarchsMartin Melchor scored a career-high three goals in leading Coastal [more]

Seahawks blast Bulldogs for second straight rout

Seahawks blast Bulldogs for second straight routDoug Shaw Memorial Stadium recently underwent major renovations. Perhaps they [more]

Chiefs capture first-place showdown with Wilson

Chiefs capture first-place showdown with WilsonThe North Myrtle Beach High football team placed itself firmly [more]

Football: Tigers rip Bruins; Panthers falter at Sumter

Football: Tigers rip Bruins; Panthers falter at SumterThe Conway High Tigers made a homecoming statement Friday night, [more]

Syracuse stuns Clemson, damages title repeat plan

Syracuse stuns Clemson, damages title repeat planNo. 2 Clemson suffered its first loss of the season [more]

State runners hold home turf at MB Mini-Marathon

State runners hold home turf at MB Mini-MarathonA pair of Upstate runners from Greenville took top honors [more]

CAC swimmers impress at Coastal Classic Invitational

CAC swimmers impress at Coastal Classic InvitationalCoastal Aquatic Club (CAC) hosted its Ninth annual Coastal Classic [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach