NASCAR visits to the road race tracks of Sonoma and Watkins Glen have changed over the years. Now that most drivers are better on the road courses, the contact and dirty racing has escalated. Jeff Gordon was possibly the dirtiest driver in Sonoma last Sunday and he will be in many drivers sights when the green flag falls in New Hampshire this weekend.
Jeff Gordon Should Have Hit the Pace Car He Hit Everyone Else
Jeff Gordon drove the Infineon Raceway course like a man possessed last Sunday. He got into drivers, Elliot Sadler, Martin Truex Jr, David Ragan, Clint Bowyer, Juan Pablo Montoya and Kurt Busch just to name a few. Martin Truex Jr, one of the most well respected NASCAR Cup drivers in the garage was not very pleased with Gordon’s driving style.
Gordon had charged down into the carousel turns 10 and 11 and blatantly clobbered Truex Jr from behind. Gordon explained he was under pressure from an aggressive Juan Pablo Montoya. Truex Jr told TNT pit reporter Phil Parsons after exiting the care center, “He just turned me around. If they don’t have respect for me, I won’t for them. I’ll get him (Gordon) at Loudon.”
When told by Parsons that Gordon had apologized, Truex Jr laughed shook his head and said, “Does it matter? We’re sitting here on the trailer and he’s out there going to run for the win. It’s all right. We’ll get him.”
Gordon Will Be Busy Looking Over Both Shoulders in New Hampshire This Weekend
Truex Jr was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes drivers looking for Gordon’s number 24 this weekend. Kurt Busch was running in the top five all day when Gordon made what appeared to be an intentional move with his splitter to Busch’s right rear tire. The flat tire dropped Busch to 33rd. Busch avoided media after the race.
Elliot Sadler and Clint Bowyer were mowed down by Jeff Gordon in a similar incident earlier in the race. Sadler made his displeasure known to Gordon immediately following the race. Leaning into Gordon’s passenger side window and letting him have it. Sadler took to his Twitter account on Tuesday and said, “Some people think they are bigger than the sport itself and want everyone else to lay over. I DISAGREE!!!”
Juan Pablo Montoya and Gordon Had Several Confrontations on Track
Gordon and Montoya may have traded the most paint on last Sunday but it wasn’t anything like the television special the taped for Speed, “Trading Paint.” In that special NASCAR’s Gordon drove Montoya’s Formula One ride and Montoya drove Gordon’s number 24. A few months later Montoya came over to NASCAR from Formula One.
The paint traded between the two last Sunday, in NASCAR’s first road race of the season, was much more violent. There were more than a handful of incidents in which one or the other hit a quarter panel, a door or a bumper. It wasn’t NASCAR Cup racing between those two, it was demolition derby.
Gordon is Prepared for What His Newest Enemies Are Going to Dish Out
Gordon knows what is in store for him in New Hampshire and he was already conceding the fact to Phil Parsons in his interview, “Whatever is coming back to me, I understand,” Gordon lamented. “When you blatantly get into a guy like that, you can say you are sorry all you want and I certainly had no intentions on what happened with him.” Not sure if it makes Gordon more of a man for admitting he was wrong, when he wronged so many of his fellow competitors. This is why race car drivers are big believers in karma. Let the payback begin.
TNT Sports Pit reporter Phil Parsons interviews.
www.associatedcontent.com NASCAR Driver Profiles 2010 Todd Jacobs