Why is it wrong to race hard?

Dale Wilkerson                                                 November 2010


     For most race fans, their thoughts on the middle-weight battle of Jeff Gordon-v-Jeff Burton were divided on their loyalty as fans. The Gordon fans feel that Jeff does no wrong much like the Burton fans, except Burton took the blame for this incident.
     So where do I point the finger of blame? I point the finger of blame at all of these point chasing race car drivers that seem to think if a driver pulls up alongside them at any point, other than the final few feet of the last lap, that they are being raced too hard.
     Drivers, have you looked toward the stands lately? If folks want to watch cars go by in a line not worried about gaining a position that might as well get a chair near the interstate. Look back a few years when the stands were filled to capacity. The racing was better from the drop of the green flag to the checkered, because guys were racing like every spot meant something to them.
     Did the late Dale Earnhardt settle for following somebody around the track, or was he constantly attempting to improve his position? You could almost sense Earnhardt looking to the scoring tower, and if there was any numbers ahead of his #3, he was going to in some way whether it was clean or off the edge of his bumper, pass whoever and whatever was in front of him and his race car.
     That is what is wrong with NASCAR today, to many riders and not enough chargers. Even the announcers these days will call a driver down if he is dropping the hammer and racing side-by-side with another driver early in a race. Race fans want to see drivers racing side-by-side dueling for spots on the track. The only time we see that now is at Talladega, Daytona, and the first laps after the start or a re-start of an event.
     I am tired of drivers getting mad because another driver is trying to make a pass around them. That is what it is about. So Jeff Gordon, don’t get mad at Jeff Burton for racing you hard, just try to out run him. As for the wreck under caution, okay Gordon you can be mad about that one, but why were you turning right in front of Burton? There could be a little blame for the actual crash on both of these guys.
     One thing is certain though, Jeff Gordon was happy that was Jeff Burton in the Caterpillar Chevy and not Ward Burton in the Caterpillar Dodge. I don’t think Ward would have been so quick to back down from a fight.