For the second Cup race in a row Jeff Gordon won the pole and went on the win the race! He now moves past Dale Earnhardt on the all time wins list moving into the 6th position. Gordon's win occurred at the track on which Dale Earnhardt dominated and on his birthday as the event celebrated Dale Earnhardt day. For the most part the race was a clean one and while the big one didn't occur it did have its fair share of drama and crashes. An altercation between Gilliland, Mcmurray and Stewart squeezed Stewart into the outside wall while a second hit from Gilliland sent him sliding into the inside wall after the caution had waved at the end of the race. The incident occured during the race's green, white, checker finish as the event saw an overtime period due to a late caution brought out by a blown engine which made the track cleanup extensive. Stewart showed his displeasure by walking out onto the track seeking out the driver that was involved in the incident. Stewart's publicist stated that later Stewart and Gilliland would have a conversation and that the two were able to shake hands afterwards. One of the other notable incidents on the track involved teammates Jimmie Johnson and Casey Mears. Mears was planning to pit and was under the understanding that the teams had communicated this information but Johnson later said that he knew nothing about it and neither did he see Mears waving his hand signaling that he was planning to pit. Video later showed what appears to be Mears waving his hand out the window but with Johnson right behind him and a bit to the right he wouldn't have been able to see this signal as the angle of the cars obscured it. When Mears slowed suddenly Johnson hit him sending him into the inside wall just before pit road ending his day. Mears exited his destroyed car extremely upset but as the incident was sorted out no hard feelings were held and Mears even ended up sitting on Johnsons pit box for the remainder of the race. After a 4 tire pit stop (while others took 2 tires or gas only) Gordon was way towards the back after being up front for most of the race but as the laps wound down he made his move with the help of his teammate Johnson they worked their way back to the front. The final dramatic pass that Gordon made to take the lead was a great fake that he made down low causing Mcmurray who was then leading to block down low and Gordon quickly went up high getting beside Mcmurray and completing the pass with Johnson right behind him giving him a good push. The move was nothing short of spectacular. Words can't do it justice as you need to see the video! The win marked Gordon's 77th of his career causing some to speculate just how far up on the all time wins list he can move up. Having my two favorite drivers finish 1st and 2nd is just awesome!! Gordon continues to lead the points while Johnson is in 4th 231 points back.
After Gordon's win as he was starting his burnout celebration some fans began to throw beer bottles, cans , rubbish and even a roll of toilet paper at him. In the picture above you can see a beer can bouncing off of Gordons car. 😦 Talladega is Earnhardt land and the fact that a lot of fans who attend this race dislike Gordon has long been evident. Gordon is such a class act. He's a good person, has great charities, as is one awesome race car driver. So where does this hate come from? The late Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon were good friends. While on the track they battled fiercely, off of the track they had a mutual respect and friendship. Dale Earnhardt Jr. even issued a statement to fans asking them to not engage in such behavior. Last week at Phoenix when Gordon tied Earnhardt's wins record and paid tribute by holding a #3 flag out of his window during his victory lap, he had long before spoken to Dale Jr. and his sister getting both of their blessings as to the idea of paying tribute to Dale Sr. if and when he tied his record. NASCAR warned fans before yesterday's event that the throwing of anything onto the track would not be tollerated and that such individuals would be arrested. 10 arrests were made at the end of yesterday's race and while there was far less trash being thrown onto the track in comparison to the last win Gordon had at the track it's still really sad to see. Really just no class. It's one thing to "boo" but when you throw things onto the track you end up putting drivers, their equipment and other fans in danger. Gordon handled the incident in his usual classy way saying that everyone's entitled to their opinion and adding that this kind of reaction shows that he's doing something great. I applaud my favorite driver on how he handled the situation.
Hendricks Motorsports has been awesome so far this season and Jeff Gordon's drive for 5 is looking good and Jimmie Johnson looks to again be a contender for the championship as well! 🙂
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