Sports Commentary, Media and Vegas

Category — Jimmie Johnson

Running Circles Around The Competition

    Hey NASCAR, you have a problem.
    It has nothing to do with the track bar of a car, or any green, white, checkered finish you might have in the future. It has to do with one of your drivers.
    Jimmie Johnson is the problem. Simply put, he is just too good.
    The four-time series champion is at it again. In three races this year, Johnson already has two victories. It is as if he can’t be beat.
    Johnson has lapped the field and then some.
    Same held true Sunday, when the stock car boys raced around Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
    Jeff Gordon led the most laps. Gordon appeared to be the best driver in the best car. Then, he lost to his teammate Johnson.
    Once again, nothing mattered until the end and it was Johnson who was the winner.
    Why is this fact no good for NASCAR? All sports are about rivalries and right now Johnson doesn’t have one. He is too good for the field.
    Johnson doesn’t win every race, but he is the favorite each weekend and he is already the leader to win another season championship. While dynasties are good for most sports, in NASCAR, a young gun from California does not sit well with the good-old boys from the South who are the base of this fan group. They think everything from California is wrong.
    More importantly, this is a sport that loves when drivers are battling either in their cars, on the track or in their pits. Now we have everybody fighting to catch Johnson.
    Even when he seems out of it, the race either comes back to him or more often he tracks down the competition. Like he did Sunday.
    Gordon doesn’t usually get caught from behind. Not a great diver like him. Before Johnson, Gordon was the next great driver. He took the reins from the legendary Dale Earnhardt Sr. Gordon was loved by some fans; hated by more. Now Johnson is the man. Though not as much as Gordon, he too is loved by some; hated by others.
    The fans wanted Dale Jr. to be the next great “it,” but that isn’t happening. This is the era of Johnson, who dominates the race circuit like no one else.
    But someone needs to challenge him, to make sure he doesn’t run away and hide from the rest of the pack this year. With crowds already down thanks to a slow economy, and TV viewers wanting a little more flavor, it is up to some driver, any driver, to raise his game and make a race out of this thing. If not, Jimmie is going to plant a No. 5 flag in his yard.

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February 28, 2010   No Comments