He may have even topped himself this time. If you haven’t heard the latest from Robby’s So Cal garages, sit down with an adult beverage and enjoy some bench-racing.
How popular is Gordon outside of racing? This story broke originally on the TV show and website TMZ (www.TMZ.com), a celebrity haunt which has a slightly different take on the world of gossip. They seem to actually like celebs. You’ve probably checked it out or seen the show. If not, you should. I find it a lot of fun and certainly different from the usual boring waterfall of hate being spewed-out in droves in the usual print and web venues.
And a point or two (mostly concerning “all-natural” which the kids might do better skipping over until they reach junior high); Extenze, if you’ve not heard, is, according to the company, “a herbal nutritional supplement claiming to promote natural male enhancement", and y’all know what that means. Well, at least should, now, by your age. So, friends and fans, here’s how it goes in racing in 2011. And, anyway, it’s a fun story with which to start the New Year, right? There’s plenty of time for the new Indy chassis and engines, the new Busch Series race car and God-knows-what-else we’ll be discussing a month from now.
The legendary (and for good reason) A.J. Foyt is considered one of the greatest, if not outright greatest racer of them all. Apart from his competitive and strategic abilities and strength of mind and body (which seem preternatural, and thanks to Anne Rice for that word), there’s also that Foyt has won more races in more different venues than any other driver, excepting perhaps Mario Andretti. Last time we checked, at least.
One more Indy tid-bit about Gordon; Robby ran out of fuel with two laps to go in the 1999 Indy 500, a race he had been leading. Kenny Brack was the defending IRL series champion and took that win. In that race, Gordon managed, by quite literally the lack of a cup of fuel or so, to lose the Indy 500 driving for his original IndyCar owner – A.J. Foyt.
And here’s where talk of Gordon’s “greatness” comes into serious play: Foyt has not only competed in, and often won, at road racing (LeMans 24 Hours of LeMans, Trans-Am and more), the Indianapolis 500, the Dakar Rally, the Baja 1000, FIA Rallying and all forms of NASCAR, both off- and on-track. Email me if I’ve left any out. He’s currently, this very day, in the Dakar race, where, as in recent years, he’s piloting a hand-prepared $175,000 Hummer look-alike. Even the Pope has personally appealed to the promoters to ban this event. This year “the Dakar” (whose venue has been changed in recent years away from running between the Eiffel Tower and the city of Dakar, Senegal) is being held in South America; maybe it’s to throw-off the Pope a bit while he peruses the morning sports pages in the Roman dailies.
Gordon has even been spoken highly (and loudly) of when it comes to Formula 1 race teams on their continual search for new drivers. He’d be the only American currently in the F1 mix.
But the genius of someone like Foyt, and there are damn few, is that he knows exactly where and when to turn it on and off. And why…and how.
It was 1979 when there was a bit of a dispute after NASCAR’s Daytona 500 that year, a race which just had, for the very first time, been shown live on one of America’s then-three national networks (this one was on CBS – they’d apparently drawn the short straw, but it’s paid-off in, literally, billions for everyone involved in racing who stuck with it, as the behemoth of NASCAR Inc., was created). Robby working his souvenir stand at one of the many venues where he competes; the fans have always liked him, but sometimes once they have to get passed and understand both his off-track antics and the seriousness and quality of his racing
NASCAR really got going as a nationally-recognized sport with that fistfight in February, 1979. And of course, it was one of those fights where, thankfully, no one was hurt.