I actually caught up on some work today (major surprise) so instead of falling asleep on my office couch and pissing off all of my employees, I figure I can take a few moments to hammer out some educated musings of some favorite items. OK, educated musings may be a bit of a stretch. It’s more I’m gonna type some stuff and hope it makes sense. Here goes.
When I talk about favorites, you may think I’m referring to favorite place to vacation, favorite place to eat or favorite Twitter troll to hate on. While those things may be interesting to talk about some day, I’m really talking about your favorite NASCAR driver. Whether your driver is still in The Chase or not you still love to root for them. You probably boo every other driver (some more than others I’d bet). My favorite driver back in the day was Cale Yarborough. Dude was a heck of a driver and his birthday is two days after mine. Many, many years later, but you get the idea. My favorite driver now is Jeff Gordon and has been ever since he first came on the scene. Ever since he announced his retirement, I’ve wondered “Who will I cheer for next year?” I like many drivers, Dale Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott (I see a Hendrick theme here) Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman and Greg Biffle. I know that may sound strange to like so many different drivers, but I have had the opportunity to meet them in person as well as attend some events with these guys. They have always been courteous and willing to chat, especially about any thing other than racing. They all enjoy talking about their foundations. All of these mentioned raise money for various children’s charities as well as other types of charitable work. Ryan Newman is a big supporter of the outdoors and wildlife conservation. Greg Biffle is keenly interested in animals and their well-being.
All NASCAR drivers give back to some extent through their own foundation or team up with charities of all kinds. I say all this to say it was a tough decision on picking one person to cheer for in 2016. I know, I know. This season isn’t over yet. The guy who I want to see hoisting the 2015 Sprint Cup Trophy at Homestead is Jeff Gordon. Yes, he has a long way to go and a short time to get there (shameless B-movie reference). Still, I have to choose before the season ends on who that person will be. I am surprised by my own answer, which is Tony Stewart. Yes, I know Chase Elliott will be in Gordon’s old ride and I will cheer when he does well. However, I truly have come to like Tony Stewart. If you have read my previous post about Tony, you will get some insight as to why. The more I see the guy just doing normal stuff that I’d be doing, the more I see he’s a guy that I could hang out with and do stupid stuff with. Just like I do with my friends now. Sure, we don’t have a flame-thrower or a 2500 gallon fish tank, but we do like to fish and burn stuff. Mainly meat on a grill, but we still get all fired up about it just like Tony does when he roasts some trees on his property.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, I only chose Tony as he only has one more year left. I suppose that could have some truth to it, that I’m putting off choosing a long-time favorite for one more year. Yet, when I think about it, I truly want to see Tony Stewart take 2016 and return to his winning ways. So I will cheer. I will cheer for one of the best drivers of our lifetime, wishing him the same success that I do this year for Jeff Gordon. Hoping that they both retire from their driving careers the way they came in. Hair on fire, pedal to the metal, making us smile and say, “Damn, that kid can drive.”
Note: While there is no definitive list of NASCAR driver charities: Visit http://www.nascarfoundation.org/ and Jayski’s list http://www.jayski.com/news/pages/story/_/page/nascar-charities for more info. You can also Google pretty much any driver’s name with Foundation after it and will most likely get something. Just be sure it is a legit site before donating!