Can Jeff Gordon once again be dominant at Sonoma?
On the other hand, Clint Bowyer, who was fastest after two practices, Paul Menard, who was second fastest and the other drivers who filled the top eight positions might just be hoping Jeff doesn't feel too comfortable in the car.
As we've discussed before, Jeff has had a rough year with pain in his back at almost every track. He has been through this before, but now at the age of 42 he has said if he wins a Champiionship, he will definitely retire. One has to wonder if retirement might be right around the corner for Jeff, perhaps as soon as the end of the 2014 season.
One thing is certain. Jeff truly enjoys racing. He has a competitive drive to win and loves winning more than anything. One only has to look back at his first win, and the tears he cried openly, to see how much winning means to him. He wants to win, and win often. However, with back pain, when the slightest of movement causes tears to fall for an entirely different reason, one has to rethink how they want to spend their time. Is Jeff Gordon there? I think he is.
The thing is, I don't know if I can imagine the sport without Jeff.
Sonoma, California, the heart of wine country, welcomes NASCAR this weekend. Boris Said, a road course ringer, will appear in the lineup, but after two practices, Boris was only able to achieve 36th fastest. There are drivers within the ranks of the regular competitors who do quite well on the road courses.
We are starting our run with the summer heat, and the temperatures will have an effect on how the cars run on the track, how the tires hold up, and how the drivers cope. Right after Sonoma, we had to Kentucky, then back to Daytona.
But first, we have a race to run. I'm picking Martin Truex Jr. and hoping his car can go the distance. He undoubtedly can perform as needed, but can his equipment?
Who ya got?