Friday, November 27, 2009

Message to Gordon: "No Ray, No Way!"

When NASCAR fans get together, table talk inevitably turns to racing.

Even Thanksgiving dinner is no exception. My own holiday was spent with a group of dear friends, off a red dirt road in the Carolina pines. I was well aware that I was sharing turkey with a group of self-proclaimed NASCAR experts. So I wasn't surprised when the conversation turned from Clemson football and the morning's duck hunt to a little bit of NASCAR speculation.

What did suprise me, was that the hottest topic wasn't Jimmie Johnson's championship feat, the Stewart/Montoya season-ending shootout, nor the latest tribulations of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Instead, the talking points centered around Jeff Gordon's lack of success and the rumor that his former crew chief Ray Evernham wants to re-enter the NASCAR garage.

First, let it be known that nobody wishes Gordon's current man Steve Letarte, any ill will. He's a darn fine crew chief in his own right - and third place in the Chase is nothing to sneeze at. However, when you're talking about the type of chemistry that propelled Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus into the history books at Homestead, then you've got to admit that Gordon and Evernham had it in spades.

Together, the pair won 47 Cup races and three Cup championships in 1995, 1997 and 1998. And though he's had some wins since, Gordon hasn't seen that level of success since Evernham left Hendrick Motorsports in 1999.

In other words, if Gordon seeks to make a late-career championship charge, the message is clear: "No Ray, No Way!" In the view of the biggest Gordon fan at the table, Ray is Jeff's last, best hope to give his teammates at Hendrick Motorsports a run for their money. Letarte isn't going to cut it. And the excitement that an Evernham/Gordon reunion would generate amid racing circles would be pretty fantastic.

Of course right now, a Jeff and Ray redux is merely a Carolina pipe dream--along with Clemson winning the national championship and Strom Thurmond returning to the United States Senate.

But then again... stranger things have happened.


  1. Ray's not coming back as a CC. He said he does not want to do that at this phase in his life. It takes a bigger commitment than he is willing to give.

    On a different note, I think I'll make your blog a regular read.

  2. but steve letarte has to go hes blown it for Jeff the past three years in 07 they had a 68 pt lead and blew it in 08 it was the COT and while chad was able to get a handle on it steve struggling and going into 09 it look promising then by the chase they fell off and it reminded me of 08 season where he'd start up front run a few laps then caution would come out then they would struggle with there car all day and come out of the pits in the top 10 and a few laps later they'd fall back

  3. i think that rays return in what ever compacity that maybe would propell Jeff back to the top where he belonges. Yes i agree that hes prolly not coming back as a crew cheif. But if he was to come back it would be to Hendricks. And almost certaintly to the 24 team which he has stated several times. JR is very over rated and Ray knows as well as everyone who watches every sunday the only driver thats consistant enough to coming close to beating the 48 is Jeff Gordon. I think he may come as team leader or manager of some kinda. Maybe teach latarte a thing or two. But whatever influence hes has on the team would be positive i do believe. And as for JImmie being the greatest driver {My Ass} thats not the case at all and they compare him all the greats Earnhart, Petty, Gordon, won there Championships on the FULL 36 Race points system. Not the last ten. A champ is consistence not whos best at the end this isn' t football. Jeff Gordons is a six-time Sprint Cup Champion in my eyes and every other true Gordon fan will tell u that Nascar has robbed there Greatest Driver. The chase was a mistake and its time for nascar to own up to that. There was stories about how many rating since the chase started that they have lost compared to the regular season. Does that tell you something. People are tired of seeing the driver who deserve the trophy get screwed in the end. Nascar will continue to lose rating as the chase continues. 2007 prime example Jeff finshed in front jimmie over 20 times setting a record breaking 30 top tens in 36 races with 5 wins and 25 top 5s. and was stripped of the Trophy do to this points system.

    Whos the REAL CHAMPION!