Okay, so I watched the race yesterday with the hope tucked away in the back of my mind that there might be some off-the-wall chance that Jimmie Johnson and the 48 team would slip up. Maybe a blow-out or engine failure, something that wouldn’t be serious, but enough to make him finish up in the 30th position, but it wasn’t to be. And it’s not that I didn’t want to see Jimmie make history by winning 4 straight titles, that’s not the case at all, in fact I am a student of history and was glad to witness it, I just really, really, really, wanted to see Mark Martin win the championship.
Now, in the interest of full-disclosure, Mark Martin is one of my clients and I am probably a little partial when it comes to my favorite driver, keep in mind that he’s also a good ole’ Arkansas boy too!
Over time my partners and I have come to know him as more than a celebrity, a lot more so in the case of my partners in Batesville who work a lot closer on a day to day basis with Mark’s organization than I do, but I have still managed to spend some time with him through the years and I must say, he’s just as awesome of a guy off the track as he is on the track. I also consider myself to be a pretty good judge of character, and have met a lot of celebrities over the years, and it only takes being around Mark for just a few minutes to know that he genuinely cares about his fans.
I also know that this is going to be hard to believe too, but I honestly think that the fact Mark didn’t win the championship this year bothers him more that he wasn’t able to deliver this to his fans than it does he won’t have that trophy in his trophy case. He is that driven by the fans. I watched an interview that ABC did with Mark prior to the race and in the interview he was talking about how the fans gave him a standing ovation at his 1000th race start and spelled out his name in the bleachers by holding up cards, he literally got choked up talking about this. That’s just the type of guy that Mark Martin is. If you are a Mark Martin fan you probably already know what I am saying…
On the topic of Jimmie Johnson, what can you say? Jimmie and Chad Knaus, his crew chief, have a special relationship, and they have the best equipment on the track, along w/ his teammates Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., not to mention the other drivers out there with Hendrick equipment, but when it all comes down to it, there is still a driver strapped into a car that has to make split second decisions. With that in the equation, there is no one right now better than Jimmie Johnson, bar none. There, I have said it. Jimmie is as good as it gets right now… And, just like they boo’d Dale Earnhardt, they are going to boo Jimmie Johnson.
Now, let’s all look toward 2010. I have a couple of things I would love to see coming out of the gate, Mark Martin winning the Daytona 500 is one of them. I would also like to see Mark competing at the exact same level he competed in this year, but with the end result being a championship. Let’s all keep looking ahead!!
For a couple of reasons, that I won’t go into, I didn’t do a lot of blogging at my personal blog this past year on the topic of NASCAR and I missed it, especially during the weeks of the chase. Earlier in the season I blogged everyday for another entity, and loved it, even showed up on a couple of podcasts with some really great people. Also, for a long time during the first half of the season I communicated w/ many new friends I made in the social realm on the topic of NASCAR but again, for some reasons that I won’t go into here, I wasn’t able to be as active as I would have liked the second half of the season. Maybe next year we can do that all over again, I am going to be talking about NASCAR regardless, I may as well blog about it. So, when 2010 rolls around, be on the lookout for a lot more emphasis on NASCAR here at the Cotton Club…