Jeff Gordon must have been really Mad!!

I have not had the occasion to become a NASCAR fan.  The whole concept of sitting down and watching cars go around a track for 250 or 500 miles never seemed to hold my attention  I would rather have been out playing basketball, baseball or football.  I had occasion to drive past Dover Downs and I realized that the race car circuit has a huge following.  I have heard of the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 but it is all just something I heard about.  A recent incident in a major race caused me to ook into this sport a litte more inently.  Some facts about NASCAR:

NASCAR is second only to the National Football League amongst professional sports franchises in terms of television ratings in the United States.[5] Internationally, NASCAR races are broadcast in over 150 countries.[6] In 2004 NASCAR's Director of Security stated that NASCAR holds 17 of the top 20 regularly attended single-day sporting events in the world.[7] NASCAR has 75 million fans who purchase over $3 billion annually[citation needed] in licensed products. Fortune 500 companies sponsor NASCAR more than any other motor sport,[8] although this has been in decline since the early 2000s.

The reason I referenced Jeff Gordon in this post is because he is one of the best in the business.  It is like David Beckham in Soccer or Pete Sampras in Tennis.  If you're good, you will show up in sports headlines.  I rarely watch tennis or soccer, but I know who wins based on Sports Center sound bites.  I was watching highlights the other day and I noticed a driver cause an intentional accident in a race.  I was shocked when they said it was Jeff Gordon and that he had been feeling harassed and forced to cause to crash his car at the Phoenix International Roadway.  Some facts about Jeff:

Jeffery Michael "Jeff" Gordon[1] (born August 4, 1971) is an American professional stock car racing driver. He drives the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger/DuPont Chevrolet Impala for Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He is a four-time series champion and a three-time Daytona 500 winner. He is third on the all-time wins list, with 86 career wins,[2] and has the most wins in NASCAR's modern era (1972–present).[3] In 2009, Gordon became the first driver to reach $100 million USD in career winnings in the Cup series.[4]

I have heard about terrific crashes in NASCAR.  Dale Earnhardt, a famous driver, died in a crash in 2001 during the Daytona 500.  is son, Dale Earnhardt Jr., still races today.  Knowing the risks of crashes and the fatal consequences, it amazes me still that Jeff Gordon would make such a risky move.  There were immediate consequences.  A series of fist fights followed the accident.  It looked like an NBA basketball game gone seriously wrong.  Anyone remember the aftermath of Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson going into the crowd in Indiana?  Jeff was fined $100,000.00 and he lost 25 points in the Cup race.  I guess the Cup race is similar to the grand prize given to the best player in golf.  Does this situation now call for anger management for Jeff Gordon?  Intentional crashes cannot become the norm in NASCAR races. 

I hope that whatever pressure Jeff Gordon was feeling to react in such a way was relieved with his actions.  The legion of young fans who follow NASCAR could have been exposed to a very ugly incident that could have involved fatalities.  Are there referees n NASCAR?  Call them and have a mediation meeting before the next major race.  A lot of money is at stake with sponsors, endorsements and prize money.  Crashing while going over 200 MPH should never be a solution though.   I will have to watch an upcoming race to see what causes this kind of stress. 

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