Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Could it be that the Hendrick Empire is crumbling?
After Sunday's race at Talladega there's no doubt that things between Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson ain't all sunshine and flowers.
Seeing as how Hendrick Motorsports rarely shows weakness within the organization, probably not the preferred response that Rick Hendrick would have liked to see. But what's said is said and brings up a lot of questions. Mainly, what the hell is going on with those two. Both have always maintained that even though they're teammates they are still going to race each other hard if they had to. But last Monday at Texas when Gordon got on the radio to complain about Jimmie's rough driving and now at Talladega when Johnson's block on Gordon started a chain of events that ended up taking Gordon out has now thrown a red flag that won't stop the rumor mill. And far be it from me to not add to it.
Honestly, it could be as simple as coincidence. Two separate incidents at two consecutive races that happened between two competitive drivers. Gordon may just be frustrated about his recent lack of success and took it out on his friend and teammate. Or it could be that Jimmie Johnson has finally convinced himself that he is the end-all and be-all of NASCAR and to hell with whoever gets in his way, not even his car part-owner. Who knows.
It should be noted that Johnson did apologize for the Talladega incident although he waited until hours later, long after he left the track. But I'm guessing that apology was expedited by Rick Hendrick as to lessen the distraction that Gordon's comments have started within the organization. Hendrick's next probable move (if it hasn't happened already) will most likely be to sit Gordon and Johnson down Cole Trickle-Rowdy Gaines style and tell them their on-track issues aren't good for business and -- for the sake of the media -- kiss and make up. How that plays out will tell the real story.
Until then, Richmond looks a lot more interesting, don't you think?