Turning points, when did your driver cross that line?

For those of us that have been watching for decades not days. You have had favorite drivers before. Now you pull for someone else, who was, and now who is you favorite and why?

My first was Richard Petty. I was a boy then and had his matchbox car and STP stickers all over the place. Then when I was a bit older I saw this redheaded kid from GA run him down on a road course and win. I liked that kids attitude and open display of humility. I then had two drivers. An old timer repected by most and a quiet newcomer earning respect. "The King" retired and then Awesome Bill was in the groove. Late in his career this kid named Dale Earnhardt Jr was racing in late model and stepping into Busch. Bill was involved in a wreck with Jr's dad and broke his leg. The wreck was nasty and after Bill healed he just didn't seem to have that edge anymore. He had a championship. was the most popular driver year after year and had set the speed record but it appeared the hunger was gone. Jr was on his way up winning 2 Busch championships back to back! His dad was still the man to beat on Sunday, and knowing I was not a #3 fan but had tremendous respect for what he did, I thought his son would become that new blood NASCAR needed. His style of driving and personality closely matched my previous picks and so there you have it.

Dale is now at the age his father was when his father began his domination of the field. The level of competition is today far greater than it was in Sr's time, or "The Kings" time. I do not expect Dale to smash records or become the man in black. Just to race and represent his family and team and himself with class. He does that very well. Maybe in 10 years I will again be looking for another newbie. Until then I will support my driver, win, loose or draw.

Update:

WOW! I am enjoying reading these great answers. It will be tough picking a best of....

I didn't mean for it to sound as though I was comparing SR and JR with that age thing. I personally do not think we can honestly compare the two. That being said I am not willing to believe Dale's career is over already. Far from it! Many other drivers haven't won in longer runs it is only because it is Jr people get all phishey. Yes I meant phishey. LOL. I am a race fan and a Dale Earnhardt Jr fan.

Update 2:

So... JM are you saying your a DW fan still and have no favorite active driver? Or are you just stating you liked DW and hate Jr?

10 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I was new to NASCAR in 2002. I just didn't want to jump on a bandwagon from an already established driver, not knowing much history with any of them yet, other than Dale Earnhardt who died the season earlier, and of course Jeff Gordon. Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson were both rookies that year, and they both impressed me. I had a hard time choosing one of them. When Ryan won rookie of the year, and Jimmie didn't, I was so bummed for Jimmie, that I realized Jimmie must have been the one who I favored. I bought my first t-shirt with the Lowe's 48 Chevy on it. He's been "my" driver ever since. It's funny now that I think back on it. I watched him grow so fast as a driver and come so close to winning the championship only to come up short, and not by much so many times. I felt the same disappointment then that I did when he did not get rookie of the year. Of course the last two years have been different, and I would like nothing more than for him to win again this year. A 3-peat, considering it's been done only one other time would be such an accomplishment for him and his team. I can't help but want that for them.

    Over the years I have of course picked several other drivers whom I cheer for and generally like to see do well. They make it on my list of favorites, some ranking higher than others, but Jimmie still outranks them all. (on my list)

  • 1 decade ago

    Dale Sr. was my first favorite, it was my boyfriend's family that started me on nascar in 1988 when I was 15 (boyfriend is now husband) I chose him because that's who his favorite was. I then started pulling for DW, based mostly on his personality, and I did genuinely like his driving.

    But I didn't just abandon Dale, I was then and always will be his fan. DW's personality, his "I don't care if you hate me, I'm going to egg it on every chance I get" attitude won me over, and nudged Dale for #1 in my heart.

    I had no favorite driver after Dale died, DW had retired the year prior.

    2004, my mother-in-law convinced me to watch the young up and comers and just pick one that I could spend the next 2 decades with, as their career unfolded, sounded cool, I'd never done that before. Dale and DW were in their prime when I became their fan.

    So I watched the end of the 2004 season and about 1/2 the 2005 season, eliminated Truex and Kahne, they just didn't do it for me(no offense) leaving Edwards and Kyle. The first time I saw Kyle interviewed, (spring race at Pocono 2005) he won me over.

    That brings us to today. Picking a "favorite" is something I struggle with, I don't know why. So when I declare someone my "favorite" I'm in it for as long as they are.

    You represent Jr. well..

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I was born in 1985, and started watching nascar in the early to mid 90s. I was a Ricky Rudd fan because he is from Chesapeake, VA, which is about 30 miles from where I am from. In 2000, I wanted to start with a fresh and new driver in cup, so I went with Kenseth because I like fords and everyone was saying he should do pretty good. When Kenseth retires, I will stay with a ford driver. If Ragan continues to improve, I will probably pull for him when Kenseth retires, unless someone else comes along that I like better.

  • 1 decade ago

    great Post..thanks! Your representation is very well spoken and appreciated.

    my favorite was Dale Earnhardt Sr..I have been a fan for over 30 years and my grandfather started taking me to races when i was 12 years old..old time racing as he called it..Pearson, Parsons, Yarborough, Petty, Fireball Roberts, and i could go on and on..I loved racing then and when Sr came along i really got into the sport more than ever..i collected everything that i could and have a huge collection that is priceless..would never sell , going to pass it to my grandchildren as they are avid Nascar Fans too..took my children at early ages, stayed in infield(kids in playpen on top of a U-Haul truck)..lol...now i take my grandchildren and we have a BLAST!..They are really into Nascar as well and we all have our picks and love the competitiveness between us at the races..

    After Sr passed, I now have 13 drivers that I pull for Jr at the top of list along with Kyle, Harvick, Johnson, Gordon, Kennesth, Biffle, Edwards Newman, Smoke just to name a few...

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  • 1 decade ago

    Mine was Richard Petty a lot because he raced Dodge or Plymouth When he hung them Up I rooted for his Kid and we all know story there so I switched to Ryan Newman because I always admired Penske in other racing and again running Dodge. Most likely will stay with Ryan since no one else right now really appeals to me and always liked way Stewart raced Like the good old boys from old days

  • Dale Sr. got me watching races and loving them. When he passed I became a fan of his son's. ...I am not a fan of Dale Jr.s any longer (too complicated to explain and it has nothing to do with his driving skills) but decided to pull for Kyle Busch just because I had my eye on the kid while he was with hendrick's and liked his style. I am glad that Now I pull for him all the time. My other favorites are Tony Stewart, Elliot Sadler, Martin Truex Jr, Denny hamlin, Robby Gordon....

    well to be honest I just like racing.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    People say they don't want to compare Jr. to Sr., yet you're doing that very thing. Hasn't Dale Jr. already proven over and over that he is NOTHING like his dad aside from being a race car driver. Jr's prime was at the young age of around 24 or 25 when he won his Busch titles and it carried over for a few years in cup. He has already went 76 races without a win which is something Sr. never did, so if he's about to suddenly start dominating he better do it quick.

    Source(s): Darrell Waltrip
  • 1 decade ago

    my first was david pearson who left racing when he felt it was time to. my next was cale who also left on his own terms. then came million dollar bill who lost his competitive nature when he changed alot of things in his personal life. my choice after elliot was davey who left us way too soon in a tragic accident. after davey was gone i pulled for swervin ervin until he had his big wreck and was never the same, thank god we still have him around. since that time i have always pulled for all of the rousch drivers. as you can see i am a ford fan, 110 yrs of family members working for ford sealed my loyalty, but i don't hate any of the others except maybe the rice burners that cost us the main industry that the US relied on.

  • 1 decade ago

    i haven't been watching for decades, but i have been watching long enough to make one minor and two major shifts in my driver preferences. my first favorite i picked when i started watching races with friends who loved nascar while living in vegas right around 2001-2002. i picked the hometown boy kurt busch, while my girlfriend at the time picked junior. kurt was cocky, brash, arrogant, and had the talent to back it up.

    at my first live race, i made a minor detour - although kurt was still my favorite driver at the vegas race in 2003, there was one car out on the track who just looked like he needed someone to cheer him on. we were sitting down on the infield between turns one and two and all the cars would go roaring by, then a few seconds later the #66 with "field filler" hideo fukuyama would go by. he was getting beaten but good. i asked my friend who that was and he said some other name so i cheered on the underdog #66 (using the wrong name). kurt was involved in a late race crash, but hideo managed to finish in 33rd, 9 laps down - his best finish in the four starts he ever made. i like to think it was because he had a fan for a race, even if i didn't know his name...

    kurt and dale made me a fair amount of money in 2003 and 2004 betting at local sportsbooks, but that was about the time that kurt not only won the championship, but he made his famous quote "if you think i'm a great driver, wait till my little brother comes along." and he was right. i started paying more attention to kyle from that time on. as kurt went through his problems with roush and moved to penske kyle was moving up fast. from that time on, kyle has never let me down. i still like both the busch brothers - my hometown boys at the time - but kyle's style and fire stayed lit while kurt's attitude and his performance both cooled. it was during that time that kurt moved to the #2 and the cocky, brash, arrogant younger brother became my #1 driver.

    the other big shift i've made in how i feel about a driver is tony stewart. i really disliked tony, especially as he kept clashing with my boy kurt. then last year he clashed with kyle a couple of times and i bought into the media's portrayal of him as just being a complete @ss. but after they had their discussions i lightened up on him a little bit. of course, he and kurt clashed again at the beginning of this year, but since kyle switched to jgr and became tony's teammate, i started paying more attention to what tony actually said and did - not what the media was saying about him.

    throughout this year i have gained nothing but respect and admiration for tony - not only for performance on the track and his outspokenness in general, but for what he does off the track. his willingness to help other drivers with his knowledge as well as with moral and financial support and his love of and support for racing at all levels - including his willingness to jump out of the #20 and take a stab at ownership of his own cup team - is second to none. more importantly, i have heard and seen so many things that he has done to help not only the victory junction gang but so many other worthy causes for which he rarely ever gets any media attention that it has really put him up there as not only a great driver, but also a great person period.

    Source(s): i see two people were motivated enough to pull their thumbs out of their behinds and offer them to me. thanks, but no thanks.
  • 4 years ago

    the only way out of that is to prove there was problem with your truck. or that the officer pulled you over unjustly.

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