If truth be told, Stewart has passed Gordon on road

Jun 20, 2006 7:32 AM

Before getting to the road course race at Sonoma, we better begin to start looking at Tony Stewart rather than Jeff Gordon.
For the last decade and half we have been heard all about how great Gordon is on the road courses, yet he has just three wins in twelve races between Sonoma and Watkins Glen. Based on Gordon’s track record on the roads, it is safe to say he is in somewhat of a slump.
Stewart is on a roll at the Northern California track, winning three of the last four races. When including Watkins Glen, where he has won two of the last five, he can be called King of the NASCAR Road Courses.
It’s really no surprise. Stewart is a guy who did anything and everything he could to get where he is. Whether it’s go-karts, Indy racing, world of outlaws or NASCAR, Stewart can just flat drive fast in anything anywhere.
Of course you need a team behind you to supply the set up and horsepower. There shouldn’t be any regressions about supporting him this week based on his recent past. With a few of the drivers competing against him, there are plenty of questions.
Gordon is still his main competition. Still, something always to go wrong with his set up. When betting matchups, Gordon is a driver to avoid betting against. There still is belief that he is the truest road course driver on the circiut, one capable of doing well in the F-1 series if he chooses. Recent struggles show he doesn’t have the ability to hang with the likes of Stewart.
Other question marks involve the hired assassins such as Ron Fellows, Boris Said, and Scott Pruett. How they do at Sonoma will ultimately affect how Stewart and Gordon finish. Don’t forget Robby Gordon, who finished second last season and won the race in 2003. He will give the top programs of Gibbs and Hendrick a run for their money.
The best strategy for this race is to bet matchups against some of the top current drivers on the circuit. The top team is from the world, but has fallen behind big time in this area. Why hasn’t anyone done this in Vegas? It is allowed by Nevada Gaming, yet no one has stepped forward!
Think about the possibilities. Not only do you get cash flow from parties that were actually late to bet, but you also position yourself as a bookmaker to hedge off a side that might not be favorable to the house. The incremental money that could flow through to a Vegas book is immeasurable. It’s as if a new sports category had been born.
I also noticed that English fans were not as excited about their team as we would think. They love England, don’t get me wrong, but the soccer fans are more club oriented. They don’t want to root for a Chelsea player like Frank Lampard if they are a Liverpool fan and vice versa.
They still sing their songs like, “There were 10 German bombers in the air.” However, to be rooting for their club in a Champions League final is more their taste. It is totally understandable to be associated with your city more than on a national level.
David Beckham, who has the greatest playmaking ability on the level of John Stockton, is not liked by many English fans. I don’t get it! One columnist said it would be better if he could come out like American football kickers and just do the corner kicks.
In Germany, they loved the fact that an American was seeing their team. Most said, “It’s about time!”
I was glad to be a part of it.
1. #20 Tony Stewart 5-2
2. #7 Robby Gordon 10-1
3. #24 Jeff Gordon 5-1
4. #29 Kevin Harvick 10-1
5. #31 Ron Fellows 12-1
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