The following is one of the most ludicrious articles I have ever read by a so-called
Journalist. We are quoting his article word for word along with his email address in case
you would like to respond.
At the conclusion of his article you will find our
along with those of some NASCAR Fans.
We would like to thank Cyndi Price for
bringing this article to our attention
and for her efforts in coordinating the email responses.
Cyndi originally wrote to us:
Date: 11/15/98 3:54:39 PM Eastern Standard
Hi, I am a frequent visitor to your website.
I just wanted to turn your attn to an article in my local newspaper about Jeff Gordon and
what this guy calls us Nascar fans. I will include his email address if you'd like to
respond and send him your why we dont like jeff gordon page. I would have but didnt want
to without your permission. I know me and alot of others have sent him email regarding
this article. Please let me know what you think of this. The url is
http://www.tampatrib.com/sports/fenn1019.htm and his email is MFennelly@tampatrib.com
It's a story as old as the wheel is round.
Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy moves in with girl. Boy and girl watch
ACDelco 400 from Rockingham. Girl sees Rusty Wallace beaten by Jeff Gordon. Boy and girl
argue. Cop meets girl. Girl allegedly advances on cop with knife. Cop shoots girl in
stomach and upper thigh.
Strange, but true. That really happened
Sunday in North Carolina (see hills, up in them thar). We are happy to report that the
drive-by girlfriend, a Ms. Barbara Curtis, was at last report in good condition, if not
Maybe the fans are the ones who need the
restrictor plates in NASCAR.They seem to be running three wide in the race to hate Jeff
And it goes beyond the goobers. It's one
thing when the ``Deliverance'' extras start Hatfield and McCoying it. It's quite another
when other drivers start thinking likewise, when everybody wants to spread rumors about
Wonder Boy being married just for show, know what we mean? Rainbow Boy. There's just
something about Jeff Gordon, the best stock car driver on earth, that makes people start
leaking oil from their brain pans.
He comes to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday
as a three-time Winston Cup champion, having clinched No. 3 last weekend, whether people
liked it or not. Goliath is 27 years old. Jeff Gordon has been running six years. He's won
41 races, including the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400, and has earned more than $22
million in purses.
What's not to hate?
There's also this:
He is good looking. No vices. Religious.
Even worse, he appears to be happily married.
So, naturally, for everybody that cheers,
twice as many boo. The goobs boo, and their jerky bellies peek out of their Ford shirts.
Did we tell you the kid dumped Ford for Chevy? And folks, Fords don't forget something
Oh, and he cheats? Some of the other racing
teams think that. Something Gordon's crew does with his tires. For sure, he cheats.
And get this, Barney: He turns down beer
Jeff Gordon has sinned.
Rather than have the common decency to have
been born in Coon Hollow, Tenn., Gordon has dominated a sport once nurtured by backwoods
moonshine runners. Soft drinks. Milk. Ice cream. Toothpaste. Those are the products Jeff
Gordon promotes. Then there's his other work, with sick and handicapped children. Who's
got a gun? I'll shoot him myself.
Don't believe it, but racing history turned
on Nov. 15, 1992, also at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. That was the day The King stepped
down: Richard Petty stopped running after 200 wins. It was also the day Jeff Gordon ran in
his first NASCAR event.
The King lives.
Did you know he's gay? That's what
cave-dwelling Gordon haters will tell you. At the track, they make jokes about Gordon and
it makes you wonder just what the worst qualifying time was to get into the human race.
Their gene pool is strictly for wading.
This is not your daddy's NASCAR. This is
Jeff Gordon's NASCAR and, if you don't like him, you're going to be very, very unhappy the
next 15 years or so. Jeff Gordon is going to run and run. And win.
Gentlemen, start your girlfriends.
Blk3GM's Response dated November 16,
Dear Mr. Fennelly,
My attention was drawn to your article "Gordon-haters will be angry for a long
time", November 4, 1998, by a frequent visitor to my web site. I read your article
with keen interest and somewhat raised eyebrows.
It was quite interesting that you refer to those who "boo" Jeff Gordon as
"goobs and their jerky bellies peek out of their Ford shirts". Later in
your article you imply, well not really imply but state rather matter-of-fact, that those
who boo Jeff Gordon, "Their gene pool is strictly for wading".
In the third paragraph of your article you indicate that "Maybe the fans are the ones
who need the restrictor plates in NASCAR. They seem to be running three wide in the race
to hate Jeff Gordon".
You seem to draw a conclusion that since Jeff Gordon's first race was on the same day as
Richard Petty's last race that some how the title of "King" was passed on to
Finally, you state that, "This is not your daddy's NASCAR. This is Jeff Gordon's
Kindly forgive the re-iteration of your article, as I would feel quite confident that you
are aware of exactly what you had written, however, these are the issues in your article
that I would like to address.
I am sure that your journalistic idea is to provoke. If nothing else, at least to make
others think. The word "hate" which you use several times, is a very strong
word. A word which dates back to the earliest of times, when Cain hated Abel and killed
him, and is still felt world wide, such as the hatred that is felt between the Croatian's
and the Serbian's in what used to be known as Yugoslavia.
So, I take offense that you would stereotype any and all who don't care for Jeff Gordon or
boo him, into a class of "Deliverance extras" who hate.
I have been a fan of NASCAR for over twenty years and I, for one, do not care for Jeff
Gordon and it is in part not Gordon's fault but the media and NASCAR's. There is no doubt
that the boy is talented and his crew chief, Ray Evernham, is extremely talented.
The media, like you, and NASCAR have, in my opinion, used Jeff and Brook Gordon, as a
catalyst to bring a new generation of fan into this sport. I am grateful for the
phenomenal growth of NASCAR. However, almost every race this year was promoted as the Jeff
Gordon show. Well, I don't want a Gordon Show, I want Winston Cup Racing. The more you ram
this wonder boy down the throats of NASCAR fans the more you will see a dislike for him
and the more boo's you will hear every time he shows up at the track. Nobody wants to be
force fed and that is what you are doing by saying, " if you don't like him,
you're going to be very, very unhappy "
Before Gordon ever came on the scene NASCAR was already the fastest growing sport in
America. The media was just a little slow to catch on to it but once you did you became
the Jeff Gordon groupies of Winston Cup Racing. You are just like so many Gordon fans that
have joined the NASCAR bandwagon in recent years but have no comprehension of this sport.
You are riding the wave now, but where will you be when he turns sour, gets hurt or leaves
NASCAR? When Gordon has several bad years back to back will you be so quick to sing his
praises or is your pen a two-edged sword that will cut him to pieces if he does not
perform well? Believe me those years will come and probably a lot quicker than you would
care to imagine.
The foundation for this sport was laid long before Gordon was out of diapers. It was
people like Lee Petty, Richard Petty, David Pearson, Buck Baker, Buddy Baker, Ned Jarrett,
Darrell Waltrip, Bill Elliott, all of the Allison Family, Ralph Earnhardt and Dale
Earnhardt, just to name a few, who have paved the way for the Stardom that NASCAR has
Are the fans that the media and NASCAR is soliciting with the Jeff Gordon image really
fans or is this just a fad to them now? Will this new generation of fan be around in
another two years, five years? Will Jeff Gordon be around in a few more years? I really
don't think so and I will be around this sport long enough to tell you, I told you so.
If you ask track owners, ticket sales are already beginning to suffer because of Jeff
Gordon. Don't take my word for it; ask Humpy Wheeler and Bruton Smith, two of the biggest
names in track owners. Some other sport will hit a high point and you along with all the
so-called "fans" that you have spoon-fed with Gordon media frenzy will switch to
something else because it is the "thing to do".
In recent weeks the media has played up the idea that Jeff Gordon, with a win in Atlanta,
would tie Richard Petty's modern day record of thirteen wins in a season. It is
interesting to note some of the records that were overlooked by whoever determined the
"modern era" so that they could accommodate Jeff.
For example: 1963-Richard Petty-14 Wins, 1964-Ned Jarrett-15 Wins,
1967-Richard Petty-27 Wins- in 48 races, 1968-Richard Petty and David Pearson-16 Wins
1969-Bobby Isaac-17 Wins, 1970-Richard Petty-18 Wins, 1971-Richard Petty-21 Wins- in 46
races, 1975-Richard Petty-13 wins in 30 races (Not in 33 races as Gordon did this year),
and if you really want to get technical......1987-Dale Earnhardt-11 Wins in only 29
Car Racing Encyclopedia)
It is not that Jeff is not a talented driver or that Ray is not a talented crew chief. I
just don't respect Jeff. Jeff's step-dad and mother sacrificed tremendously for Jeff to be
able to succeed. Even, moving from their home in California (where Jeff was born) and
moving to Indiana so Jeff could legally race at 8 years old (due to the age limits). They
sacrificed time, effort and money to help Jeff succeed. However, when Jeff won the NASCAR
Future Legend Award, he humbly thanked his wife and Hendrick Motorsports, but not one word
about his parents! Have you ever heard him at the conclusion of a race while standing in
victory lane say thanks to them for all they have done to help him get there?
NASCAR is a family oriented sport and that is one of the biggest reasons I love it. And
most drivers during their careers express gratitude toward their parents for helping them,
supporting them and caring for them.
Dale Earnhardt to this day still thanks his dad (who has been dead for twenty-five years)
and says he would give it all back to have his dad back. Listen to Dale Jr. thank his dad.
I think that's pretty respectful.
Mark Martin drove his heart out August 16, 1998 to honor his dad who was killed in a plane
Shortly after Jeff entered Winston Cup he hired a promotional firm, which is not uncommon
these days, to help promote his image. Jeff would rather thank the promotional firm than
thank his parents. Even Ray Evernham showed a little disgust earlier this year at
Charlotte when Jeff showed up late for practice and Terry Labonte had to take Jeff's car
out to run some laps. Ray was asked, "Where is Jeff". Rays response was, "
I don't know, you will have to ask his promotional people."
Another reason I don't respect Jeff is because of his treatment of fans. The Fans are the
lifeblood of this sport. The King, Richard Petty, to this day can still not understand
Jeff's treatment or lack of treatment toward fans. Richard Petty, at Daytona this year
(1998) even commented on Jeff's attitude toward fans and how Jeff did not appreciate them.
Jeff has been known to ignore fans, refuse to sign a cap or T-shirt because it was not his
or approved by his promotional backers.
Jeff would much rather thank his car owner, Rick Hendrick, a known and convicted felon.
Then in the same breath "Thank the Lord" for helping him win. What about one of
the 10 commandments that instructs us to "honor our Father and Mother". Opps,
guess Jeff skipped over that one. After all it was his step-dad that worked with Jeff in
his formative years helping to develop the talent that he has. Hendrick only gives him a
platform on which to display the talent.
After the Pepsi Southern 500 at Darlington on September 6, 1998, Jeff of course thanked
God again for His blessings and the victory, but then he said, "God must have been
driving the car for part of the race"- MRN Radio Live Interview -
NOW HOLD ON JUST A MINUTE!
There are a lot of drivers who believe in God and thank Him for His blessings in their
life. God loves all of us not just Jeff Gordon! God is NOT going to drive Jeff's car or
anybody's for that matter. He will NOT do our jobs for us....NOT for any of us! He blesses
us with gifts and talents and good people around us, but He will not, Not, NOT drive a car
for Jeff Gordon. So as far as Jeff being religious it would appear he uses religion
conveniently, or, as I would hate to think, at the direction of his promotional firm. God
cares about us as individuals, not how somebody drives a racecar. Do you really believe
that the fair and just Almighty would really show favoritism in a sporting event? If you
do, then you have a lot to learn about God and so does the pretentious Jeff Gordon.
And finally, Ray Evernham himself says they work the "gray areas" of the
rulebook. And I quote, "I want people to know that we don't cheat, we just take
advantage of the gray area of the rule book -- and that's not really legal, but not really
illegal, either.'' You may read that article at "Where's the line between a champion
and a cheater".
Sounds like something President Clinton said a few months ago (Aug 17, 1998). "I
didn't really lie, but I didn't tell the whole truth either."
Well the way I was raised, and I am 42 now, a half-truth is not the truth and not telling
the whole story to hide the truth is the same as a lie.
By the way, Ray Evernham holds the record for the largest fine in NASCAR Winston Cup
Racing history for using illegal suspension parts. The fine was $60,000. The source of
this information is NASCAR.
These are just some of the reason I do not respect Jeff Gordon. It has nothing to do with
his talent and I am not bashing. His words or lack thereof, as well as his actions, speak
louder than anything we could say or write.
NASCAR to this point has been one of the last unadulterated sports in America. I love this
sport and I want to see this sport grow.
Your description of fans who do not like or respect Jeff Gordon as "Deliverance
extras, goobs with jerky bellies that peek out of their Ford shirts" is quite
offensive and a disgrace to journalism.
Who appointed you as a self-righteous judge of character to say that those who boo Jeff
Gordon, " makes you wonder just what the worst qualifying time was to get into
the human race. Their gene pool is strictly for wading"? You do not know me, and you
probably don't know many people who are real race fans or such comments would never filter
down to the tip of your fingers to write such absurdity.
On the contrary, it is people like you who are creating the boo's. It is a mentality such
as yours, an arrogant pompous ass mentality, which puts you in the same class as I would
put Jeff Gordon. Respect is a precious commodity that takes a long time to command and a
very brief instant to lose. You have lost it Mr. Fennelly.
There is one King in this sport, Richard Petty, and he will always remain the King. He
will remain such, not just for the records that he has accumulated during his lifetime but
for his attitude and appreciation of the fans who have made this sport possible. No matter
what Jeff Gordon does he could not come close to a cheap imitation of Richard Petty, not
even close. Richard Petty commands the respect of fans because he has earned it with his
Finally, your comment, "This is not your daddy's NASCAR" is, in your words, a
"Hatfield and McCoy" type of mentality. Do you have your big stick out ready to
fight because you think the wonder boy is better than the founding fathers of this sport?
Be that as it may, I can with most certainty tell you that this is NOT Jeff Gordon's
NASCAR. NASCAR is not any one man's sport. This is a sport made up of a lot of different
drivers, some great and some not so great. If you would take the time to look at the
points awarded for the year you would discover that there are sixty some drivers who
compete in Winston Cup Racing. There are millions of fans that spend their hard-earned
dollars for tickets, souvenirs and travelling to the races. Without these there would be
no NASCAR. Without Jeff Gordon, trust me the sport would go on.
Oh by the way, I don't own a Ford, I own a Chevrolet and the only Ford shirt I own is one
of the late Davey Allison's that I bought as a token of his memory. Do you remember him?
Jeff Gordon cannot even come close to filling a shadow of Davey Allison.
Mr. Fennelly, it is a pubescent and slanderous attitude such as yours that leaves a sour
taste in my mouth and really is a contributing factor to why I don't like Jeff Gordon.
Some Response to Fennelly from some
of our Friends and Real NASCAR Fans
From our Friends the Wizard's
Its a story as old as time. Boy wants to be a writer, boy lacks talent,
boy grows up to be a sarcastic "Sports Columnist" and makes a living at
"Writing ABOUT Sports". Instead of really knowing what hes talking
about, and checking his facts.
Strange but true. That was clearly evident when we read your Jeff Gordon
article from 11/4/98. But, just to give you the benefit of the doubt, we
read a few more of your articles about various sporting events. Its
became evident if you dont know much about the Sport youre writing
about - you fall back on sarcasm, and a very weak attempt at humorist
writing, to get you through your deadline. Its evident you dont know
HOW to write a positive ending article.
And it goes beyond sarcasm- you show your ignorance about Stock Car
Racing and its Fans at every turn. Your insults describing the type of
person who could dislike Jeff Gordon as "goobers", "cave-dwellers" in
"them thar hills". With "bellies peekin out of Ford Shirts", and
"leaking oil from our brain pans", due to our "Deliverance" mentality.
Pure ignorance and stupidity on your part. Did you even take the time to
find out why so many people dislike Gordon, before you shoved us all in
a Neanderthal class of people who, as you put it, "wade around in their
own gene pool"?
Racing fans are a breed apart from any other sport. They are fiercely
loyal, intelligent, very well informed, and have experienced many phases
of Stock Car Racing that you only attempt to write about. In no other
sport will you see such a blending of all backgrounds and personalities,
that come together for the love of Racing. We Race fans come from all
over the US, Canada, and from other parts of the World, and from all
walks of life. From blue collar to millionaires. Men, women, and
children. Folks of all ages joined together to enjoy racing-and for
some, their dislike of Jeff Gordon.
Race Fans have a firm grasp on NASCARs history. Or as you call it, Our
Daddys NASCAR. And it is something we choose to hold on to-as we travel
into the next 50 years of NASCAR. To truly love and appreciate Racing,
you must also respect and embrace the past. It doesn't mean you choose
to live in the past, only that you have chosen to make it a foundation
for your love of the sport. Newcomers who don't get it, or Sportswriters
who have chosen to write an article about something they know nothing
about, unfortunately....never will understand the roots and respect of
NASCAR. You can't come into NASCAR racing somewhere in the middle, and
not know and respect the past with some sense of pride. Otherwise, you
can't really be called a Racin Fan, in your case, just a narrowminded
You want to break down those Gordon Attributes?
Good Looking? Well, Ill never look at Speed Racer quite the same way
again. It took a Public Relations Firm to clean him up, a good pair of
tweezers, and add a few layers of polish, to make him presentable.
Religious? Now, heres one point that really get those of us who have
scanners, and can listen to the races really steamed. Hes been heard
whining and cussing throughout the race, only to get out of the car, and
Thank the Lord. But then .he only thanks the Lord when he wins. And
when he wins is the only time youll see his Miss Winston at his side.
We dont drive or own a Ford, we actually have Chevys, but I enjoy good
side by side racing, and that cant be done without Chevys AND Fords
together. Now, heres another point you seem to be dense about. Chevys
and Fords TOGETHER. Why is it, that Gordons Chevy has been the only
dominant Chevy for the 1998 Season? Youre the Sports Expert
Wannabe .look it up. And yes, Gordon drove a Ford. The Baby Ruth Ford to
be exact. And he showed a lot of skill and promise. We were impressed
with him. But then, he left his Ford Car Owner and team in mid-season in
Busch, leaving them in quite a dilemma. Not long after that, he fired
his mom and step-dad who had worked with him since childhood, even
moving to a different state, and at one point living out of their car to
make ends meet, to provide Jeff with what he needed. Then came the PR
Firm, the unlimited Hendrick bucks, and a "Miss Winston" velcrod to his
side. From then on, he changed, and we wanted nothing to do with him.
Okay, about this cheating stuff. His own Crew Chief Ray Evernham gave an
interview with Juliet Macur of the Orlando Sentinel. In an article
entitled "Where's the line between a Champion and a Cheater"- I know
youve received this URL numerous times already, but dont take our
Goobered Backwoods word for it, look it up, and pay close attention to
the direct quotes. Evernham doesnt claim to follow the rules. He claims
to find his way around them. To him, cheating and finding loopholes in
the rules are two different things.
"I want people to know that we dont cheat, we just take advantage of
the gray area of the rule book .and thats not really legal, but not
really illegal, either.
Now, from our backwoods, redneck, cave dwellin point of view
"Ray Evernham has never cheated with the 24 car" sounds about as hollow
and as unbelievable as Clintons "I have never had sexual relations with
As folks say in "them thar hills", ."That dog wont hunt."
Evernham has the largest fine in NASCAR History for illegal or
unapproved parts. The records speak for themselves. And the interview he
gave, speaks volumes.
Now, about Gordon turning down Beer Endorsements. Richard Petty promised
his mother years ago, that he would never put a beer sticker/endorsement
on his car, and because of that promise, has never raced in the Busch
Clash, held in February in Daytona. And he is still true to his word to
his mother, as a Car Owner. That hasnt stopped Gordon. He carries a
Busch Sticker on his car, and he wears a Winston Cup Jacket. So no
matter how pristine you decide to make him out to be, hell still wear
it or slap it on his car, if it means getting more of that almighty
dollar. Most of the drivers will. So who are you trying to kid?? If he
takes their money .its an endorsement, whether its a check in the
mail, or in winners circle, Its still an endorsement. The products that
Jeff promotes, may appear to be pure and wholesome. But what it boils
down to is those companies paid him the most money. Theres nothing
pristine about it. Its a shame you dont know enough about NASCAR to
follow the many other drivers and their equally wholesome endorsements.
(And yes, Ford, Chevy, and Pontiac drivers all have wholesome
Gordon signs autographs, and meets handicapped children only when it
suits him. Once the cameras quit rolling, and the microphone is out of
his face, hes not the darling you make him out to be. Friends of ours
waited for hours to get a hat autographed for their 4 year old little
girl, who adored Gordon. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity,
Gordon looked at the hat, saw it wasnt an expensive DuPont #24 hat,
flipped it back to the little girls daddy, and walked into his transport
without saying a word. The little girl was devastated. So much for your
wholesome image. And this kind of treatment to the fans happens on a
regular basis. Why else would Jeff have "staged" a little boy walking
along beside him, and Bill Weber at the Atlanta race, then to see Gordon
stop, pull out a pen, and sign the boys jacket once he knew the cameras
were rolling, and the Sportscaster was talking. Phoney and as staged as
As a Racin Fan, we dont care about Gordons sexuality. It has nothing to
do with how he drives a car. Hes an excellent driver, but hes NOT the
best there is. IF he were, then he would have one or two IROC
Championships by now, wouldnt he? Instead, he only has one win from
February 1998, after a red flag due to rain. If Ray Evernham isn't doing
a little "extra tweaking" to that 24 car, how come the only IROC race
Gordon has won, was the one rained out and red-flagged a little
past halfway in Daytona this year?? All of these cars are set up
exactly alike, with no radio communication, and the Champion drivers
have to rely on their abilities alone. He may be an excellent driver,
but he certainly doesn't dominate, when the cars are evenly
matched....In fact, he's really only "average" when it comes to IROC.
This is not, nor will it ever be Jeff Gordons NASCAR. And he really
hasnt set any records yet that are worth carving in stone, yet. The 13
win record he supposedly matched with Petty at the end of the 1998
season in Atlanta, was only matched in the eyes of the Media hype. Petty
did it in 30 races. It took Jeff Gordon 33 races. And as far as "Daddys
NASCAR record, lets go there for a minute .
Why do we want to ignore the records the LEGENDS set?? Since you seem to
depend on sarcasm, instead of researching your facts, let's go to the 7
pound Stock Car Racing Encyclopedia and let the True Racing Fans
"enlighten" you to the records before someone invented the phrase
"Modern Era"....so they could accomodate Jeff Gordon.
1963-Richard Petty-14 Wins
1964-Ned Jarrett-15 Wins
1967-Richard Petty-27 Wins- in 48 races
1968-Richard Petty and David Pearson-16 Wins
1969-Bobby Isaac-17 Wins
1970-Richard Petty-18 Wins
1971-Richard Petty-21 Wins- in 46 races
1975-Richard Petty-13 wins in 30 races-Not Jeffys 33
And if ya really want to get technical......
1987-Dale Earnhardt-11 Wins in only 29 races....
Jeff Gordon is a product of modern greedy
marketing, public relations,
creating plastic productions, and will never, no how, no way, come
close to setting anything that matches the King, Richard Petty. It takes
alot more than counting races at the end of the season to even stand in
the mans' shadow.
And as far as this being Jeff Gordons NASCAR ..Have we got news for
you! This is THE RACING FANS NASCAR!! Chevy, Ford, and Pontiac alike. WE
make the difference! WE purchase the tickets. WE pay for the drivers
merchandise. And WE the RACING FANS, keep the sport alive by putting our
hard earned money into Sponsor Products, and anything remotely connected
to NASCAR, WE will be the ones to decide NASCARs future. And it would
be in the best interest of someone like you Mr Fennelly, a pretend
yuppie, scotch swillin, poor golfin, sarcastically opinionated "Dave
Barry Wannabe", to keep that in mind.
D Willard Wizards EARNHARDT Page
Atlantic Beach, FL
From our Friend Stephen at the
You must have known you were going to open up a can of worms with the rubbish that you
write. More specifically your November 4/98 article on Jeff Gordon entitled
"Gordon-haters will be angry for long time". Before I refute your outlandish
statements, one must ask oneself if you are for real? How lucky one is such as yourself
who can actually get paid for publishing such drivel, not to mention your narrow
mindedness. How can you call yourself a journalist? I am terribly vexed as I sure most
people who have wasted their time reading your article. You seem to group all Jeff Gordon
haters in one category. You believe that all of these Jeff Gordon haters are obese, beer
swilling Ford owners with a penchant for beating women. Your ideologies and fantasies
about NASCAR fans really should be kept to yourself before it brings you on an
agglomeration of trouble. The very fans you accuse of these traits could quite conceivably
be paying your salary. You see, being a NASCAR fan means diversity. We come from all walks
of life, some of us well educated, skilled professionals as well as business owners and
corporate sponsors. One of us may even own the newspaper that you write for.
Does NASCAR need drivers and teams like Jeff Gordon and the Rainbow Warriors? Most
definitely. Equally, NASCAR needs drivers and teams like Dave Marcus. You see NASCAR
drivers and teams parallel the NASCAR fans. Whereas the drivers and teams are as
diversified as the fans. But then again, if you were as educated as most NASCAR fans, you
would understand that.
If you were a proficient NASCAR fan, and I am quite sure you are not, you would understand
that rivalries between different manufactures have existed for fifty years and should
sustain that existence for the next fifty years. That being said, rivalries among drivers
need to endure as well. This has been good for NASCAR and it's staunch fans since it's
meager beginnings. How you could construe that as being a hate mongrel approach with
regards to Jeff Gordon is beyond comprehension.
Allow me to acquaint you as to why Jeff Gordon is likely the most undesired NASCAR
champion in history. You are right about one thing. Jeff Gordon did jump ship on Ford and
the other people who sustained his racing career up to that point. His stepfather for one,
was the very person who sacrificed heart, sole and money to get him to the NASCAR ranks.
As soon as his convicted felon of a car owner came knocking, Jeff jumped ship, deserted
his stepfather and rewarded him with a pink slip, so he could hire an image consultant to
polish up an already feeble image. His religious beliefs are unlike anyone I know who is
of Christian denomination. You see, Jeff believes that sometimes, God is driving his
racecar. That sounds like the ramblings of a very disconcerted and disordered individual
to me. The very fact that he is not assessable to his fans makes my skin crawl. If Dupont
or Pepsi does not approve the race card or merchandise a young and impressionable fan is
trying to get autographed, the new King (as you put it) will not oblige in signing his
name on it. You see, most other drivers, including the real King (as NASCAR fans put it),
understand and never minimize the loyalty and importance of the NASCAR fan.
As far as this being Jeff Gordon's NASCAR, nothing could be further from the truth. This
is my NASCAR. This is the factory worker's NASCAR. This is the diversified NASCAR. Deal
with it. Live with it and get on with it.
Since we published this page we have
also received the following
email that NASCAR Fans have sent to Mr. Fennelly
From: Dann Rothwell Family
Date: Monday, November 16, 1998 1:34 PM
Subject: You are SO ignorant.
The following "opinion" is in response to your article Gordon-haters will be
angry for long time, which I read at:
I am a NASCAR fan. I am from North of the Mason-Dixon line. I do not drink
beer. I do not have a belly. I am well-educated. I use outstanding
grammar. Even with all of these qualities, I do NOT cheer for Jeff Gordon.
I am the first to admit that he is an outstanding talent and human being . .
. but does that OBLIGATE me to cheer for him? I have been a Dale Earnhardt
fan for more years than you have brain cells. Just because "the future of
NASCAR" comes along, does that mean I should abandon my loyalty to ONE OF
the all time greats? (You will notice that I said "ONE OF," not "THE
GREATEST" like your biased and self-serving article.) I thought we lived in
America where freedom of choice was a right. Wouldn't this be a wonderful
country if we all had the same opinion . . .YOURS! You are a joke!
Respectfully, Dann Rothwell
Author: Angel6206@aol.com at INET_PO
Date: 11/16/98 3:31 PM
I have just read an article written by M. Fennelly for the Tampa Tribune and
published by same paper. I find Mr. Fennelly to be an insensitive "jerk" and
am delighted that I will never have the pleasure of reading this mans insults
again. The article was a putdown to NASCAR fans and residents of the state of
Tennessee. He should be ashamed of himself and he owes a number of people an
And can you believe it...The Tampa
Tribune actually sent a reply to R. Angel
The following is what I received from my
e-mail and it includes what I sent to
them originally. I am "twice" insulted by this man's work. First as a NASCAR
fan and secondly as a resident of the great state of Tennessee. (Not Coon
The Reply from the Tampa Tribune
We've passed your note along to Martin.
Wow What a reply!
Date: 11/16/98 3:59:35 PM Eastern Standard
Let me introduce myself. I am from North Carolina, the birthplace of NASCAR racing and the
home to many of the drivers and teams. North Carolina is not made up of Ford wearing
T-shirt, beer bellied goobers!! I do not appreciate your insulting race fans from states
because they are southern. Tampa, Fla. is also located in a southern state.
I am a Gordon fan and I don't appreciate the lack of respect he gets from many non-Gordon
fans. However, what accusations you have made about race fans is much worse than a driver
getting boos. All sports have fans and non-fans. Look at football for example. When was
the last time you attended a football game and you didn't hear the home team booing all
the players of the opposing team????? I think you need to look at exactly what you have
said in this article you have written. Personally, I don't think you have made yourself
look any better than those Ford T-shirt wearing, big bellied North Carolina, stupid
southern race fans.
I am a professional woman who has worked in a career oriented job for many years. I also
have been a NASCAR and Football fan for over 20 years. I live in North Carolina and am
proud to say I am a respectful fan and citizen.
I think you owe race fans an apology!!
From: Leigh & Karen Fahel
Date: Monday, November 16, 1998 7:09 PM
Subject: Re: Gordon-haters will be angry for long time
I read your above referenced article and was deeply offended. First of
all, I am a woman, a YOUNG woman, a woman from New Hampshire, and I do
not cheer for Gordon. However, I do not boo him, either.
Second of all, my husband is a southerner...one of your so-called
"goobers" from South Carolina. He is neither a goober nor any of the
things you described your typical Southern NASCAR fan to be. He is a
life-long NASCAR fan. He does not cheer or boo for Gordon, either.
We both feel that he is a talented driver and for the most part ignore
the rumors that go around about him.
Next, your article is extremely unresearched and uninformed. You say
that Gordon has no beer sponsorships on his car. That is wrong. He has
the Busch Beer sticker on his car and the Bud sticker. It is mandatory
to have the Bud sticker to be eligible to enter the Bud Shoot-out at the
beginning of the year, the race that only pole winners can enter.
However, there is a driver who does not have a single beer sticker on
his car, even at the risk of not being in the Shoot-out. That driver is
John Andretti, and the owner is Richard Petty. And, although we are not
sure, we think that Kyle Petty (of the PE2 car...that's Petty
Enterprises 2, for the uninformed) may not, either.
The domestic incident mentioned at the beginning of your article has
happened before, and with other sports. However, the incidents are
fewer when it comes to NASCAR.
The NASCAR community is a wonderful group of people. We have had the
good fortune to have been able to meet a large number of people from
different facets of the sport...drivers, team members, car owners, and
fellow fans. Most of them (especially the die-hard, long-timers) are
wonderful, patient people. It is said that NASCAR fans are the best in
all sports and I, for one, am inclined to agree.
How many other sports are there where teams will sit, side by side, for
Sunday worship just before the main event? Or, how many will actually
volunteer members of their teams and parts of their equipment to the
opponents? I would like to see a football team offer their quarterback
to the opposing team when theirs is injured. Drivers and key pit
members do this all the time. We could name exact examples, but this is
long enough as it is.
We have found that most of the people who do boo Gordon are what we
refer to as "bandwagoners"...people who are just into it because it is
"in" right now, who have only been watching for the last few years (say,
In closing, I feel that you owe Mr. Gordon and the rest of the NASCAR
community an apology.
Karen & Leigh Fahel
Allenstown, New Hampshire
You look like an intelligent person. Some one who knows his sports. So why in God's name
do you insist on calling race fans; goobers, goobs, "Deliverance" extras, and
insist that most race fans aren't worth the shirts they wear? Yes NASCAR was born in the
backwoods as moonshine delivery runners. But neither NASCAR nor the fans have stayed
there, in case you haven't noticed. Jeff Gordon didn't deliver us from that image. NASCAR
like any sport has developed and evolved as the years passed. We haven't been rednecks,
(wondering why you didn't use that term), in many years as you yourself pointed out. And
if anything, auto-racing has been a purer sport than some of the ball sports, i.e. no drug
arrest, wife swapping, lock-outs, strikes, I could go on and on.
So why do you insist on calling us names?
Yes there are some fans that act like idiots, something you will find in all walks of
life. But don't make it sound like auto racing has all the idiots. Personally I think
soccer fans are the worst. And yes there are Jeff Gordon haters, Dallas Cowboy haters,
Rangers haters, Yankee haters, but do you call them names? Do you say their "gene
pools are strictly for wading"? I think not. So please refrain from calling auto
racing fans those insulting and sport degrading names.
You want to write an article about an idiot
fan, go ahead but don't label all fans by just a few and don't label a sport by it's
I promise never to label all sports writers by the name I called you after reading your
My background; I'm from NJ, female, auto race fan for over 30 years, and a Jeff Gordon Fan
since 1993, and an all around nice person. You are not the first writer I've written to
about an unflattering article and you probably won't be the last.
Date: 11/17/98 10:34:10 AM Eastern Standard
Mr. Fennelly, I am writing you because I wanted to set a few things straight with you. I
am a Jeff Gordon hater. Maybe hate is too strong a word, I wouldn't take it that far, but
I highly dislike him. For reasons that I'll get into in another minute. First, I wanted to
explain to you that I do not appreciate your stereotypes of Gordon haters. First of all, I
am a 19 yr old college student from the University of Rhode Island majoring in physical
therapy. In case you're not on top of current issues, physical therapy is one of the most
demanding, competitive fields to get into right now. Hardly a field for a goober. Hardly a
field for backwards "Deliverance Extras." I'm going to give you some of the
typical stereotypes that have been placed on Gordon fans. And you can email me back and
tell me if any of them apply to you. I'd also appreciate an apology for being classed as a
goober and a "Deliverance Extra," but I highly doubt I'm going to get one from
you because you, like all Gordon fans, can do no wrong just as Gordon can do no wrong.
It's never his fault.
About eighty five percent of all Gordon fans
are female. Half of those females are teenie boppers who wouldn't know a tire from a
steering wheel, kinda like Gordon himself who has even admitted to not knowing much about
the cars on television, and the other half are women in their forties and up. The rest of
Gordons fans that are male are gay. You've gotta be gay if you're a guy and you like that
wussy. (Again Mr. Fennelly, I want you to keep in mind that these are STEREOTYPES. They
sound awful silly huh) About half of Gordon fans are bandwagoners. Those people who drop
their fav driver every year so they never have to be a fan of somebody who's having a bad
year. Of the remaining half, half of those are idiots who have completely no clue what
racing is, they just like to see that rainbow colored car and jeffie pooh's adorable face
<gag>. The remaining few are actually loyal fans. They're mostly people from Indiana
where Jeff is from. The percentage that have no clue about racing, some of them can
actually become true fans too. They've just gotta get over the "Oh he's so
Anyways, Mr. Fennelly, that's just a few
stereotypes of Gordon fans. I could go on and get personal, but I won't. See, I'm not that
type of person. I am however, going to go through your letter and dispute every thing you
said in there and tell you why I"m disputing it. I can only hope that you actually
read my entire letter and give my voice a chance to be heard instead of being like the
typical Gordon fan and hiding from the truth all the time.
First of all, that woman who went nutso
because Jeffie beat Crusty. Do you really think this is the norm? That lady had a problem.
A big problem and it has nothing to do with the fact that she's from "them thar
hills." If all race fans got angry and did what she did because their fav driver
didn't win, we'd all be in jail because none of the drivers ever wins all the races. It's
never happened before, and it never will.
Next, you mentioned how it's one thing when
us "Deliverance Extras" start Hatfield and McCoying it, but it's another story
when the drivers get in on it too. Let me tell you something. The racing family is a very
close knit group. And as much as certain drivers seem to not get along on the track,
behind the scenes they're usually good friends. There's maybe one or two guys that dislike
any certain driver. But when most of the drivers express dislike for one guy, there's
something to it. Any interview I've seen with drivers expressing dislike for Jeff, they
all say the same exact thing. Jeff's not accessible to everybody like the other drivers
are. Jeff holes himself up in his motorhome or his hauler and nobody can talk to him. Even
Richard Petty, The King, said on a television interview for the Sports Machine last year,
that he hardly knows Jeff Gordon because he never sees him. Jeff's doesn't hang out with
the other guys. The King said that. How long has Jeff been racing? And the King doesn't
know him? Hello? What's wrong with this picture?
You listed all Jeff's stats and asked,
"What's there not to like?" I'll tell you what's not to like. His "I"m
better than you, holier than thou, God chose me, I can do no wrong" pompous attitude.
Jeff wasn't always like that. When he first started Winston Cup, he was a nice guy. But
that success went straight to his head and it's because of that swollen head that I
dislike him. Not because he wins all the time which is the excuse Gordon fans will give
you because they're too blind to see that it's because of his cockiness that most people
dislike him. Winning races a lot only gets you certain kinds of fans, they're called
bandwagoners and I mentioned them earlier. Personality is what gets you the real fans.
Jeff needs to work on that.
I wanted to review your comments on us
"goobs" that boo with our jerky bellies peeking out of our Ford shirts. I've got
news for ya my friend. I'm in great shape. No jerky belly peeking out of a Ford shirt
here. Another stereotype. And a wrong one at that. If anything, I'll wear a Chevy shirt
designed to show my belly.
The fact that Gordon cheats is old news.
What you may not realize is the fact that every single one of those teams out there
cheats. They all do. Only, it's not cheating, it's gray area stuff. Stuff they'll try
because the rules don't say they can't and until the rules do, they'll keep on doing it.
Gordon's success isn't from the fact that he cheats.
As for Gordon's work with sick and
handicapped kids. Hoorah! ALL the drivers work with sick and handicapped kids. The
difference is that most of them are sincere and don't do it for the media to try and boost
their image like a certain driver I know of.
Now, finally, I wanted to go over your
comment about us gordon haters being unhappy for the next fifteen years. Yes, Gordon's got
talent. And a great Crew Chief in Ray Evernham. The secret to his success is not that he
cheats, it's that his entire team has not changed. Everybody is the same. That can't be
that way for long. Change is inevitable and once personnel start changing, the team
doesn't work together as well. Ask Dale Earnhardt. If anybody, he'll be able to tell you
what change does to a team that's already tops. The other thing that has to change is
Jeff's luck. He's never had really bad luck in consecutive weeks. That's going to change
Then there's the talent pool coming up
through the ranks. You've gotta be nuts to think that any one driver will be able to
completely dominate this sport for the next fifteen to twenty-five years. You've got Dale
Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Buckshot Jones (if he ever settles down and gets off his high
horse), Adam Petty, Casey Atwood, Lepage, Mike Stefanik (if he ever gets a full-time ride
in winston cup), need I go on? The youth movement is soooooo strong right now. Just Jr.
and Kenseth alone are going to be what it takes to knock Jeffie pooh off that high
pedestal he's perched himself on. I for one can't wait to see what Jr, aka the Dominator,
aka the Prince, aka etc. is going to do.
In closing, I just want to point out to you
again, that your stereotypes are the main reason for this letter. I fit none of the
stereotypcial molds of what you consider Gordon haters. I would like to hear from you Mr.
Fennelly. I'm kind of curious as to what Gordon fan stereotypes you fit into.
Thank-you Crystal Whittaker
Subj: What kind of person are you?
Date: 11/17/98 7:47:48 PM Eastern Standard Time
I do not like Jeff Gordon. I think that he is a young punk driver. As far as the moonshine
runners, that is where NASCAR was born. I give the boy credit when he does something right
but I do that for anybody. He does not give credit to anyone except his team. Look at the
other drivers at least they praise other drivers instead of whining how they pass them. I
think that when he grows up he may be a good driver and a respectable driver, until then
never classify him with the King because the boy has a long way to go to be there. I hope
that someday that you will become a better reporter and write about something you know
Gary, I just wanted to add my e-mail to Mr.
Fennelly, to the growing
list you seem to have on your web page. BTW thanks for the great site and
keep up the good work, I really enjoy your point of view on racing and got a
real kick out of your Theory page. Thanks again.
From: Hooper, James K. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 1998 11:03 AM
Subject: Backwoods racing fans
a yuk a yuk,
Yu'ins shore are funny, NOT. You are seriously misinformed about
the Nascar fans of today. We are not the backwoods hillbillies that you
tried to portray in your article "Gordon-haters will be angry for long
time". Most racing fans are intelligent middle to upper class citizens
that truly enjoy the sport of racing and are beginning to be disenchanted
with the obvious lopsided outcome every week and will start to spend there
hard earned money somewhere else. Gordon is bringing in a lot of "new"
fans to the sport but most of the old diehard fans will start to look for
another sport that will satisfy there since of fairness and that will lead
Nascar "Bill France" to change their new marketing strategy and bring back
the side by side racing that made this sport so great. You obviously have
not been nor ever will be a true racing fan, only a bandwagon fan that has
joined the "hype" surrounding Gordon. It amazes me that people like you
start calling Gordon the best driver of all time even though he is not
even in the top ten in number of wins and is a long way from the 7
championships that Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt have.
Long live the King......RICHARD PETTY
20 year Nascar Fan
To: Mr. Fennelly
I read your article on Jeff Gordon Haters. I was insulted to be lumped in a
category by the rest. I am a NASCAR fan!!!! First and foremost. There are ones
out there that are as you described, but to write what you did, adds fuel to
the fire. You assumed that all "Gordon Haters" were Ford fans....that was
mistake number 1. There are many Chevrolet people who dislike him also...maybe
you should do survey and see for yourself. Jealous?? Yes there are many who
are, same in any sport...remember when the Dallas Cowboys were America's
team...and alot of people hated them? They won so much.
Saying he was the best driver on earth...mistake number 2. That is your
opinion and as a writer for a paper...you owe the people who read the
paper...a disclaimer noting that this is your opinion and only your opinion.
Gordon has had an incredible year, no one can take that from him. There are
several other drivers in NASCAR history that have had incredible years. The
Winston Cup Championship makes him the best THIS year, in that circuit and
only that circuit. By his wins and a certain amount of luck..this is the same
for any driver who wins the Championship. Remember when Darrel Waltrip won his
Championship? How many races did he win that year? Do you remember when
Richard "The King" Petty won his first championship? How many races did he
win that year? And his other championships; how many races did he win for
"The goobs boo", What an asinine remark for a writer to make, I am appalled
that your editor even allowed it in print. You are not showing any better
attitude than the ones you are calling "goobs". They are not all Ford people...
and go to a race sometime....check out the type of people who are watching
this sport. You have insulted a great many people with your thoughtless
comments. Are you a race fan or a bandwagon fan? Have you ever attended a
race? One that you paid for the tickets? The fans are the reason that there is
a sport called racin' and we are the reason drivers are where they are. We
have some that are fickle and we have some that are diehard fans of their
drivers. If Gordon is upset or worried about what others say about him...let
him hire someone to give his side. Apparently he is taking it all in stride
and only a hand full of people like you are upset about the "name calling "
and goings on surrounding him.
No where is it written that a driver must come from "Coon Hollow, TN" to be a
driver. Yes, the race did stem from moonshiners, most from Tennessee. No, they
were not "backwoods" they were doing what a lot of us still do...do what the
government doesn't want us to do. The same government that lets you write
whatever you want to write, told them that alcohol was illegal now and so they
must stop drinking and runnin' it. Hummmmmmm, guess you are a non- drinker
also? Nor are you a smoker? And of course have never done anything that the
law doesn't approve of?
Don't you think enough is enough? The name "Winston Cup" and "NASCAR"
on alcohol and tobacco monies. He "Gordon" is better than that? He will take
the money given to him in a purse that is sponsored by an tobacco industry or
a beer company? Don't know about you, but that is like biting the hand that
feeds you. Not even a stray dog will chance that! So according to you, should
he only race in the races sponsored by food, toothpaste Pepsi, etc. Should he
not have the Championship title this year? After all it is cigarette related
and beer related.
This is not "Jeff Gordon's NASCAR" this is NASCAR!!!! As long as there is
someone out there doing his best and winning, someone will be complaining. Get
a grip and let us have our fun. There is always next year...and I for one am
going to embrace it with enthusiasm. Unfortunately, I will have to wade
through all your BS and a few others to be able to enjoy the sport. Do
everyone a favor.....think before you write. You are acting like a "goob" and
your "jerky belly" is peeking out from under your "moron" shirt!
Avid NASCAR and die-hard Mark Martin fan
This response to Mr. Fennelly is from a
sweet lady in Texas that visits our site quite often.
Thank you Joycelyn for sending this to us.
Give 'em hell Joycelyn!
From: JHIBBS@webtv.net (JOYCELYN HIBBS)
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 12:53:25 -0600 (CST)
Talk about mad, let me tell you something. I'm not mad about what you said about NASCAR
Fans. I'm damn mad that you have the nerve to try and put yourself in the catagory of
journalist. Every true journalist in America should take you to the restroom, dunk your
head in the comode three times and only bring it up twice. Who ever hired you for their
paper, placed you in the wrong job. Your only talent is, maybe, JUST MAYBE, a paperboy on
a three wheeler. I am a NASCAR Fan from the South and am damn proud of it. You forgot to
say people from the South eat soul food. Try it you might find you may get a soul from it.
The only soul you have is on the bottom of your shoes.
Joycelyn G. Hibbs
Date: Wednesday, November 18, 1998 6:52 PM
Subject: 11/4/98 Gordon Haters Piece
Martin, Martin, Martin,
You are giving Gordon lovers a bad name. We don't need your help! What kind
of journalism was that? Sure we Gordon fans can't understand why so many
fans boo him but we don't need to belittle and insult them. We need to thank
those old "White Lightening" runners or we wouldn't have this sport. Ask any
one of them if their guy (or gal, sorry Patty) was dominating the series
like Jeff has for the past four years, how would they be acting today?
Gloating? How would they act if we Gordon fans boo'd their driver? Why
attack these fans.....just print stats and let them speak for themselves. If
they will read but can't see...oh well!
Subj: gordon article
Date: 11/22/98 6:39:20 PM Eastern Standard Time
Well I would have to say you hit the nail right on the head about the Gordon Haters. But,
you forgot to mention one thing.......in your overflowing intelligence, you have missed
the point completely. The Deliverace rejects that you describe are the Veteran Nascar
fans........call us rednecks, whatever you will. I happen to be from California, have
devoted much time and energy into the history of Nascar, and am a proud Earnhardt fan. The
reason your Gordon, and Gordon fans are booed.....is because you jump onto a bandwagon
that is full and rich with a wonderful history, and you downplay it all as a bunch of
rednecks and backwoods moonshine, the whole ridiculous line, I have heard it all.......its
you people that make this sport the ridiculous media frenzy it has become..... I much
preferred Nascar when it was a "redneck sport" ........listen up moron!!!!!!!its
these rednecks that made this sport what it is, and as long as you and your so called
driver can't appreciate that, then your right, not much will change..........Let's see you
chew on that tobacco for awhile.........
A California "Deliverance Reject" and Nascar fan unlike most...........
Opinions expressed here are those of the
author of each comment. They do not necessarily represent Blk3GM's viewpoint. We were
disturbed by Mr. Fennelly's article and have created this page for you to see not only his
article but the response of NASCAR Fans.
To the best of our knowledge there has only
been one reply from the Tampa Tribune as received by R.Angel above. We have not yet
received a reply from either Mr. Fennelly or the Tampa Tribune.
(Other than quoting Mr. Martin Fennelly, a
Tampa Tribune Sports Columnist, the views expressed above are soley our opinions. We are
not affiliated with NASCAR®, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. or any other official organizations.
Although we do our best to research the facts we state we cannot guarantee them. This site
is for entertainment purposes only.)
Blk3GM's Dale Earnhardt Site was born on
July 26, 1998 and is owned and maintained by Gary Harris. This site is a
tribute to "NASCAR's Greatest Driver" and his up and coming son. We are
not affiliated with any official Team, Sponsors, Media Group or NASCAR. This site is
solely for entertainment purposes. Information and statistic's on this site have
been collected from various NASCAR related sites on the internet, from Winston Cup Scene,
Newspapers, Television and our personal experience at Winston Cup and Busch Grand National
races. All statistics are believed to be accurate at the time they are updated but
cannot be guaranteed.