Big Weekend for Virginia Drivers
Last weekend proved to be a very successful one for Virginia-born NASCAR drivers. Most prominently, South Boston-native Jeff Burton won the pole position for this sunday's Daytona 500 (aka the Super Bowl of Racing). Following close behind him was Emporia-native Elliott Sadler who had the fourth-fastest time in qualifying. Elliott's brother Hermie Sadler had the 20th fastest qualifying time but does not have a guaranteed spot and must try to race into the field in Thursday's Gatorade 150 duals.
Also making waves this weekend was Chesterfield native Denny Hamlin, who won Sunday's Budweiser shootout driving the #11 Chevy for Joe Gibbs racing. I was happy for Joe Gibbs winning the Nextel Cup campionship last year, but I've never been a big Tony Stewart fan, so it's nice to have someone on Gibbs' team to root for. However, it is a little weird that Hamlin is a few weeks younger than my little brother.
Finally, I must voice my displeasure that my favorite driver, Ward Burton, continues to sit on the sidelines while many less experienced drivers get the chance to drive in the Nextel Cup. Ward is the brother of Jeff Burton and the 2002 winner of the Dayton 500. With all the young bucks in NASCAR, it's depressing that no one is willing to give an old hand a chance to drive.