Gentlemen (and Danica), start your engines! The Daytona 500 is finally upon us! I have been watching some of the NASCAR coverage during Speed Weeks, and I cannot believe how young these new up and coming drivers look. I am teaching my daughter to drive right now, and thinking about someone just a few years older than her racing in the daddy of all races is mind boggling. Do you remember when guys like Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman were considered the “Young Guns” of NASCAR?
I watched this 2004 Gillette Young Gun commercial tonight and laughed pretty hard. It was only eight years ago, but they look like babies! Kurt has been fired a couple of times since then, went to anger management, hired new PR guys, and is now trying to “bring the fun” back into racing. Yeah right. I heard Matt’s son is an aspiring “Young Gun” himself, I like Matt – but, he is the only one that seems too young to have a son breaking into racing. Ryan seems like the driver who will one day fill Mark Martin’s “nice guy” who just comes and races (and wins) shoes.
As for Dale Jr. (disclaimer: he is my favorite driver) I wish Gillette would make a “Older Guns” commercial, he could really use a shave. I am not going to argue though, because I think he is poised to have a great year.
All these “former” young guns are in the race today, alongside some future NASCAR superstars waiting for their moment to shine. Will it be like Last year with a Rookie taking the checkers, or will a legend like Terry Labonte beat the pack to the line.
Let’s Go Racin’ Boys! (And Danica.)