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A reverse-prioritized, non-provocative, highly subjective list of the top ten greatest race car drivers of all time, based on performance, entertainment level, character (except in Foyt’s case), contributions to the sport and other unspecified subjective criteria.

HONORABLE MENTION
Carroll Shelby (Beat the Ferraris with a home built hybrid)
Richard Petty
Dennis Hulme
P.L. Newman
Nigel Mansell

NUMBER TEN
JEFF GORDON
Unparalleled success in sprint cars and NASCAR, decades of consistency, four championships and a valid shot at more.

NUMBER NINE
NIKI LAUDA
Multiple championships, overwhelming dignity and grace after a near fatal, seriously disfiguring accident. Always a gentleman.

NUMBER EIGHT
A.J. FOYT
After his own car dropped out of a twenty four hour race, he moved to a car he had never been in. Set the fastest lap of the race. At night! In the RAIN!. At Le Mans!! (or Daytona). Wins in multiple series. Conspired with Roger Penske to pull off the trickiest cheating scam in motorsports. Then he did a Woody Hayes impersonation. Won Indy, Daytona 500, 24 Hours of Daytona, Le Mans and IROC (twice)

NUMBER SEVEN
ALAIN PROST
Multiple wins, victim of the most egregious episode of cheating in motorsports history. Multiple championships in an era when driving ability was much more critical in F1.

NUMBER SIX
JOHN FORCE
The winning pitcher in the final game of the World Series won’t give the interview John Force will give after being eliminated in the first round. Without any doubt, win or lose, the greatest post-event interview in sports. Multiple championships. More to come.

NUMBER FIVE
JIM CLARK
Jim and Colin, two of the great innovators. Moved the engine to the back and brought NASCAR pit work to Indianapolis and F1. Wins in multiple series.

NUMBER THREE (TIE)
DALE EARNHARDT, SR. and MICHAEL SCHUMACHER
In the early eighties, the NFL was selling about $7m in ‘merchandise’, fifty percent of which was branded ‘Dallas Cowboys’. The same year, NASCAR sold $4m, seventy five percent of which was branded ‘3’ or ‘Dale Earnhardt’.
Schumacher brought a lot of interest back to F1. An entire season of podium finishes. No info available on F1 merchandise.

NUMBER TWO
JUAN MANUEL FANGIO
Proved that an Argentine taxi driver with raw talent and desire could beat the best.

NUMBER ONE
RICK MEARS
Picture coming off Turn 4 at Indianapolis at over 220 MPH, hitting the wall with both right side tires, and NOT LIFTING FOR A SECOND! Multiple wins at Indy.

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Dear Abbey:

Why is Lewis Hamilton not on pole for the British GP?

-Lost in London

Dear Lost:

Don’t worry love, 4th on the grid is all part of the plan. You see, Lewies ego is so even keeled, so not a self aware entity of its own, that he decided to let his teammate get the pole in our home race. How would it look to have a Brit on pole at the British GP? Senseless showboating at best, really. If you carefully review qualifying you can see the intent in all of it. Every time he went in to Brooklands he had his tires right on the outside edge of the track and only spun or ran off there a few times on Friday. So you can see that when he locked up, got off the track and cocked up his qually lap there Saturday morning it was just part of the plan. And the team telling him over the radio not to overdrive the car while dad gave a “just wait until you get home” glare to the cameras, just pure theatre for those fools at Ferrari. Yep our Lewis has the world by the short hairs, controlling the drivers championship from 4th place. You’ll see tomorrow my dear. 2 Finns and an Aussie could never stand up to the pure, complete, driving talent that is our very British Sir Hamilton.

  • Jeep Wrangler: What better way to show the results of your ab routine and herbal duck milk colonic! Plus it’s got that rugged thing going! Fierce!

  • Toyota Paseo: Sport with economy! Light weight front wheel drive with commuter suspension tuning, gas saving power, and fastback styling!

  • Nissan Altima Coupe: Its pure coupe! All about looks with the utility of two heavy doors, bloated curb weight, and French styling!

  • Pontiac Aztek: Sport Utility. What else needs to be said? So sporty it doesn’t matter that it can double as a lightweight (4500 lb) tent! Forget that it was styled by paper plate factory assembly line workers on their lunch break!

  • Cadillac Allante: Italy meets America Supercar! Pininfarina styling can’t beat that, eh! Front wheel drive, 4000 pounds, top down in South Beach!

  • Dodge Neon SRT-4: Long wheelbase, check. High cg, check, Front heavy, check. Skinny tires, check. Coveted inverted banana styling, check. Legendary Dodge build quality, check. But you can hop it up, check.

  • The Original Batmobile: Cruise out to Penguin Point with your yellow-brief-clad Boy Wonder to watch the submarine races! Perhaps some skinny dipping later! Don’t forget the Bat-Aerosol Shark Repellant!

  • Hummer H-whatever/Dodge Ram 2500+: Everyone knows these are the manliest vehicles on the road – you don’t even have to look very close to see their testicles swinging from the trailer hitch. Bonus if it blows black diesel smoke everywhere when you pull away from the stoplight! 4-wheel drive is handy for crushing cones and getting on top of Brokeback Mountain!

  • Nissan GTR (This space reserved for Spec-S, type-Z, Altezza, Cappichino Enema Edition, ect.): Nothing says I have no idea whatsoever what I am doing behind the wheel than multi-syllabic acronyms for traction control, stability control, four wheel drive, a lap timer on a 4,000 pound street car and a handy view screen so you can check out the G’s you are pulling in real time! Even Road and Track agrees!

  • Ferrari Testerossa: Testosterone, Don Jonson, Miami Vice – hey only three degrees of separation from South Beach!
  • Ferrari 288 GTO: Toughest looking Ferrari ever, Father of the F-40, tons of power, turbo lag, and who cares about handling!!
  • 930 911 Turbo: Antique suspension, air cooled 2 valve rear engine, turbo lag, big power, light weight, nothing questionable about the looks.
  • Mclaren F1: Big power, light weight, seating for a three-way, minimal electronics, designed by Gordan Murray before he became a corporate whore.
  • Raciest Lotus 7 clone: Light weight, bugs in your teeth, who cares about side impact protection, almost a racecar.
  • Ferrari Enzo: Developed by Micheal Schumacher, big power, light weight, so ugly it’s beautiful.
  • 1997 1.8L Base Model Miata (Red): Only those truly secure in their manhood can drive one of these. More power than the wimpy 1.6L version, light weight.
  • Dodge Viper: Monster V-10, crude interior, gigantic size, look at me styling, no electronics.
  • Ferrari Testarossa: Like a Viper but designed by Italians.
  • 1962 Corvette: Had to pick one, this is my fave with the 59 rear end and 61 front end. 60’s tire technology and brakes come standard with too much power.
  • E30 M3: Loud, light, square, basic, manly.

-RW

Here’s a demonstration of fine driving with Ari Vatanen.

Note: To be fair to all forms of motorsport, I’m willing to post something NASCAR-related if it doesn’t put me to sleep. Better yet, if you have any videos of someone flushing half a bag of skittles down the toilet..

A great article from WIRED about the Stepney Spy Scandal of 2007 involving Ferrari and McLaren.  Changed the way I think about Ron Dennis.  Alonso?  Not so much…

http://www.wired.com/cars/coolwheels/magazine/16-06/ff_formulaone

The year was 2007. Ron was not to be denied his Finn. We all know how this turned out

RON DENNIS’ MYSPACE BLOG (2007)
Hey ya’ll! Soooo… I just got back from the mall where Stacey’s mom took us. Got the *CUTEST* shirt that says “West McLaren Mercedes” in *sparklies*. It brings back the days of me and Kimi before this whole Vodaphone sponsorship. Unfortunately, as many of you know, my Kimi left me for Ferrari (which I blogged about here and here) and I’m left without a young, hot Finnish boy in my life. After having Mika and Kimi in a row, I’m having a hard time transitioning to Mr. Unibrow!!!. It’s no secret that me and Kimi had “communication issues” plus he was TOTALLY LAZY.Me and KimiMr Unibrow

Anyway, Flavio has been texting me non-stop taunting me about Heikki. Heikki is teh hotness!!! Of course, EVERYONE KNOWS that Heikki should come over to me w/ McLaren next but Flavio IS EVIL AND IS DOING THIS JUST TO GET BACK AT ME BECAUSE I’M SEXIER AND HE KNOWS IT!!! So, of course, the next day I put my favorite bomber jacket and walked to Renault asked Fernando over because, duh, what boy wouldn’t WITH ALL OF THIS SEXINESS GOING ON HERE. Anyway, Fernando doesn’t know that I’m only using him to get back at Flavio for taking Heikki (TEH *REAL* HOTNESS!!!!!!).

TEH HOTNESS!!!!!!
BTW, Just so you all know: I am sooooooooooo over Kimi.
OK g2g — qualifying is tomorrow and I gotta get up early AGAIN *rolls eyes*.
-*^Ron^*-