With NASCAR in Pocono this weekend, Jeff Gordon ventured to nearby New York City to appear Thursday morning on “Live With Kelly & Michael.”
Much of the four-time Sprint Cup champion’s appearance centered around his pending “retirement,” a word Gordon still hates to use, and show co-host Kelly Ripa’s repeated insistence that he’ll be back racing at some point.
The highlight of the show was when Ripa and co-host Michael Strahan gave the “Top 5 Things Jeff Gordon Will Do After ‘Retiring’” (video below):
5 “Change his first name to “Flash” (as in Flash Gordon)”
4 “Reject phone calls from the producers of ‘Dancing With The Stars'”
3 “Hire a pit crew to change light bulbs in his house (‘I already have that,’ Gordon joked in response)”
2 “Like Cher and (Barbara) Streisand, get really bored and kick off his comeback tour” (Said Ripa, “I know you’re getting behind the wheel of that car. When you do, I just want you to know I’ll be there to say ‘I told you so.'”)
1 “Try to become a talk show host because that’s what all ex-athletes do” (like Strahan, a former NFL star).
Things have been going relatively well for Denny Hamlin on the track in 2018.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver enters this weekend’s race at Martinsville Speedway sixth in points. Through five races, he’s finished outside the top six once (17th, Las Vegas).
NASCAR America’s Steve Letarte, Dale Jarrett and Nate Ryan discussed his season so far in addition to Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske.
Letarte said Hamlin has displayed “remarkable consistency.”
“Denny Hamlin is in my mind a super star driver that I know I am guilty of leaving him out of super star conversations,” Letarte said.
Ryan pointed to mistakes on pit road that have prevented Hamlin from enjoying more success this season and in his career overall. His result at Las Vegas was the result of a speeding penalty.
“Five races this season, four pit mistakes,” Ryan said. “He overshot his box at Daytona, he did that at Fontana, he sped in the pits at Phoenix. While I think they’ve had speed, I think that team is still stumbling in the same ways it has in the past. Unless they correct that, I don’t know if they’re championship level yet.”
Hamlin heads to Martinsville where he has won a career-best five races.
Watch the above video more
Trevor Bayne on Charlotte Roval: ‘You have to be on your game’
“I just took some slow pace laps and got a feel for the race track,” Bayne said in a statement from Charlotte Motor Speedway. “I was nervous, but I wasn’t anxious because I was never going to go out there and make qualifying laps. We worked our pace in and our plan, we stuck to it. I felt really good by the end of the day.
“You have to be on your game, that’s for sure. You can’t really let your guard down anywhere. There’s no room to make mistakes. If you make a mistake, you’re going to pay for it pretty quickly. If you try to do something and it doesn’t work, you’ll pay the price. It’s going to be a survival race. … If you’re smart, you take care of your car and you don’t make mistakes, you’ll have a really good shot at the end for a good finish. I enjoyed it. It was a challenge for me – something new – and I enjoyed that part of it.”
Organizational tests at Charlotte will be in July. There will be two different sessions. Each team is allowed to test at one of the two sessions, which will be July 10 (rain date of July 11) and July 17 (rain date of July 18).
The Charlotte Roval hosts the final race of the first round of the Cup playoffs on Sept. 30 on NBC.