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Nick Bromberg

Is Jeff Gordon the NASCAR version of Charlie Brown?

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Sure, Charlie Brown never won four Sprint Cup championships, but let's ignore that for a moment. If it wasn't for Gordon's past, would he be the Sprint Cup series most lovable loser?

Gordon's got to feel that the (insert your choice of Phoenix, Texas, Richmond or other race here) is the racing equivalent to Lucy promising to hold the ball this time for Charlie, only to pull it away right as Charlie plants his foot to kick and comes up with air and lands on his backside.

Whether it was the football or being on the pitcher's mound during a thunderstorm -- or while getting shellacked -- Charlie Brown perservered. He just knew that sometime, and hopefully sometime soon, things were finally going to break his way. But they never did, and in certain instances, it was even more depressing than normal. (Remember the spelling bee in A Boy Named Charlie Brown?)

In 2010, Gordon has been the same way. Outside from that whole thing with Jimmie Johnson, Gordon's been confident in Steve Letarte, his team and his cars because he knows that this is the closest he's been in some time.

However, Charlie's charm was the fact that things never went his way, and somehow, we could all relate to that. We can all relate to Gordon, too, even though we will never make millions, drive a car in the Sprint Cup Series or marry a supermodel. But most of us do know what it feels like to be so close to something that we've strived for only to fail to achieve that goal at the last minute.

And anyway, we know Gordon's going to break through at some point. But if the predictability from the early part of 2010 continues, it oddly becomes more intriguing.

Just like Charlie Brown.

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