Ah, those tired old formula questions that journalists ask drivers. "How did it feel when you almost won the race?" is one of my favorites. Seems the retired drivers are not immune from this treatment; they just get different questions. For example: "If you were building a team right now, what current driver would you choose?"
Racing legend Junior Johnson, who won fifty races as a driver and six Championships as an owner, gets this kind of thing fairly regularly. In 2008, a reporter for ESPN asked him to choose between Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, and Carl Edwards. Johnson had three championships, Carl had a great season and the cover of Men's Fitness, and Kyle had 8 Cup wins that season, and an attitude.
And the winner was... drumroll please... Kyle Busch. (Insert record-scratch sound effect here.) "I like his hell-bent driving style," Johnson was quoted as saying. "He's going to do what he needs to do. You've just got to polish him a little." (A little?)
Asked a similar question just a few days ago, Junior Johnson would choose ... Tony Stewart. Not four-time champion Jimmie Johnson. "I like Tony Stewart's kind of driving; and Jimmie Johnson's a great race driver, there's no question about it, but he's got one of the greatest mechanics I've ever seen come along, and I've had some great ones," Johnson said Sunday. (I hear his crew chief's nothing to sneeze at either.) But, Johnson continued, "I just think Tony, I would take Tony over the rest of them." ALL of them? Really? Wow.
Which leaves me wondering what kind of a quandary Junior would be in if he were asked to choose between, say, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski?