Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Metallica '...And Justice For All'
For some crazy reason, I’ve been slightly intrigued with Marty Robbins and his participation in stock car racing. That’s right! The late, great country singer Marty Robbins raced stock cars along with legends like Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, David Pearson, and Lennie Pond.
Marty Robbins received the first Grammy ever awarded to a country song for 1959’s “El Paso”. Robbins also hit the charts with that same song again in 1976. He was known for storytelling type of songs featuring gunfighters and cowboys of the old west.
I personally never saw Robbins race either on television or in person, but it has always interested me. We’ve seen former Atlanta Falcons head coach, Jerry Glanville, race in the Truck Series and Busch Series. But he never made the ranks of the premiere league, the Nextel Cup series.
The closest thing that we have today is Hollywood Stuntman/Stunt Driver, Stanton Barrett. He’s performed in such movies as 8 Mile, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Dukes Of Hazzard, and both of the Spider-Man movies.
I’ve never understood why more of the rich and famous haven’t gotten into a race car to trade paint with the likes of Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, and Robby Gordon. Hell, if I had a lot of disposable income, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
All it takes is the money to back a team and if you have that, it’s no trouble at all to acquire a NASCAR License. The hardest part is making the field for a race. That’s the kind of trouble that Stanton Barrett has. He’s only been in a handful of races this season. But, since I’m a movie watching mofo, I still look for him in every race and I keep track of how he finishes.
Marty Robbins started racing stock cars back in 1965 and continued up until one month before his death in 1982.
Here are some highlights…
May 30th, 1971
World 600 Charlotte, NC
September 6th, 1971
Southern 500 Darlington, SC
Robbins was named “Rookie of the Race”
July 4th, 1973
Firecracker 400 Daytona, FL
Not too shabby for a part-time professional stock car driver.
I’m still looking for some hot shot rock star to get up the nerve and the cash to compete in Nextel Cup. Will someone ever rise to the challenge?
Granted, it’s a different sport today than it was when Robbins was racing. Back then, most competitors raced for the prize money and they didn’t care for championships. Now the Nextel Cup is what everyone is shooting for and folks like Stanton Barrett are generally referred to as “field-fillers”. The teams are under funded and the crew members aren’t of the same caliber as say Mark Martin’s team.
Barrett has yet to finish in the top 10 of any Nextel Cup race, but when it does happen, I’ll be celebrating.