Is Jeff Gordon Taking His Frustration Out on Jimmie Johnson?

Sal Sigala Jr.Senior Analyst IApril 29, 2010

FONTANA, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, talk in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway on February 20, 2010 in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images

Four-time Winston cup champion Jeff Gordon had to know this day was not too far behind after watching his protégé, and teammate Jimmie Johnson win his fourth championship last season.

The drive for five, which began after Gordon won his fourth championship in 2001, has all of a sudden become personal, with Gordon taking his frustrations out on his employee as well as his teammate.

After Sundays race at Talladega, Gordon made it known that he is not happy with the way Johnson has been racing him as of late, when he made his feelings known with this comment after the race.

"The 48 (Johnson) is testing my patience. It takes a lot to make me mad, but I am pissed right now…I don't know what it is with me and him right now."

Gordon, of all people, should know there are risks that each driver takes once the green flag is waved, and more times than naught a simple friendship could easily be taken for granted, especially when it concerns an owner and his star driver racing on the same team.

We seen it happen not only last season, but this season as well between Ron Hornaday and driver/owner Kevin Harvick, in the Camping World truck series.

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Hornaday, who was in the heat of a championship battle last season, refused to allow Harvick to pass him, which upset Harvick enough to give him a not-so friendly tap on the bumper as a warning.

"I felt like one of the two trucks should have won the race," Harvick said. "I felt like we were in a little bit better shape...just some things internally we probably need to work on there."

Frustration is not an easy emotion to control, especially when you have two drivers who are after the same honor, which in Gordon and Johnson's case it's championship No. 5.

As it stands, they are the only two active drivers who have the best chance at the honor, and next in line would be Tony Stewart, who has two championships of his own.

After trying for the past nine seasons, it's easy to see how frustrating it can be for Gordon, especially when all he has to do is look across the race shop and there is the No. 48 ready to take the prize.

As far as the rivalry or the so-called feud that has been the main topic of discussion, if that’s the case than Gordon needs to go back and realize the reason he hired Johnson was to win races and championships.

Now we all know Gordon is a lot smarter than to let this turn into a rivalry, since a rivalry can easily turn bad as in the case of Edwards of Keselowski.

Besides there is no way Johnson or Gordon are going to jeopardize their season by seeking revenge on one another, especially when the consequences can be devastating to their seasons.

Frustration is part of racing, and don’t be surprised to see the crafty veteran us this as a motivational tool to challenge his friend and teammate for the drive that began in 2002, and not 2010.