Your Turn: Mr. Nice Guy Jeff Gordon?
Our experts get to have their say every Tuesday, debating the week's burning questions in our Turn 4 wrangle.
Now it's Your Turn.
We're going to select one hot-button topic each week and let y'all have at it. We invite you to cast your vote in the accompanying poll and then steer down to the Conversations section below and tell us why you voted the way you did.
Prefer Twitter? You can tweet your response using the hashtag #ESPNYourTurn.
We will collect the top tweets and most engaging comments and publish them below. Check back throughout the day to see if yours gets posted.
Gordon, if you recall, pulled up alongside Hamlin and tried to make a Turn 3 pass on the outside. The attempt failed, and Gordon -- who needed a victory desperately -- ended up finishing second. More importantly, the four-time Cup champ now is in jeopardy of missing the Chase.
Gordon, clearly dejected afterward, second-guessed himself in a postrace interview.
"I guess I'm just getting soft in my old age," Gordon said. "I'm too nice. Fifteen years ago I would have moved him right up the racetrack. I don't know why I didn't do that."
Do you? What say you, NASCAR Nation? Did Gordon earn your respect or did he lose it?
Now have at it
The best from Twitter (#ESPNYourTurn)
#ESPNYourTurn I don't know what he was thinking get that nose under him and move him outta the way ! He will regret when he misses the chase— Griffin (@GriffinSmith00) September 5, 2012
#ESPNYourTurn Jeff is losing his championship edge. You need some aggressive. If not you are Mark Martin. Nice guy no championships.— cbhughes18 (@cbhughes18) September 5, 2012
The best from ESPN Conversations
• 01AMGFan -- Jeff is still fast and aggressive, but I ponder if a younger Jeff Gordon would have moved Denny up the track, like he put the bumper to Rusty at Bristol. Going high wasn't going to work, as it was too loose up there. I respect Jeff for at least having a go, but if he wanted to win, he needed to use the bumper. I do remember Jeff trying to beat the 48 at Martinsville in 2007, and he just wouldn't put the bumper to him. In some respects, Gordon needs to do what most drivers would go - for all out for the win.
• mikesportsfan8 -- considering that a win would've been huge for gordon's chase chances, he absolutely should've used the bumper. all it would've taken is a little nudge to slide hamlin up the track, or maybe just sitting in his left rear quarterpanel to loosen him up the way the 18 did earlier in the race. hamlin's already clinched a spot, and considering how drivers (and sponsors) live and die by making the chase, you do what you have to do
• txtechjmacattack -- I'm apparently in the minority, but I personally would have lost respect for Jeff Gordon if he would have just charged in there and pounded Denny Hamlin's rear bumper without any other intent. If it were Martinsville or Bristol or Richmond, then sure, a good old fashioned bump and run would have been brilliant. But we're talking about Atlanta, a fast track where drivers are on the edge of control to begin with. If Gordon hits the Hamlin, it either wrecks him, or both of them. Either way, I wouldn't have liked it. Maybe I'm a pansy.
• Hardees28Fan1 -- I don't think he lost or gained any respect to be honest. But, he had an opportunity to put himself in a great position to qualify for the Chase and didn't take it. He has a team capable of winning the championship and he didn't have to bump Hamlin to get him loose, he could have moved him without touching him. I think Gordon will regret his decision if he doesn't make the Chase.
• go244888 -- Gordon should've knocked him out of the way. Especially with a Chase bid on the line.
• HurricaneHamlin -- Personally, he gained respect in my opinion. Obviously I'm a Hamlin fan, but as Denny said in his presser after the race, Jeff and Denny have never had any serious on track altercations that would cause the other to race them more aggressively than they would any other driver. If Jeff would have it to do over, he probably would have moved Denny, but if Denny had it to do over again, he wouldn't have driven "out of his mirror" as he admittedly did.
• YAR8packX2 -- This is from my persepective as NOT a Gordon fan: What Gordon didn't do Sunday night is all the proof anyone needs that Gordon is no longer in it to win it. The old Gordon (1996-2003) would've bumped Denny, got him loose, took the win, and then somehow made a backhanded comment that it was Denny's fault it all happened the way it did. If you're fighting for a playoff spot you've got to do all you can. That includes rubbin' someone out of the way. Rubbing's racing--Harry Hyde.
• jimmyduguay -- I'm a huge JG fan, but he has really lost his edge over the years. This is not golf Jeff. Racing is a contact sport. Quit being a kitty cat.
• mister_mckraut -- Not that I'm cutting Gordon any slack but you don't really see any drivers moving each other out of the way anymore, Watkin's Glen was the first time in a long time. I think NASCAR's gotten soft as a whole. Driver's have at it? What a joke.........
• mister_mckraut -- I don't think the Nationwide drivers would have any problem moving other drivers out of the way for a win. I think the Nationwide Series is the most exciting series to watch now. The drivers seem alot hungrier and it reminds me of the way the sport used to be.
• Jason89654 -- Gordon did lose some of my respect it a battle chase you do whatever you can to get in
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