Sunday, December 30, 2007

The “Badest BAD Asses”

With the recent passing of Evel Knievel and having listened to a very entertaining interview with the legendary daredevil from 2001 with the Speed Freaks crew, I was inspired to come up with my own version of a survey Evel had been ranked Number two in several years ago.

The survey was published in “MAXXIM” magazine, which I’m told is a gentlemen’s magazine, a softer, kinder, gentler version of Playboy…

(The survey was published in a 1996 Maxim magazine article, picking their Top 50 “BADDEST BAD ASSES” of all time)

So without even trying my list of 10 grew quickly to 20, before “morphing” into 37 names and that was just the first crack at such a list. Therefore I’ve made up the following list of my top 50 BAD ASSES!

My NON-Scientific polling process was fairly simple, they had to have been racers and exude some sort of the following: Personality, COOL Nickname, blazing Speed, outright success or all of the above…

BAD ASSES (26-50)

50. Robby “DirtMann Gordoun”
Although I’ve LOST respect for this racer, He’s definitely one of RASSCAR’s BAD BOYZS! And anyone who competes yearly driving for his own team in the Dakar Rally can’t be all bad, eh?

49. Eddie “Irv the Swerve” Irvine
This flamboyant Irishman always had a barb to throw your way. And made history by getting punched by Ayrton Senna along with making a small fortune driving in F1…

48. ‘Lil Al (Al Unser Jr.)
Although not as famous as his Papa & Uncle Bobby, ‘Lil Al was a force to be reckoned with in his heyday. Unfortunately the spotlight was too great for the famous Unser, whose battle with alcohol and cigarettes led to his eventual downfall…

47. Dick Trickle
Although not amounting to much in RASSCAR, Trickle won a hell of a lot ‘O races in the lower ranks + how can you forget him being caught on in-car camera smoking a cigarette during caution laps!

46. John Force
The un-touchable King of the “Floppers,” (Funny Cars) whose records will most likely never be broken and you gotta love a driver who wears a dirty, stained Nomex driver’s suit, while the only thing to go faster than 300mph is his mouth!

45. Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen
Lesser known than his counterpart “The Snake,” how cool is it to have your own Hot Wheels…

44. Don “The Snake” Prudhomme
Who doesn’t know about “The Snake?” As Prudhomme was one of the most successful Top Fuel driver’s of his era…

43. Kenny Bernstein
Known as “the King” due to his long illustrious sponsorship by Anheiser-Busch, it seemed only fitting to slot him in the “REAL” King’s number. Kenny was the first NHRA driver to win titles in Top Fuel & Funny Cars. “This Bud’s for You, Evel!”

42. Steve Millen
Although perhaps not as well known as his brother Rod, Steve who’s the younger of the “KIWI” Brothers distinguished himself in road racing, most notably with the all conquering Nissan 300ZXT’s. And hey, how much more Bad Ass can you be when you build your own tuner car rocket ship, a.k.a.; The Stillen, an “Amped-up” version of the late model Nissan 300ZX…

41. Rod Millen
Arguably one of the most famous Off Road racing specialist in the world Rod “The Bod” Millen has simply conquered every facet of 4WD racing he’s entered. I mean just look at the Pike’s Peak video clip alone!

40. Bob Bondurant
“Bondo” started out as a Corvette “Hot Schue” before switching over to Shelby Cobra’s and was responsible for capturing America’s only FIA International Sports Car Championship in 1965. Bondurant went on to form his famous school of high performance driving along with producing some of the nastiest Cobra replicar's in existence!

39. Don “Big Daddy” Garlits
Who doesn’t know the name “Big Daddy?” As Don Garlits was the ultimate Top Fuel innovator; C’mon, how cool is it to drive your own rails named Swamp Rat!”

38. Shirley “Cha Cha” Muldowney
Simply picked since she was probably the most prolific female racing pioneer during Evel’s heyday’s

37. Jeremy McGrath
This was Artiste Dave’s (second) suggestion, as McGrath set the motor cross bar extremely high during his career, re-writing the record books before Rickey Carmichael came along…

36. Bob “Hurricane” Hannah
What more can I say, when you’re nickname’s “Hurricane!”

35. Miguel Doohamel
This was Artiste Dave’s suggestion, as Doohamel has truly been a two wheel warrior for countless years. Hopefully he’ll soon return from his recent big crash…

34. Cale Yarbrough
Cale has always been a “Good ‘Ol Boy,” and seems to be cut out of the same mold as “The Alabama Gang” and Junior Johnson. (Whom I suppose should have been on the list, especially with Junior being a notorious Moonshine runner)

But Yarborough always seemed to be looking to pick a fight on track and seemed tough as nails on his way to winning three championships…

33. “The Silver Fox”
(David Pearson)
The ultimate tactician, as somehow David Pearson whas always around at the end to collect the checkers on his way to the second most ever victories in RASSCAR! Pearson was never afraid to mix-it up with anybody and I suppose you don’t get a nickname like that without good reason…

32. Ivan “Iron-man” Stewart

My “Blog Meister’s” suggestion, as I’d simply forgot about him. Yet he rightly earned the nickname by his countless exploits in the desert, as I believe he was the very first driver to contest the Ba-Jah solo in a center seat Toyota. Sorry for the snub Ivan…

31. Tom “The Gasman” Sneva
(Sentimental favourite) Originally from Spokane, WA; School principal makes good! He earned his nickname by being the very first to record an official lap of 200mph at the Brickyard. Better yet he commandeered a school bus in Mexico City in order to drive the Champ Car drivers back to their hotel…

30. “El Matador” (Carlos Sainz)
You must be pretty “Bad Ass” if you’re known as “El Matador, eh?” And what is Sainz doing for an encore after retiring from the WRC? Why he’s been contesting the Dakar rally the past few years…

29. Eddie Lawson
Although probably overshadowed by his predecessors Roberts and “Fast Freddy” Spencer, I was always a fan of Lawson’s, as he seemed to have hard nose grit ‘N determination while winning four GP 500 crowns his own way…

28. Kenny Roberts
Kenny was a true “Scooter” pioneer, being the first American to win the GP 500 crown multiple times as well as invent the current day knee dragging style he imported from dirt bike racing…

27. “The Doctor” (Valentino Rossi)
This feisty Italian is the Michael Schumacher of MOTO GP; ‘Nuff said!

26. Sebastian Loeb
While other World Rally Championship drivers may garner more “name” recognition, Loeb has put on a clinic enroute to four successive WRC Driver’s titles…

To continue reading, see; THE BADDEST BAD ASSES (Con't)