Gordon's thoughts on Junior: Jeff Gordon believes it will be hard for Dale Earnhardt Jr. to stay with his late father's company because of the public battle between the driver and his stepmother. Junior is in the final year of his contract at Dale Earnhardt Inc., and negotiations on a new deal recently exposed the difficult relationship he shares with Teresa Earnhardt. She recently questioned his commitment in a Wall Street Journal article, which angered NASCAR's most popular driver. As the sides now try to pull their contract talks in-house, Gordon said Wednesday that it may be too late. "I think that if he's smart, he'll do what's best for him and I hope that's at DEI, I really do," Gordon said during a press event for Hendrick Motorsports. "Is that reality? I think it's gone too far. When it gets ugly in the media, it's usually very, very difficult to rebound from that." Gordon has enjoyed a long and stable relationship with car owner Rick Hendrick, who signed Gordon in 1992 and eventually rewarded him with a lifetime contract. So he's never had the public contract squabbles that several drivers have had in the past few years. "Junior is in the seat to be able to write his own ticket, he can do whatever he wants. He can go to any team, he can start his own team, he's got the sponsors who are going to back him, the fans that are going to back him. He's really in the power position, and if Teresa is not recognizing that, then shame on her."
Super comparison: Jimmie Johnson will be pulling for Indianapolis to win the Super Bowl -- not because he's a Colts fan, but because he can relate to quarterback Peyton Manning. Although they are in different sports, Johnson said his frustrating pursuit of the Nextel Cup championship mimics the difficulties Manning has had in winning the NFL's biggest prize. "I see some similarities with Peyton Manning," Johnson said. "I think we both have been so close to championships, and I was able to win mine this year, and I am certainly hoping that he can go through the same thing." Johnson claimed his first title last November. Manning will play for his next Sunday in Miami when the Colts face the Chicago Bears.
Associated Press
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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