Don't hate him just because he's beautiful. Boo Gordon because—like the Yankees of yore—NASCAR's defending champ wins with such heartless efficiency. He always has the best equipment money can buy, and he's had it since he first climbed into a driver's seat at age five. NASCAR fans know racing shouldn't be a free ride. They root for guys like Dale Earnhardt, nasty boys and underdogs who've spent time in the trenches. A white hat with a big bankroll deserves a few hoots.
Fans slam him for supposedly winning every week, but with Sunday's victory at Sears Point, Gordon has four firsts this season, the same as Mark Martin. What the fans really hate is his pretty-boy image, the one corporate marketers love. Sure, NASCAR was growing before Gordon, but the Wonder Boy should be hailed for shifting the sport into overdrive. He's respectful of the competition and gracious to the boo-birds. Even if a lot of fans don't like it, they're buying it.