SI posed five questions to three dozen Nextel Cup drivers, who were promised anonymity. What we got were straight--and often surprising--answers from NASCAR's leading men
Which driver do you least like to have on your bumper?
40% Robby Gordon
THE WORD: "Robby sometimes forgets to use his head. He makes more stupid mistakes than anyone."
THE DEAL: Robby Gordon (close behind Dale Earnhardt Jr., above) finished 23rd in the point standings last year, but he did win a title of sorts: NASCAR's most accident-prone driver of 2004. Though he has a reputation as one of the most skilled drivers on the circuit, Gordon is overly aggressive and fearless and was involved in a series-high 17 accidents and spins. He's also known for his short fuse. At the Sylvania 300 in Loudon, N.H., in September, he intentionally wrecked Greg Biffle after Biffle had bumped Gordon from behind. "Robby's a wild card out there," says one driver. "You really never know what he's going to do, which is why I don't like seeing him coming up behind me."
Which track is your least favorite on the Nextel Cup circuit?
13% Darlington ? 10% Watkins Glen
THE WORD: "I can't stand Martinsville. It's too small, too narrow and too flat. Other than that, I guess it's perfect."
THE DEAL: The only track that remains on the Cup schedule from NASCAR's inaugural season in 1949, Martinsville is the Wrigley Field of motor sports. Despite its rich history, however, most drivers would prefer to put the track in their rearview mirrors. Located in rural Virginia, the nearly flat, .526-mile paper-clip-shaped track is the shortest and slowest on the circuit. Drivers consistently complain about Martinsville's rough, flaky surface--last April a chunk of concrete came loose and hit Jeff Gordon's Chevy, causing the race to be delayed for 77 minutes while workers patched the track--and about the boring, fender-banging racing (above) that it produces.