Time heals wounds…even in NASCAR.

I found it somewhat ironic that, at Martinsville, one of the great throwbacks to an earlier era; where the King and the Intimidator were beloved and The Kid hated; Jeff Gordon's win in his last trip there was greeted with a rousing ovation.

Part of that comes with age; and longevity.  Hate, because they're "winning all the time", turns into respect as drivers become the elder statesmen.

It used to be that the only places you'd hear Jeff Gordon cheered were at Sonoma and Indianapolis: his two home tracks.  Elsewhere, the boos abated in recent years, and have been replaced by cheers as fans salute one of the great careers in NASCAR history, his last time around.

Early in his career, Gordon sought some advice from Dale Earnhardt, about how to handle, and live with, the boos.  Earnhardt told him not to worry about the boos; that the time to worry was when they made no noise at all.  That means they didn't care.

From the reaction of both Gordon and fans at Martinsville, neither has ever cared more.