MONTE DUTTON: NASCAR NEEDS CARS THAT ARE COOL
This is a time to accentuate the positive. NASCAR will have plenty of time to disappoint us later.
Chevrolet is running a Camaro. It won’t look as much like a Camaro as the one Tiny Lund drove in the Grand American Division in 1971, but it’s going to be better than the winged Car of Tomorrow (hah!).
We’ll go by our eyes and ears, of course. When the COT was unveiled, NASCAR propaganda ministers passed out press kits and, while the media was squatting down, scratching heads, rubbing eyes, and wondering if hallucinogens had been blended into our sweet teas, informed us – with straight faces! – that the different makes were vastly different.
It’s better than then already. I thought last year’s Toyota Camry was a snazzy-looking ride. It didn’t much look like the Camry I was behind in traffic outside the track, but it was a sharp-looking ride.
I’ve gotten old, but I still don’t like family sedans on the race track, not even if they’re snazzy-looking rides.
It really goes back farther than the process of sanctioned generics begun in the 1980s. In the early 1970s, I rooted for David Pearson as hard as I did for John Unitas, Jerry West and Willie Mays, but, at Darlington, where it looked like a fighter jet could land on the roof of one of those long Wood Brothers Mercurys, I used to think, why don’t they race cool cars?
No one watched Pearson take the checkered flag and said, “Cool. Maybe Daddy will buy me a Montego.” Sat that thing next to the Rio Grande, and they wouldn’t need a wall.
So, at long last, after lo these many years, in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, alleged Camaros will be on the track.
Visions of the late, great Butch Lindley in Frankie Grill’s No. 16 at Greenville-Pickens are dancing in my head.
Kids don’t like cars, supposedly. They still like it when their mamas and daddies buy them one. Kids have short attention spans, supposedly. It makes no sense to claim that about creatures who are capable of playing video games from sun-up to sundown. There’s a lot wrong with their attention spans. Shortness isn’t one of them.
Who knows? Maybe if they build it, they will come. Back. They will come back. Racing needs kids to come back. Racing needs Cub Scouts on the back straight. Bus them in. Show them cool cars going wide open. Darndest video game they’ve ever watched.
Batteries not included.