Written by Monte Dutton Thu, 2017-05-11 14:38
One of the unexpected consequences of Dale Earnhardt’s death in 2001 was the last growth spurt of NASCAR to date.
Some like to say that event was the beginning of the decline, but it wasn’t.
The tragedy of Earnhardt’s death, on the last lap of the Daytona 500, put NASCAR on the cover of Time magazine (back when it meant something). It wasn’t just the biggest sports story. It was the biggest news story, and the investigation into the accident and the safety improvements necessary to prevent such tragedy from happening again kept stock car racing on the evening news and in the headlines for most of the year.
Written by Monte Dutton Wed, 2017-05-03 10:24
“Hit ‘em where they ain’t.” Those were the simple words Wee Willie Keeler used to describe the secret of hitting baseballs. It wasn’t the full quote, though.
“Keep your eye on the ball and hit ‘em where they ain’t.” Not that splashing spheroids around fields of green bears much resemblance to racing automobiles pell-mell and fast-forward around closed circuits, but, at Richmond last Sunday, Jimmie Johnson tried to drive his Chevy where they weren’t but failed to keep his eye(s) on his teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Written by Monte Dutton Sat, 2017-04-29 18:22
When I was a kid, my racing heroes were David Pearson and A.J. Foyt. I went to Foyt’s last Indianapolis 500. I got to know Pearson while I was writing about the men who succeeded him.
I was driving home from Fenway Park on a New Hampshire NASCAR weekend when I heard on the radio that John Unitas had died. It’s a vivid memory. I had to pull off the road and cry for a while. I felt embarrassed because I thought I was a grown man.