I think I may have sold Clint Bowyer short.
The inspiration of my two stock car racing novels, Lightning in a Bottle and Life Gets Complicated, was my realization, in the winter of 2016-17, that the racers of today don’t have much in common with those who were everywhere in the early 1990s, when I first found a slot in the media gypsy troupe.
Barrie Jarman became my intriguing hybrid, a kid from the wrong side of the South Carolina Upstate tracks, typical in some ways with his generation but a throwback to the heroes of yore.
The folk heroes – Dale Earnhardt, Harry Gant, Darrell Waltrip, Rusty Wallace, Sterling Marlin, Ken Schrader, Davey Allison, etc. – were everywhere back then. Now, they’re just cardboard cutouts, trying to build a “brand.” I thought Tony Stewart was the last buffalo on the plains.