Written by Monte Dutton Mon, 2017-02-13 04:50
I read somewhere – and, gosh knows, it could be fake news – that 79 percent of the people are not on Twitter, and I thought, well, this cannot be. Yet I cling to my Twitter followers – and my Facebook friends – and I’m banking on the hope that a much larger percentage of the few, the proud, the people who care about what I write, are more likely to be interested in NASCAR, and my novels, and the small school where I went to college, than the average bear looking for pic-a-nic baskets.
What of that hardworking fellow who spends all his time working on refrigerators so that he can scrape up enough money to buy a new recliner, has a Facebook page that he mainly checks to avoid forgetting his cousin’s birthday, and just wants to sit in that new recliner and watch the stock car race on the weekend?
Written by Monte Dutton Sun, 2017-02-05 08:18
I always think of the beginning of Days of Thunder this time of the year. The sun coming up. Fans filing in. The drivers walk out to their cars, surrounded by beautiful women and small armies of handlers. Meanwhile, back in North Carolina, Harry Hogge is out on a field on his tractor.
Five years have passed since I spent Speedweeks in Daytona Beach. I don’t have a tractor, but I have this laptop, and I’m sitting in this living room. My guitar leans against the couch, and a 24-hour news channel is on TV, and a long string of Andy Griffith Shows has run its course.
When I was growing up, there wasn’t much farming to do this time of the year, but Hollywood seldom lets reality get in the way of the story. And … NASCAR comes to mind, too.
Written by Monte Dutton Sat, 2017-01-28 10:03
In the winter, NASCAR officials turn to thoughts of change.
Change! Change! Never sit still. Fans might get used to it.
Never mind that, until NASCAR started splitting the last 10 races from the rest of the season and then split them into four segments, and designed generic cars with wings on the back, and then decided brand identity wasn’t so bad, and took the wings off and made them look more like real cars again … the sport was booming.
Written by Monte Dutton Sat, 2017-01-21 18:15
This is the height of longing and anticipation, don’t you think?
NASCAR teams are testing here and there, but not much is on TV. The great preseason media spectacles are starting up, but they aren’t what they used to be. I had a long conversation with one of my few close friends still on the beat, and he was as wistful on the scene as I sometimes get in my living room. Maybe he was just trying to make me feel better at being away. If so, it didn’t do the trick.
I’ve been gone for four years – my newspaper job was eliminated on January 4, 2013 – and I haven’t been at a track that was longer than 3/8 of a mile and coated with anything other than red clay since. What really amazed me was that I didn’t miss it.