Written by Monte Dutton Sat, 2018-04-07 13:34
There’s a little bit of everything in Texxasss.
So did the late, great Ernest Tubb sing, and I’ve seldom seen his point disputed. The distance from Fort Worth to El Paso is greater than the highway miles, and the same is true of Amarillo to Corpus Christi, or Lubbock to Laredo.
It’s hard to sum up Texas with a speedway, or a stadium, or a home on the range where the deer and the antelope play.
Written by Monte Dutton Thu, 2018-03-29 12:03
Clint Bowyer is likable. He’s funny. After winning the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Monday, Bowyer made no secret that he planned to party like it was, at the very least, 2012.
He’s a character. NASCAR needs characters.
This isn’t to say that everybody likes him. If Jesus had a Cup ride, a segment of the fans would complain that he was too nice and didn’t race the Devil hard enough.
Bowyer is 38. He has been racing full-time in what is now the Monster Energy Cup Series since 2006. He’s won nine times in 438 tries. When he crossed the finish line first at the sport’s oldest track, it was the first time since 2012. Bowyer went 190 races between his eighth and ninth victories.
Written by Monte Dutton Thu, 2018-03-22 12:53
A track is an expansive term in my list of favorites. I do not confine my definition to the property alone.
I loved North Wilkesboro for the racing on the track, the food in the press box, the Williams Motel and the Captain’s Table up the hill. Phoenix I valued for the view from South Mountain State Park. Talk shows at Talladega. Steaks in Kansas City. Music in Texas. Big-league baseball in the Bay Area. Minor leagues all around Fontana.
Martinsville, Virginia, has no casino. Rappers do not commonly hang out in the pits before a race. As a general rule, pro wrestlers do not even hang out in the pits before a race. Once several colleagues and I attended a pro wrestling show put on at the high school gym in nearby Stuart.
Written by Monte Dutton Tue, 2018-03-13 12:53
Being a NASCAR beat reporter was quite different around the turn of the century, oh, roughly, five years before to five years after.
Bigger crowds begat more writers and more hassles.
Coming from a small town, I abhor traffic. It makes me manic. I fixate on the time being wasted. I went to great extremes to avoid traffic. I followed dirt roads, map in hand, to get in and out of Michigan. In Texas, I parked before sunup and sat in a rental car, reading a book for several hours until the gates opened. Texas was the only track that wouldn't allow me to slip in early. I had a scenic, back-door drive to Martinsville. I carefully avoided the speed traps leading to Rockingham and Bristol. A long way was the short way (in time) to Las Vegas. I drove through a reservation to Phoenix.