CP Motorsports

MONTE DUTTON – IT’S CERTAINLY NOT THE END OF THE iWORLD

What seemed amazing to me didn’t seem like such a big deal to others.

Admittedly, this isn’t that unusual. I’ve never watched what others inexplicably call “reality” shows. This isn’t completely true, I guess. In the entire history of Conniver, America’s Got Balance and The Pretentious, I may have watched a grand total of 30 minutes, mostly by something approaching osmosis while sitting in a restaurant.

I may have gotten the names wrong. Whatever.

MONTE DUTTON – TRY SOMETHING NEW WHILE THERE’S NOTHING TO DO

One aspect of life in the Age of COVID-19 is that we all are getting accustomed to Brand X.

Better safe than sorry, even when safe is sorry. A fan’s got to do what a fan’s got to do. It is what it is. Let me see if I can think of a few more redundancies. That’s racing (kind of). This iRacing is somewhat realistic, but if it really was, Kyle Busch would be better at it.

And if he was better at it, he’d be counting his wins in iRacing right along with Xfinity and Trucks. I’ve already heard that some of these iRacing virtuosos have won more races than Larry Phillips on the bullrings of Missouri.

MONTE DUTTON – WARM MEMORIES OF BUD

Writing about racing is hard right now. Writing about anything isn’t easy. Lots of creativity gets fired from observations. Lately my observations have been mostly generated from the subject matter of an old Willie Nelson song.

Hello, walls. How’d things go for you today?

Forgive me if I reminisce. It appears there will be little about which to reminisce from the current year.

MONTE DUTTON – A BRAVE NEW eWORLD

In lieu of racing, Fox Sports 1 is televising imaginary racing. Online racing live.

Realizing I am only writing for myself here, I’d rather watch online curling. Slow-motion curling. Black-and-white reruns of barrel jumping on Wide World of Sports. Battle of the Trump Administration Stars. Joe E. Brown in Earthworm Tractors.

Oh, wait. I did watch part of it last night.

MONTE DUTTON – ESCAPING REALITY

​I knew it was a dream even while I was having it.

When I traded the red Ford Probe with the sunroof for a similarly red Ranger, Ryan Newman was 15. The present version of Clinton High School hadn’t been built yet. But there we were, Ryan and I, sitting next to each other in the circular common, chatting about NASCAR and a crash in Daytona Beach. George Strait’s “The Cowboy Walks Away” was playing. Turns out that was from the classic country channel of DirecTV, which I had activated to put me to sleep. Ryan said he had never heard Lynn Anderson’s “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” before. It was released seven years before his birth.

We lunched in the CHS cafeteria, then headed out to the parking lot where the Probe was parked, and I tossed him the keys, which I doubt I would ever do to a race driver when the car was mine. But Ryan was calm and we continued our chat as he idled along Duval Street in Key West.

ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY STATEMENT REGARDING NASCAR RACE WEEKEND POSTPONEMENT

With the health and safety of fans, staff, competitors, race teams and media our top priority, NASCAR and Atlanta Motor Speedway postponed this weekend’s race activities to a yet-to-be determined future date.

Ticketholders on file may use their March 13-15, 2020 tickets for the postponed event, choose to receive an event credit for the full amount paid plus an additional 20%, or choose to receive a full refund of their purchase price. The event credit can be applied toward any admissions, including, but not limited to, grandstand seating, infield tickets, camping, fan hospitality and pit passes.  The 120% event credit can be used during the remaining 2020 or 2021 seasons for a NASCAR sanctioned event at any Speedway Motorsports owned track, subject to availability.  

MONTE DUTTON – IT’S TIME TO WATCH THE YOUNG’UNS PLAY

NASCAR is changing next year. Big deal. NASCAR changes every year. Jonas Salk didn’t experiment as much with the polio vaccine.

But next year it’s changing a lot! The race cars aren’t going to have five lugnuts on the wheels! From the alarm from old-time fans, you’d think they’d eliminated wheels altogether and decided to race hovercraft in 2021.

Officials are also making the tires three inches wider. Tightening them with one centrally located connector will apparently keep the 18-inch tires sufficiently stable and, in turn, increase the ability of those tires to keep the cars stable and minimize wear.

None of this alarms me, though I am something of a traditionalist myself who has followed NASCAR all my life, dating back to attending my first Cup race before it was Cup, some 55 years ago in August.

MONTE DUTTON – FULL SCREAM AHEAD

A time for young fellas to carry umbrellas

And considering the climate, you really might find it

The right time to stay at home

Man, I hope not. NASCAR hopes not. The stock market hopes not. Anywhere where people gather hopes not.

The above are words from a fairly obscure Jerry Jeff Walker song. They come to mind as America confronts an epidemic – and potential pandemic – that could be endemic, but let’s hope not.

CALIFORNIA DREAMING FOR BOWMAN

Since the moment the NASCAR Cup Series hit the track during practice for the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway, Alex Bowman was fast and one of the clear favorites to win. Bowman backed up those beliefs with a dominant performance on his way to his first win of the season on sunday.

A surprise started the weekend out with Clint Bowyer winning the pole, only the fourth of his career which even surprised Bowyer himself. Jimmie Johnson, the hometrack favorite driving his last race in Fontana, got a close run to Bowyer and slotted himself into starting second. Clint pulled away on the start as the whole field behind him started to spread out. Bowman was on the move and into second only five laps in until Kurt Busch went three-wide with Bowman and Johnson. The three fought hard until Johnson broke away and was able to get right on Bowyer’s bumper. Johnson wasn't able to make the pass which gave Bowman the chance to go by both of them. Ryan Blaney steadily drove into second and Bowman checked out as the field started to settle. Martin Truex Jr, who started at the rear after failing pre-qualifying inspection three times, fought all the way to eleventh and then pitted to start green-flag stops for everyone. Much like at Vegas, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. stayed out the longest to try and get lucky with a caution; it didn't work and Bowman took the lead again as Stenhouse pitted. Kyle Larson gets heavy damage from being pushed into the wall by Denny Hamlin when he got a fast run, Larson was able to pit and continue on but with no caution he fell a lap down. After the near caution, the field settled down and Bowman was able to cruise to his ever stage win.

MONTE DUTTON – THE TOUGH GET GOING

Sigh. Whew. Everyone sighs and says whew where Ryan Newman is concerned. It’s a wonder he wasn’t hurt worse. It’s a wonder the car didn’t blow up when it came to a halt. It’s just a general wonder, and a lot praying went into it.

It’s just like those catch fences that almost gave way. They didn’t give way. They did their job. That battered Ford that Newman was driving almost gave way. It didn’t give way. It scared everybody, but it did its job. It’s just another reminder that comes along from time to time to remind us that NASCAR must be ever vigilant regarding safety.

Everyone should understand this. When I was a kid, parents used to say of a BB gun, “You could put an eye out,” and of a firecracker, “You could blow your fingers or off,” but as long as no one puts an eye out and no one’s finger is blown off, folks just keep right on playing with BB guns and firecrackers. A lot has changed, but there’s always danger out there somewhere.

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