Written by Monte Dutton Fri, 2018-11-23 08:59
When Joey Logano was a teen-ager, he raced with full-grown adults, and while many of my colleagues were marveling at Logano’s skills, I was marveling at his age. I couldn’t believe he was older than 14.
Also, Logano spoke indistinctly, as if he had a mouthful of jawbreakers. I found that I couldn’t make out much of what he said unless I could see his lips move. Transcribing interviews from a recorder was difficult.
How could a kid who drove a race car have such a sheltered life? The single-minded obsession of a young racer had left him clueless about everything else.
Written by Monte Dutton Tue, 2018-11-13 21:01
When David Pearson was a lad, any time a rich kid decided he wanted to drive race cars, his father threatened to disown him.
Pearson didn’t have to worry about being shipped off to boarding school. He grew up on “the mill hill,” Whitney Mill, in Spartanburg, S.C., not too unlike Brandon in Greenville, which gave the world “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, or Lydia in Clinton, from which the great guitarist Arthur Smith sprang.
They all grew up tough and never got above their raising. They were heroes of a working class that knew their struggles and admired them for escaping the ranks of the weavers, the loom fixers and the cloth doffers.
Written by Monte Dutton Sun, 2018-11-11 17:02
Wouldn’t it be nice just to have a normal week? How about a normal day?
Oh, I’m not just talking about NASCAR, where a driver can establish himself as the favorite for the Monster Energy Cup championship, then have the apple cart (or a Ford Fusion if you want to be a stickler about it) overturned for having an illegal spoiler.
A spoiler spoiled everything.
Written by Monte Dutton Fri, 2018-11-02 08:01
The first time I went to Texas Motor Speedway, it was breaking ground and cutting ribbons. Bruton Smith flew in the NASCAR Media Tour to watch. When we got off the plane, a band was playing something like “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” A few concrete columns had already been buried in the ground at the site. A bus took us to the Fort Worth Stockyards, where we hit the chow line for some barbecue.
Thomas Pope tried to make conversation with the gray-haired lady doling out brisket by telling her about how they buried a pig in the ground back in the Carolinas.
Written by Monte Dutton Fri, 2018-10-26 18:04
When I think of Martinsville, Va., I imagine shivering and blowing on my hands. It’s bound to rain, most likely a drizzle, sometime during the weekend, whether spring or fall.
I see stern officers of the law, wearing flat-brimmed tan hats, in uniforms more likely to display forest green and brown to set off the tan. Navy is less common in the attire of southern Virginia deputies.
Written by Monte Dutton Sun, 2018-10-21 19:47
Every time conditions change at a race where engines are restricted, some changes occur that are unexpected. A few years back, no one expected two-car tandems and relentless bump drafting. Everyone went out on the track, and, pretty soon, the action became a highly skilled variety of, “Hey, y’all, watch this!”
Watching at home last Sunday, I found myself chuckling at the broadcasters, who kept saying, breathlessly, “We haven’t seen racing like this at Talladega in 20 years!”
Written by Monte Dutton Fri, 2018-10-12 09:48
Oh, I reckon this latest hurricane will have cleared out by the time Sunday rolls around in eastern Alabama. It will have cleared out of here by then, too, based on all those models with capital letters and numbers.
As Randy Travis sang, “The storms of life are washin’ me away.”
Written by Monte Dutton Thu, 2018-10-04 14:01
Sometimes you feel like a nut. Sometimes you don’t. Almond Joy has nuts. Mounds don’t.
I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream.
Apparently I am going into my dotage. Or my anecdotage. Last weekend I watched the races on the “roval.” I don’t think it’s in the dictionary yet. Half road course. Half oval. Roval. As Goober Pyle would have said, “Get it?”
In the short run, I enjoyed the heck out of the races, particularly the Monster Cup one on Sunday. I like everyone who was in position to win. Kyle Larson is Kyle Busch with good taste. He’s sort of Charlie the Tuna. For some reason, Larson doesn’t win that often, or not often enough to suit me because I think he’s got so much talent, he ought to have 10 wins this year. Kyle Busch seems to win most of those races because, as you know if you’re as old as I, Starkist doesn’t want tuna with good taste. Starkist wants tuna that taste good.
Wed, 2018-10-03 14:19
A new era of closer and more intense NASCAR racing competition will begin when the green flag drops for the 2019 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
NASCAR today announced a new rules package for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars that will provide closer competition. The new package calls for a longer 2-inch splitter overhang at the front and a taller 8-inch spoiler at the rear of the car, as well as a radiator pan that is 37-inches at the front and tapered to 31-inches at the rear at all tracks in 2019.
Written by Monte Dutton Sun, 2018-09-30 23:04
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I’m not fond of the term “roval.” The road courses that use both infield and oval in Daytona Beach and Indianapolis aren’t called rovals. I’m surprised it’s not a new prescription drug (“In rare instances, Roval has been known to cause understeer in mice.”) or a cereal that sounds healthy but isn’t.
It’s going to be ubiquitous on TV. They’re all going to say “roval” as often as they say the reigning Monster Cup champion’s name without one of its letters.
Martin Trex Jr. loves this roval!