Clinton, S.C., Thursday, February 13, 2014, 9:46 a.m.
At the moment, writers are concentrated in a small space near Daytona International Speedway, and at least one, I’d wager, has a digital recorder in one hand and an iPhone shooting video in the other. That’s why some of these guys jog. Physical fitness is required to be asking one guy questions while hoisting the little phone high in the air with another, a slight fellow like Kasey Kahne, visible in the mass of people jockeying for position. They’re not jockeying in position to be in the video, but that’s the effect.
This evening about 9, they’re liable to find out what they’ve got.
It’s an aspect of the job I don’t miss, partly because I just shy away from both hustle and bustle, and partly because it’s been an awfully long time since I was a jogger.
Hustle reminds me of advancing age. Bustle pisses me off.
If I were in Daytona Beach right now, I’d probably play Media Day similarly to the way I’m playing it now: hang back and make whimsical observations. I didn’t hang back all the way to South Carolina till a year ago, but for me, Media Day was always sort of a social occasion. It was too late to help much. I would’ve already completed a mountain of preseason work.
Its chief benefit for me was watching Florida newsmen and newswomen ask race drivers questions like, “But what does that say to our children?”
I also enjoyed the ass kissing.
I lost the scent of the chase – and for that matter, the Chase – a long time ago.
I’m still interested. I’m moderately excited about the limited Unlimited – NASCAR’s most nonsensical title since the Winston Select Open – Saturday night. I want the racing to be exciting. I want to see a deserving champion, even though I think the new format turns that into a coincidence if it happens. Selling this format to me would be akin to explaining to an inquisitive four-year-old why we need enough bombs not only to destroy the planet but also to send its remains caroming out of the solar system.
It is what it is at the end of the day. NASCAR knows best. Trust NASCAR.
I’m probably a little less irritable up here in the barren, snowed-in waste of the South Carolina upstate. It takes less snow to make waste here than it does moisture to make snow.
It is what it is at the end of the day, and if, at the end of the day, it’s still like it is now, there isn’t going to be any live music tonight at El Jalisco.
I’m excited about NASCAR exactly as much as I would be if I were there, and that’s an excellent argument for not being there.
Now I get to write books. Buy one sometime.