It Seldom Snows in Daytona Beach, but …

Kevin Harvick won't be driving the red car. Kurt Busch won't be driving the black car.  (HHP/Brian Lawdermilk photo for Chevrolet)

Kevin Harvick won’t be driving the red car. Kurt Busch won’t be driving the black car. (HHP/Brian Lawdermilk photo for Chevrolet)

Gotta go...to an indie bookstore!

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.

Kasey Kahne: "That's really a great question ..." (John Clark photo)

Kasey Kahne: “That’s really a great question …” (John Clark photo)

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.

[cb_profit_poster Beer1]

About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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6 Responses to It Seldom Snows in Daytona Beach, but …

  1. Al Torney says:

    The anticipation for the new season to begin started to wane when the powers to be started fixing a sport that wasn’t broken.
    I sometimes wonder If NASCAR intimidates the media the way they do the participants in the sport. So many writers seem to be nothing more then NASCAR spokesmen. There were very few that I could rely on to give it to me straight. They were: Ernie Saxton, Monte Dutton, Mike Mulhern, Robin Miller, David Poole , Chris Economacki and Ed Hinton. The last thing I read by Hinton made me think he has succumbed. Since four of the above lost their jobs I begin to wonder why. Maybe good hard nosed writing is a thing of the past. Maybe painting seats to look like people, fake cautions and piss poor writing is what some people want. I’ll tell you this, I still have a hard on for Sports Illustrated and The Sporting news. I can remember back in the ’50’s and ’60’s when I craved anything to read about stock car racing they didn’t give it a paragraph. Oh they covered Daytona and The Indy 500 but the rest of the year forget it. Then when the sport became the in thing there they were ready to cash in.

    I know politicians only want to talk to those in the media who support their views. I’m beginning to believe NASCAR is following their lead. And the ass kissers think they are sitting on the right side of Brian while they have don’t even realize they are nothing more then NASCAR dupes.

  2. Monte says:

    We’re dropping like flies.
    As always, thanks for writing, Al.

  3. david says:

    Hey Monty… Ever since I strapped a stock VW Bug to my butt in early ’70’s and tried to beat the other guys in an organized race on dirt, it has ALWAYS been about claiming that checkered flag. Anything less war cr- p! Here’s the rules, go get it. So long as I reasonably believed the same rules applied to me as the rest, I tried my heart out to get that flag. I happen to be familiar with at least over 110 other guys that display that same desire nearly every single week and I love them for it. A championship is just a little desert for another day.
    Yeah, yesterday was a different fun but, so what, what we got today is what we got. Constructive criticism for change is a lot better than lamenting or threatening a stooped stick for what was. I enjoy seeing opinions like yours and the replies sometimes, and I can make my own choice. By the way, I watched some of Media Day and when the adds for the Daytona came on, they triggered memories of my excitement of beginning AGAIN and it really choked me up and wet my eyes. I felt like a fool but that’s me. NASCAR RACING is the only beef I have to feed that beast of competition that I cherish so much within me.
    Thanks for your articles Monty and please keep them up as long as you wish. I promise I’ll read them when I can.
    David

  4. tommy says:

    I miss doing Daytona. So much so that I gave them such an unrealistic set of demands they flat refused my “request” to give them free publicity. I hear VanHoose is going… More power to him. He’s got enough energy to cover the whole thing singlehandedly

  5. Monte says:

    He is most definitely an excitable young man.

  6. Monte says:

    Thanks for writing. I’ll chime in when the mood strikes.

Comments are closed.