Clinton, South Carolina, Saturday, January 17, 2015, 10:27 a.m.
Are you distracted? I am.
This morning I thought, Well, it’s time to start thinking about what’s going to happen in NASCAR, and I realized that whether or not Kurt Busch’s estranged girlfriend is an international woman of mystery has little to do with this year’s champion. The little regards Kurt Busch.
Kurt’s a brave man, though. He certainly seems to have tempted fate by running afoul of a trained assassin. I was wondering when the Media Tour was, not whether or not Kurt could learn an English dialect and portray a passable James Bond.
NASCAR is bursting into an entirely new market. The Twilight Zone.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s preoccupied with learning how to make the perfect chili. Tony Stewart’s immersed in dirt-track maintenance. If Kurt Busch fancies himself 007, then Roger Penske is Captain America, according to an excerpt from Racer magazine. Pocono Raceway’s casino – race tracks and casinos are more common than taters and gravy nowadays – is offering free gambling chips if Punxsutawney Phil doesn’t see his shadow. Not only is Cole Whitt joining Front Row Motorsports, but so is Speed Stick. The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is sponsoring qualifying at Atlanta Motor Speedway because, gosh knows, the Georgia Governor certainly wouldn’t want to encourage anyone to speed.
Those releases keep me in touch with the notion that very few people recognize irony. At some point this year, a lieutenant governor will appear at the track naming a favorite-son driver as the state’s spokesman to prevent teens from driving recklessly, and then that driver will go out and touch off a fourteen-car pileup. One leads to another because God has a sense of humor. In a sport where drivers seldom go to college, drivers will also be named to head a literacy effort somewhere. Race drivers have many laudable virtues. Schooling isn’t generally one of them. Ask them, and they’ll say they needed the “seat time.”
Meanwhile, the Word of the Day is pregustator, “a person whose job it is to taste food or drink before it’s served.” It might not be a bad idea to hire one before Patricia Driscoll comes over. Have her over? I wish I hadn’t even watched the video.
Remember Robby Gordon? He’s off in the wilds of Dakar. Well, no, he’s not. Dakar is in Senegal, which is in Africa. The rally is in South America. It’s amazing it’s not Robby Gordon paired with Ms. Driscoll.
When I realized that A.J. Foyt was eighty years old, my first thought was, By God, there’s hope for me. I just read a quote sheet from Indy car, and, not surprisingly, the one that caught my eye was from my friend Robin Miller, who was present at Milwaukee the day in 1965 when Foyt won the pole and finished second, in a field of rear-engined cars, driving a dirt roadster. “People who saw Foyt at the end of his career have no clue how talented he was,” Robin was quoted as saying, and I’m old enough to remember when Foyt was not only the greatest American driver but a force of nature. Technology keeps a man’s nature in check these days, but, be that as it may, it’s been thirty years since I’ve seen a race driver perform what the Foyts and Andrettis, the Pettys and the Pearsons and the Allisons and the Yarboroughs, did routinely. They wrestled those cars, and it was as breathtaking as Dusty Rhodes and Johnny Valentine.
If you didn’t enjoy this blog, go over to www.wellpilgrim.wordpress.com and read my fiction, which is more plausible than this. Ditto my books, some of which were written before NASCAR became this weird and two of which are novels: http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1