Lewis Carroll, the Father of NASCAR

Gotta go...to an indie bookstore!

Miraculously, and by near coincidence, a reputable pole winner, Jeff Gordon, was determined. (HHP/Alan Marler photo for Chevy Racing)

Miraculously, and by near coincidence, a reputable pole winner, Jeff Gordon, was determined. (HHP/Alan Marler photo for Chevy Racing)

Clinton, South Carolina, Sunday, February 15, 2015, 2:18 p.m.

Bizarro World is back. Famous people did not say the following:

Just when they thought it was safe enough to go back [near] the water …

I belong to no organized sport. I follow NASCAR.

Never has so much metal been wasted by so many for so few.

Leaning on the old tires. (Monte Dutton sketch ... of Monte Dutton)

Leaning on the old tires. (Monte Dutton sketch … of Monte Dutton)

For many years, I have judged innovations on the basis of child’s logic. If something cannot be explained in terms a child can understand, it has been infected by the corruption and jaded logic of adulthood.

Kid: “Hey, Dad, why do we have to have weapons that can blow up the world eighteen times.”

Dad: “So that we’ll never have to use them.”

Kid: “Oh.”

Jimmie Johnson (48), shown here racing with Kyle Larson in the Sprint Unlimited, is also "locked in." (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)

Jimmie Johnson (48), shown here racing with Kyle Larson in the Sprint Unlimited, is also “locked in.” (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)

In attempting to make some sense of how NASCAR determines the front row of the Daytona 500, after considerable trial and error, I found comfort in the words of Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland.

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

Or:

This is also from the Saturday-night exhibition. You can tell it isn't qualifying because it's dark.  (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)

This is also from the Saturday-night exhibition. You can tell it isn’t qualifying because it’s dark. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”

“I don’t much care where.”

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

In fact, Alice in Wonderland is to the NASCAR rulebook what the Book of Mormon is to the Bible.

“You used to be much more … ‘muchier.’ You’ve lost your muchness.”

Or:

“Have I gone mad?”

“I’m afraid so, but let me tell you something. The best people usually are.”

And, finally, the philosophical basis of the qualifying plan:

“You would have to be half mad to dream me up.”

It was interesting, in case it takes that for you to be interested.

Read my books. You need some relief. http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1

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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5 Responses to Lewis Carroll, the Father of NASCAR

  1. Tommy says:

    Forget it. I’m throwing my brain in the bin. I’ve clearly gone mad. If not, the rest of the world has gone mad. The world wouldn’t lose its mind without me, would it? No matter, I have better things to sort out. I have to determine if my toilet is from Australia.

  2. bobi says:

    And as various members of the media told me, “you can’t make this stuff up.” I believe. I believe. I believe…

  3. Andy D says:

    Tommy, if your toilet isn’t trying to kill you it’s not from Australia.

  4. MarkM says:

    And it’s crap like this, (as well as the other “brilliant” ideas that Brian & his sycophantic minions have dreamed up, the Chase & all it’s ever-changing variations, the late, unlamented COT, the way they’ve tried to create artificial “parity”, the muzzling of any criticism of the product by the drivers……). that has turned me into a former fan & follower. The last race I attended was a Nationwide/Xfinity/(insert the next title sponsor here) event at Kansas in 2007, & then only because my wife got free tickets at work. Prior to that it was Charlotte in 1999. I’ve watched fewer & fewer races on TV as well until this year, when I can’t even muster up enough interest to watch any of it so far & have no plans to even watch the Daytona 500, a race I haven’t missed, either in person or on TV since first attending it in 1970.

    For those who still care about NA$CAR, more power to you. For me, it’s just a pathetic overly hyped joke now, one I simply don’t find interesting any more.

  5. GinaV24 says:

    Love this column and yes indeed, all of the fans that NASCAR still has have indeed gone down the rabbit hole.

    this is the qualifying format that didn’t work at Talladega last year, right? So because that was such a resounding failure, the suites felt the need to bring it to Daytona for the 500? Oh yes, what a brilliant decision! Not.

    Then of course we have the current NASCAR PR people standing around thanking everyone who was upset, drivers and fans alike, for the “passion”.

    Well in November 2015, I will be done feeling passionate about NASCAR. When Gordon runs his last race at Homestead, this fan will say goodbye and good riddance to NASCAR. Next year when Daytona qualifying rolls around, I will just laugh at whatever debacle BZF has dreamed up.

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