Clinton, South Carolina, Sunday, July 5, 2015, 1:32 p.m.
I was watching a documentary in which the narrator said that Charleston was “perhaps the most charming city in the South,” and I thought to myself that, in spite of the Holy City’s charm, more people want to visit Myrtle Beach because, while it is anything but charming, it is exciting.
I haven’t been to a beach since I wrote about the Coke Zero 400 three years ago, but, given the choice, I’d visit a peaceful, remote beach where I could be bitten by a shark without all the attention.
Other NASCAR races are more charming than the ones in Daytona Beach, but none is more exciting.
It feels strange waiting for this race to be run on Sunday night. It appears as if the odds are strong that the threat of rain may impede the race’s progress, but it will probably run long enough to count as official. I hope, in the interest of the fans who are assembled there and those who have to work on Monday, it ends at a decent hour. My new novel, Crazy of Natural Causes, is up for advance sale, and I’d like to be as alert and productive as possible.
They don’t schedule the races to please me. Nor should they.
NBC apparently wanted to run it on Sunday night because it wants as many people as possible to watch it. The women’s World Cup soccer match between the United States and Japan will be going on during the early stages of the stock car race, so this may hurt the ratings. It’s impressive, in a way, that we think women’s soccer can compete for the same fans as NASCAR. That overlap didn’t seem so threatening twenty-five years ago.
Soccer has its fiercely loyal audience and NASCAR its, but the ratings war is fought between the so-called “casual fans,” who will have to choose between a fifteen-car pileup and a crisply executed corner kick. The casual fans are to televised sports what battleground states are to presidential elections.
I hope you’ll consider advance-ordering Crazy of Natural Causes sometime over the next two weeks. The novel, about a man who has to start his life over, will be available for immediate download on July 21. If you order it early, it might impress the publisher — Kindle Publishing through its KindleScout selection process — and raise the level of excitement. Or maybe not. I hope you’ll buy it early just so my mood will be better, but my chief desire is that you will like it and spread word of it to your friends. Most of my books are available here: http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1