The Roller Coaster in Daytona Beach

Dale Earnhardt Jr. drives to victory in the first of two Can-Am Duel races. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett for Chevy Racing)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. drives to victory in the first of two Can-Am Duel races. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett for Chevy Racing)

Clinton, South Carolina, Friday, February 19, 2016, 10:35 a.m.

Sure. I watched the Can-Am Duel, which was dual because there were two, as there have been since there was a Daytona 500, which led to the commonly held opinion that there is a town called simply Daytona, which there is not. It’s Daytona Beach, though, as for that, it’s unimportant personally because I am not there, and if I still went, the odds are I would be in Ormond Beach, and there’s no issue there over there not being an Ormond.

Monte Dutton

Monte Dutton

With the South Carolina Republican Primary coming up, I kept having to answer the phone during the races. Oh, I answer, because the only time my “land line” rings is either my mother or someone wanting me to answer a questionnaire that ends up being a request for money, of which I don’t have that much presently. How do they get results to polls, by the way? Everyone I know hangs up.

To make a long story short, they got my position right.

The parking lot. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The parking lot.
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

As is the case an alarming number of times, I digress.

I already wrote, about another race, that Dale Earnhardt Jr. would probably win it if he’s around at the end. In the first Duel, I was right prematurely. What I wanted from the race was for Earnhardt to have to show what he has. He did. It’s a lot. He’s the clear favorite in the Daytona 500. In terms of this particular sweepstakes, the best jockey is riding the best horse. He’s got to guard against getting his trusty steed pinched into the rail.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Kyle Busch, not exactly a big surprise, either, won the latter race by a piece of paper. Matt Kenseth, Busch’s teammate, had to give up the lead so that he could use the turbulence of riding around another car to get the paper to fly off the nose of his Toyota and stop unduly heating up its innards.

This set in motion a series of events. Busch won, and Kenseth’s car got destroyed and, as a result, it will not start on the front row of the Daytona 500.

Both races provided pertinent information regarding the likely outcome of NASCAR’s most prestigious race. At this point, with the actual running of the qualifying races little more than a formality, the best that could be expected was valuable information, which we got.

The second Duel even had a dual duel of its own.

The Camping World Truck Series race is tonight. I’m thinking of having a safety harness installed in my easy chair. It’s probably already too late to get that done. I guess I’ll clench my teeth again.

Xfinity Series practice. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to watch the opening scenes of Days of Thunder. Speedweeks is a roller coaster. The ride starts out with gentle ups and downs, just to get the squealing cords cleared out vocally. Now it’s gears grinding, pulling everyone up a ponderous grade. From here on lie free falls, loops that turn us upside down, and such pure speed, at long intervals, that, after a while, it seems as if a parking lot, perfectly aligned, is going nearly 200 miles an hour.

Amazingly, this formation flying will seem boring. It’s too much of a good thing, or, perhaps, too good of a much thing.

The ending will be whiz-bang, though. It will be swell, a humdinger and a ripsnorter. What few kids are watching will find it turnt, based and/or lit, terms that can be translated as “stoned” but also refer to most everything that feels good. Many are not about that life.

NASCAR, I mean.

(Graphic courtesy of Meredith Pritchard; cover by Jennifer Skutelsky)

(Graphic courtesy of Meredith Pritchard; cover by Jennifer Skutelsky)

As you may have noticed, I use these blogs as a promotional tool for my novels. One, Crazy of Natural Causes, has been out since late July of 2015.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Another, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, will be out soon. I got a little news on Thursday. A release date will be announced in a few weeks. It’s a crime novel about corruption and patronage in a small town. The tale unfolds across two generations at the same time.

(Joe Font cover design)

(Joe Font cover design)

Crazy and Trespasses are my third and fourth novels. The Audacity of Dope was published in 2011, The Intangibles in 2013. I’m working on a fifth, Cowboys Come Home. Most of my books can be examined and purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1

(Melanie Ryon cover design)

(Melanie Ryon cover design)

My short fiction, reviews and essays can be found here: https://wellpilgrim.wordpress.com/

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing) and @wastedpilgrim (more humor and opinion). I’m on Facebook at Monte.Dutton and Instagram at Tug50. Look for me by name at Google+. Whew. It’s too much.

 

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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