We’ll See How It Goes

(Getty Images for NASCAR)

Clinton, South Carolina, Friday, February 2, 2018, 8:38 a.m.

Another NASCAR season is about to begin. Some of you contribute to this site by making monthly contributions to a Patreon site.

I’m much obliged, but it’s possible you may be distressed by what I’m about to write.

By Monte Dutton

In terms of predicting the champion of the Monster Energy Cup Series, I don’t have much more insight than you do. Insight, observation, study, etc., may come in a bit more handy than two years ago, but it’s still more a game of chance than skill.

Phases and stages, circles and cycles – oh, wait, that’s not NASCAR; it’s a Willie Nelson song – have made the regular season a bit more pertinent. The playoffs – I think they should be race-offs since no one plays – are still in large part as much of a game of chance as a slot machine. A good strategy can increase the chances of turning a profit at a casino, but the slots themselves, or poker, or blackjack, or betting on the Mountain West basketball tournament, still involve luck. Lots of it.

You can feel the rumble every time the steel chariots roar by. (HHP/Harold Hinson photo for Chevrolet)

Another factor is I don’t have the expertise. One of my two college majors was history. I’m adept at writing what already happened. Furman didn’t offer a prophecy major. When someone asks me to pick a winner, or a champion, I say, what the heck? But that’s my evaluation of my own skills. What the heck? Here’s a little secret. That’s the way everyone is. If I say, oh, Joey Logano will win the Daytona 500, and he does, it’s mostly an accident. Later on, some will say skill was involved, but I won’t. I know better.

Hell, I’m certainly not going to predict anything today. I don’t know if Chevrolet and Ford are going to catch up with Toyota. I don’t know if the new Camaro is going to make a difference. I don’t know if Martin Truex Jr. is going to dominate again or drop off a bit. If I ventured any kind of guess before the teams even arrive in Daytona Beach, it would be based more on whom or what I like personally than whom I like professionally.

This was at Charlotte, but the only song I’ve written that was about NASCAR is called “Martinsville.” (Chase Whitaker photo)

If you must ask me to make predictions, I’ll try. You’ll have an opportunity if you’re on Facebook – and who isn’t? – when I put on a live concert on February 7. It’s a Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST because there’s nothing on my schedule that night.

Yes, you’ll have to sit through me singing the country music I love, but I will respond to viewer comments that show up on my “stream.” I will “wade” through them. I tested this idea the night before last, and it worked just fine. I’m confident some of these viewer comments will concern NASCAR. Just a hunch.

As part of my commitment to doing more for my readers, who are doing more for me through Patreon, I may use this live, and more importantly, free opportunity that Facebook affords.

Bristol Motor Speedway (Harold Hinson/HHP photo for Chevy Racing)

I’m thinking about going live after the Daytona 500 just to talk racing. This may change if 100 others decide to do the same thing, but many people will be doing the small part of their jobs now known in antiquated language as “writing.” I’ll write, too, but one of the old notions I enjoy is thinking about the race before I write about it. I may sleep on it. I may ruminate over comments from what PBS calls “Viewers Like You.”

We’ll see how it goes.

Just like the season.

In the “help I need that won’t cost you a dime’ department, I have a new novel, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, that is up for consideration through Amazon’s KindleScout program. You can read all about it, including a sample of the first few chapters, and, if you nominate it, and it’s selected, you’ll get a free download in advance. Make your first click here.

Most of my books — fiction, non-fiction, short stories, sports, music, crime, adventure — are available for sale at my Amazon page here.

 

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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