Live from Somewhere Else on the Planet

They get younger every year. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Clinton, South Carolina, Monday, August 13, 2018, 9:37 p.m.

By Monte Dutton

I’ve probably seen a dozen races like the one Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. A rough estimate is I saw 37 Cup races there in 20 seasons.

One of the ones I missed was like Kevin Harvick’s Sunday beatdown. I had just been released from the only hospital into which I have been admitted since my birth. It was 19 years ago. I watched it on TV through what Tom T. Hall called “a medicated fog.”

It could be that fans started demanding that every race be a classic when NASCAR and TV started promising them.

Maybe, in the Age of Trump, everyone is just mad at one another.

Next month my alma mater, Furman University, is going to play Clemson. If the Tigers win 52-0, I don’t expect any of my Clemson-fan friends to claim it was a crummy game. They might claim Clemson didn’t play well.

Kevin Harvick leads a pack of cars. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

In my stock-car-writing prime, I mostly made my own schedule. A couple years, when I was popular and the syndication profitable, I went to every single race. I usually went to Michigan because it was fun to play my guitar at Captain Chuck’s, and to go to lake-side gatherings, and see the Tigers.

Michigan, I think, has the friendliest people inside the track and the meanest troopers outside the track. Don’t get mad. I base it solely on personal experience.

Next up is Bristol, where I missed only one race and it was for the reason cited in the second paragraph. I think I could have made it, but I was still in a weakened conditions, and doctors I no longer remember advised against it. I hate I didn’t have perfect attendance at Bristol.

Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick duel at MIS. (Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Now it’s Bristol (Baby), the same way Harry Caray couldn’t say Lee Smith’s name without putting “Biiiiigggg” in front of it.

Now that I am exiled, I know TV announcers much better, and I think it would be wonderful if every single one of them didn’t use first and last name on every reference.

Kyle Busch is closing in on Martin Truex Jr. (pronounced ‘Trex’), but, oh, no, here comes Kevin Harvick. Kevin Harvick is within a car length (five) of Kyle Busch, and Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch are going to set sail for Martin Truex Jr.

Michigan (Monte Dutton photo)

Right you are.

I miss Bristol (Baby) Intergalactic Colosseumway. From outside at night, with the rotary hum whipping up tornadoes from within, it seems as if the Alien Mothership is revving up its Veluvian Generators and charting course to the opposite end of the galaxy, where, presumably, Kyle Busch will be examined closely.

“Meanwhile, the earthlings continue to go around and around, My Lord.”

 

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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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