The Latest from the Home Office in Clinton, South Carolina

The fans file in at RIR. (Monte Dutton photo)

Clinton, South Carolina, Saturday, September 22, 2018, 7:01 p.m.

By Monte Dutton

I’m really looking forward to watching tonight’s Monster Energy Cup race from Richmond. I’m sort of going into it fresh. It’s been such a busy week, for a variety of unusual reasons, that I haven’t had much time for the day-to-day operations of NASCAR. Now I’m ready to sit back and watch the race.

What has made this week unusually hectic?

Oh, I lost a tooth. Few, I think, have had a tooth drop off while eating soggy raisin bran. Maybe there was this one little raisin that acted as a suction cup.

And I had jury duty. I wasn’t selected. I don’t think a guy who spends part of every day compiling and writing about those who got arrested is particularly appealing to the lawyer class. It was mainly boring, sitting around in a courtroom for parts of a couple days, where I tried to be the pool comedian, then going home and doing all night what I would have been doing all day.

Clinton High School played football about an hour and a half’s drive away, and that’s a long way to drive to watch the alma mater get hammered. My job is to write what happens, but I like writing about encouraging wins more than discouraging losses. Readers like those stories, too, where the home team is concerned. My goal is always to write what I see. Here’s what I saw.

Presbyterian College is about to play its first home football game of the season against Bluefield (Va.) College, I saw the Blue Hose head coach, Tommy Spangler, speak at the Touchdown Club on Friday. I’d really like to be there, but I think it’s sort of my duty to watch NASCAR, and I love NASCAR. As noted, I’m sort of interested in catching up on the scene. You’ve heard of fans muting the TV and listening to MRN? I may put PC’s radio on while the race is on TV. I envision hilarious misunderstandings.

Okay, I did put the game on radio, where reception is pretty spotty on both AM (1410) and FM (96.5) even though Presbyterian College is in this very town. Bluefield leads 3-0 early. I’ve been experiencing some confusion between the TCU-Texas game on TV and description of Bluefield-Presbyterian via sound. This shouldn’t be as complicated with NASCAR.

Brad Keselowski could equal a modern (1972-present; Richard Petty won 10 straight in 1967) record by winning four races in a row. In the years I covered NASCAR up close and personal, I saw drivers try and fail several times. This is already the first season ever in which three different drivers – Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch – have won three straight.

(Monte Dutton photos)

Aw, hell, Kez. Tie a record. Normally I prefer that different drivers win week to week, but something mildly historic might be a nice touch.

Tommy Spangler

So far the highlight of the week has been (a.) the Red Sox clinching the AL East for the third straight year, and (b.) enjoying barbecue at The Smokin’ Pig a few miles from the Pendleton home, Cunningham Stadium. The brisket melted in my mouth, and the pork was exceptional, but the Brunswick stew was perfection.

The only down side was the barbecue, combined with the Red Devils’ 39-6 loss, gave me heartburn.

Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. are up front in the race. I just checked to see that the Longhorns seem to have the Horned Frogs cornered. The Blue Hose just took the lead against Bluefield.

All will undoubtedly change momentarily.


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(Cover design by Steven Novak)

Lightning in a Bottle, the first of my two motorsports novels, is now available in audio (Audible, Amazon, iTunes) with the extraordinary narration of Jay Harper.

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My writing on other topics that strike my fancy is posted 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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