Didn’t Have the Money to Waste

(Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

Clinton, South Carolina, Sunday, March 25, 2018, 12:04 p.m.

In retrospect, it’s not such a bad thing that I haven’t been able to go back to Martinsville Speedway yet.

I can’t afford to make the trip. I damned sure can’t afford to stay up there until Monday.

One of the reasons I want to go back to nearby NASCAR venues from time to time is to acquaint myself with some of the young men who have arrived on the scene since I departed it. I can’t hear them tick on TV, let alone what causes it.

By Monte Dutton

Charlotte Motor Speedway last year didn’t prove to be particularly useful because my visits were rain-marred and modern drivers don’t like to hang out in the garage as much as their forerunners did. The only one-on-one (one of sportswriting’s more inaccurately used words) I had was with Ryan Newman, and it was just a result of randomly crossing paths, which is among my favorite ways for conversations to occur, but even Charlotte is a long way for just one of them.

When I began my Patreon page, the goal was $500 a month to fund some trips to places like Darlington, Martinsville, Bristol, Charlotte and, perhaps, slightly beyond. I’m not there and may not get there, but the support of patrons does come in handy and leads me to write more in order to give supporters their money’s worth.

I’m trying as best I can.

If I was in Martinsville – more likely Eden, North Carolina, which is where my motel room was located twice a year for twenty consecutive ones – I’d be either resigned to staying over another night or trying to make my way through rough weather back home.

I would have cursed the fates and dratted the luck … and probably walked over to the Burger King next door, “never knowing if believing is a blessing or a curse” in much the same manner as Kris Kristofferson. If I was there, I wouldn’t be writing a bit better than I am right now.

Which, if not scary, is all the more reason to be safely at home.

(Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

I love Martinsville, though. I like the local writers. For obvious reasons, I like small towns, or, at least, feel comfortable in them. I expect I’d like the people who work at the track, though some have undoubtedly been succeeded and replaced.

Friends tell me how it is, but I’d like to see for myself.

Martinsville is one of just a few tracks where I like to watch qualifying. This time it wasn’t held.

It’s the best place for a Truck race. It’ll be on TV in the morning.

It’s the only place where I look through my binoculars to watch brake rotors blaze. Overcast days are best, at least until NASCAR races there at night.

Martinsville hot dogs are situated exactly where rustic, tasty, and cheap intersect.

Track president Clay Campbell will talk with you. His grandfather, H. Clay Earles, would talk with you. Many track presidents nowadays require a purpose. The same is true of the misinformation corps.

I’ll watch the NCAAs. I’m so lost in this blog that “Epic Warrior Women” was playing until ten seconds ago. The Grand Prix of Australia! D’oh!

It didn’t snow in Melbourne.


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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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