Written by Monte Dutton Fri, 2018-12-14 17:55
It’s never a good sign when the blockbuster news is a driver going from behind the wheel to behind the microphone. What’s more, it’s the second year in a row.
Kurt Busch is moving to Chip Ganassi’s Chevy team, which means that Jamie McMurray, long the driver of No. 1, is out of a ride. He has joined the Fox television roster. A year ago, when Dale Earnhardt Jr. joined NBC, it was bigger news than McMurray. Then again, his loss from the race track was bigger, too.
They can’t drive forever.
Thu, 2018-12-13 09:29
Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC), in a special grant distribution ceremony on Wednesday, announced that the nonprofit’s Charlotte Motor Speedway chapter distributed $1,040,350 in grants – a record annual amount – to 100 charitable organizations located throughout the Charlotte region.
More than 250 children were joined by Santa Claus and Lug Nut, the world’s fastest mascot, for the grant reception in the Speedway Christmas presented by Disconnect & Drive infield village at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Written by Monte Dutton Thu, 2018-12-06 07:23
In 2004, Kurt Busch became NASCAR’s first Chase champion. He was extraordinarily fortunate. One reason he won it was because the Ford Busch drove for Jack Roush that year had on it the smartest tire in the sport’s history.
The right-front tire flew off at the only place where his title hopes could be preserved. On the 93rd of 267 laps in the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, it flew off near the entrance of the pits. Busch was able to limp down pit road as the errant tire rolled down the front straight and into turn one, thus producing the caution flag that saved Busch. Greg Biffle won the race, but Busch managed to finish fifth, and fifth was enough to win the title.
Written by Monte Dutton Fri, 2018-11-30 06:38
As these words are written, NASCAR is about to celebrate the season recently completed. Realizing that there would be an awards show – I take the absence of the word “banquet” to mean “no pretty food” – I looked into it and discovered it’s still on actual live TV, though on a Thursday, a night normally reserved for the Mid-American Conference and the apparently never-ending World Series of Poker.
ESPN has the Timbers vs. SKC: “The Western Conference championship series shifts to Kansas as SKC and the Timbers meet in leg two.”
Written by Monte Dutton Fri, 2018-11-23 08:59
When Joey Logano was a teen-ager, he raced with full-grown adults, and while many of my colleagues were marveling at Logano’s skills, I was marveling at his age. I couldn’t believe he was older than 14.
Also, Logano spoke indistinctly, as if he had a mouthful of jawbreakers. I found that I couldn’t make out much of what he said unless I could see his lips move. Transcribing interviews from a recorder was difficult.
How could a kid who drove a race car have such a sheltered life? The single-minded obsession of a young racer had left him clueless about everything else.
Written by Monte Dutton Tue, 2018-11-13 21:01
When David Pearson was a lad, any time a rich kid decided he wanted to drive race cars, his father threatened to disown him.
Pearson didn’t have to worry about being shipped off to boarding school. He grew up on “the mill hill,” Whitney Mill, in Spartanburg, S.C., not too unlike Brandon in Greenville, which gave the world “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, or Lydia in Clinton, from which the great guitarist Arthur Smith sprang.
They all grew up tough and never got above their raising. They were heroes of a working class that knew their struggles and admired them for escaping the ranks of the weavers, the loom fixers and the cloth doffers.
Written by Monte Dutton Sun, 2018-11-11 17:02
Wouldn’t it be nice just to have a normal week? How about a normal day?
Oh, I’m not just talking about NASCAR, where a driver can establish himself as the favorite for the Monster Energy Cup championship, then have the apple cart (or a Ford Fusion if you want to be a stickler about it) overturned for having an illegal spoiler.
A spoiler spoiled everything.
Written by Monte Dutton Fri, 2018-11-02 08:01
The first time I went to Texas Motor Speedway, it was breaking ground and cutting ribbons. Bruton Smith flew in the NASCAR Media Tour to watch. When we got off the plane, a band was playing something like “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” A few concrete columns had already been buried in the ground at the site. A bus took us to the Fort Worth Stockyards, where we hit the chow line for some barbecue.
Thomas Pope tried to make conversation with the gray-haired lady doling out brisket by telling her about how they buried a pig in the ground back in the Carolinas.
Written by Monte Dutton Fri, 2018-10-26 18:04
When I think of Martinsville, Va., I imagine shivering and blowing on my hands. It’s bound to rain, most likely a drizzle, sometime during the weekend, whether spring or fall.
I see stern officers of the law, wearing flat-brimmed tan hats, in uniforms more likely to display forest green and brown to set off the tan. Navy is less common in the attire of southern Virginia deputies.
Written by Monte Dutton Sun, 2018-10-21 19:47
Every time conditions change at a race where engines are restricted, some changes occur that are unexpected. A few years back, no one expected two-car tandems and relentless bump drafting. Everyone went out on the track, and, pretty soon, the action became a highly skilled variety of, “Hey, y’all, watch this!”
Watching at home last Sunday, I found myself chuckling at the broadcasters, who kept saying, breathlessly, “We haven’t seen racing like this at Talladega in 20 years!”