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One aspect of life in the Age of COVID-19 is that we all are getting accustomed to Brand X.

Better safe than sorry, even when safe is sorry. A fan’s got to do what a fan’s got to do. It is what it is. Let me see if I can think of a few more redundancies. That’s racing (kind of). This iRacing is somewhat realistic, but if it really was, Kyle Busch would be better at it.

And if he was better at it, he’d be counting his wins in iRacing right along with Xfinity and Trucks. I’ve already heard that some of these iRacing virtuosos have won more races than Larry Phillips on the bullrings of Missouri.

I’ve been watching it, man. What else am I going to do? Watch the Bowery Boys on TCM? Old Andy Griffith reruns? YouTube videos of the Porter Wagoner Show? Oh, yeah. I’ve done those things.

Things are getting better. I enjoyed the IndyCar race from would-be Alabama, and the World of Outlaws from the Charlotte dirt track. (I haven’t heard of anyone else who felt this way, but I thought the Late Models looked scaled down a bit.)

It’s been supposedly real, but when it gets right down to it, undeniably artificial. Life is full of accepting little downgrades, which is why I’ve got Diet Dr Pepper and powdered iced tea in the house. Drink that sugar-free stuff long enough, and the real stuff seems too sweet. This became true with beverages about 25 years ago in my case.

Is it possible that loud, smelly, sweaty NASCAR is going to go the way of late-night talk shows that actually take place late at night. Every time I hear “Live on tape from the Ed Sullivan Theatre!” I snicker slightly at the contradiction in terms. TV rules. Now they don’t even pretend there is no need for a caution flag, when five cars crash on the imaginary back straight. No need to clean up the wreckage unless there’s time in the Fox slot. On the other hand, they still have crashes that take place during commercials! It’s not real! Freeze the frame, for gosh sakes! If racing must be virtual, simulated and borderline imaginary, then use the absurdities to the advantage of the viewers.

While I await a time when tires get uncontrolled, hitting walls hurt and drivers get weary again, why not solve a few arguments? Stroll over to the NASCAR Hall of Fame and scan a Fabulous Hudson Hornet, a ’57 Chevy BelAir and a Charger Daytona, and let us see how adept Timmy Hill is in a car that Curtis Turner drove. Race New Hampshire in the rain. Lower the banking at Talladega. Hell, bank the turns at Watkins Glen. Put Cup cars on the dirt of Eldora. Bring back bias-ply tires. Simulate electric cars. I think most of these changes would be disastrous. Prove me right, or prove me wrong.

If we must experience life on lesser terms, let’s at least try something new. I poured a little bourbon into my coffee mug for the IndyCar race, which provided a mild buzz of excitement.