MONTE DUTTON - – WATCH A LITTLE MORE CLOSELY
I have nodded off watching at least one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race this year. Maybe two. It was probably at least as much a result of me being tired as it was a reflection on the race.
Not all races are exciting. All races are interesting, though. It takes close attention to appreciate fully any sporting event. Most fans who don’t find sports interesting are fans who aren’t interested.
I saw lots of posts, mostly on Facebook, to the effect that Joey Logano’s victory on Sunday at Talladega Speedway was “the worst race there I’ve ever seen,” and “boring as hell,” and “I’d rather watch golf,” which really ticked off golf fans.
Surely no one fell asleep during the Geico 500. I’m afraid to go get a beverage or relieve myself of its contents. I’m reluctant to look away or blink my eyes. I did those things during commercials, of which were there many. I have written about a race there that had no cautions, which cannot possibly happen again as long as NASCAR rules remain as presently constituted. I still didn’t want to look away.
One race there had no caution flags. All races there have little caution.
Surely there is partisan interest in play. Maybe the fans who don’t like Joey Logano and/or Fords sank into dread. Fords have won six straight at the track. I saw Chevys win 13 in a row. Things change. Kevin Harvick hasn’t won nine straight races. Kyle Busch hasn’t won four. Logano hasn’t won two.
The most important virtue of a sports fan is patience. It’s also the most rare.
Talladega had a fine crowd, a competitive race, many surprises, such as Jimmie Johnson causing a big wreck, and many unsurprises, such as Denny Hamlin speeding down pit road.
While on this bender of positivity – it must be the raisin bran – I’ll add this. Dover International Speedway is an underrated track.
Maybe it’s because I described so many races there in person. I like high banks. I like press boxes in the first turn. It’s always been stimulating to watch stock cars dive into the first turn. They remind me of fighter planes swooping. I like Miles the Monster, looming at his Monster Mile. I like walking through the slots casino. I like the breakfast buffet on race morning.
I’ll get none of that Sunday when I watch on TV. I still like Dover.