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Recently I have been fond of quoting Toby Keith (and Scotty Emerick) by saying that I’m not as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was.

It’s a lie. I’m not as good once as I ever was. Now, as a writer, I think I’m better than ever, but I may be delusional. To quote Jimmy Buffett, don’t ever forget that you just may wind up being wrong.

As to the original point, I can’t drink like I once could. I can’t eat like I once could. I’m losing touch with youth … and, for that matter, the youth.

I’m reaching the stage in life where a great time is sipping coffee and telling jokes to a waitress while I have the usual. That’s right, Debra, over-medium. And, Lord, yeah, grits.

Sometimes, oh, some time such as last Sunday, NASCAR loses the track. I’ve lost the kids. I write about ’em on a regular basis, taking notes as they hurl their sliders and execute their crosses for a header past the keeper.

I want to get up a pickup-truck bed full of ’em and go to the dirt track. I would, too, if they wouldn’t laugh in my face and if it wasn’t strictly verboten to ride in the back of a truck. My brother and I used to ride in the back of a pickup all the way to Asheville and back – on I-26, which was then a “super” highway – in the winter. If I let a collie ride in my pickup bed now, I’d probably go to jail.

Times are changing. Kids are changing. Racing is changing. Me? I ain’t changing, and I hate it because I used to love to change.

In my never-ending search for truth, justice and just exactly what happened to NASCAR, it could just be that we’ve lost our love of adventure, at least adventure that’s not inside a game of Fortnite (whatever that is).

A video simulation does everything but hurt, and I can see as how that would be appealing.

I haven’t ever been a numbers geek. I love baseball but not all those acronyms and logarithms, sines and cosines. I’ve never seen a formula that describes Willie Mays to my satisfaction. I don’t like cogs whirring as much as pulses quickening. I can watch it on TV because I’ve seen so much of NASCAR live. It still excites me, even on TV, but I can’t multi-task. It’s too much information. I could have three different feeds on, monitor scanner frequencies from 1,000 miles away, but, turning my attention to Dwight Yoakam, I’m 1,000 miles from nowhere and time don’t matter to me. I just want to watch the race. The race. One version of it.

Racing to me is that moment when the pace car pulls off and the field strains at its bits like the world’s largest horse-drawn carriage. Then … vroom, vroom, ruhruhruhruhruhruh … on and on and on.

Maybe the kids can’t relate to what matters to me. I know vice-versa is true.