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NASCAR is changing next year. Big deal. NASCAR changes every year. Jonas Salk didn’t experiment as much with the polio vaccine.

But next year it’s changing a lot! The race cars aren’t going to have five lugnuts on the wheels! From the alarm from old-time fans, you’d think they’d eliminated wheels altogether and decided to race hovercraft in 2021.

Officials are also making the tires three inches wider. Tightening them with one centrally located connector will apparently keep the 18-inch tires sufficiently stable and, in turn, increase the ability of those tires to keep the cars stable and minimize wear.

None of this alarms me, though I am something of a traditionalist myself who has followed NASCAR all my life, dating back to attending my first Cup race before it was Cup, some 55 years ago in August.

Back then, the tires on stock cars were considerably wider than the ones on passenger cars. I really felt my age when I read that many passenger cars had tires that were 18 inches wide while NASCAR drivers rode around on tires that were 15. I went out in the carport, looked at the tires on my truck and realized that darned if it wasn’t true.

In short, I don’t mind NASCAR modernizing to meet the times. I don’t want driverless race cars, but I don’t want to watch the Flintstones race at Darlington, either.

How many times have I written in the past decade that not every race can be classic or else there would be no such thing? Sometimes a man has to tip his cap to another one who’s faster. One day it’ll be a woman.

I don’t even know what an algorithm is, but I’m satisfied it exists. If mankind travels to Mars, it doesn’t have to go by means of a Redstone rocket under a Mercury capsule.

I’m not going to trade in my cell for a rotary-dial Westinghouse, and I’m not going to get up and change a channel by turning a round knob on the front of the Philco.

I’m not nearly as afraid of technology as I am of drivers who get to the top not because they worked their way up through the ranks but because their daddies got money, but I’m not going to stop them, either. I reckon they reflect the way of the world, in this the Year of Our Lord 2020, as much as Charles Lindbergh did when he flew the Atlantic in a contraption that didn’t even have a front windshield.

Nostalgia is one thing, and I have it for David Pearson, Johnny Unitas and the Golden Jet, Bobby Hull.

But, heck, I’m not a kid anymore, and the Silver Fox and Unitas We Stand aren’t even around.

I like stock cars to look a little bit like the ones riding around on the interstate, but it’s unreasonable to make ’em look like ’67 Fairlanes again.

It becomes painfully more obvious every day that my day has passed, and I’m all for the young’uns taking over. They couldn’t possible mess things up as badly as my generation did.