Wednesday, March 31, 2010


We went to the Martinsville race this past weekend. March weather is what it is. Friday I was working in a teeshirt, and Saturday was lovely. Sunday we got to a paperclip swathed in cloud, and in the track, the fly-over was merely a rumble of jet engines somewhere above the ceiling. we watched the drying trucks circle the track for a couple of hours, and I was kinda hoping they'd try racing, but although a different one would be in the lead from time to time, all the racing was happening on pit row where they'd go to refuel or something--take a pee maybe. After the track was just about dry, it started raining pretty hard, and they were rolling the racers back into the bowels of the arena before the announcer said the thang was called and they'd try again Monday at noon. We sat in the car and ate bargain hotdogs and waited for the same traffic that would have been there after the race, and finally got back to Rocky Mount, up the road thirty miles. The kitty was glad to see us, and got into her carrier right away in the hopes that we'd actually go home, where she owns the world and not just our guest room.

No luck. We went back to the track Monday and the race was run. A good un. The sky was blue and full of cotton candy clouds, as perfect a day as you could find. At the end, after a restart, Denny Hamlin won again, as he's done at all three Martinsville's we've attended--which is almost verging on weird. Our hostess is a big Jeff Gordon fan, and Gordon was in the lead and almost assured of winning until the last lap, when somehow Hamlin managed to squeeze through a little space on the 4th turn and take the lead. We're thinking that he should buy our ducats in October.

We got home about 9 pm, and I managed to get back to work Tuesday. My ears are still ringing a little. It'll be funny if the world does give up the internal combustion engine and they try humming around these tracks. I noticed the pace car was a Toyota hybrid. Guess someday it could happen, although they do still have horse races.

The picture, by the way, is really about the future. Danica Patrick isn't racing in the primary Nascar series this year, and in fact is back running Indy cars at present, after a few races early in this season in the "Nationwise" series, a kind of triple A series of stock car races using less powerful cars. Nonetheless, her pictures and presence were abundant at Martinsville, and her gear was more expensive than that of some of the fading stars such as Bill Elliott. Such is the way of the world. My wife wonders if, when Danica does start running, the whole macho thing with racing will be damaged for some of the guys. Who knows. Race drivers are kinda like jockeys anyways. That is, they look like normal people. Some of 'em, like Tony Stewart, are bit chunky. Nobody looks like Kareem Abdul Jabar, or Lyle Alzado. Now thems Men.

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