The stories have grown into legend about the toughness of old NASCAR drivers. A battered Ricky Rudd driving with tape keeping his eyes open. Davey Allison driving with a broken arm. Darrell Waltrip racing with a broken leg.
As I turned off the television late Saturday night, I had the empty feeling that I had been watching a bunch of commercials that were occasionally interrupted by a NASCAR race.
TALLADEGA — On May 1, Brad Keselowski outran the rain and outran the field to win the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
There are certain inevitabilities in NASCAR. A Joe Gibbs Racing driver will contend every week. Watching a Fox TV race broadcast will prompt at least four usages of the mute button on your remote control. A driver you can’t stand will win every other race.
The office was paneled with the sort of wood that seemed ubiquitous in America’s dens of the 1960s. There was a clunky desk and a stiff, metal chair for visitors. It was up a short flight of stairs at a nondescript red-clay oval race track.
The feeling of “it’s about time” when it comes to one particular inductee into the NASCAR Hall of Fame makes it a little difficult to nitpick, to suggest that it’s about time to consider changing the selection process.
Professional sports’ all-star games bear only slight resemblance to their regular-season cousins. There’s no blitzing in the Pro Bowl. The NHL went to four-on-four skating this year. The last time anybody played defense in an NBA All-Star Game, they were in short-shorts and knee socks.
Such is the miserable luck of Matt Kenseth that Fox Sports commissioned a Kansas City blues singer to moan a mournful tune about Kenseth’s season, a segment dropped strangely into the middle of the broadcast.
TALLADEGA – The sensation is eerie, to be up in the air, upside down, inside a 3,400-pound monster that’s turned itself into an Olympic gymnast. Just in case you’re wondering.
TALLADEGA — Once upon a time, he was the quintessential fairy-tale Talladega winner, a semi-unknown racing for a low-budget team, adding to the speedway’s legacy of drivers in need of directions simply to find Victory Lane.
TALLADEGA -- After a scary wreck on the backstretch in Sunday's GEICO 500, Danica Patrick was bruised and battered but had no broken bones.
TALLADEGA — Think about it. Let’s say you’ve been in a sponsor-speak-induced coma the past 16 years and wake up to this news about a Talladega race.