Short week, short entries. I probably should have got some work done today, since there will only be three working days this week, and then the first of December comes up so quickly afterward. But, you know, I didnít. All I wanted out of this day was to sprawl in front of the TV and watch NASCARís final race of the season, the one that would decide the championship. Thatís all I wanted, seriously.
Two years ago Iíd never watched a race from start to finish. Even a year ago, after I started getting into the sport, I had a kind of casual interest. Most of that interest was generated by the fact that my two nephews watched it, and this would give us one more thing in common. Now itís different. I watch because I like it, and if I can work it into a conversation with a fellow fan, Iím happy. But Iíll keep watching anyway.
Itís the last thing I expected to be interested in. I know less about cars than I do about almost anything you can name. And I really donít have much of an interest in how engines work, although Iím sure that would be useful knowledge to have (in some parallel universe where I had time to explore things that hardly matter to me). Iím interested in the drivers, and the crews, and the teams, and the history.
Stock car racing doesnít have the long history baseball has in American sport, but in a little over fifty years itís made up a lot of ground. Like baseball, itís a sport where individual performances make the differences, but only within the team concept. And of course it has those colorful origins in the magical world of moonshine running. Whatís more American than that?
For some reason I have the vague sense that my interest in racing is something I have to be mildly ashamed of, or at least something I should take lightly. Thereís a weird sense that it costs me something to admit it and write about it, as if it were a less worthy interest than, say, post-deconstructionist art or lyrical existential poetry. I have to get over that.