NASCAR Fight Night: All down hill from here

Keselowski-post-raceIt was just before midnight at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Brad Keselowski was waiting outside the principle’s office.

The 30 year-old driver and 2012 Sprint Cup Champion sat in an office chair inside the NASCAR hauler, just feet away from the southern end of the series’ garage facility. A sliding glass door and two police officers kept any unauthorized visitors from trying to talk to him.

Little more than 45 minutes had passed since the conclusion of the night’s race, but it had felt like many more, at least to me.

The Team Penske driver would later say that during his visit to hauler, where he met with NASCAR President Mike Helton and vice president of competition and racing development Robin Pemberton, behind a door with a reflective glass window, he “just explained what happened. I don’t think they had a full picture of what happened, so I just told them exactly everything that happened. It was a long story.”

A lot can happen in 45 minutes.

Continue reading

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Watching the Cowboys with my people

Just a few Cowboy fans, ready for Sunday night.

Just a few Cowboy fans, ready for Sunday night.

I’m a pacer.

There’s only two instances where I’m guilty of being such.

  1. Phone conversations lasting longer than three minutes.
  2. When the Dallas Cowboys have a lead of 21 points or less in the fourth quarter.

Can you blame me? Especially after 2013?

Remember that Packers game? That Lions game? I do.

When the New Orleans Saints scored two touchdowns in as many drives early in the 4th quarter, making a 31-3 Dallas lead a 31-17 New Orleans deficit with 9:49 remaining, it was familiar territory.

There I was, in a reserved room at Jocks & Jills in Charlotte, North Carolina, pacing, jumping up and down and raking a hand through my hat-matted hair, waiting for what would have been the inevitable just 10 months ago.

But I wasn’t alone. Continue reading

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Tony Stewart and my journalism kick in the pants

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Tony Stewart’s Brickyard 400 car. (Photo by Daniel McFadin)

I have a power.

Not a Superman punching a villain through three skyscrapers kind of power or Alex Mack turning into a silver puddle power.

But I do have a power.

It just took Tony Stewart, a brief lapse in judgment and my first experience with hate mail to fully realize it.

The morning of August 10, 2014 won’t be one I forget anytime soon. Hopefully none of us do. It was around 10 a.m. and I rolled over to look at my phone.

My dad had sent me text message at 9:11 a.m. asking, “Are you aware of [the] Tony Stewart story?”

On the same screen was an alert from ESPN, stating that NASCAR star Tony Stewart, while driving, had hit and killed another person who was on foot.

In my groggy state and due to ESPN’s lack of context, I came to the conclusion that Stewart had accidentally hit someone while driving on the street in his civilian car.

But that’s not what happened. Exactly a month later, we still don’t know what occurred on that night at a New York dirt track. Continue reading

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Roll with the Life Changes

A lot can change in 11 months.

In August 2013, there was quite a bit I hadn’t done career wise. I had never covered, let alone attended, a NBA or WNBA game. I had never written about a college football or basketball game that had any lasting impact outside the Sun Belt Conference.

Even though I hope to someday be a regular reporter in the auto racing world, I had never had the opportunity to write about IndyCar or NASCAR outside the confines of this meager blog.

A lot can change in 11 months. Especially my resume. Continue reading

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40 years later: A look at ‘The Indy 500: An American Institution Under Fire’ by Ron Dorson

Ron Dorson's 1974 "An American Institution Under Fire"

Ron Dorson’s 1974 book “An American Institution Under Fire”

I don’t know what I would do if Amazon didn’t exist. With it (just like real libraries) I can stumble upon long-forgotten books no longer available in stores.  I can also preorder books that won’t be out for another year.

This is a case of the former.

A couple of months ago I was transcribing an interview for an oral history of the 1992 Indianapolis 500-probably with Robin Miller-when I took to the Internet to research a person that was mentioned, I forget who.

When the results popped up, among them was a mention of “The Indy 500: An American Institution Under Fire,” a 40-year-old book by someone named Ron Dorson. Having caught the disease that was Indy 500 history and with my first Month of May weeks away, I made a few clicks over at Amazon (this isn’t a sponsored post, by the way) and the book was waiting on my doorstep before the week was up. Continue reading

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REVIEW: ’22 Jump Street’ is something cool and knows it

22 jump streetRemember March 2012?

It wasn’t that long ago if you think about it.

Not long since director-writing duo Chris Miller and Phil Lord had nothing but “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” and a couple of episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” under their belt. Not long since the world was marveling at how much weight Jonah Hill had lost and Channing Tatum was the go-to guy for the male lead in the Romantic Drama of the Month Club.

It hasn’t been long since “21 Jump Street” was the questionable film reboot of an 80s TV series no one was asking for. Continue reading

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Watching TFIOS with its target audience

Writer’s note: I haven’t seen more than half of a Twilight movie, any of The Hunger Games or Divergent.

Thankfully, this never happens in the movie.

Thankfully, this never happens in the movie.

While sitting in Theater One of the Landmark Glendale 12  on Keystone Ave. Thursday night, preparing to watch one of the earliest public viewings of “The Fault in Our Stars” in order to review it for Indianapolis Monthly, I noticed one major thing: I was in the minority.

As a 23-year-old, male college student who has been reading John Green’s novels since his junior year of high school, it was clear I was not the movie’s target audience and I have no problem with that. TFIOS is now the biggest pre-selling romantic drama in Fandango’s history. Continue reading

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