A former radio and television broadcaster, newspaper columnist, Little League baseball coach, Ron Thornton has been following NASCAR on this site since 2004. While his focus may have changed over recent years, he continues to make periodic appearances only when he has something to say. That makes him a rather unique journalist.
Today we celebrate the return, in some sense at least, normalcy. Once again, though the grandstands remain silent, the sounds of the engines rumbling like thunder upon the asphalt surface have returned to us through the speakers of our televisions.
I am not a very expressive guy when it comes to watching sporting events. I have long come to realize there are more important things in life than a winning result. Then, there are times when something takes place that is truly important. Something that brings forth emotion.
For the third time this season, NASCAR presented a race worth watching. I am talking about those who demand an entertaining three-hour experience if they are going to spend the time to take it all in. Talladega delivered.
Bristol is not Las Vegas, Phoenix, Fort Worth or Charlotte. There are reasons to go to the Virginia-Tennessee border. The country is beautiful. On Sunday, it appears a lot of people were taking in the scenery. They sure in hell were not at the race track.
Some of the changes are interesting. Moving the season-ending event matters not, as Homestead has never become an iconic event in most minds anyway. Adding a third short track is good. Keeping the roval in Charlotte as part of the mix is fine. Adding some tradition with the Southern 500 becoming even more meaningful actually comes across as a fine idea.
The Daytona 500 is coming up this Sunday, a time for new beginnings and a time for bringing things to an end. After 15 years and over a thousand columns of various incarnations, this edition represents my final regular contribution to this site.
As a journalist, I can say this. Joey Logano is a very talented driver, an aggressive driver who knows what he has to do and has the desire and the ability to pull it off. He is a very deserving Cup champion. I say that as a journalist.
Legends are rare. Many get an honorary title, no doubt stars in their own right at one time long ago or a pioneer of some description. However, to be a true legend, an icon, it takes a lot to make the grade. In NASCAR, David Pearson was an undisputed legendary driver, one of the best all-time, a true giant of the sport.