COLUMN: Never over-drive an evil column
NASCAR lingo is always changing
Chevrolet has not yet unveiled the car it will race in NASCAR next year. It hasn’t even been given it a name yet. I believe I’d call it a Getout.
That’s because drivers are always talking about cars that are “fast as all get-out” or “maneuverable as all get-out.” I believe if they’d sell a Getout for the highway, I might consider one.
The lingo of NASCAR is always changing. Cars are forever described as “loose,” “tight,” “neutral,” “free,” “evil” and “wicked.” Evil is always bad, but wicked is sometimes fast. “Wicked loose” and “wicked tight” are terms of derision, but almost any adjective attached to “fast” is a compliment. I’ve never heard “evil fast” except, perhaps, in reference to Steve Wallace.
Sometimes I wonder what the casual television viewer makes of all this jargon.
NASCAR is an individual sport that is never referred to as anything but a team sport. The individual drivers, in their individual cars, are backed by a team, but the record should note that someone has to build the tennis player’s racquet and a golfer has a caddy. The team is important, but only the driver takes the checkered flag.
In many ways the truth is the opposite of the words. When most of the press releases quote drivers as saying they love a track because the racing is so great, it’s a reliable sign that the race will be a series of one car after another running away.
That, of course, is because all the cars are equal.
Groucho Marx would have made a great television announcer, but not as many would’ve realized he was joking. If he and his brothers were still around, they would’ve made “Talladega Nights” a different way. (One would think Will Ferrell would take it as a compliment.)
Since the racing is at Auto Club Speedway, I’m aware that I have to guard against “over-driving” this column.
I get accused of that a lot.
Monte Dutton; 704-869-1841; twitter.com/montedutton