Does Fort Worth ever cross your mind?
That’s a country song, a good ’un too.
And it’s a fitting question.
NASCAR’s long and winding season starts in basketball season and ends in football season, completely covering the entirety of baseball season and leaving us with that esoteric question.
Just when is it racing season?
The easy answer is it’s always racing season, whether it’s in the bitter cold of Atlanta in February or the unbearable scorching heat of Daytona in July, stock-car season stretches across all seasons, beginning in winter and ending in autumn.
Over the course of the 10-month schedule, it runs into everything from the NCAA Tournament to the Masters and the Kentucky Derby and the Indy 500 and Wimbledon and World Cups and Olympics and the Stanley Cup and the World Series, pretty much everything short of the Super Bowl.
The PGA Tour has thrown up the white flag and decided to not go up against football ever again. Other sports alter starting times and tip offs and face offs to avoid conflicts, but racing drops a green flag damn near every week of the season and rolls on.
There’s a sort of bravado to it, a reckless nature that drives the sport through turmoil and tribulation. And few tracks capture the spirit of stock-car racing’s brave heart as Texas Motor Speedway.
Track president Eddie Gossage came from Charlotte, a protege of legendary promoter Humpy Wheeler in the roaring ’80,s when NASCAR was flush with cigarette money and TV curiosity. Nothing was too big. Nothing was too crazy.
Gossage took that spirit to Texas and made a splash, attracting Texans to the hard-core soul of stock-car racing. The Texas thing is gritty, deadly and in your face. They celebrate in Victory Lane with guns.
It’s not basketball season down there.
Here in the footprint of NASCAR, where we pause every March to watch college basketball and brace ourselves for the potential celebrations and dirges, NASCAR rolls on.
This is the month we watch our young athletes go up against the best in the nation, with NCAA championships and history on our minds.
Meanwhile, we can tip our hat to Texas and pray for a clean race and to bring our stock-car boys back , too.
In the middle of March Madness, does Fort Worth ever cross your mind?
You’re damn right it does.