Junior! Denny!!

Well, the weather was a factor Friday night for the Busch races, that's for sure. After two and a half hours of sitting in the rain in Turn 2, we wimped out and headed for the parking lot. The hours leading up to the green flag were great, except for a gust of wind that crumpled our tent's metal legs and sent it flying into the people parked next to us. They were fine, and I've never liked that tent anyway - setting it up makes me feel stupid and incompetent. The day's real success came when the girls (all three high school seniors) got to meet Kasey Kahne and have him sign their various hats, pass holders, etc. Evidently he thanked them - which sent the girls into the stratosphere. Waiting in line for an hour to get into the pits was definitely worth it. And finding out that Kasey Kahne is a gentleman was priceless. (Why do I sound like an American Express ad?) How about that Denny Hamlin??? Local boy comes home to race his friend and hero, nineteen stitches in his hand, and comes close to taking the checkered flag. While I'm happy for Junior and his win, my heart started pumping peanut butter when Denny took the lead. Oh my stars - talk about a heck of a race! Harvick should have won, and would have if he'd taken tires when everyone else pitted. That's what makes racin' what it is - a wild time filled with second-guessers who think they know what it takes to win a stock car race. I'm smart enough to know it's beyond my comprehension. Visiting the various racing establishments near Charlotte, N.C., taught me how much skill and expertise is needed to just walk into one of their while, gleaming, and seriously silent workshops. This is weighty business, ya'll, and not for those who aren't at the top of their game. Like my newest protagonist, who is figuring out just how naive she is when it comes to high stakes and playing for keeps. She has a steep learning curve, but she's getting there. Now that my racin' weekend is finished, I'm getting back to her and seeing if I can't make things worse for her, page by page.