Oops NASCAR Did It Again

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Britney Spears is making a movie about NASCAR.

Those eight words strike fear in the minds of people who love the sport as much as I do.

We’re scared because we see “Days of Thunder” all over again – or worse. Is NASCAR really that desperate to make money that it has to stoop to the level of bare midriffs, bad singing and even worse acting?

Of course it is.

Money is what makes the NASCAR world go around. We all know that. Fans who sit in their cars for hours before and after races know that, too. The price gouging of race fans has been a part of the subculture of racing for as long as George Washington has had his face on money.

(Well, OK, maybe not that long.)

And now we have Britney Spears. I shudder to think what this movie will be like. Producers of the film – let’s use that term lightly – and NASCAR told us this week that Britney Spears Productions will make a movie that will be an “authentic portrayal of the heart and family spirit of NASCAR and Spears is slated to co-star as a young character that uses her knowledge and experience in the family business to inspire a former NASCAR driver to regain his desire to return to NASCAR racing.”

More fear comes over me. “Hit Me Baby (One More Time).” Please, so I don’t have to watch Britney parade around in a top she needs to take back because it’s waaaaay too short or in hip huggers so low they probably should call them ankle huggers.

Let’s back up a second. I’m a red-blooded male, and Britney is an attractive young woman. I have no doubt that many people will flood the theaters just to see her pretty face or, shall we say, tantalizing body. And I also have no doubt that many of the same teeney-boppers – and some of their clueless parents – will walk out of the same theaters and say, “Britney was, like, sooo sweet!” and have no clue what NASCAR is.

For folks like that, well, go ahead and waste your money. You live in an artificial world anyway, believing that the image Britney portrays – no matter how many times she says she’s playing dress-up, is something you and your kids want to live up to. I can’t imagine my daughter – well, if I ever have a daughter – walking out of the house looking like that.

No, I’m not stuck in a time warp. I’ve been around youth enough times to know what they really want. And they don’t want Britney. They want what we want: to live a life that’s full and complete and real.

I’ve pretty much been able to ignore Britney for most of her career. (Notice I didn’t say “singing career” because the girl can’t sing). I can’t ignore her much longer. She’s invading my turf.

But that turf is clearly an ever-changing landscape. NASCAR used to be about men and machines. Now it’s about money. If you don’t have enough of it, go get more. If you can’t, you’re worthless.

There are still plenty of quality people in this sport to make me want to cover it and watch it. If I put my blinders on long enough, I see guys like Robbie Loomis and Frank Stoddard. Or Junie Donlavey. Or Kyle Petty. Or Jimmy Spencer. Guys with depth and character.

I see crewmen who work ridiculous hours in a brutal working environment with little or no glory. To them, glory comes in a job well done. And, believe me, they guys do a job well.

I see competition. I see sport. I see side-by-side racing (hey, this is my story. I can see what I want). I see triumph. I see tragedy.

I see Ricky Craven coming back from an injury to win at Martinsville. I see Kevin Harvick winning in Dale Earnhardt’s car at Atlanta. I see Dale Jr. winning at Daytona.

I don’t see Britney Spears.

I will whenever her movie comes out. But it won’t be fun to watch. I can’t stand horror pictures.

Staff Writer Lee Montgomery can be reached at lee.montgomery@rmg3.com

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