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The Checkered Flag

After two and a half years, this will be the final original post on The Outside Groove. No, I'm not going to pull a Darrell Waltrip and start making small, embarrassingly half-assed posts once or twice per year. And no, I'm not going to transform this site into an emporium for my other sports obsession, defunct leagues from the 70's. ("San Diego Sails? More like San Diego SNAILS!!!)

No, I'm just putting the site to rest. While I still like to write humor, I just plain don't like Nascar that much anymore. No one big event made me turn against the sport of car dealership owners, but there are a few things that have turned me off. I will now list them for my own self-importance.

1. IT'S FREAKING BORING: Watching two drivers swap wins week-to-week isn't my idea of fun. And if I wanted to watch my favorite get destroyed by two identical super-forces all-year-long, I'd go back to being an Orioles fan.

2. The sport is being dominated by Rick Hendrick: Yes, Rick Hendrick's done a lot of good things...I assume. But he also strong-armed out smaller car dealers in the 80's through cash bribes and (ironically) BMW's, then got his conviction wiped clean by his Bank of America buddies. Oh, and there's that whole "not paying overtime" thing. Once again, if I wanted to see my favorite get destroyed by a team owned by an ex-con, I'd go back to being an Orioles fan.

3. Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie is, by all accounts, a really good guy. And I applaud him for that. But I'm thoroughly convinced that he was bred in a lab in the 80's by corporate executives to be the perfect pitchman. Nothing controversial, nothing interesting, just plain nothing.

4. Vengeance is mine: After I saw Michael Waltrip get publicly humiliated week after week (a streak that continues!), what was there left for me to do? Speaking of which:

5. Nascar on FOX: I was a huge Nascar on Fox fan when they got the rights package back in 2001. Then it turned into the Waltrip Brothers Hour Presented by Toyota. When announcers aren't the least-bit impartial to the equipment in play, its just not a true broadcast anymore. Oh, and Larry Mac hates me.

Am I going away? Oh no. My new website launches soon (yes, soon!) right here.

I want to thank EVERYONE whose read my site throughout the years, especially the die hard readers who I've become friends with. Thanks again to my Mom and Dad, who gave me my first REAL writing job, and Douglass Ladd, who got The Outside Groove on its way (blame him).

I want to detract EVERYONE who posted negative comments over the years, especially those who thought my stories were actually read. Detractions again to Catch Fence, who threw me off their website for not being Christian enough, and the idiot I dated who called my site a "safe bet".

I also need to extend my sincere gratitude to Dion Ciccarelli, Donnie Neuenberger, David Starr, and Mike Massaro for agreeing to be interviewed by me. And of course, thank you to Derrike Cope for your mustache.

In the beginning, I set up this site to see if anyone would react to intelligent Nascar humor. The answer was yes, and I thank you all for that. Unfortunately, Nascar seems to not want us anymore. For every bogus caution flag, Tony Stewart rant, Junior puff-piece and ugly rear wing, my brain got more and more turned off. Sorry, folks, but I have to take care of my brain, even if it means not following a sport I once (and still) loved.

And so, I say goodbye for now, and I'll see you later for sure.

"People think Michael is a good guy, but he's not a good guy. He got a girlfriend and he ended the site; he's just a piece of shit."