I’m not a big fan of pranks. (I’m basically a humorless old coot.) But I laughed out loud about 6:15 Sunday night. While waiting through the second televised pavement malfunction, I clicked on the Wikipedia entry for the Daytona 500. As the 2010 winner, some devious gearhead had already entered “Pothole.”
Under “make of car,” the listing was “Hole.” Under “car number,” the listing was “2.”
I’m sorry. For reasons unclear, I found that hilarious. Maybe because I use Marietta Street to get downtown and nearly lose a hubcap on a weekly basis. Maybe because it seemed rather incongruous that the self-appointed Great American Race could be halted — for 2 1/2 mind-numbing hours! — by the not-so-great American pothole. But it was most amusing watching Fox fill (and fill, and fill) to the point that a third delay would surely have prompted Chris Myers to tell the story of how Jim Mora screamed at him at halftime of a Falcons-Panthers game in 2004. (Haven’t heard that one, have you?)
I’m not really a NASCAR guy, but I do like the Daytona 500. (I’ve covered four.) And I will tell you that nothing in sports matches the final lap of the Great American Race for drama tinged with zaniness. In 2007 we had Kevin Harvick nosing out Mark Martin — maybe nosing out Mark Martin — while Clint Bowyer’s car went upside-down and caught fire to boot. This edition featured Dale Earnhardt Jr. trying to run down a car co-owned by the evil stepmother whose shop Junior famously left.
But Dale Jr. didn’t quite make it. (Made a great run, though. And I’m not a Junior fan.) But Jamie McMurray won the race and cried on camera, which in itself made up for 2 1/2 hours of televised pothole repair. And then, just to be sure the real champ had gotten his due, I rechecked Wikipedia. Sure enough, “Pothole” had been taken down.