INNER MONOLOGUE OF A.J. ALLMENDINGER DURING THE LAST LAP OF THE SYLVANIA 300

Damn! Spun out with one lap to go. Nice luck. I guess NASCAR will throw the caution here. Sure would like that one back. Dinger, you’re better than this! Man, Robby Gordon’s going to beat me today. Robby Gordon? The guy skipped Richmond to race cacti in the desert. He couldn’t drive his way out of a Wal-Mart parking lot. I could beat him in a Rascal. With a restrictor plate. Robby Gordon’s going to beat me today? This sucks. I want this one back. I wish this engine would restart. Come on. Where’s the caution?

Poor Lynne. Another long, quiet flight home. I hate that look she gives me after I lose, like I’m the Down Syndrome kid who just played the last 30 seconds of the JV basketball game. Just once I’d like to get out after the race and have one of the ABC camera guys right there as I kiss my hot wife. That’s right, America, see what The Dinger’s dinging. But, no. Not me. Not this year. No ABC camera guys, no Miss Sprint Cup. Just my wife looking at me like she wants to call me “Corky,” pat my head and take me to McDonald’s. This thing ain’t restarting. Why haven’t they thrown the caution flag?

Ugh, Richard. That’s the worst part. Richard Petty. Why does my boss just happen to be the greatest athlete in the history of his sport? Richard is Michael Jordan and Babe Ruth and Wayne Gretzky and Jim Brown all rolled into one. I can’t face him. Those sunglasses staring back at me. That mustache, unmoving, like a mountain of disappointment. Hey boss, sorry I wrecked the car, but … is that Mark Martin? Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit. Start, you piece of crap, start! OK. Go, go, go, go. Oh-my-God, oh-my-God, oh-my-God, faster! Please no one hit me, please, please, please. Is NASCAR trying to kill me? The caution’s coming out now? What the fu–? Ahhhh!

(Note: Inner monologue writing device totally stolen from the dudes at Holy Taco.)