By Lee Mongomery
Well, folks, the time has come to move on.
I'll keep this short and sweet (I hope), as I don't want to overindulge myself. NNSracing.com, the blog/website I started almost two years ago, will close soon. You may have noticed nothing's been posted for a while anyway, but the plug will be pulled soon.
Thanks to Jeff Gluck and the folks at SBNation.com for hosting it for much of its existence. I appreciate all they've done, and especially for Jeff's friendship. He's not going anywhere, and I'll continue to read his terrific outlook on NASCAR. Heck, he's one of the few I still read when I want to catch up with NASCAR.
Now, why am I moving on?
Many reasons. For starters, I'm not a blogger. That's no offense to people who blog about NASCAR or any subject, but that's not me. If I am to write about a certain subject, then I need to be there. And for most of last year, I wasn't at the race track. Sure, people can offer their opinions about most any subject, but if they aren't there, it's at best an uneducated opinion. And I can't do that, won't do that.
I wrote a few columns last year about the Nationwide Series, but after writing them, I wondered, "Is that really how it is?" Without talking with the people in the series, how do I really know? The truth is, I don't.
Now, where have I been? Since last April, I've been employed at Geiger Media doing public relations in drag racing. That means I've been on the road with NHRA ever since, leaving little time for NASCAR. I won't be going back any time soon, either. I honestly don't miss NASCAR, other than the people. But I've made some great friends in drag racing, and there are no regrets.
Frankly, as much as I loved NASCAR, it didn't really love me back. In my crazy career, I've held down eight full-time jobs, six in NASCAR - and I've lost all six, for one reason or another. I should've gotten the message after NASCAR Scene shut down in January 2010, but I pressed on with NNSracing.com and other freelance work.
Last January, I started doing PR with a truck series team, but that last all of three races when they pulled the rug out from under my feet - for no good reason (at least none that I was told). I laughed more than cried over that one, but I was done at that point.
And it was the best thing that ever happened. My current boss, Rob Geiger, moved to hire me, and it's been awesome ever since. People ask me the difference between NASCAR and NHRA, and I tell them there really isn't any. It's cars and people.
Well, maybe there's less ego and politics in NHRA. What NHRA does have is great people like some of the drivers/riders I work with, starting with Erica Enders. She's a great driver, a fine woman, and I can't wait to celebrate with her in victory lane.
But we represent lots of great people and clients, sponsors like ZaZa Energy, GEICO, Lucas Oil, JEGS and others. And drivers/riders like Top Fuel drivers Morgan Lucas and Brandon Bernstein, Pro Stock driver Larry Morgan and Pro Stock Motorcycle riders Hector Arana Sr., Hector Arana Jr., and Karen Stoffer.
Plus, I'll still be doing some stock-car racing with Cody Coughlin. He's young and very talented, so who knows, maybe I'll be back in NASCAR some day with him!
We do a lot of other stuff, too, so our plate is always full. But that's a good thing, especially these days.
So that's it, really. No long goodbye or scathing commentary about the state of affairs in NASCAR. The sport of stock-car racing is struggling, as is the field of journalism. Put the two together, and you have good people who are looking for work. It is kind of sad that the sport won't be covered with the depth of journalism as it once was - especially the Nationwide Series.
But life goes on. I wish all the people in the sport the best, even the people for which I used to work.
I hope I didn't burn any bridges along the way, and it was a fun ride. Some people never get to live their dream, but I got to for more than 10 years, even if it was a rough ride. For that, I'm thankful.
Now, my dream is to live my life every day. Maybe it's not about what you do, but who you are.
I truly love my job now, and I'm thankful for it. There are still millions of qualified people without jobs at all, let alone one they love. Maybe you're one of those people, but don't give up hope. You can still find something you love, even if it's something you may not expect. But be open to it.
Come on out to an NHRA race this year. If you do, find me and say hello. I'll be the one with the smile.