Justin Carter


I was three-wide at Daytona, coming out of turn four. It was lap 143 of the 500 and I couldn’t stop thinking about T.S. Eliot, about that one line in Prufrock—I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.// I do not think they will sing to me—and the next thing I knew, Buzz was into the outside retaining wall and I was sliding across the infield grass, slamming into the pit wall. It could have been worse—no one died and the crew for the sixty-eight car was only in the hospital for a week—but it could have been better too. We’d been running in eighth place at the time, finished back in thirty- ninth. It wasn’t how we’d wanted to start the season, how we wanted to begin defending the championship we’d stumbled into the year before, but it wasn’t the end of the year either. There were still thirty-five more races to go.

Cover Page Footnote

"The Love Song of Dale Earnhardt" was originally published at Booth.