You knw that it’s already been a long winter when …
1. The family dog, a black lab mix, starts to look more and more like Dale Earnhardt. I can almost see a “3” emblazoned on her side.
2. The e-mails from Hank DeLonjay are on the increase, meaning he has way too much time on his hands. When it’s race season, The Crank is always working on No. 35 in the evenings.
3. You start scanning the daily lineup of ESPN Classic, hoping to see another NASCAR rerun of the 1992 TransUnion 400 from Martinsville.
4. You and the Little Woman stop at Elder’s on a Sunday evening and order a track burger and funnel cake by mistake.
5. On a hunch, you venture out to Summy Tire during your lunch hour, hoping that Mark Burgtorf or Michael Long happen to show up to chat with Jeff Carter.
6. You call Triple R, hoping Lonnie Bailey answers the phone, just so you can ask him a racing question.
7. You drive to Hannibal, Mo., simply to try and spot a member of the Powell or Watkins family.
8. On Sunday afternoon, the Little Woman wants to drive to Liberty and have a piece of pie at Mike’s Place. While there, you keep staring out the window, hoping to spot Dave Wietholder buzzing down the road in his modified.
9. After work one day, you drive out to the track, get out of your car and imagine you can hear the late models coming out of turn four.
10. You drive to Cheaterville and try to talk Eddie Dieker out of retirement.