Like all adequate monsters, Miles was lurking.
His red eyes gazed over the track, illuminating with hunger from beneath the flagstand. As the cars whirred and looped, they silenced a growl that the behemoth breathed through his hard, menacing grimace. He was waiting for someone to set it off, to cause some chaos on their own. He needed something to get the adrenaline and fury pumping through his stone-cold veins.
With engine after engine failing, the off-white plumes of smoke caused Miles to cough in disgust. It left a raw, unfulfilling taste in his mouth. It was how defeat struck him, and he hated defeat. Smoke and defeat.
Then, with three-fourths of the race gone, Ryan Newman put his bumper to the back of David Gilliland. The two clashed and crumbled.
Miles said, “Harrumph,” a bit unimpressed, as cars slid and settled against the inside barrier. Unexcitable, it seemed, until Gilliland emerged from his machine, along with anger. As he argued with Newman, a rock’s lips untwisted and turned into a smile.
“This will do… oh, this will do.” His wicked laugh vibrated the cobwebs off his merciless, darkened soul.
Though full of ire, he was selective, not in the mood for a melee on the frontstretch. Nothing could have made Miles more happy when Carolina blue and a light bulb radiated to his subconscious. Maybe it was time to raise some Kahne… or destroy it.
The car was already loose. All he had to do was flick his fingers, like someone would a piece of lint, and the rest would play itself out. Chuckling, his fingers catapulted the no. 5 sideways. His laughter grew in strength as the driver attempted to save his ride, only to scrape the back bumper against the wall.
Joy, however, is a fleeting emotion to this solid beast. After a while, boredom settled in, and he found his thoughts digressing, eyes caught by any little distraction. He wanted to keep himself sharp, ready to find the opportunity to cause a large wreck, less choosy than before.
Nevertheless, an object caught his eye. The symbolic puzzle piece on Denny Hamlin’s car had shone brighter out front where he started this journey, but it was dull back in traffic. For a few laps, Miles watched, and the car didn’t seem right.
“Maybe I should help him out… he is trying to come back from his back injury.” He contemplated for a moment, and he decided, “I’ll push him along.”
His massive finger gently poked the no. 11, accidentally scraping his ridge-like fingertips against his tire. Within moments, the tire let go, and the car slammed the wall. The impact jolted Miles, making guilt loom large in his mind. He didn’t mean to, he truly didn’t. Soon, his head shook. Real monsters don’t feel sympathy.
The cars chugged down pit lane, and he waited. He pondered. He made personal bets on who would come out first. Juan Pablo Montoya wasn’t his choice to take the lead, but, rather, in second. Jimmie Johnson was the class of the field, and it was hard to believe otherwise.
“Here they go!” He said, gleefully clapping his hands as the field exited turn four.
Wait… Johnson took the green first, not Montoya. As they circled, Miles felt his chest rumble and concave. “No… NO!”
The black flag was flying for the offender, yet the monstrosity wasn’t pleased. Nobody betrays the rules. Not even Superman. He should’ve done something after he jumped the start, but he didn’t. That made him even more furious.
Busy smoldering under his fire of emotions, he ignored the action on track, a three-way fight for first with five laps to go. As the stands cheered, his attention shifted back as Tony Stewart took the lead with three laps to go.
He urged for Montoya to wind the car back up and strike. But he was at the mercy of a resurrecting Jeff Gordon. The truth dawned on him like a dreary, blanketing eclipse.
“I hate the word ‘smoke.’ I HATE smoke,” he shouted to himself as the no. 14 rolled out of turn four to pass the checkered first.
Tony Stewart. Smoke.
Smoke and defeat.
What Miles despised the most had come out victorious, and he was livid. “Real monsters don’t feel sympathy… there will be none next time.”
As the track cleared and emptied, all that was left behind was confetti and the echo of a vengeful monster who could hibernate until September.
Point Standings after Dover
1. Jimmie Johnson (–)
2. Carl Edwards (-30)
3. Clint Bowyer (-50)
4. Matt Kenseth (-74)
4. Kevin Harvick (-74)
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-75)
7. Kasey Kahne (-81)
8. Brad Keselowski (-98)
9. Kyle Busch (-99)
10. Paul Menard (-102)
11. Jeff Gordon (-112)
12. Aric Almirola (-119)