The Cornhusker 50. The longest micro-sprint race in history...or at least it seemed. This was a race I looked forward to.. it had the fans, the credentials and the hype. One of the biggest micro-sprint races that I knew of...at the time. At age 14 micro-sprint races were life or death. I had just revamped myself from a potential "career ending wreck" as the local racing community called it. Just off the cusp of a three in a row win heater. This race was amongst the best in the micro-sprint business. I'm pretty sure there was a 32 year old in the field.. which made it a big deal for us youngsters.
I had the lead by half way. At this point in my micro-sprint career the only thing bigger than my stats were my ego. We had just sewn up the "Rookie of the Year" title, and talking to me was nearly impossible. As I began digging through the lapped traffic my "rookie status" tapped on my right-should and reminded me that it was, in fact,..still a factor. I tangled with a lapped car and spun out. Luckily, for my ego, my car was still race-able. I started at the tail-end of the longest line and had a "shit-ton" of ground to make up. I began darting around, passing cars as fast as possible. I was positive that Dad had his lecture already plotted out. "Nope. This can't happen. Not tonight" I thought as I snatched another muddy tear-off from my helmet. The win became a little more mine with each car I passed. I remember following a red and yellow car.. a road block. If I went inside, he darted across my nose. If I went high entering turn three he suddenly entered high. This pass would be for eighth position. The frustration of my winning race car wasting valuable time on what should be an easy pass began to wear on me. I struggled with this ketchup and mustard race car until five to go. The caution flag waved :exhale: "What the fuck" I screamed inside of my helmet. We made one lap under caution.. suddenly I felt pressure build in my right foot. :cling: before I knew it I was darting to the inside of the condiments car as he spun up the race track. I remember laughing historically as I drove past. Yup..I spun him. Without thinking, without tact, without even making it look unintentional.. I spun that jackass. As the green flag dropped I began making up time as fast as my RTS chassis could. I finished second, I was livid, only one.. maybe two laps too short.
The shield of my helmet fogged up as I cussed myself for losing the biggest race of the year. As I pulled onto pit road after the race and began to exit my race car I began to remember that in my battle to triumph I had made a few enemies. I was greeted by an angry crew member holding a jack handle and I believe and angry wife. I left my helmet on and spoke my mind about what had happened. It wasn't long til I was seeking cover.
My point for this blog may or may not pertain to certain recent events but what my opinion, in regards to fighting and racecars is this:
..race car drivers, drive with an unruly, untammed passion. That same passion is what makes a racecar mechanic, sponsor or owner wake up everyday and pour themselves into this sport. There is no crystal clear right or wrong in the world of AP on this one. But.. just like in politics and religion .. when two passions collide in the sport of auto racing..it will make news.. figure skating..however..rarely makes news. Perhaps we should ask ourselves.. why?