My Personal story of winning and losing and why I see it differently!
A personal story of racing today. I never make racing about me because it isn't. It's about the cars, the crews, and many, many other things.
But I want to share this.
A little background. I worked for Tony Pedregon for 3 years 2012-2014 and was in the same building with Cruz and the guys every day. Pitted side by side at every event. I'm so lucky to get to hang out with Cruz’ team in the years since. They've worked their butts off and had to makes huge changes to get to this point of a Wally. 92 events since they won. And creeping closer to catching Tony with 43 Wally's. Lol
Those guys have so much heart and soul. Happy tears from me at home and I would be crazy if I didn't say that I was a tiny bit sad I wasn't there. Very, very proud for all of them. I received LOTS of photos and love each one!
Before my nitro days, I was part of ORSCA, working in the staging lanes and went to many, many events with a core group of racers. I watched Steve Jackson make literally hundreds of passes. From the orange Mustang he won an ORSCA championship with to Shadow 1.0 and 2.0 and the beautiful Bahrain1 Pro Mod. Watching the crash this weekend on All Access was heart-wrenching. I cried. A different cry from just 10 minutes previous when Cruz won. This time it was a concerned cry, a cry for Stevie and his car. Just because he didn't hit head-on or barrel roll or fly through the air, I was extremely worried. SO glad Stevie is ok and he will be back racing in Topeka. That whole team is 1000% IN.
It was an overwhelming 10 minutes from Cruz' Wally to Stevie's crash and fire. And no, I am NOT a Stevie stalker.
However, have I ever told you about the HUGE crush I had (have) on Mark Micke's old black 67 Camaro from 2004-ish? He was Micke 227 on 10.5's WAY before he was Micke 221 on radials. That's a story for another day!
Those photos I take after you guys have a crash of you, not the car? There is a reason. You can tell people until you're tired of saying it that you're ok. But when I come and bug you and take a photo of YOU and post it, it is very reassuring to your friends and family that you are ok. I've got a personal policy of not posting crash photos unless I ask the driver's permission.
By the way, the selfies are NOT my thing. A friend's daughter contacted me about 4 years ago and her mom (my friend) was dying of cancer. She said all the goofy "selfies" we used to take before they were cool to do are the memories she now has with her mom in them. That day, I decided no matter what I or any of you look like, SNAP THAT PHOTO! Share them. Memories need to be for the living!
Racing to me is very personal. We aren't related by blood, but I spend more time with a lot of you than my own family. A piece of my heart is with so many racers. I love to hear about your weddings, proms, your kids and your puppies and shed tears for those who leave us and for the horrible sickness some face.
At the beginning of this year, I set my goal for the year to take WAY more people and family photos at the track. Sure, I love your shiny race car but the hard work and the long nights and the family time is what makes racing what it is for me and what it is for most all of you guys. Growing children who love drag racing and love to help with the car is what will keep us ALL going. The "kids" from my ORSCA days are racing themselves now. That is super cool to me. And makes me feel old...er.
I do not get paid by promoters or tracks, and E3xtreme is only able to do this with a few sponsors that completely believed in us and have since the beginning. Mark and Ally Menscer, I love you both! Precision Turbo, I thank you every day! Plenty of room in my heart and my family for additional people too 🙂 I promise I will work as hard for you as I do for myself. Many, many, MANY 2-3am counseling sessions have occurred. MANY. I am here for you all too!
The race results and the Facebook live are the things I love. Talking to you on the starting line, laughing, sharing memories and bringing your smiling face to your loved ones at home, that's my motivation. Back in YellowBullet message board days is where that began, and I don't plan to stop it.
I love you all and I mean it!