The weekend before my debut, was a Late Model race in Medford – White City actually. The Thursday before that John and I ran down to a friends house about 40 minutes South to pick up some shocks to borrow for the weekend. On the way home, John’s truck threw a belt and we sat off a remote exit for over an hour waiting for the tow truck.
This is a good place to tell you about one of my little sayings. Whenever something not-so-bad but very inconvenient, like breaking down on the side of I-5 in the dark, I say “we are just making memories honey!” John loves it when I say that.
On Friday John took my truck to work, and I tried to get a belt to bypass the part that needed to be replaced but it was a no go. So we had to have the part shipped in and it wouldn’t get here until 7am Saturday morning. John didn’t race until 6pm Saturday – so we had plenty of time… oh, and we also needed to to the brake job on the truck, and finish getting the race car ready.
By Friday eve, Johns Dad came over to help, and took over working on the truck so John could finish his car and I could get other things ready. By midnight we were still out in the shop working on the car, and I think by about 2am I had fallen asleep in the cockpit while John was trying to scale the car. (Scaling a race car is having each of the 4 tires on a pad that calculates individual weight as well as total weight and a whole bunch of other math. The ‘set up’ on a race car uses these weight calculations, and there are thousands of adjustments that can be made to the suspension to change said weights. This can take a long time when you are trying to adjust many things to get to a certain weight ratio. While John works on the car, he needs to have a realistic weight scenario, so someone has to sit in the cockpit to do so.) I remember trying to take some ‘selfies’ pictures to post on FB and posting how ‘we’ were still working on the car.
I think I came in the house to go to bed about 3am. I was supposed to get up and be at the parts house to pick up the part at 7am, and I didn’t get up… OK I did get up but saw that my truck was gone and thought John had went, so I went back to bed. Well John had parked my truck on the side of the house so I didn’t see it. Meanwhile, John had fallen asleep under his car in the shop, and woke up right about 7, saw that I wasn’t up, and he went to get the part. By the time I got up, maybe 8? John and his Dad were putting in the part and finishing up the brakes.
We finished the car, got loaded, stopped at the Sub Shop for food and hit the road. We got about an hour down the road and John pulled off to let me drive. I got us just outside of Medford when he woke up and took over. When we got to the track I tried to nap in the truck but it was about 90 that day and not so comfy. I don’t even remember how John did that night, but remember running to be able to get his payout that night before the window closed – we needed the money to get gas to get home. We got the cash, hit the gas station on the way out of town and ate the other half of our subs.
We got about 30 min out of town and John was wore out. He pulled into the rest stop and barely had the truck shut off before he fell asleep in the driver seat. I tried to sleep, but the energy drinks I had been drinking all day told me to get up and drive. So I pushed John over into the passenger seat and I hit the road. It must have been about 1am? And I had about 4 hours of driving ahead of me. Diet Dr Pepper, string cheese, doughnut holes and little cigars kept me going all the way home. I remember trying to take pictures of the sunrise since I didn’t see it very often, and knew I wouldn’t soon see it again. John woke up about 10 minutes from home and said “where the hell are we!?”
We crawled into bed for a few hours, and then it was time to get up and work on my race car. By sundown that night John had painted my very first race car the prettiest shade of purple.
All we had to do was let it dry and put my stickers on. I was so excited, and my husband was filled with dread. He never wanted me to race, and he still doesn’t. And he painted my race car on a Sunday night after one of the most stressful no sleep weekends we have ever had.
We have had many many conversations about me driving, and I will tell you some of them here in time. He loves me and supports me even though he doesn’t like it. Even though I don’t like it… but that’s another story.