LimeRockRacer Goes to the GlenJun 02, 2005
Thursday, June 02, 2005 Well, gang, this is my little story and I wanted to share it with my brothers and sisters of the church of racing.
This past Sunday I worshiped in the house of the Glen. And my, what a beautiful place it is. Cold, but beautiful all the same.
Lord knows I have had my troubles inching my times down and making progress to become competitive. In my struggles to get better at this addiction called racing I have been graced with friendship, camaraderie and advice that’s become priceless to me. When I started in my first race a couple of years ago my goal was to do a race, race clean, have fun and not be last. Never thinking I would take it this far. Well, I did that and soon realized that my goal would not satisfy my appetite to go further. More importantly I realized that the racing was an added bonus to everything else this experience in SBRS has given me.
What is it that you get out of SBRS? The thrill of speed? The competition? The race?
For me the friendships and support of all of you and the good will that you bring to each weekend has been the greatest benefit of my experience in the series. For this I am very grateful and try to spread the word of our cause to all who will listen. We all need to recruit more people to experience this so we can be guaranteed our place of racing worship succeeds.
And now for my thoughts on the racing. Racing for me is something I had little skill at when I started. Being someone who is usually a fast learner I found myself almost as frustrated with my skill to manage the car competitvely as trying to be consistently at or below par in golf. The difference for me is this… Golf is too damn boring and well, the people aren’t as nice as the people here in this series! And now after a couple of partial seasons I have actually made some progress to the point where I can be competitive. (Sometimes!)
This past weekend at the Glen I found good friends like Chris Weldon taking two first place podiums after being frustrated time after time with car control errors. That is two, not one! Awesome dude! You have broken the spell and will have many more wins to come.
The weekend found some other first time winners like Randy Youngsma… Congrats Randy! And some others that fail my memory as I write this.
For me personally, I think I had a revelation approaching the Bus Stop. The sky was dark and dreary, rain was pelting my helmet and lightning was hitting somwehere in the Laces. I must admit that for a brief moment I wondered whether I had lost all my reason being out there in that storm in an open cockpit car… but then it happened…. the clouds parted and a voice told me to look out as far as possible, ease into the accelerator, lightly brake approaching the slippery zone, square off the track and take a line different than I had known in the dry. Despite the environment and limited visibilty I found a rhythm. I found a voice telling to be one with the car.
Well I guess something happened as I came in and was handed the results. I was first in the practice for the first time in my life. Not only was I first but I was 5.5 seconds faster than the next driver. Wow! Like a birdie after a series of bogies, I was hooked again and driven to do better.
The next morning my qualifying wasn’t bad, but not great. In fact the guy I was mentoring beat me by 5/10ths on his best lap! Another bogie! My lesson was learned, however. Look at this as another opportunity to improve and listen to the voice that graced me the day before. And the flag went green…
Battles like I had never had before in any race prior. Yet I felt one with the car. It was as if the struts were attached to my glutes! I could sense every nuance of the car, when to correct, when to throttle, when to brake. My sight line was up and my breathing was steady. I soon relaized that I was battling for the podium in not one, but both races that day. In the end I finished with two third-place trophies right there next to my good friend Chris Weldon. Wow. What a feeling.
On Sunday we raced as well. After my results the day prior I was eager to compete and better my effort. Race one, bogie. Race Two… almost an eagle, but a bogie just the same. After much battling early in the race, I made it to P1 for the first time, albeit for a brief time. Slow traffic (to pit) caused me to lift and had P2 and P3 catch me three wide in the Bus Stop. Ironically this was the same place where the clouds parted two days prior. I was on the outside and I thought the rookies would brake first. They didn’t and I was forced to go straight. Hit a cone and spun.
Upon re-entering after my safety check the race went full course yellow! Another divine intervention in the house of the Glen! I came around Eleven only to find the two cars that had edged me out of the lead torn into pieces with one driver crawling out an almost upsde down car. Another divine intervention perhaps?! They were both fine thank God.
We came into the pits for clean-up for almost 25 minutes. I was now sitting 11th in th re-start position, with three laps to go. Did I blow the chance to be on top of the podium by taking the exit too late and not letting them by? Or did I do the right thing not by choice, but by divine intervention? I guess I will never know.
… From 11th to 5th I went like a man possessed. P4 was at my nose at the checker. Time had run out for this race once again.
Another bogie I thought then, but now I know it was an eagle. I am hooked again for the next race weekend. I can’t think of a better place to be, than here with my friends in the series, cheering the success of the others, helping with the failure of some and most of all being one not with just the car, but with each other.
Thank you to all of you for your friendship, advice and the fun we share. Racing is just the bonus.
Limerockracer… a.k.a., Chris Brassard. The other Chris.
Editor note: Way to go Chris! Both on the track and on the paper! If any of you racers/drivers have a great story you want to tell, contact the Race Series Dept. (Divina, Todd, Kelly or Linda) and they will do their best to get it posted. Thanks!