I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Good Ol' Boys Tellin' Tales
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
I was sitting on the bus going to the
Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Friday's practice and qualifying
sessions, and I discovered I was sitting with another Canadian living
in Vancouver, who used to live in Shubenacadie Nova Scotia. We got to
talking about racing in the Maritimes and I told him about racing
Formula Fords at Atlantic Motorsport Park, and how much fun I had
working on and building the car. He asked me about driving, and I
said that I actually preferred building the cars to driving them. At
this point another fellow across the aisle spoke up and said he knew
a friend who felt the same, and proceed to rely this story.
His friend was a dedicated crew member
of one of the major NASCAR teams in the early 70's, and had been
crewing for years and years. He had always said that some day he
wanted to actually drive the car he spent so much time building.
Finally one weekend they were practicing or testing at Talladega
Speedway. The driver (I forget his name – sorry) came in after a
day of testing and announced “This car is perfect, it handles
perfectly, it goes like stink, and makes more power than I can use;
don't change a thing.”
He pulled off his racing suit and
handed it to the crew member, “Here,” he said “This is your
chance. You've done such a good job tuning this thing, I want you to
drive it. You always said you wanted to drive the car; this is your
chance; get in!”. Apparently this was not any official NASCAR
event, because even in those early days, you had to have a special
licence to drive a race car, but because this was just testing they
could do it.
In the Pits
Apparently he took the car out and was
amazed at how bad it drove. After a couple of laps he pulled in and
complained, “I thought you said this thing was set up well . . .
it's impossible to drive, it's darting all over the place, shakes
like crazy, and the engine is backfiring!”
The driver leaned in the window, and
laughed, “You only got it up to 140, it's always a bitch to hang
onto until you get up to about 160, smooths right out then though.
Get back out there and step on the gas.”
The crew member did this and, hanging
on for dear life he pushed it faster and faster, and sure enough it
reached a point that it did indeed smooth out, ran straight, true and
the engine started to sing. He was however scared stiff, and was
gripping the wheel with white knuckles. Then he noticed another car
rapidly overtaking. The car pulled out and flashed by on the outside
like he was barely moving. As the other driver was alongside his hand
came to the window and flicked a cigarette butt out. He was driving
with one hand while smoking and doing close to 200 mph.
He said this convinced his friend that
it was best to leave the driving to the actual NASCAR drivers, and he
went back to building the cars. Never asked to drive again.
I don't know if this story is true,
could just be some of us 'Good ol boys” tellin tales, but it's
still kind of funny.