When you spend your weekends pitting race cars all across the country, you end up talking to a lot of race fans. With the drivers so busy with appearances and the like, the crews have become the next best attraction. The conversations are often short and usually consist of the same basic questions. How do the lug nuts stay on the wheel? What’s the colored tape on the tires for? How much does a tire weigh? But a recent extended conversation with a fan brought me right back to my own days as a race fan.
Working in the sport for an extended period of time changes one’s perspective. It certainly has changed mine. There is a ton of drama and bulls**t that we all deal with on a daily basis and it’s easy to get caught up in it. It’s not hard to allow some cynicism to sneak into your outlook. Sometimes we could all use a reminder about what exactly it is we do as a career.
For the sake of anonymity I won’t reveal a ton about the fan or our conversation. But I will say that we spent a good deal of time talking about this person’s first experience in the infield and what it was like collecting hero cards, strolling through the garage area, watching qualifying from pit road, and chasing down drivers for photos and autographs.
This person’s enthusiasm for the sport was on display and it reminded me of how excited I once was to do many of the same things. I’m not the same kind of fan of NASCAR that I once was, but my passion for the sport is probably deeper now than it’s ever been.
Like those of you that (still) read this blog, I long to be at the race track. During the week when I’m not there I’m occupied by what I need to do the next time I am. And when we roll into Homestead in a few weeks, I will be completely heart-broken that I’ll have to wait three months before my next trip to the track.
I know we’ve done a crappy job with the blog this season, and for that I apologize. After four years of nearly daily posting, both myself and my partner were flat burned out. We talked at length on several occasions about how to keep the site going, but in the end it was easier to just not do anything. I can’t make any promises about what will happen going forward, but I will say that I’ve got ideas for a couple of posts that you will see in the next few days.
As for my conversation with the race fan, all I can say is thanks. The perspective helped me more than you will know.