7 August 2016, South Haven Michigan,
The NASA Great Lakes “Summer Camp” at Gingerman Raceway in South Haven Michigan was for me, a typical summer camp. Some drama. Some comfort food (Saturday night pig roast!). Some pesky counselors (Damn those flag stations!). A (rediscovered) love. And a ton of good times. Camp started with a pole and a win, which was quickly taken away with a DQ for non-compliance on the dyno (over by 4HP). That chain of events led to a long night of recertification, self-recriminations, and a ton of support from competitors, officials, and friends around the paddock. The upshot of all the hub-bub is that things worked out exactly the way they are supposed to. I lost a race because the car didn’t meet spec, and once the dust settled we all got back to what matters….the racing! I didn’t realize how much pent up ‘red mist’ from Saturday’s dyno fail was lurking between the ears until the green flag dropped on Sunday. Oh baby…get outta my way! I didn’t run away and hide, as I was able to see the great racing behind me the whole way, but there was no way anyone was getting by. The second race Sunday was an invert (I love starting in back!) and ended up being possibly the best race of the year. Dave Algozine (#12 Camaro) and I were glued together like metal shavings to a magnet. He was the shavings… I was the magnet (kidding Dave!). But neither of us could get by Peter Loftus who took the #135 Firebird to his first no BS beat the crap out of ‘em first across the checkers class win. Nice run young man! Unfortunately, the race between Dave and I got messed up on the last lap, last turn, when a faster out of class car decided that it was the perfect time to go three wide at the apex (???, !!!!!, %$#&), resulting in a spin for Dave and a 4-off “don’t hit that wall!!” ride for me. In spite of that, it was a wonderful race, and it completely (well, almost completely) wiped away the bad taste left over from Saturday’s DQ, and reminded me that the love of this silly sport doesn’t come from the winning, it comes from…..wait for it…..the RACING! And, based on the support received after the dyno mishap, the people ain’t bad either.
Next up… “Blind Madness” at Mid-Ohio August 26-28. Be there…..