Saturday, October 21, 2006

What got us here... the stars?

This weekend was a bummer since I was stuck at home with the flu. As I laid around drinking fluids all I could think about was thank God I'm getting it over with before the race. I was feeling so crummy in fact that I didn't even find time to anything with regards to the car except dream. I began reminiscing about my life with cars and what it has taken to lead me to this endeavor... as a matter of fact what has led both Jon and myself to this endeavor. It seems Jon and I have nothing in common and yet everything. What else is there when you both have wives and children you love and then the love of racing which we all share in?

As a boy I grew up on the rural highways of Oregon learning how to get maximum power and speed on everything from bikes, go-carts, tractors, and cars. One of the first cars I ever bought was my 1968 Shelby GT500, a one of a kind with a 427 Nascar engine and if that car could talk.... but that's why I'm here.

After moving to California at the age of 17 to race cars I found myself working in Palo Alto and taking classes at Stanford all of which was an amazing time considering it all took place in the early 70's. During this trying time in many young people's lives they had basically two choices... there were fast drugs or fast cars. I chose the later and have never looked back. They said speed kills but not the kind I chose, in fact it helped me live life to the fullest.

My Shelby opened many doors for me that otherwise may never have come to be too many to tell about but during all those years I have been lucky to have remained personal friends with Carol Shelby himself which makes my fascination with the Shelby racing heritage all the more interesting and one that Carol shares with my family as well. Here is a photo of Carol with my son Will and myself.

In this photo a filming crew is shooting my car for a documentary for Carol Shelby while we spent the day together at Laguna Seca all the while listening to Carol tell me about some of his best racing days spent on that very track.

Over the years I have never forgotten my roots or where I came from... albeit a lengthy adventure from a place I love but a place I am extremely proud to be from. I can't begin to imagine how many times I tore up the highway between California and Oregon on the tight, twisty, coastal highways on my way to and from my parent's ranch many of which where in my Shelby GT500. I have driven a few other "toys" over the years one of which was my 1997 Dodge Viper shown below at one of the original gas stations that I used to go to with my parents when I was a boy.

As I continued reminiscing I couldn't help but ponder all the coincidences that brought Jon and I together to build, race and share the adventure of a lifetime. Ironic almost that be both came from far away places, wound up in Palo Alto as young wild and crazy guys, managed to grow up without killing ourselves, found two of the most beautiful women in the world that we wanted to share our lives with, had families and all the time loved cars and found a way to get involved racing them... and all this without having ever met each other, not once in our lives until a few short years ago. Since then it has been the start of a rewarding friendship even after this race has taken it course I am proud to know we will always have the luxury of sitting on the front porch and saying, "By God do you remember the look on that donkey's eyes when we can sliding around that corner?" LOL. Great friends like Jon only happen a few times in a man's life and what a reward it is. Racing cars in Mexico is nothing new for me and neither is winning for that matter. I keep telling Jon what a great place Mexico is to race since the crowds are massive and truly love racing and they take excited fans to a whole new level but the best thing of all after a race like this or any other for that matter is coming home and sharing it with the wives, families and friends we love so much.

1 comment:

Bob7k said...

i would love to race, but I'm stuck among server racks and humming PSUs, fearing every day, ill take 220 to the hand, freak out, and destroy $1200 worth of hardware trying to pull my hand out, but i guess fatally crashing in a $20000 race car is worse