Friday, May 8, 2015


The remainder of the drive to Birmingham is uneventful.  For the most part, I don't mind it and after a couple of hours I am able to forget about racing and motorcycles, letting my mind (but not my attention on the road) wander.  I silence my phone and quite often don't listen to any music.  It is the calm before the storm that starts the moment I begin to set up Friday and doesn't quit until the last item is off-loaded back into the garage on Sunday night.

In some remote backwater of my subconscious, the gigantic, prehistoric reel to reel computer is still humming and processing data, but the relative tranquility of the road has reduced it's electronic clatter to a muffled roar.  I would like to say I am solving the mysteries of the universe during these quiet times, but it is a vagabond train of ragged, displaced thoughts meandering on tracks to a swampy nowhere, chugging into smoky obscurity.  I think I can....I think I can....

About the time my lower back and bladder can take no more my 'privateer express' arrives at Barber Motorsports park.  Ten years on it is still a heck of a clean, well groomed racetrack facility.  Impressive.  I guess if ya got the money....

WERA racers arriving early are directed to an unpaved lot until the gates open at 6pm, when the well-heeled Porsche club is done with their track day.  I've got three hours to kill, but I am amazed at the amount of guys here before me.  Some have apparently camped out all night to be first in line just to enter the gate!  Massive motorhomes, diesel trucks towing trailers that cost more than everything I own litter this lot, vying for position closest to the gate.  The sun is beating down and it is getting warm.  I wonder what is going to happen when they turn this bunch loose, it could turn into a Winnebago Demolition Derby.  I talk to a few people during the wait, but for the most part I relax, trying to get back to the place I was in during the drive.  I don't.

Without warning some invisible green flag drops and the RVs and Toyhaulers begin jockeying for position.  Tires spin in the dirt, huge rigs rock back and forth as brakes are slammed on, then gas pedals mashed.  No quarter is given and it truly is a mad stampede of aluminum and fiberglass buffalo driven on by crazy wranglers.  My 1 ton van, which always seems so big in the grocery store parking lot is dwarfed by these behemoths and I am pushed around and receive dirty looks as I maneuver for a spot in the queue.  Tempers flare and a few rough words are exchanged, but luckily evolution seems to keep us from reverting back to a more Neanderthal  response.   I could give two shits about where I end up parking so I fail to understand what all the huff is about.

I soon have bigger fish to fry as it becomes clear to me that I no longer have the saline solution purchased five hours ago, or my contact lens case, both of which were seemingly left in the parking lot of some CVS, city and state now forgotten.  I curse myself for being so stupid and losing them.  I begin canvassing the paddock with an empty plastic cup, begging for a few ounces of saline.  After about 20 minutes my search yields enough solution to last 3 days.  Best laid plans and all that.....

No comments:

Post a Comment