As our racing season comes to an end, we tend to look back and apply a measure to our successes, or lack thereof. Success can mean many different things-it's all in the way you and your team look at things. Most assume that true success means you won lots of races and/or the championship, whatever that is for your racing. But for the fortunate ones with a broader view, success means much more.
If your view of success is similar to looking down a long tunnel, then you might experience lots of disappointment in your racing career. Focusing on just one aspect of the whole of racing might disappoint you, like finally seeing the light at the end only to discover that it's really the headlight of an oncoming train. There is so much more that can be enjoyed and shared besides "the win."
In a true racing sense, success can mean finishing further up in the points this year as opposed to last, or, running in the top (plug in your specific goal) of the field. You might have gotten your first pole, won a heat race or just plain survived each race without doing a whole lot of crashing while learning as you go. As was said before on these pages, first endeavor to finish, then to run in the top 15, then 10, then 5, and then, and only then, go for that first win.
Take for example the team that always runs in the last half of the field. I used to wonder, in my younger and narrower way of looking at things, why these teams even show up. They don't have the money (or any other resource that might apply) to run up front. They'll probably never win, so why try? I know that answer now.
The world of circle-track racing isn't just about the win. It's more about the gathering of friends to undertake a common goal. It's the time spent with family where, in this day and age, most modern families lose contact with each other very easily. It's about making friends in the pits that you would never have made. It's about sharing your parts and resources with others and borrowing from them too, without a hint of reservation.
It's the thrill of victory, whether it's your team or friends of yours who might have helped you along the way. It's about including your business associates, clients, and fellow workers. The list goes on and on if you really think about it.
I used to feel bad for a team that struggled to find the money to race. Then again, here are these guys, lifelong friends doing what they love, and the families helping out. There are lots of things that could take all of these people in different directions, but racing is one way of keeping them close.here.
I no longer wonder why the teams that don't win show up, I celebrate their commitment to the sport, the gathering of friends and family, and their camaraderie with their fellow racers. In that way of thinking, they are already winners. In this coming offseason, re-evaluate why you race. Think about all of the above and realign your priorities if need be.
The joy in life and all of the things we do isn't the destination, it's in the journey. As you go through this racing life and life in general, take in all of what it's about and sit back and smile. We all should feel very lucky to have discovered racing in all of its wonderful aspects. I know I do. And by the way, I needed this reminder just as much as the next guy.
If you have comments or questions about this or anything racing related, send them to my email address: Bob.Bolles@sorc.com, or mail can be sent to Circle Track, Senior Tech Editor, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619.
Dirt Late Model Update
How come there were never any follow up articles on Project Dirt Late Model from racing at a dirt track? How did the car work? What adjustments were made at the track to fix handling problems? I see you bought a new Mastersbilt chassis.