My transition to Circle Track has been nothing less than turbulent. Not because Editor Fisher has piled on work (which he has), or because putting together solid technical information isn't easy (it can be extremely difficult), but because the first two months of my tenure at CT has also been spent tying up loose ends and completing my commitments to Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords magazines. These publications are vastly different. Obviously, CT is much more "race oriented" but beyond that, the mindset when writing about racing technology is completely different than talking about street performance. The technology is evolving and advancing on an almost daily basis, so keeping up with it is a task all its own. The heavy technical aspect of CT is a welcomed departure from street cars and feature stories, but as an editor, it takes a lot to bounce back and forth between the style and culture of the two books.
Tackling 14 pages of editorial each month isn't difficult. Add 28 pages on a second magazine one month, and 16 the next, and things get a lot more complicated. I love my job, but it can get overwhelming. Fortunately, I'm one of those people who works well under pressure. (I think I turn out better material when I'm under the gun--which I learned working in a race shop.)
Thrashing to finish a car to make a race, or fixing a car at the track to make a feature is something we have all come up against at some point. The best way I've found to handle these situations is to jump in with both feet and dig your way out. For me, the excitement when things come down to the wire makes it fun--especially in racing.
I can think of numerous times when we tore a car or truck in a heat race and didn't have much time to fix it to make the feature. One time at the now defunct Flemington Speedway, we got tagged in the quarter-panel in the last lap of our heat race. The fiberglass body was destroyed, but worse, the rearend was now S shaped. We were running for a division championship and missing the feature was not an option. Luckily (or not so luckily), another racer had blown his engine, and told us we could use his rearend--but we had to pull it from his truck. We had about an hour until the feature, and we went to work. Thirty-eight minutes later, the rear was swapped and we taped the body up as much as possible to give us some sort of aero.
We didn't win that day, but it will always stand out in my mind as one of my favorite racing memories. Making the race when everyone counted us out was just as good as winning that day!