As I noted in last week’ Blog, I went to my Happy Place over the weekend – the double Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series divisional in Virginia – and had a happy time. No, I didn’t win – went a couple of rounds at both races, but got surprised – shocked may be a better word – when my son showed up at the race with our two-a-half year-old grandson. Yeah, I know, “Golf cart rides Grandpa, golf cart rides.” And I had a great time doing so.
I also had so many friends; and even many who I may not have personally known; come up and ask how I am – it was very humbling. I can’t thank everyone enough for their thoughts and prayers. It just proves what a close-knit family of racers we have.
As for how I feel, I do feel great. People have commented that I look good; I don’t think I looked good before so I’m not sure how I can look good now after a couple of rounds of chemo, but I’ll accept the compliments, thank you very much.
But I’d also like to speak this week about something we as racers sometimes experience; call it superstition, karma, whatever, but it does come into play. There are some who won’t wear green – me, crazy I know; and some who won’t allow peanuts in their pit area – not me. There are all kinds of crazy things like that. I’m not exactly a fanatic when it comes superstitions, but I am one for something I like to consider repeatability.
I’m not overly religious, but I do believe in a higher power and that He either causes or allows everything in keeping with His divine plan; which in some cases we may question but still abide by. In that regard, whether you wear green or eat peanuts has no effect on any outcome. Superstition itself is based on the faith of an object having some sort of magical powers. They don’t, but I do believe in consistency of performing a job, which in our case is racing. Doing the same thing over and over again, sometimes in the same order, builds consistency. Allow me to explain.
If when pulling out of my pit area, if I have to back out and turn to the right, then for each round of racing, I do the same thing. When I come back from a run, I have a routine I follow and perform it in the same order. At a divisional event some years ago, my late partner Dave Heuwetter and very good friend Paul Spencer were in attendance. For each round of racing, Dave would drive our golf cart to the lanes while Paul rode up on our scooter. For the final round, Dave suggested Paul ride to the lanes with him on the golf cart. “Oh no!” I had to object and of course Dave knew immediately the ramifications of what he suggested. Dave rode up on the golf cart and Paul took the scooter. We won the event! Repeatability.
Some may view this as superstitious; and if so; I confess my sins. But to me, it goes back to following a routine. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result is insanity. But doing the same thing over and over again builds repetitiveness. And as racers, repetitiveness often builds win lights.
Now obviously there are caveats to each routine after all, as generally speaking God’s plan trumps all. I often kid that it’s already written in the Big Man’s book as to who will win a certain race. If I ever get to Heaven, I’d like to see that book and He can show many how many races I wasted my time going to He knew I wasn’t going to win. Not sure it’s as easy as that, but there may be some truth to it.
Bottom line: There are obviously exceptions to the rule, but build a routine and don’t change it as best you can.