That Time I Became a Car Racing Enthusiast
My husband is a car enthusiast. He has been this way since the day I met him 25 years ago. He drove a Plymouth Sundance Turbo with a modified exhaust which made the car sound like a hot rod.
He has collected Car and Driver and Motor Trend magazines since 1993, and he knows everything about cars – how they work, how to make them look, sound and drive better, and how to fix them. Horsepower, torque, and stance used to be foreign terms to me, but now they are common household conversation amongst our two sons. Although my husband can’t remember names of people he has met, he can remember everything about them once he knows the car they drive.
Throughout my life, I have been drawn to car enthusiasts. Two of my best friends in medical school were wired the same way – obsessed with cars. Needless to say, they got along great with my husband. I could not understand the obsession, so I thought it was silly. I was everything but supportive.
My friends finally persuaded my husband to go to the track so that he could drive in a safe manner. They assured me that this would reduce his erratic driving on public highways. It seemed counterintuitive – how could driving on a track with a bunch of testosterone crazed men trying to one-up each other be safe?
One day, I finally decided to see what the hype was all about. I went to a track event in Georgia, only to find that the drivers were considerate and most weren’t there for their ego but to fuel a passion. The drivers were required to point by to allow a faster driver/vehicle to pass, and the point by’s were mandatory.
Driving on the track isn’t as much about speed as it is finesse. There is a driving line for the track that you must learn to properly execute each turn safely and efficiently. Until this is mastered, you cannot increase speed safely.
I took it a step farther and signed up for a track event where I drove. The atmosphere was exhilarating; hearing the sounds of the race cars, and the visceral sensation of executing each turn properly was intoxicating. The weekend was full of nonstop excitement. Even though, I was exhausted from all the focus and adrenaline, I was hooked and signed up for another weekend.
I think I finally understand what all the hype was about.