Robbie Mac Finally Goes Racing

17 07 2005

So, after a delay of a few months the time had come to go racing. A group of us from work had been given the opportunity to attend the OnTrack driving experience .

It was like the first day of school I couldn’t sleep, I got there early. Basically I was like a little kid. After all I’ve been dreaming about doing this since I was 3. The day starts with racing school in the classroom and then it’s off to the track to start the ontrack portion where they burn around the track in a minivan showing the line to follow, when to get on the gas, use the brake etc. Good time to be paying attention. After a bit folks started getting suited up and waiting to go.

People started putting around the track and I said to myself no way am I going to do that. Well, time came to get in the truck. The truck by the way, used to be run in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and has 400 HP. Insert big ass smile here! So in I jump like one of the duke boys, not as quickly as back in my derby days ,but in never the less. Time to get strapped into the five point harness and then the window net goes up. I think one of my favorite moments was when the time came to spark it up and the truck roared to life. Kick the gas and watch the tach jump and smell those fumes. Aaaah!!!!

My worst fear was that I’d stall it in front of everyone else leaving but I didn’t. I rolled down pit road climbing thru the gears. Fourth gear is all you need on the track. Following the pace car coming out of turn four time to clean the tires and remind yourself how to breathe. Down the backstretch and then he’s gone and you’re all alone out there. What to do? Step on it. I was very comfortable in the truck and on the track. There’s much more to it than just turning left. Watch for bumps, keep the right line, easy on and off the gas. The last one is one I should’ve remembered. Ten laps flew by.

Anyway I pulled back into the pits and could have been buried then in the truck a happy man.

We had two sessions but lunch and a team building exercise in between.

Well next time out I was psyched, in my mind I was gonna break track records, I was gonna brake with my left foot and just drive the hell out of it. What’s that ? I’m racing the pro stock car? Okay no problem till I squeeze in. My knees are on my chest there’s no gas pedal, the steering wheel’s too close and my leg’s crammed against the shifter. Crap.

Time to go, and I stall the car my legs had me crammed into third gear instead of first. I get rolling and off I go I’ll still show them. Well I’m driving as hard as I can flying into the turns, nailing the gas and roaring along. I notice the instructor signalling for me to brake harder. Screw you, I know what I’m doing and then it happened.

Coming off turn four too hard and my back end passed my front end FAST! We were taught if this happens to get hard on the brakes. The way these cars are geared they pretty much stall when you spin. Well, I’m stopped near the start finish line. The cockpit was full of smoke and it was very quiet until I get the redneck salute from my peers. The staff didn’t share in my excitement.

After the second session we got to go out with the instructors for a ride-along at top speed. I was getting in to another truck when the owner pulled up beside me and said “I want MacCormick”. He tried to spook me but I just squealed for more like a little kid.

Good day, probably the best first day of school ever.




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