Saturday, February 26, 2005

Why NASCAR Sucks

Nascar sucks because everyone wears a polo shirt and khakis and makes ten million dollars a year. There. I said it.

Especially this Jeff Gordon motherf**ker. Hate that prick. After his wife supported his sorry ass and dragged her and her kids all over the bloody country so Jeffy can live his little car-race fantasy and make ten million bucks without really working, Jeffy cheated on her. Asshole.

Fooling around might as well be an official event in most of autosport. Hell, as obscure as true GT racing is (compared to NASCAR alone, we're a speck; compared to NASCAR and NHRA drag racing, we're nothing), at every race worth going to, there's at least a handful of young women as close to the pits as they can get, breathing in all that exhaust and burnt rubber and cooked motor oil, dolled up in tight little halters and jeans. Sometimes they're only girls; I once saw a pretty little thing that couldn't have been older than 17 out there...and if any of my fellow assholes went near her, I was planning on kicking his ass.

I'm no angel...every chance I get, you know? But I'd kill for something approaching a steady relationship. Gordon broke the rules. He had a steady thing, he was goddamn married with kids, and he picked up some floozy. No one gives a shit either way if it's a single guy playing the field, and why should we? Lord knows he's wearing a condom, because when you make a living driving a 170-mph car, you tend to be extraordinarily careful in all areas of life.

Gordon's first sin: Cheating on a woman that sincerely loved him. Gordon's second sin: Beyond a polo-shirt wearing NASCAR prick.

When I have to go visit the business guys at Toyota, I wear a dark suit. No khakis, no sneakers, no polo shirts, no blazers: A suit. For one thing, it's a business meeting, and these people are paying me to do a job. It's my responsibility to look presentable. For another, I'm there as a businessman, a professional. Anything less would be below the role I'm playing there.

But any other time, I'm wearing a t-shirt and jeans. Or a button-down sport shirt and jeans. My clothes all come from Bullhead, Quicksilver, Volcom, Hurley, or the like. My entire wardrobe comes from PacSun. I don't care if I'm visiting the R&D boys or talking to magazine guys or just wandering around the pit, that's what I wear. Polo shirts are for golf.

Gordon's third sin: He does not sign enough autographs, and he does not shake hands with the public, the people who are really responsible for his ten million bucks a year.

I love the public. You guys are awesome. You take one of the eight days a month you have off and you come down and you just watch me drive a car. It's because of public interest in racing that I have a job doing this. If no one cared, the number of teams fielding cars would be cut in half and all the drivers would be rich guys who like driving cars fast. So thanks. There are times when I'm practically moved to tears by all the people in the stands that came down just to watch us drive. All of us, from the drivers to the guys in the pit to the managers, owe everything to the people who come to watch.

And I really love kids. None of them know who I am. None of them care who I am. I'm a guy who gets in this awesome-looking car and screams around a tarmac circuit. Before every race, I go out to the bottom of the stands and hang out with the kids. The adults have no idea who I am, and don't care either. But the kids will filter down and ask for autographs and handshakes. I'll sign hats, t-shirts, whatever. I've got a little pad in my jacket pocket in case they don't have paper. If one of them knows who I am, he gets the jacket. Just before I go away, I pick some young kid and give him my hat. What do I care? The jacket and the hat both come from the sponsors, and they love me for handing out their advertisements like that. Good for PR. I just figure I owe the kids something. No one expects anyone to go out and do all that crap every single race; it's a pain in the ass to walk all the way from the pit to the stands, a distance that can be as far as half a mile each way, and the time just before a race is better spend studying course notes for a few minutes or looking over the car a few more times. But once in a while, you damn well better either hike or catch a ride on one of the pickups that the track workers use.

Gordon, on the other hand, would rather sleep in a few more minutes.

So let's compare...I make fifty grand a year doing this (which is low by any standard for a all-year-round pro-GT driver). I can't get a real girlfriend because I'm never in one place long enough. My car gets "refurbished" every season because we can't afford to build a new one that often. We make do on one engine a year, and by the time we're done, it's completely beat to shit. We drive anywhere we have to go, unless it's overseas. We've got an six-year-old tractor trailer that hauls all of our gear and is just big enough to hold the car, too. Sometimes the crew guys spend all night riding back in there, trying to fix the car for the next race after the damn thing breaks. Everyone else rides in a beat-up van that breaks about as often.

Jeff Gordon makes at least ten mil a year, and a lot more in endorsements. He's one of the highest-paid men in autosport, period. He had a wife and kids that followed him from race to race in a half-million-dollar Winnebego, until he cheated on his wife. He uses two or three different cars during the course of a season, not because they go bad all that quickly, but because he breaks them a lot and they've got the cash to replace them just as soon as performance even so much as seems like it's going down. He flies if the races are far apart (first class, no doubt) or rides in his Winnebego.

But at the end of the day, my car is faster.

Sunday, February 20, 2005



So ya'll wanted pics? You got your stinkin` pics. If I remember correctly, that's a Motorsport Elise behind the Supra. And then there's some stupid GT-LM supercar in the foreground (that blue thing on the right side). It's heavily waxed in the pic(practically a full jar), which we don't do for racing. When it hits the track, it gets a double coat to help the aerodynamics a little bit, and to keep road grit from soiling the sponsors decals. Please note that this picture was taken back in the days when I was sponsored by those dumbasses at Bridgestone. Other changes include different wheels and a slight scoop on the hood to accomodate a larger turbo. Intercooler is water-to-air deal whenever it's really hot out, with an air-to-air one when the air temperature is under seventy degrees.

In other news, Californa sucks. It really, really sucks.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

350Z vs. Supra

Hell of a race the other day. Just an expo thing, no championship points involved, but it's a race. Somoene wins, everyone else loses. I lost, but I put on a really good show, and did okay. Third really isn't bad at all, in the grand scheme of things, especially when you run the last two laps with a malfunctioning turbocharger.

I rode second for most of the race, with a clear gap in between me and the 350Z that was in third. But towards the end of the race, my tires started to go (I've never been all that good at keeping rubbers fresh; I drive too hard for too long), and he pulled up on me. He doesn't like me and I don't like him. Unreconcilable differences. Like he's an asshole.

So he starts riding right up on my bumper. I'm talking, I can't even see his grill. He's pulling up inside of me on turns, all sorts of stupid stuff. So I dogged him back. Cut a corner a little tighter and forced him to brake almost to a stop and then make the turn behind me. He came out in fourth. I was edging up for the win when my turbocharger blew a bearing or two and just siezed up. It still worked, but only barely. I fell back to third behind an Acura. It sucked, but I'm not gonna complain.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Nascar-Smashcar

Ha-ha. Nice work, NASCAR boys. Ya'll can't drive, sons! In the future, you may want to learn how to do right turns. This is not a new phenomena. The NASCAR boys tried to race at Sears Point last year. There were like six or seven car-breaking crashes. Everyone's car was smashed up to one degree or another.

And now they're out flipping themselves and crashing into photographers on a goddamn regular old oval track. Went into the pit lane too fast, hit a buncha people, that's just dumb. Dude! You drive around in a circle for an hour at 170 mph, braking to 110-130 twice a lap, your brakes will get hot. Your tires will go bald (and NASCAR-type slicks are pretty bare to begin with). Hot brakes and bald tires mean no brakey-brakey. You really gotta ease in and apply engine braking (by downshifting) while slowly laying on the brakes. I figure it's either that, or the fool came in too hot and too hard, realized he was going too fast, and slammed on the brakes, instantly sending his wheels into full lock. Full lock really, really sucks.

Thanks for pointing out another miserable NASCAR catastrophe, guys. Truth be told, I really don't pay much attention to them. Different industries. They sell beer and "natural male enhancement" drugs. I sell coil-over suspensions and turbos.

But come on! Those photographers shouldn't have been standing there. It's an unwritten law...we're out to race as hard as we can because our livelihoods and the livelihoods of other people rely on us pushing the car. The photographers take pictures because that's their job. Sure, they're going to get close and try and go for good angles. And that means they're going to be right in the thick of the action. But they're supposed to keep a barrier in between themselves and us. Or get above the track. Anything to make sure there's never a line from a car to them.

So to hell with `em all...the driver sucks cuz he can't drive and probably shouldn't be behind the wheel. The photographers suck cuz they're f*cking morons.

In other news, I had a very fine Valentine's Day back in the U-S-of-f*cking-A. Actually, I just had a really nice dinner with a girl I knew and liked from high school, although she couldn't care less if I was alive or not. Why did I do this? Because at the end of the night, it's fun to turn my back on the girl that stood me up one year ago today. Heh, yeah, I was a pale and skinny bugger back in the day. So she stood me up on Valentine's day, the cold heartless bitch. But man...it's all worth it now. Take her out, have dinner with her, let her see me and my nice shiny new muscles and skin, my cool-ass life...and then just dropping her off at her dorm room. No interest whatsoever, and this was the kind of girl that's not used to guys not being interested.

Heh, payback's a real bitch, ain't she? If only every rejected loser had the chance...

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Party Like a Rockstar

Thank you, all, for commenting. keeps one going with this thing. Feel free to continue doing so, or not...either way, just need to know if anyone's reading this.

Ford GT40, circa 1970. Absolutely amazing car. Doesn't even look like it should run. Very well-balanced car...just a little bit of understeer, which is what you want on a vehicle with that much power. And you know how everyone says that they called it the GT40 because it's only 40 inches high? They're right.

I got to drive one for an off-the-reservation race here in central Europe. Open road autocross in vintage sports cars. Nothing younger than 25 years. Stingray Corvettes, vintage Ferraris and Masserattis, old Porches and classic Jags, MGs, and Aston Martins. A few old Mustangs, and the 40. A team that was running the old beauty had their driver drop out over something silly, and I ducked in.

Eh. No time to practice except for a few turns to get a feel for the steering. The rule, I found, as to look at the posted limit for turns, and then enter them at twice the number on the signs plus five mph. Slow enough that the car doesn't break loose and go for a slide (and when this baby slides, there's no getting her back), fast enough that you don't wish you came in harder.

Anyways, it was a hundred miles on two- to four-lane roads that ran through forests, hills, valleys, along streams, and right through towns. Unsafe as hell, that's for sure. You could be driving along a long, straight and wide one minute and be working your way up or down one-lane switchbacks perched on the side of cliffs the next.

Very fun, all around. I won my class, but it was mostly the car.

Well...I'm out of Germany. So long, nice to know ya. That girl I met there is still in my black book. When we both ge back to America, I'm probly going to look her up. In the meantime, it's back to the "So Cal Loco" life:

Here we go again
Callin` on a good friend
Slippin` on a rye
Pickin` up a 40-ounce cuz my mouth's dry
Boardwalk
Hustlers with their cheap talk
Trying to find the time on their Tijuana knock offs
Hookin` up with the b-dub crew
The hottest setting up for a front row view
Knockin back laughs and a bottle or two
Just watchin` that ass as it rolls on through

(chorus)
Life is short, son
Better have some fun
Party like a rock star, kick a little ass
Crack a cold one
Snap a fat one in the midday sun
Rockin` like a porn star, slap a little ass
Life is short, son
Better have some fun
Party like a rock star, kick a little ass
Crack a cold one
Snap a fat one in the midday sun
Rockin` like a porn star, slap a little ass
Crack a cold one
Snap a fat one in the So Cal sun
Rockin` like a porn star, slap a little ass
Full-blown knuckleheads, So Cal Loco

Licquor like octane

Soaking in my membrane
I might be cracked but I still can throw
So come out the dice
It's a three-bone night
Bankin` at the table, fools still don't know
So I school a little crash course
Show `em what they're in for
People gather round for a ring-side view
Hypin` up the show
I shake `em up then let them go
Four-five-six bling-bling see low!

(chorus)

Now I must say that I'm feelin` fine
Money in my pocket and girls on my mind
No, I'm not talkin` about a true romance
Eighteen, go low, and a table dance
Because it's really kinda funny
If you drop a little money
How the ladies start a buzzin` like a bee does to the honey
It's all about makin` them home-town laughs
Party like a rock star, kick a little ass

(chorus)