My Sebring write-up has been published at Autoextremist.com. Feel free to direct any comments, criticisms, applause, or what-have-you to me directly to me. If it reads a bit rushed, it was. You'd think after nearly five years of interpreting my initials to stand for "Automotive Journalist," I'd have more of a system worked out, but I end up wingin' it every time.
For the first time, I decided "why not get a photo vest and a fire suit, and check out the pits during the race?" The results are on my photo page. (Note: A couple of the photos on Page 6 might be not-safe-for-work, but the rest ought to be just fine)
Back in high school in North Carolina, my best friend was this guy named Tim. We've kept in touch over the years, and this year I signed him on as my right-hand at the track. While we were down there, he discovered the joys of blogging and set up his own. It's a rather entertaining read, I think, and he managed to include mention of a couple of things that were left out of my article for one reason or another.
I'd like to think I'm getting better with each effort, but I'm also my own worst critic -- all I see is everything I could've said better or wanted to say, but pushed out what I could in stream of consciousness. I'm still recovering from the trip -- and I miss the smell of the orange trees surrounding the track.
I wanted to say something about the fantastic cars they had in the SVRA races -- the 100-car enduro they ran, and how great it is, in the NASCAR era, to be able to see literally dozens of different body styles from dozens of manufacturers, all on the same track.
I wanted to talk about the Speed World-Challenge series, and the new additions of the Aston Martins and Nissan Skyline... And Mike McCann's thrilling win, about an hour after I was in his pit talking shop with one of the guys. Any Viper win, is a good win.
Among the interesting conversations I had at Sebring -- I caught up with Jeff Roselli from Dodge Motorsports, and more/less cornered him (politely, yet firmly) to ask why I hadn't heard anything from them in a year. The guys at the track DO want me doing their PR, but no chance in hell of getting higher-ups to sign off on a freelance guy when it's not in the existing contract with ClearBlue -- and ClearBlue doesn't know jack shit about racing. At least, a year later, I have some sense of why it all happened -- that helps.
I do think, as time goes on, I'm getting better at certain aspects of this whole thing. I finally gave in and got myself a fire suit, so my freedom to go where I want is just that much better now - it certainly helps to be able to roam the hot pit. I'm getting better acquainted with those in and around the series, and I get the sense I've created some good relationships there. I've always wanted to represent you and AE in the best light possible, while at once keeping in mind my mission: I'm turning in the article for Autoextremist.com, but I'm writing for myself. This is what I do. This is what I'm about, from one day to the next.
My sweetie recently mentioned where I said a few years ago that I was going to make it with the writing (or something in racing) or I was gonna' die trying. Pretty sure I'm about halfway there now - though I'm not certain which direction.
Even though I had a much nicer spot to sit this year, I nevertheless got surrounded by a group of arrogant French bastards. Ah well, keeps my French sharp, I guess...
What I'm learning in this, they never teach in any school.