So, in public I’ve been having a lot of fun with this USA 500 experience. I seem pretty happy in my walk around video of the first rollover, and I edited this second roll over video below to allow for what I think is optimum hilarity. Most of my conversations this past week have gone something like, ME: “Yeah…I totally rolled the car! TWICE! It was epic!” PALS: “No way! That’s so bad ass!”
Except, it’s not.
In fact, it’s the opposite of bad ass. It’s really kind of pathetic. A driver with more skill would have been able to get in the car, which I would like to remind everyone is not mine, assess the quirks, and compensate for them. Hell a skilled driver could even USE them to an advantage, but at the very least figure them out after the first time s/he dumped the car on its side. This video proves that I was not able to do that.
I probably cost Desert Dingo their season, not to mention the time and effort that will have to go into getting 1107 back on her wheels again. “I’m sorry” doesn’t even begin to cover it.
I’ve also lost a friend and I’m heartbroken.
But here are a few lessons I’ve gleaned from this spectacular failure:
- If you can’t put the car EXACTLY where you want it to go, within an inch, then you’re going too fast.
- If you have someone in your sights, then you’ve caught them. It’s okay to hang back for a minute and pass when you’re comfortable, instead of trying to pass while you’re still all hopped up on the adrenaline of the first five miles.
- Know every single piece of equipment in the car and think like McGyver, or at least have a co-driver who does.
- A knife. Have one.
- Always be on the lookout for work around, especially when you see The Biggest, Steepest Hill That You Will Never Succeed At Summiting, Even If You Try Five Times (note: Desert Dingo always posts a link to fly the course in Google maps. Included are elevation changes. Since we rarely get a chance to prerun, I think a good idea would be to fly the course and look for any crazy elevation changes, then look for work arounds. It’s not perfect but it’s something.)
- Decisions should be made cleanly and without hesitation.
- Just thinking but would it be possible to get an iPhone just for the car and mount it to the dash? We had some radio issues. I know you wouldn’t be able to text back to pits, but we seemed to be in text range more than radio range. At least that way you could read incoming texts. Just thinking out loud.
Of course, it’s very easy to write a blog post and say, “Well I learned x, y, and z. I’m good!” It’s much more difficult to actually put it into practice. Well be at the KC HiLites MORE/SNORE combo race in September, where I am hoping to just finish without making too many stupid mistakes. Middle of the pack would be nice, but I’ll take a just a finish.