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April 27, 2010

Of Patience , Persistence, and Forgiveness

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Four weeks since our eventful race weekend at Auto Club Speedway and so much has happened.  As you recall, we not only lost a motor on Sunday, we lost all of our gear over night Thursday from the parking lot of our hotel at the Hyatt in Ontario Mills.  Since then we have…

…tracked down and ordered all kinds of racing gear to replace what was lost.  This has been no small task when one considers not only what was lost, the quantity of items lost (big and small), but that this is the absolute worst time of the year to search for such gear.  It is the beginning of many racing seasons around the country and there are lots of people out buying gear.  Thanks to such suppliers as Sampson Racing Communications, SafeRacer, Fresh Air Systems Technologies (F.A.S.T), Wine Country Motorsports, OG Racing, IO Port Racing Supplies, Andre’s Xtaski, and others, we are nearing completion of this monumental task of replacing all of our gear.

…entirely rebuilt the LT1 motor in our Life’s Good Racing!TM  Camaro.  Again, not without its challenges as most machine shops  are inundated with work.  No recession apparent in the world of engine building!  The motor went in earlier this week, fired up, and off to test at Thunderhill we went, where we ran this last Friday.

Our testing day went well with all the precautions of breaking in a new motor in the forefront of our minds.  We ran with Hooked on Driving, a great group with which to run, did a good shake down on the motor, and continued our chassis development work.  (Recall that we have been continuing to search for our setup resulting from rules change immediately before the season began).

Highlights of the testing day included great brake performance due to the Hawk Performance pads.  We have been testing various pad compounds from Hawk with excellent success.  What a difference from last year, all of which is attributable to Hawk Performance!

So what, you ask, about “Patience, Persistence, and Forgiveness”?  Well, overwhelming levels of patience is patiencerequired when one takes such a huge step backwards from being ready at the beginning of a season to just go out and race.  To find yourself after the second race weekend spending countless hours on the phone searching for, ordering, trying on, returning, etc. a whole team’s worth of gear, in addition to rebuilding a motor!  Patience is an understatement.   I have to suppress envisioning and repeating the attached mantra………..

“Persistence” is a given in such a situation.  It would be easy to throw our hands up and say “forget it, I give up, it’s just not worth it!”  That would be easy, but that’s just not us.  We are Life’s Good Racing!TM, and we are as persistent and committed as the guys I played rugby with at Santa Clara University, who upon taking the field for a game would shout “Veni, vidi, vici”, which–roughly translated–means in Greek:  “I came, I saw, I conquered!”

And “Forgiveness” you ask…where the heck does this fit in?  Well, we could be wasting a lot of precious energy holding on to the feelings of being wronged, violated, taken advantage of, etc.  (The experience of the NASA SoCal community at Cal Speedway jump-started our healing).  And, why waste any more energy holding on to negative feelings?  We all have had situations where someone has wronged us, or continues to be a source of negative energy in our lives.  It is healthier to envision those individuals as hurting or wounded in some way and in need of heeling themselves and to only hope that they find their own cure (without hurting others) before Karma comes around after them!  I am sure that we can all relate to this as we have experienced difficult situations in our personal lives, and in this particular case, even though we filed a police report, I truly hope that the reason the crooks stole our gear is that they needed money to feed their families.

Back to that “Patience” thing…  it is really difficult to wait around and not be in the driver’s seat while we are recovering from this setback.   I am reminded of Steve McQueen’s comment in the movie Le Mans… “racing is life… anything that happens before or after… it’s just waiting”……………

Karl Chicca, Campbell, CA

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