It was always about something else, and that wasn’t about racing.
Last year at the Portland Historics, Ceegar was falsely accused of hitting another car between Turn 4 and Turn 5. It didn’t happen, and there’s proof. What did happen was more complicated, and doesn’t really matter in the end. He had no black marks put on his record, and everything simmered down. A few of us weren’t sure that we wanted to go back when important decisions seemed a little arbitrary.
Racing is not about bumping chests or bumping fenders. Racing is about the love of cars, speed, competition, friendship, the workers, the fans. No, we don’t like it when someone does something stupid and dangerous.It’s already dangerous, and sometimes words get a bit heated. But sometimes bumping chests and bumping fenders gets in the way of the racing we love and love to share. Then we figure out it just has to be about the racing, and has to be just about the racing.
I called Cowboy to tell him I thought we should race at the Portland Historics.
“I’m in,” he said before I drew my second breath.
“Wait. I haven’t given you my arguments,” I said. “I’ve been thinking about this. Maybe even overthinking it.” That happens to me, and everybody knows it.
“Well, you can go ahead if you want to, but I’m in.”
I gave him my arguments: it’s about racing, the fans, the cars, etc. He waited me out.
“Okay. I’m in,” he said, as if I’d had to convince him.
I called Ceegar, next. It was his confrontation that led to several of us wondering if we wanted to support the current race promoter. I gave Ceegar the same spiel. But Ceegar explained that he’d made arrangements to take his wife and grandson salmon fishing in Alaska that weekend, and whether he wanted to race in Portland or not, he was going to honor that promise made to family. Family is one of the important landmarks on the road Ceegar travels, we all know that.
That left a call to Canuck.
“Let me think about it,” he said. It’s a long haul from Canada to Portland, and there are three races in July. It’s a commitment. But by saying he’d think about it, he’d opened the door a crack. I think Canuck will come and bring his wicked fast black Corvette “Alice” to do damage to the egos he’s left for the rest of us. Someone has to take it to Fireball, maybe the best driver out there and now driving a Cobra that seems part car and part demon, from what I’ve been told.
It’s going to be a good weekend at the end of July, weather permitting and if we all keep it together. Rose Cup will be two weekends before that. I’m stoked we’re going. It’s about the racing, after all, and there isn’t so much of that, not even enough of that, so we can afford to give up a weekend or damage a good race, especially in Portland. It’s never enough.