The decision is made. No racing this year. The money is going into getting Chalice out, printed and on Amazon, on the street. That’s final. No. No way, not going to happen.
But Jake’s my Number One Fan. He was pretty important in my being out there last year when money was tight. When you have a fan like Jake, you take the question of hanging up the helmet pretty seriously. I’m looking right now at the model of Yellow Jacket he and his dad built together.
Yellow Jacket gave me everything she had in that last race, probably down 30 percent on power at the end, the mechanic said. She felt “soft” when I drove back to the pits and would not have lasted one more lap the way we were working to put away that Mustang.
The engine is trashed. The valves quibble about in guides worn like morals of the cynical; oil starvation burnt the main bearings here, and here and … here. Cylinder walls are scratched from pieces of rocker that became one with the oiling system.
Brake pads wore to steel on one edge and calipers leaked fluid to the trailer floor all the way home. Rotors, riddled with heat stress, will make a good door stops.
So, no racing this year. That’s final.
I probably should not have even gone to the races in Seattle a few weeks ago. I went up to see friends, introduce myself to a couple of readers of Chalice. Pacific Raceways was on the way to talk to another Chalice reader in Port Townsend. The trip gave me a chance to see my daughter. All very safe.
Until I got to the track. For me and for those I play with, combining the perfume of high octane gas, scorched oil and burning rubber with the howl of compression at the edge of control creates a compulsion that can not be described. I wavered.
Then Jake sent me a note that it would be really great if I showed up with Yellow Jacket at the Portland race at the end of June, he understood about the problems and all but they’re featuring the Corvette, it would sure be great…
There isn’t nearly enough time, Jake. I just can’t do it. Tell you what, I’ll get us pit passes and we’ll sit together in the stands.
New pistons arrive in two days.