Humble Pie in 7 Seconds

I’ve always tried to maintain a healthy dose of humility because I believe no matter how good you are at something, there will always be someone better.  I abhor braggarts, I’d prefer to to be good at something and not shove it down anyone’s throat.  Recently, I had an eye-opening experience (again, it happens a lot in this series) when I tried to learn a new car on Harris Hill Raceway in preparation for a Chumpcar race.  The car in question is a 1992 Miata built to Chumpcar specs.  It’s light.  Like 1800 lbs light, and pushes somewhere north of 125 HP, so it’s a momentum car, but faster than our challenge cars.  I’ve driven this car before for a few laps after last year’s Harris Hill Chumpcar race.  I drove it about five laps, enough to feel that the car was truly a great build last year after it won the Chumpcar race at Harris Hill.

 

Fast forward a year, and now I’m trying to learn to be fast and smooth in someone else’s racecar.  I thought I was doing fairly well.  The car felt stable, maybe a little push from the front, and I had trouble in one section with a gear change, but other than that, I thought I would do ok.  So I stepped out of the car and handed it over to the Chief.  You all know the Chief of Many Things.  This is why he has all those names.  He definitely channeled his inner test pilot that day.  I watched him take that car around the track and push it to seven seconds better than my time.

 

Let me just try to put that in perspective.  In racing, seven seconds is a lifetime.  UP until that point, I thought I had been developing as a driver.  I was almost proud of myself for even being invited to run someone else’s racecar at COTA.  I would say I was crushed, but that would be a lie.  I was humbled and completely flabbergasted.  Clearly, I was out of my league.  Assuming the top-speed of the lap was 89 mph, he would finish a lap 913 feet before me.  It’s nearly 8% faster than me on the same track, in the same car, using the same goddamn settings.  I may be stubborn, but I don’t think I’m stupid, and for the first time in two years, I started to really question myself.  That happened more over the weekend at COTA, which I’m still writing about, but first I had to share my thoughts on humility and eating some crow.  Not fun, no matter how many times it’s been stuffed down your throat.  But, I’ve always prided myself in not giving up and try to surround myself with people who push me.  The Chief Asshole Nutbag Fast Fuckernut definitely does that on many levels.  Many times, humiliatingly so.
jeff booger picker

It’s not just that he’s better, it’s that he’s like this on top of it.

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