Field fillers.. We didn't make it into what was probably the last Cup race at Rockingham. After getting through technical inspection we made our way onto the track. Best we can figure is a sway bar link broke. The car whipped around and slapped...
We didn't make it into what was probably the last Cup race at Rockingham. After getting through technical inspection we made our way onto the track. Best we can figure is a sway bar link broke. The car whipped around and slapped the fence with the driver door first. It's a handful of days later and my body still aches. Frankly, I was just about done shaking off the bruises from the cut tire at Daytona and now this.
The NASCAR officials couldn't have been more helpful. Contrary to what everyone might want to believe, it wasn't all that big a deal getting through inspection. They have their way of doing things, it's their ball and jacks. It's black or it's white and there is just about zero room for creative interpretation. As long as you do as you are told and get the things corrected the way they want it done, it is really pretty simple.
Lot's of attention and questions came from some of the media types. "Did NASCAR call you?" and "Did you get paid to come here" and on and on. I was really surprised really. There are lots of racer's just like me all over this country that would give their grandmother's eye teeth just to race at the cup. Guys doing their best to bring the best they can come up with to get over on that side of the fence. It is amusing when all the fuss is made about short fields. My vantage point is totally different. To me it is an opportunity. But no, nobody from NASCAR called us. Other big teams did and we appreciate the chance to be guinea pigs at the Cup level. Thanks for noticing that we are there.
Maybe just maybe, guys will have to figure out that there are companies out there who want to play at the motorsports top levels, but don't want to spend twenty-million a year to do it. Can it be done for less? Of course. It is all relative. If you can sell it for fifteen or twenty-million, more power to you. Then you have to figure out how to spend all of that money. You know, airplanes and motorcoaches and whatever.
A small team like ours, Carl Long, Stan Hover and the like, we can go a whole lot further on a buck, because we waste less. Every dollar counts in my checkbook. Not so at some of the other "bigger teams."
One thing I have to say is that over in the ARCA Garage, I never looked down my nose at anyone who was giving it their all and trying to make it. That is probably the only thing I saw different on the other side. We busted our asses to get there and do a good job and are proud to be able to do it. The media and some of the other teams see it a little differently.
When our guys read that we were field fillers in the local papers, well, it did me a favor. Knute Rockne or the Gypper couldn't have made a more motivational comment. We may always be in the class of have nots, but you can be certain that we will work harder than ever to improve where we are.
The sneers from over in the 48 pit were a little disconcerting. Kind of makes me laugh really. Some of those wet behind the ears kids, (I have kids your age) who can't possibly know what real short track racing and racing a hundred times a year, or pulling 3 or 4 all nighters in a row to get to a track are all about. They haven't got a clue as to how good they've got it.
As for us, we are still giving it 110 percent. Living the dream.
By: Andy Belmont