Now that I’m on my way home again, I suppose it’s time to update once more. This is probably going to be quite long, and somewhat rant-y, so I’m apologizing in advance.
We’re somewhere in Ohio, with massive fog, and I just woke up after a 10 hour “nap.” It’s hard to sleep when you have seat belt buckles sticking in your side and you have your headphones playing deafening classical music to drown out the hard rock playing on the radio.
I came in DFL. Dead Fucking Last,and not my a small margin. I had NO fun while I was racing, and ended up hitting a grand total of 10 cones, 9 of them on the West course, and DNF’ing two of my 3 runs on the East course. Of course, the circumstances sucked, but in the end I can only blame myself for not being able to deal with the pressure of Nationals, the competition, and not being able to focus on driving and tuning everything else out.
There was a ton of drama with Dave, PJ’s codriver, because he is (exactly as his ex/my close friend put it) selfish and hypocritical. He seems to think that he’s the most important person all the time, and here is where it all started. Monday was an off day, so after Dave won the National ProSolo Championship, he and PJ go to play golf. PJ told me they’d be back before 2, when I had practice. I take one run and DNF, because I had no idea where I was going, and couldn’t figure out any of the grip. They’re still not there, and the car stalls in the middle of the course, so I get frustrated. It’s now 2:30 and they’re still not back, so I call from Kathy’s phone (Event Chair, solo mom, etc), and no answer. I try from Todd’s phone (friend), and no answer. It’s 2:45 by now. My practice tickets (bought by the hour) have now expired, and PJ finally picks up, and we’re bickering. I’m super upset, and he hangs up. I’m crying by now, and Chang (friend) and Kathy come over and comfort me, and Kathy pulls some strings so that I get to drive at 3. They don’t show up till 3:15, and with a line of 45 cars, I barely got two practice runs in. PJ was visibly pissed off too, but by the time the runs were over, it was fine. Dave, on the other hand, is openly being an asshole. Whatever.
Tuesday was the start of competition. Dave won’t walk the course with us, and won’t speak to us either. Whatever. I work first, on the course, and upon worker changeover, he comes out to switch places with someone, and is a jerk again. I mention something to PJ about him being an ass, and was like “I have to get ready to drive.” So I pull the car out of the pits, into the grid, and go tell PJ (working the other grid now) that I’m ready. I’m walking back, kind of watching people drive, and someone runs up to me and taps me on the shoulder. “Are you the girl with the white Nissan?” “Yes,” I answer. I’m expecting a, “Your wing is huge! I love that car.” Instead, I get, “You have to go fix your car NOW!” “What?” I’m very confused. The guy waves his arms frantically to show me that “There is a huge puddle of oil under your car!” Just then, Mike (Timing Chief, friend) rides up on his bike and tells me that there was a little puddle of oil under the car in the pits, and I’ve left a mile-long trail from the pits to grid…this does nothing to calm my nerves. I run to tell PJ, and Mike and I try to figure out what’s going on with the car. Apparently the fitting on the line to the oil cooler isn’t on properly and has been leaking a little, but for some reason when there’s enough oil pressure, it dumps it out. We have to fix things before I run, and even though one of my competitors (that had never met me before) offered her car, and told me to feel free to drive it because she didn’t want me to not compete. I think because I was visibly shaken, the other girls (except one) came over to make sure I was ok. You never want to be the person to break the car, especially when you’re kind of on the back burner, and the guys definitely are the more important competitors.
Dave comes over, unaware that anything is wrong, and upon seeing that something is wrong, says “Well we have to fix this for our runs. We need it, our runs are important, we need to fix it so we can run!” And I’m like “WTF, my runs are important too! I didn’t come all the way out here, and spend the money to register, and get myself worked up to NOT drive!” Despite the fact that I know I’m the “second” driver, it hurts to have him say that. And I was pissed, and very upset because I didn’t want to be the one to break the car. But whatever, he leaves to go get lunch. He doesn’t even watch me drive. Some teammate. We’ve been saying we’re a team, and we’re not. And I was super upset the entire time I drove, and ended up with three of the poorest runs I’ve ever had. Slow, tons of cones, and I just wasn’t in it. I was worried about the car, and really upset that Dave was being such an asshole. PJ was trying to be comforting, and supportive, but telling me “You looked good” when I know I drove like shit doesn’t really help.
I then overhear one of the competitors talking, and I’m only assuming she was talking about me. I can’t remember verbatim, but it insinuated that if you weren’t going to drive well, you shouldn’t be driving at Nationals. That really bothered me, especially because I was trying really hard to get over the “I’m not ready and I don’t belong here with these big names.”
I say “Fuck Dave” and go off to try to have a better day, and even though he’s being a jerk still, and he shoved me out of the way to check tire pressures when PJ was running, I was trying to be the bigger person and watched all their runs when they were driving. They didn’t go as fast as they could have, and they had cones on some of the runs, but then again, everyone else did too. It was obvious that everyone (except one person) was off pace, and definitely not focusing.
Later that night, we have a cookout for all the New England Region members and friends. PJ and Dave don’t come over the two pit spots for a while, and so around 7 I went over there and asked PJ when he was going to come and eat. He said that they had been talking and Dave doesn’t like it when we fight, so that’s why he was avoiding me.My response is that our fights are between us, and they are part of our relationship. I said that he has been making me feel like he doesn’t want me to be here because it takes away from himself, and because I need help and he’s not willing to.
Dave then says, among other things (and with many more f-bombs. Just insert them after every two or three words. What I’m thinking, and somewhat of what I said is in the italics. I was ripshit and we were both yelling and crying at this point):
–I’m emotional. I can’t deal with you bickering, because it affects me. And I drive like shit because it affects me, and I can’t deal with the drama and the crying. It does not belong here. Obviously I’m emotional too, and the bickering between me and PJ has nothing to do with you, and an hour later, we’re fine. And if you can’t see that, then I don’t know, because it is none of your business in the first place. PJ and I were fine one hour later, and you have been the one perpetuating the “drama.” The stuff about practice happened 36 hours before you even had to drive. But you’ve been an ass for two days now. So if you can’t let it go, something that didn’t even have to do with you, that’s your own issue.
–I didn’t come out here to have fun, I came out here to win. I love it, sure, but I’m good at it and I can do anything in that car. I came here to win, and I want that jacket. And it’s your fault that I’m so far out of it. Well no shit Sherlock, we ALL came here to win. And if you can “do anything” then do it. Don’t tell me to “just do my best” and you’re operating on a separate set of instructions. It’s not anyone’s fault but yours for driving poorly. If you can’t focus, that’s not my problem. You’re in 6th place, it’s not like you can’t move up. Anything can happen, but you have to take responsibility. Try driving like I did, and being 12 seconds out of the top instead of 1.8. Oh, and in case you forgot, you DID win a national championship already. So you don’t win both the same year. It’s your first year at Nationals, and you can’t expect that. You’re high off Toledo still, and PJ beat you in NH. Maybe that should have brought you back to reality. It’s not my fault…everyone has bad days when they’re off pace. And when it happes to someone else, it’s “That’s racing,” but when it happens to you, you lash out and try to blame everyone else for affecting you. You can’t take the responsibility for the fact that you just didn’t have it.
–I’m on a golf course and you’re calling, relentlessly, and the phone is ringing. People shut their phones off on golf courses. How am I supposed to swing with the phone ringing. And then HE is hauling ass to get back here to you and taking MY DAD’S truck and we caught air over railroad tracks. You suck at golf anyway, which is what you’ve been saying for days, don’t blame the 3 phone calls over 1 hour for the fact that you can’t hit the ball. And stop being such a hypocrite, it’s only “your dad’s” truck when someone else is driving it fast…but it’s ok when you’re a dick and spe.eding and cutting people off with OUR racecar on the trailer behind it, or when you want to do burnouts of the hotel parking lot, or in the parking garage…
-I was doing this for my dad. (His dad had a stroke right after last year’s ProSolo and Dave flew home and didn’t drive at Nationals.) It’s nice that you want to do something in your dad’s memory, but I don’t think he would have been very proud of you acting like a sullen 15 year old, and being a jerk to people because you can’t just own up to the fact that you had a bad day. He’d probably be more proud of the fact that nationally known people now know you, and respect you as a driver. I think he would be ashamed of the way you’ve been behaving. We’ve all lost people we were close to, you’re not the only one. And yes, even though death is a hard thing to deal with, you need to get over yourself. It’s not all about you, all the time.
-You want us here 24/7 and you can’t have that. You only need one run to figure out the grip. And I never said you didn’t matter, but you weren’t even going to drive anyway. I don’t want you here 24/7, but I want you here when you say you’re going to be here. And I don’t even care if you’re there, I wanted PJ there. I came out to support you, which is what teams do, whether we’re ot odds or best friends. You’ve been an ass to me, but I still watched your runs, and cheered for you, and was happy when things went well. And maybe YOU need one run, but I don’t. I’m not at your level, get it through your head. I don’t pick things up as quick as you, and I need more help and more time. And no, I wasn’t going to drive. But I chose to and it’s not like I’m not going to try to drive the best I can.
-This kid cares so much about you, more than anything, that you just get in the way of us driving well. I get in the way because PJ cares more about me than about driving? Wait, what? Isn’t that how it’s SUPPOSED to be? Cars come and go and are totaled, but if he wants to marry me, he SHOULD care more about me than himself and his hobby. Guess that’s an indicator of why you’re divorced and have been cheated on. Because you’re selfish.
-I have more invested in that car than you. You want to add it up? I have put more into this car than you.(The only good part about this one is that PJ jumped to stop this fight, because he knows that I have put more in this car than Dave) How dare you say that?! You don’t have anything invested in the car more than what your co-driver fee should be. When was the last time you supplied stuff for cookouts at lunch, or even just bought us lunch? When was the last time you made it to an event sober, and/or on time to change tires? When was the last time you actually packed the car? Or paid for the gas to race it? So you bought a clutch. And you bought half the trailer. And half the shocks. And 1.5 sets of tires. Over the three years you have been codriving you haven’t helped with anything more than the minimum PJ asks, and he will never ask, and you take advantage of it. And everyone knows it and says that we should get a more helpful codriver. You didn’t help with the wing, fenders, any of the engine/transmission/wiring, nor did you pay for any of the supplies, or the $1500 engine management system. Or the bolts, turbo, hoses, anything. You didn’t buy the wheels or the tires, and you are always too busy getting drunk in Boston on the weekends to help out on weekends. So you won us 2.5 sets this year. If it were anyone else, those are just fees for driving the car. I have put my life on hold for that car. I fronted money for the engine, for YOUR PART of it, on top of what I put in. You wouldn’t HAVE the car if I didn’t find it and buy it in cash. Those fenders, the wing….I worked on those. I polished the transmission. I rebuilt the diff. I have gotten oil in my hair more times than I can count while fixing the exhaust. I helped to pull and install the engine, as well as take apart the broken one. That car is the reason my family hates me, is the reason I’m not married, is the reason we don’t have a house, and is the reason I’m not in grad school or in Korea. Do NOT tell me you have more invested in the car than me.
This fight goes on for an hour or so, and Dave and I are crying and yelling. PJ is in the middle, trying to be a neutral party, but he’s trying to take Dave’s side and “comfort” him because if he takes mine, in front of him, it will just piss him off and PJ will lose his codriver, which we really can’t have, because there’s no one else that would be able to drive the 240. I’m ripshit about his hypocrasy, and the audacity to tell me that he has more invested in the car, and all this bullshit. Everyone hears, and everyone else is on my side, because “that’s racing” and everyone has bad days. Dave’s excuses for not driving well are just that: excuses. And everyone knows it. Plus, most people in NER don’t really have a high opinion of Dave, given the drinking and the fact that he seems to get away with everything.
Wednesday, it starts to downpour right before my heat. I hate driving in the rain, and I’m getting upset again. Dave watches my runs, but doesn’t do anything or say anything to encourage me. Of course. Whatever, he’s immature and selfish. I DNF two runs, in stupid places that don’t even make sense. I’m getting super upset, I start crying again. I’m a better driver than this, I NEVER go off course anywhere else, and I’m frustrated. And no one is really supporting me. I tell PJ I wish I hadn’t come, or driven, and that I hate this. I’m not having fun. And so then I take my last run. It’s very slow, and I hit a cone, but it’s on course and I have a time. I leave the car in impound and go for a walk. I come back and things are a little more calm.
PJ and Dave take their runs in the dry, and Dave ends up in 4th, trophying. PJ is 6th and doesn’t get a trophy. The reigning benchmark, Sias, has problems with his subframe mounts. He breaks the car twice trying to get a good run in. I don’t like to see anyone’s car breaking, regardless of who they are. Dave smiles and says “Well, that’s racing!” It makes me really angry. I walk away.
Dave ends up with 4 drinks at the banquet, so he gets louder and friendier. He’s happy with his trophy, especially because people kept announcing that he’s the ProSolo National Champion, both in competition and when he goes to get his trophy. We want to go bowling, but NER is tired and no one wants to go. My feet hurt and I’m tired, so when I voice that, Dave says “You’ll live.” Jackass. Thursday, we go back to the site, and he’s being nicer. We watch everyone’s runs, wish them luck, and then leave, on his suggestion. Whatever. I lay down because I’m not feeling well. It’s going to be PJ’s turn to drive soon, so Dave is going to want to use this computer and take advantage of PJ’s BlackBerry internet hookup. I’m really not impressed with his behavior this past week, and I hate to put PJ in the middle, but this is bullshit. Part of me wants him to contribut more, but then the rational part of my brain says “Keep it as it is, because then he has less and less claim to the car.” We’re going to have to discuss what’s going to happen next season, because I’m not sure I want to deal with this.
I’m planning on driving at next year’s Nationals, so at least I have something to work towards, instead of deciding on it last minute, but I can’t wait to get home.