Sometimes you just have to step away from something you love to appreciate it again. That is what I tell myself when a night of racing goes wrong. Although my love for the sport is massive, sometimes it can be more frustrating than enjoyable. When I have one of those disappointing nights, I step away from my own car and become a spectator for the rest of the night.
When you have been racing for as long as I have (thirteen years), it is a given that there have been peaks and valleys in your career. When I have bad nights at the track, I tend to take it to heart and get really discouraged. I often ask myself “why do I even race if I can’t even finish well or finish at all?” This is followed by packing up the car and waiting around for the payout to be ready so we can head home. Payout is usually not ready until the end of the night, so I head up to the grandstands to watch the last feature event. It is during this race that I remember why I still am a racecar driver after all these years.
There are so many emotions experienced in racing in general, but the most of them can be experienced when simply being a spectator. Excitement, worry, passion, disappointment, love, just to name a few. Although being in the car and competing is probably one of the most exhilarating feelings you can ever have, watching and rooting for your favorite driver can bring on those same feelings. Whenever I am having a bad night as a driver, I try to go and be a spectator for a race or two. I feel excited for my friends and fellow drivers when they find success in victory lane, and sorrow for them when their night has ended before the checkered flag waves. I find myself sitting on the end of my seat, cheering, and cringing as each lap passes. I find joy in watching from the grandstands and fall in love with the sport more each time I do.
I believe that it is so very important for all drivers to step away from their car and be a spectator to a race every once in a while. It reminds us why we all fell in love with the sport in the first place. We remember what it felt like to see our first race as a young kid and what made us want to be a part of such a unique sport. Reconnecting with those emotions helps us to appreciate what we have the ability to do each weekend. We can rediscover the passion that we have for racing, even on a night where we may just want to just give up. So the next time you feel discouraged or are questioning your will to participate, head to your nearest grandstands and fall in love with the way that the sport makes you feel once again.
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Article by : Alyssa Riker
Edited by : BJ Antonio
Photo by : Rick Sweeten Images