November 1st 2009
Forever Done And Gone
2009 VRA Redux

Iím done. Iím refried on the Zamboni. I peaked at the Deconstruction Challenge, literally, figuratively, financially, emotionally and physically. I got no words left, no admiration and no desperation. Iím finished with explanations and got no trunk for rumination. This is my grand salutation and my final defamation. Despite the machine gun burst, precious little was hit and even less understood. Oh yeah, the pictures were pretty but the focus was poor and the message lost in orphan pixels. I canít hear a soft voice spoken at a garden party but I can tell you exactly which engine is screaming and what it is really trying to say. It said youíre only as good as you last heat and somebody else is cashing your paycheck. This messed up hurt is spreading like a blinding Oklahoma dust storm. Maybe I see you on the other side. Maybe I donít.

Whispering In His Ear

I donít know where Ricky Lewis is going but I sure dig his action. That kid drives hard and plays harder. Every night he gets out and boogies that crowd, seizing the moment with such enthusiasm you forget who you are and suddenly you are a twelve years old again. His parents love him without reservation and thatís how he drives. Single-handedly made me smile on many long tired Saturday nights. I donít know who Kyle Edwards is and he doesnít know who I am. Weíre good. He killed in Junior Focus Midgets. I got a special feeling for Austin Figueroa. The kid is so real and down to earth. Drives that Junior Midget like Dave Darland is whispering in his ear. Maybe itís just his dad.

In The Out Door

Bruce Douglas and I sat on that boardwalk bench and talked about all those years we were paddling around and wondering what that sound was. Youíre making up for it now, Bruce! I must defer to the real surfnsprint. Did you check out Bill Vanpraag. He showed everybody in Senior Dwarfs his rear end all season long. Saw that guy from the back to the front so many times I was spinning in the out door. I donít know how those guys pack so much soul in those tin cans.

Father and Son

Pro Dwarf Ray Estrada proved it all year long. With his surrealistic sidekick Saxton they won everything except the Presidential election. They flipped in the heat race and something about leaving the cake out in rain. Joe Snyder is in that blood red dwarf rocket and showed how good you can be while how young you can be. See you in the Junior Midgets, destiny smiles on you like a glory road winding though an idyllic summer afternoon. Pay attention to the speed limit.

Some Kind of Strange Perfection

If sprint cars are a bar fight, modifieds are a prison riot. Austin Rodarte broke out and they never caught him. Heís rumored to be hiding in plain sight at a Dairy Queen. Brent Underwood broke all the rules and raced it his way. If sport compacts are a Texas BBQ, he never got a drop of sauce on his white suit. Stunning. Darren Gunnell was his evil twin in those misunderstood front wheel drives. Kevin Kierce kicked it. Told me on the phone one night that crew chief Bruce is his go-to guy in racing. They go to it and they got it and they get it. Calculated he needed a strong start and made it happen. Never saw a guy so genuinely appreciative every single time he got a top five. No come from behind here. Got way out front and when they came gunning he was ready. I promise you he is already neck deep in next yearís race. Everybody wants to take him down. Good luck. About fifty cool people surround him but you have to shine a light on Ray Swann. Some people are just the heart and soul of racing.

Living In His Own Zip Code

Jim Naylor, I donít know how you do this. I never seen anyone work so hard and get served so much crap. Weird how you keep climbing back on that grader. Funny how wave after wave of heat races keep launching. Generations of drivers like salmon swimming upstream. I keep throwing words at it because everybody has to know this. Everyone has to know Ricky. Everyone has to go back to his or her youth. Everyone has to remember those foggy summer evenings when we were all hammer down in the last laps. Winter came like a checkered flag. I woke up one morning and it was forever done and gone.