If you don’t know by now, I have taken up the sport of Formula Car Racing. In other words, I drive an open-wheel race car, and I recently received my pro license.
Read on, and then jump to minute five. (Everything before minute five is a full course caution) If you can’t view the video, click here.
My dad is not a fan because there’s a saying in open-wheel racing, Once you touch wheels, someone’s going up. And that’s pretty true. You have wheels traveling at high rates of speed going in the same direction. It’s like dropping a baseball into a pitching machine. Once the ball touches the wheel, it’s shot out like a canon.
I had my first two pro races at Road Atlanta. In the first race, I went from 16th position to 10th. In the last few turns, I passed a car to take the 10th place spot. Not bad for my first pro race!! In the second race, I went from 14th to 9th. Again, really good for only my second pro race. Only, there was a little problem.
I was battling it out with the same driver that I passed in the last few turns in the race before. We were keeping a really hot pace in the last lap. When we got to the turn before the turn I passed him in, he over-slowed his car. Something I never expected to happen. In the video above, you will see what happened. At the beginning of the video, we were on an all-course yellow, so jump to minute five to see what happened. (If you don’t like crashes, don’t watch.)
After the crash, I started thinking about what happened and came to some pretty deep conclusions I would like to share with you.
- You can’t win a race if you don’t finish – No matter how well you do, if you don’t actually cross the finish line, you have a zero chance of winning. Too many times, we get most of the way there, but not all the way. If you’re going to be the best at what you do, you have to do whatever it takes to get you to that spot.
- Be more in-tune with each other – Being a rookie in a pro series, I assumed everyone would drive faster than me. When we came into that last turn, the other driver was most likely thinking he needed a better shot out of the turn, so I wouldn’t take him in the next. Had I thought about it, I could have anticipated him over-slowing the car and sending me flying with the ducks above. I have to know that at any time, one of my team members may not be in a position to run as fast as me. If so, then I have to do what’s necessary to help them get there.
- Fear can immobilize – While sailing through the air and rolling to a stop is scary, it’s amazing what you can learn from it. You see, until that point, rolling a race car was my biggest fear. It was something that stayed in the back of my mind, keeping me from pushing harder. But something happened after the crash … and the medical tent … and the hour of shame back in the pits. I lost that fear. Not because I could now say, “I’ve done that!” But because suddenly I had clarity on what I did wrong. It was like the crash deposited large amounts of knowledge in my head. Sometimes, we become so afraid of failure that we can’t see how much we will learn from failing.
Ok, so it was too much info for one day. Check out tomorrow’s post for the rest.
Question: How can you see these lessons playing out in your world?