Richard Petty Would Have Been Proud

Late one night after working second shift, I was driving home on the interstate.

It was dark and extremely foggy, so I wasn’t in a hurry. You never know what you won’t see until it’s too late.

In that area deer are known to attempt suicide by jumping in front of vehicles.

I just don’t know what’s up with all these depressed deer. Maybe we should speak up and see that our hard earned tax money should go into a fund for deer depression. Hire the best psychiatrists (is that spelled right? don’t look right!) and prescribe pharmacuticals to assist in raising the spirits of these suicidal deer.

It’s really a sad thing.

Back to the dark, foggy interstate…

I topped a hill and a vehicle on the other side coming toward me, started flashing their headlights. Not sure what was ahead, I slowed down.

Drove a little further, not seeing anything, I slowed more. Just to be safe.

At the bottom of the hill the faint glow of hazard lights began to come in view.

The closer I came, the more I slowed. Keeping an eye out for cars that may be coming up behind me.

Remember, it’s late, so there’s not many vehicles on the road.

As I neared the flashing lights, I noticed a set of headlights shining toward the side of the road. I was almost stopped now, trying to figure out exactly what was in front of me.

Stopping several feet behind the vehicle that was on the side of the road and trying to focus, through the fog, on what was in front of me.

Extremely hard to see, was the gray container trailer of an eighteen wheeler across both of my northbound lanes. The tractor was sitting, still attached to the the trailer, on the side of the road with it’s nose against the guardrail.

I was thankful for the person on the southbound side who flashed their headlights at me, I would not have been on the lookout and might not have seen the trailer across both of my lanes, until it was too late.

That’s not the end of the story.

I pulled off the road and turned on my hazard lights.

While sitting there, I began to wonder about people who may come up behind me and wondered if there was someone to warn them. Along came a couple of vehicle, slowed, then stopped further ahead of me, but still in the main interstate road.

A few minutes later along came what looked to be a Comaro or Firebird. Not slowing. I kept looking in my rear view mirror, then my side view mirror.

The car was moving at interstate speeds and not slowing. I remember thinking as they aproached and flew past me, “They’re not slowing. It’s gonna cut their head off when they go under that trailer. I’m gonna watch someone die tonight.”

Sadness overwhelmed me and my heart raced as they passed me.

But the most amazing thing happened.

Remember, we are traveling northbound.

Just as that car got within distance (OH CRAP! distance), I saw brakelights and smoke from the tires as the wheels locked up.

The driver of the car slammed on the brakes and cut hard left. I saw sparks fly as the car’s frame hit the edge of the concrete road and went across the median.

Then the driver cut hard right, went up the southbound passing lane.

Then cut hard right again and drove back across the median, getting back onto the northbound side.

Cut hard left and went on their merry way in the northbound lane.

Once they backed the tractor/trailer up and I could get by, which was just minutes later, I thought for sure I’d find that Camaro/Firebird sitting on the side of the road while the driver regained their composure and maybe changed clothes.

I never did see it again. I don’t know if it was someone from the area or just passing through. I’ll bet that’s a night they’ll never forget. And neither will I. And I was thankful that there was no accident and I didn’t have to watch someone die.

But I do know one thing…

that was driving that Richard Petty would have been proud of.

Heck, I was proud of them and I didn’t even know who they were!

8 comments on “Richard Petty Would Have Been Proud

  1. Becky: What a great story, you got to see first class NASCAR driving and it for free. That car may be a mess but you are lucky that you didn’t see that major accident. The steering and tires on that car is probably a mess.

  2. Dang… How scary was that?! Probably a wanna-be Nascar kid that got flat out lucky. That right there is a good reason not to buy Boo a used Firebird or Camero when he gets to driving age. #1 – It’s too tempting to drive like a maniac; and #2 – The car’s been driven by another teen before and how bad do you want to fix unseen problems…

    At least they skated by this time without wrecking.


  3. I would say God was in control. If that person doesn’t know Jesus as their personal savior, I pray that maybe that close call will cause them to realize their need. And, God was surely watching over you too.

  4. Dang, that’s scary. I can’t believe that other driver didn’t get out and puke or have a heart attack. SCARY. I’m glad you were ok and no one else got hurt.

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