Saturday night, I went to a dirt track race at a popular dirt track in our area.
If you are a friend of my Facebook page you may have noticed my racing status updates.
Sorry, I have no pictures because I’m afraid all that dust will ruin my camera.
I love dirt track racing.
But I have mixed feelings about attending.
First, it was a sport that my Dad loved and he passed that love on to me.
Actually, when I walked through the gates and the track came into view, I began tearing up and quickly had to compose myself.
My Dad has been gone a little over four years, but there’s some things I just haven’t dealt with yet.
Honestly, sometimes I wonder if I’ve ever really had time to mourn the deaths of he and my Mother.
That’s a whole nuther story that I’m not too sure I want to go into on here.
The other reason I’m so apprehensive about the dirt track races is because it is so much different when you actually know and love someone who’ll be driving on that track.
I “know” several drivers, but one inparticular is a very dear friend of mine.
We call her Monkey, a nickname given to her long before I knew her.
Yes, I said “her”.
She’s 18 and been driving dirt track for about 3 years.
You may remember her from the senior portraits I took of her.
She learned to drive on a dirt track, beginning it before she actually had her driver’s permit.
I am on pins and needles the whole time she’s out there on the track.
Over the years I’ve seen some pretty bad dirt track wrecks, and the thought of something happening to her is a little more than I can stand.
Which is a problem.
She wants me there cheering her on.
And I want to be there.
But most of the time I just can’t handle the stress of the possibilities.
I’m a worry wart.
Ask anyone who knows me.
Last Saturday was her final points race this year and she sent word through her Dad to my husband that she really wished I would go.
So I gave in and went.
They all sat in the pits up on top of a truck watching the evening’s races.
I sat, by myself, in the stands.
I prefer the stands to the pits.
Well, mostly because in the pits you are in the center of the track. To watch the race you have to turn round and round as the cars fly by.
I don’t know about you but my equillibrium begins to rebel after so many revolutions.
And who needs a rebelling equillibrium when you’re sitting/standing on top of a truck?
She’s the only girl on the track.
And most of the guys have learned to respect her as a driver.
Others have not.
They don’t like the thought of being beaten by a girl.
It’s called being skirted.
So they attempt to take her out of the race.
That worries me.
And at the same time makes my blood boil.
First of all my motherly instincts take over and want to protect her.
Then I get all defensive because I think, “Who are they to decide that a girl shouldn’t be on the track?”
At one time, I wanted to drive dirt track so bad I could taste it.
And my Dad would have loved it.
I just didn’t have the opportunity.
I know it would have been the same for me had I actually gotten out on the track.
And that gets me fired up for her.
She’s got it rough each time she drives onto the track.
The guys nudge, push, beat and bang on her car, but she holds her line.
Saturday night, she was in second place and one guy, who doesn’t like being skirted, got her loose in the rearend in turn four in the last lap.
She lost two spots while trying to get her car under control and had no time to make it back up.
I can’t stand dirty racing!
She’s a little ball of fire out there.
She’s determined to race.
And she’s even more determined to not let them intimidate her.
She’s doing great.
At the end of the season she’s in fourth place in points standings.
She’s came a long way in a couple of years.
But I’m still fighting the urge to get my own dirt track car and get out there and race with her.
Not to win, but for two reasons.
One because GIRLS CAN RACE!
And the second reason….
to follow around behind her and take out anyone who even thinks about nudging, pushing, beating or banging on the Monkey’s car.