Thursday, June 11, 2009
Racing with the 15-Year-Old
My friend Will was in a club that would race old cars on an oval a couple hours before race night began at some small town track. To get into the club you needed to buy the same Buick as everyone else and pay $50. The racers had to add harnesses to replace their seatbelt and wear motorcycle helmets, too. When Will went out of town for a week and had to miss a race, he let his 15-year-old nephew drive his racecar in his place. I'm not sure what the rules in the club were regarding subs, but I do know that you can't get a drivers license until you're 16 years old. The kid put two people into the wall and was all over the track, but Will said that he still finished midway through the pack. He also said that since the kid was wearing his helmet and jumpsuit, no one knew that a 15-year-old had driven for him. This was good since it helped Will evade the law, but it also meant that everyone he raced against thought he drove like a 15-year-old kid who puts two cars into the wall at a race that's supposed to be for old people. That makes it hard to find a sympathetic ear among your racer friends to listen to your problems with John Law.