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Boy Was I Embarrassed...

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  • Boy Was I Embarrassed...

    I was just curious, have any of you had an embarrassing moment related to auto racing. Like saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing at a race.

    I have had a "few" (no we are not going to tell the 40 year old story about my midget, my trailer and the Merc station wagon I hit)

    One of the worst for me took place in the 1960's when I was doing the PR for the Hatfiled Hi Speedway in PA. We were going to run a special show and invited none other than Parnelli Jones and Jim Hurtubise to race on the 1/3 dirt ! It was truly a big event with those two legends driving there. I sent out scores of press release to all of the media with the date and particulars. That was fine...except for my column...the one I wrote for the Illustrated Speedway News. When you write a press release it has to be short and to the point, however when you write a column you as a rule have all the space you want. Mine was a masterpiece that told everything about the ARDC drivers and Jones & Hurtubise....plus a galaxy of photos. I proof read it and convinced myself that even Economacki could not write a better story (and he was great). In view of the fact that I wrote for the paper, Walter Bull gave me front page exposure. The story had all the info, drivers who were entered, the cars that were going to run...Jones & Herk and the date...! Oh wow...the date ! I put the wong date in my story and listed it one week to early ! Well you know what happened, scores of fans showed up at the track that night for a race that was going to be run the following week !!! They had to call the Hatboro Township Police to quell the un-happy fans. And all of them got free tickets for the show the next week. I cant remember but I think Parnelli and Herk ran 2-3 before a packed house. It took me years to live it down...every time I entered the ARDC pits a driver would ask me where the club was running the following week and when I told them the reply was..."are you sure"

    I wonder if any of you have a story to relate here about an embarrassing moment you has at the races.

    Thanks

    Lenny

  • #2
    During the rain delay, I slipped and fell down the bleachers atop the suites at IMS for Bump Day Qualifying in 2002. Ouch!

    Or getting a firecracker shot in my face at the Paragon Speedway.
    If I were Ed Carpenter and you were a lady...

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    • #3
      I once put one of our driver's in the wrong heat race. Dang but did he chase me around our hauler for twenty minutes.
      No, he never did catch me!
      ...---...

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      • #4
        Ran in a mens restroom under the pit straight seats at Indy one year, then quickly realized the reason there was no urinals is that I was in the ladie's restroom. Got some funny looks from the ladies on their way in. Lucky, it was a practice day.

        One year my cousin and I, we were about 12, were standing next to a guy passed out along Hulman drive one qualifying day. When folks would walk by, we would plead "dad, please get up, dad, please get up". Everyone felt sorry for us, not knowing we didn't know who the guy was.

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        • #5
          Indy Jim....but you did that two years in a row...Hmmmm

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          • #6
            This is not funny, actually it is sort of sad.
            We were hauling our midget in an open trailer. We were on an expressway in Chicago. Going to pick up the driver, we got on the off ramp. Having to make a left we stayed to the left. Because the midget blocked the view thru our windows, the driver behind us could not see thru our car. In front of us was a stalled car, hood up. We pulled over to the right to get around. The driver behind us figuring an open lane to the street, accelerates to go down. We heard the crash when he rear-ended the stalled car.
            Ok, we pick up the driver and are going to the same intersection to get back on the expressway. We look across the expressway at the car that got rear-ended. The driver of the car coming down the ramp is not there. It gets worse. We look at the car, and the rear-end is pretty well beaten up. I said it gets worse, a state trooper is writing a ticket to the stalled car.

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            • #7
              Rushed to get an engine problem taken care of prior to qualifying. Barely made it to the qualifying line in time, but the engine problem was solved. Ran great when first fired up and through the turn. As soon as it got out of the turn, the fuel load leveled out and the car began to sputter. It sputtered until the next turn. Then the fuel picked up and it took off. Next straight and it was sputter, sputter, sputter again. Next to slowest qualifier and missed the show. Nearly quit racing on the spot. Too stupid to put in fuel, too stupid to race.
              "The older I get, the faster I used to be!"

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              • #8
                Running in an SCCA national at IRP, our national sponsor rep was on hand. We wanted to look our best, so uniforms were ironed, the car was polished and spotless, everything laid out to perfection. I waxed my helmet, starched my seatbelts, Simonized the tools.

                Went out for qualifying and got about 200 yards down the track, building up just enough speed for the hood to fly back and wrap itself around the roll bar. We'd forgotten to fasten the hood pins. I had to drive all the way around the track to the merriment of corner workers, to the pits for a quick fix. The lesson was something about focusing on the trivial and forgetting the important.

                And then there was the time at Road America: we stayed at a nearby college. I hadn't paid attention to the reminder about which dorm bathrooms were gender specific as we had arrived late the previous night. Got up Saturday and strolled down the hall to the bath and took a shower. Was standing there shaving with a towel on when several young women wandered in for their showers. They didn't say anything but sort of shuffled around and smirked -- I realized it was too early in the morning to get lucky, and with my wife down the hall realized there was a decidedly fatal risk anyway-- until I finished. I finally got it and said "Am I in the wrong place?!" "Depends," said one. I got red to my toes and as I left I saw the sign clearly on the door, "Women."

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                • #9
                  I was 8 or 9 and with my parents at the local track. During the races I leaned back and put my hand on something and was not sure what it was. I turned to look and I had been playing with this nice looking blonde’s foot for about 15 seconds. I looked up at her and she had a big smile on her face. I then noticed her boyfriend glaring at me. Red faced, I moved closer to mom and kept my hands in my lap the rest of the night.
                  "If you don't do it this year, you'll be another year older when you do"

                  http://davidm.smugmug.com/

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                  • #10
                    Hanging around Foyt's shop, trying to stay out of the way and not screw up, I got excitied when they lit a turbo Cosworth for the first time before loading up and leaving for a CART race somewhere.

                    The car was still in the garage even though the double doors were open, it was loud, but not too loud because of the turbo.
                    They cranked it, let it idle looking for leaks, blipped the throttle a few times and shut it down.

                    Like a moth to a flame, I inched closer to the car as they readied to crank it again.

                    BANG!! POP!! FIZZZZ!!

                    Everyone turns to look to see what happened as I quickly lifted my boot from the battery cable running from the battery cart to the starter. Dumbass here shorted it out by stepping on it.

                    Black, melted, stinky rubber insulation was stuck to the bottom of my boot, and, of course, the car couldn't be started until that little fubar got fixed.

                    I stayed the h*ll outta the way.

                    "You people worry too much. Strive for change. Root for your favorites. Enjoy the racing. Drop the flag." rev-ed, 3/04

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                    • #11
                      50th birthday, front straight at Bloomington, and they gave me a microphone.

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                      • #12
                        I dropped the yellow flag last year.

                        Felt like a dope having to climb down the ladder and pick it outta the dirt.
                        Live like Dave

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                        • #13
                          I brought my oldest to the KC race this year and watching the last 10 laps I kept pointing to him the battle I thought was shaping up between deferran and castro neves for the win entirely missing herta stretching fuel mileage and winning the race which my oldest pointed out to me as herta got the checkered flag.

                          then there are a few snake pit memories that i really don't remember if you know what i mean

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lanciaman


                            Went out for qualifying and got about 200 yards down the track, building up just enough speed for the hood to fly back and wrap itself around the roll bar. We'd forgotten to fasten the hood pins. I had to drive all the way around the track to the merriment of corner workers, to the pits for a quick fix. The lesson was something about focusing on the trivial and forgetting the important.


                            Lmao.. Same deal for me..
                            I was so pizzed and embarrassed that I pulled over and sat on the side of the track for the whole session.. The safety crew wouldn't come near me... My crew covered the hood with Band Aids after they pounded it out ..
                            To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 11 posts.

                            Molon Labe!

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                            • #15
                              Semi-OT and I'm just glad it didn't happen to me.

                              Local dragstrip where we didn't get many fast, higher class cars.
                              So, when they pushed an injected altered to the line, everyone rushed to the fence and stood in anticipation of a wild, high speed run.

                              Push truck bumped the Bantam roadster down the track, but no fire from the smallblock. Dang.

                              So, they turned it around at the other end and pushed it all the way back down towards the starting line.

                              Just as it chugged parallel to the most crowded part of the stands, it coughed, backfired, and blew eight red rags from the injector stacks like 8 little mortars.

                              The crowd went beserk laughing and high fiving.

                              "You people worry too much. Strive for change. Root for your favorites. Enjoy the racing. Drop the flag." rev-ed, 3/04

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