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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on July 20th, 2010, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 11, Issue 19 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 11, Issue 19

Back to the beach

To race or not to race? That was the question for one chump

By ROB KRIDER

Marriage is about teamwork. My wife likes to plan family vacations, and, therefore, I like to pay for them. I do have to give my wife credit, though, because if it wasn’t for her exceptional planning (nagging and dragging me places), my kids wouldn’t know the Matterhorn is a rollercoaster at Disneyland. Instead, they might just think a Matterhorn is a trumpet that makes a difference.

So I do appreciate the effort my wife puts into planning our family vacations. Well, I should be more specific: I appreciate her efforts until her plans conflict with something I want to do instead, like go race a car in some stupid race. This little scheduling snafu does occur pretty regularly at my house. This is because of two reasons: One, my wife has pre-planned something for every weekend of our entire life, including the high school graduation party for our daughter (she is currently in sixth grade). And I’m not positive about this, but I think my wife may possibly have my funeral arranged already as well. Luckily, she hasn’t told me when it is, so I enjoy every day to the fullest.

The second reason conflicts regularly occur between my wife’s plans and my racing plans is because there is a stupid car race every weekend of the year (and I want to go to all of them). History has shown that the stupidest races (meaning the most important of all car races to me) are conveniently scheduled on Mother’s Day. Yes, most racers are single men—newly single, if you catch my drift.

We recently had an epic argument regarding our calendar in my kitchen when my wife and I realized she had planned an RV trip to Southern California the same week I was planning on going to a stupid race in Southern California. This stupid race was called Chump Car, giving my wife even more ammunition when declaring it stupid. Her vacation plans of camping at the beach went from Monday through Sunday. My stupid race plans went from Friday through Sunday. Both were in Southern California, and since I love to have my family and the RV at the racetrack, I saw the whole thing as a “win-win.” My wife just kept saying “when-when,” as in, “When, when are you going to stop going to all of these stupid races?!”

In the end, we agreed. We agreed that the other one was a selfish (insert word for a needle poke here or the word for a female dog here, depending on the sex). The vacation was going to happen, and the last few days of it would happen without me, since I would be at the stupid races (assuming I could bum a ride to the track from someone, because my wife was not going to facilitate my getting there in any way).

The early part of the family vacation was good, but don’t kid yourself: If anything went wrong during the trip, it was my fault because I was leaving early. I was blamed for the traffic, the weather, the long lines at Disneyland—all of these things were my fault on Tuesday because I was going to leave for the stupid races Friday night.

Friday came, and I was woken up by a speech about what a selfish (needle poke) I was for leaving the family camping at the beach all by themselves. I was also chastised for not wanting her to go to the races and help the team. She was feeling as if I didn’t think her presence was important at the track. Of course I wanted her to go to the races, but I wasn’t asking her to leave the beach to do it. It was my way of compromising. But it didn’t matter what I said, since I have been forever classified in my wife’s eyes as an idiot. Her final words to me were, “I’m going to allow this race, but I’m not happy. If you plan another race like this during our vacation, I’m gonna race too. I’m gonna race myself right down to a divorce lawyer.”

So did I do the right thing and cancel the stupid race and keep my wife happy? No way. You heard what she said: This might be my last race. I had to go.

   Chump Car races are two days long, with seven hours of racing each day. It is endurance racing, with the key word being “endurance.” In order to win, you have to survive. At the stupid race, my team and I worked hard on the car, drove hard, and partied hard. We had a great time, but we were missing one key component, and that was my wife, whom I love. She usually takes care of all of us at each of the races. At one point during the day, I stopped and thought, “Wow, my stomach hurts. I’m really hungry.” I looked around at my team, and everybody was sunburned and dehydrated.

When my wife wasn’t there on Saturday, we all nearly died of exposure. Nobody wore sunscreen, nobody drank enough water, and none of us ate a thing in 12 hours. By the end of the first day, we were wiped out, and we had an entire second day of racing to go. Then, Saturday at dusk, I saw a glimmer of hope heading toward us in the sunset. It was my RV, and my baby was driving it! She surprised us all (mostly me), pulled up to the track, opened the motorhome door, and fed everybody dinner.

My sweet wife, married to a selfish racing idiot, came through once again. And she brought a little luck with her, too. On Sunday (well fed and rested), Krider Racing, sponsored by I/O Port Racing Supplies and ST Suspensions, won the Chump Car L.A. Freeway Enduro at Auto Club Speedway. We couldn’t have won the stupid race without her.

Rob has plans to run Chump Car again. The question is, will he be single?




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