On the Write Track

Racing has similarities to life.

Since the name of my column has the word track within it, I decided to write about racing this week and how it can be similar to life at times.

Watching a NASCAR race the other afternoon, I realized just how much patience and determination drivers have to have to drive in a race.

If you think about it, they are having to make split second decisions during each and every turn.

Doesn’t seem that much different in life.

Sometimes, you have to make decisions that stay with you for a long time. Take for example on the race track when a driver sees another driver directly in front of them wobble a little, as though they are starting to lose control of the car.

They hope that they can straighten out the wheel, but if not, that causes all kinds of problems behind them. Usually, the result is a multi-car accident.

It is amazing to watch drivers that have the ability to dodge the big wrecks just by happening to turn their wheel the right way, skimming through the other cars to clear track in front of them. The drivers do have spotters to help them, but the driver has to make the final decision as to what to do.

They are the fortunate ones. In the blink of an eye, they were able to escape a wreck. To me, that’s not much different than life. Sometimes, you face a decision and that one decision can either clear you of the problem or get you into a big crash. It’s the crashes that I am sure, just like in life, the drivers regret from time to time.

Those drivers have to have years of experience and reflexes that are amazing to avoid so many accidents.  They are called accidents for a reason. They happen, but they aren’t intentional. Well, there are times when drivers take a hit from another driver and then they want to go back on the track and spin them out.

I can name a few drivers that have had some squabbles with one another, but those keep changing from week to week. No matter what, however, they always find a way to shake hands again and go back to racing.

I’ll never forget the late Dale Earnhardt when he said ‘rubbing is racing.’ I think he had just taken out another driver, well he said unintentionally. He said it was ‘just racing.’ The same thing happens in life from time to time. You can get into a ‘wreck’ at times, but really it is most likely not intentional. Don’t go back and try to spin out the other person, I mean driver, that’s not advised in NASCAR and certainly not in life. The sanctioning body will give you an expensive penalty in terms of dollars, and that’s paid and completed. In the sport, you don’t want to chance getting your sponsorship taken away just because you were angry about being bumped at the time.

Either way, the drivers have to be careful and ready to take action if that other car begins to wobble. Make sure to always keep your eyes on the other drivers and make sure you don’t end up in the wall. It is vital that you make sure you respect all of the other drivers on the track and people in life.

Keep on the right course, avoid wrecks and you’ll eventually find the finish line.