Saturday, May 30th, my son drove his final .25 race. Retiring early due to circumstances beyond our control. He was fortunate enough to win his feature race, his last time on a track, fighting to the checkered flag against his good friend and biggest rival, Chase Dean.
After the race program was completed, the Mac-O-Chee board met and then called all drivers and families to the infield for a special presentation. My son was heartbroken but hiding it well. Then they called us to the front and presented him with the same checkered flag that he had carried around the track a bit earlier. The very flag that he had won with and lost to so many times.To those in the crowd who didn't know us, it may have seemed small, but to my son and I, it meant everything.
On our last night racing, I didn't witness handlers yelling at the race directors, Dads yelling at their kids, USAC vs. QMA crap, code of conduct meetings, fights over procedure, parents yelling and cursing at other drivers, I saw none of that.
On our last night racing, I saw everything that is good about our sport. I saw handlers gather to get broken cars back on the track, lending out gear, complete strangers fix a rookie car for qualifying, kids fighting hard on the track, then riding scooters and playing dodgeball together while the parents sit around and swap stories. While my son was taking his last win, i saw a nervous rookie handler watch his sons eyes light up as he took his first win. I saw grilles smoking and kids playing. I saw what this sport is supposed to be. Family and friends.
And I saw my son walk back to the trailer for the last time...carrying his flag.
Thank You Mac-O-Chee
Brian and Nick