I haven’t been to Norwalk in 2+ years. Not really into drag racing, I don’t really miss the racing. I miss my friends. They’re the real reason I spend over $1,000 on hotel, airfare, and drunken debauchery in a sleepy, Ohio bedroom community.
Since 2003 or 2004, I’ve only missed the Shootout three times. The first was because I was stuck working at Enterprise Wreck-a-Life, and I’ll never forget the hot summer day I spent washing stripped down, GM fleet turds behind a derelict, Mesa shanty in a shirt and tie before being forced to attend an immediately-after-work happy hour with the guys from the local Chevy dealership who sent us 90% of our business instead of hopping a plane to Chicago or Indy or such to catch a ride with a DSM brother.
The second time was 2012, as the Shootout was less than a month after Vanessa and I returned from two weeks in Europe. There was just no budget (or vacation time left) for it. And then V’s took a couple months unpaid maternity leave after P was born, and when she went back, her hours were severely cut back, so there was no money for the trip in 2013.
That all changes today, as I have a Super Shuttle van coming to pick me up at 4AM for a 6AM flight to Cleveland. I’m meeting Thura there and we’re driving into Norwalk for that most special weekend of them all – The DSM Shootout. After which, I’ll be driving up to Toronto, Canada, to visit my friend Michael Banovsky (you do get Michael Kent and the team at Right Drive.
Still lots of stories in the works, but please bear with me as I take a week off. :)