Real Heroes

Guest post and 2nd place in the 2018 YSAR Author Contest. This one comes from Jenna Korf, my brother’s wife. Why did my brother and his wife get on the podium? Is this a case of nepotism? No, there were only 4 entries. I thought it would be fun for others to share their stories but apparently not. As usual, editorial comments in red.

When my husband initially told me about this writing contest and that the winning prize is a lap timer, my first thought was “I give zero fucks about a lap timer.” It was then that I knew I had to write this. 

So, what’s it like to be married to a race car driver? A couple of words that come to mind are Annoying. And frustrating. 

Annoying because it seems like every time we get in the car, it’s a call to his twin brother, on speaker of course, so I can’t escape it. to discuss… you guessed it, tires. You’d think maybe they would want to discuss different aspects of the car – or life. But no. They have the same conversation, over and over and over. It goes something like this. 

“Did you see that test they did on the wiley tires?” “I did! Let’s test all 10 sets of crazy train tires on 10 different tracks in different weather so we can gain that .0001 second!” “Well the front tires wouldn’t make a difference because of the fire roasted tread.” “Yeah, but if you swap out the front right tire and coat it with dressing and put a hat on it you’ll get .05 seconds back that you lost when you first turned the back tire out. And then we can stay on the track for 2 seconds longer!”

Just. Wow. 

I often wonder how my husband would like to be trapped while I talk to my girlfriend about her relationship? For hours. On end. 

Oh, and if you’re lucky enough to be married to a racer who participates in the 24 hours of Lemons race, it’s not just any car that takes up their time, money and energy. It’s a Noah’s Ark car – animals hanging out of it and all. Or a Scooby doo van. Or a half and half Lamborghini / Ferrari car. 

But it’s a serious sport, you know. Deserving of respect. 

I think what I mostly don’t understand about how awesome racing is when you spent thousands of dollars (on a car that we’re sure to make our money back on when he’s ready to sell), hundreds of hours working on it, (time that he could have spent with me), all to have the engine blow after 10 minutes on the track. True Story. 

The kicker is that after that experience, instead of doing what most intelligent people would do (and my husband IS super intelligent), like sell the car, somehow the logical thing to do is to sink even MORE money into it so he can fix it, get some more use out of it and then sell it at a better price. Um… I can’t even. 

So am I missing something about the greatness of this “sport”? Maybe. But in my opinion, the spouses of the racers are the real heroes here. And who can blame me for thinking that? My husband once sent me a picture of himself at the track. He was wearing nothing but a sun hat and an adult diaper. I rest my case. 

Portrait of a real hero. All 4 feet 12 inches of her disappointment look down at your silly, wasteful hobby that you happen to suck at. Since her post was like her, short, I thought I’d get her to respond to a few famous quotes.

To finish first, you must first finish.
— Juan Manuel Fangio

I’m already finished with this. The question is, when will you be?

The winner ain’t the one with the fastest car, it’s the one who refuses to lose.
— Dale Earnhardt

So why do you spend so much fucking money on the car?

To achieve anything in this game you must be prepared to dabble in the boundary of disaster.
— Sterling Moss

What about wallowing in disaster? I mean, I’ve seen a lot of wallowing. It’s pitiful. I suggest you give it up before it gets to the wallowing stage.

The basic problem with motor racing as a profession is that it costs too much money to get good enough at it to get paid for doing it.
— Carroll Smith

And the basic problem with motor racing as a hobby is it costs too much money and you never get paid for doing it (or get good at it).

Racing is life. Everything that comes before or after is just waiting.
— Steve McQueen

Did you say something? Cause I could have sworn I just heard you say you will always be a wanker. Fucking wanker.

3 thoughts on “Real Heroes

  1. Race cars are like kids. They’re never as good as you’d like and you’d feel totally guilty not spending every minute/dollar available trying to improve them.


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