Endurance racing is a heartless bastard.
Harsh, but true.
Now, I generally don’t go to many races, for both geographical and financial reasons. However, back in June I wound up being adopted by the IDB Racing team when they went to tackle the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Over the course of that weekend, I apparently managed to not totally embarrass myself. So much so that when Wil Kitchens, the driver and team owner, headed back to Colorado as part of the NAI Racing team for the World Racing League’s 24@5280 endurance race at High Plains Raceway, he decided to bring me with him. I can only assume this was due to my scathing wit and roguish good looks.
This would be a high speed, low drag type of operation, as the tactical Airsoft bros like to say. I’d work a full day at my day job in Kansas City, catch a late night flight to Denver, grab a rental car, drive an hour into the desolate wasteland of eastern Colorado, sleep for a few hours in the rental, stay up for approximately 24 hours watching the race, then head back to Denver, kill a few hours, then fly home. That was the plan.
Things took a downward turn before I’d even left my home state. Storms delayed my flight by two hours. So now instead of arriving at the racetrack at 11:00pm, I’d be arriving at after 1:00am. This was rapidly becoming the type of bad idea that my life has been built on. Flying through thunderstorms, to drive an unknown car down back roads in the middle of the night, to sleep in a parking lot for a couple hours, only to then be awake for a full 24 hours. I figured I might get four hours of sleep out of the next 48 or so. Occasionally something just sounds so idiotic that you have to do it, just for the story.
Or maybe that’s just me.
By the time I landed in Colorado, I had a message telling me where the race trailer was at the track and what it looked like. Perfect. After the maelstrom of ineptitude that is the Hertz office, where they attempted to tack on an extra two hundred dollars worth of fees onto my Altima, I was finally on the road. Priority one was sustenance. Actually, scratch that, priority one was caffeine, priority two was sustenance.