Return To Road Atlanta: Epilogue. Sucker Punch Wrap Up

Team Silver! Ready for Road Atlanta
Team Silver! Ready on Day 2 of Road Atlanta. Vader has 2 lovely beach houses for rent, hence the advertisements on his car, Beach Boy.
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I really dig this: the Chin Motorsports logo.

There in the Road Atlanta paddocks late on Sunday after an overall fantastic track weekend with Chin Motorsports, I skipped with joy. I had improved! I could drive Moxie! My heart sang.

Vader and 3HC had just departed, I began hauling my track gear onto the UHaul…hehe… Get it?   “I was hauling onto the UHaul” …   Okay, hey? I’m alright for a cheesy snicker sometimes. Well, lets be honest: anytime.

Next up: loading Moxie onto Dolly. I asked a neighboring driver (black Dodge Charger) if he could help me line up the wheels. Since Moxie has no handbrake it’s an all or nothing process. And I was a noob.

At first attempt a grating skirching sound declared the bumper had caught. I tried to reverse off. Bad Move.

It became stuck with Moxie halfway on the ramp, with my foot hard on the brake pedal. My only choice was to release the brake hoping I could over-rev to get her positioned, before she slipped off entirely.

I revved. Moxie lurched. Then BANG. The engine shut down. Slowly, soundlessly little Moxie slipped off the ramp.

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Not the sound you want to hear on a Sunday evening in the paddock.

Back on the asphalt, I put her into gear, and re-started the engine. I revved toward where the guy pointed. She didn’t budge.

Tried again. She roared, but remained immobile.

By this point, several others heard the commotion and came over. EvanM rushed to me first: “What’s wrong?” Looking under the car, he spotted the main drive-shaft hanging down ineffectively. He quickly called over others, and asked for my toolbox. I did not have one.

Just then, a truck with the Ferrari logo and lettering “JM Automotive” stopped. JavierM jumped out of his truck. He was clearly an expert, working with some Ferrari drivers over the weekend. While Evan explained, Javier rolled up his sleeves. Within seconds Moxie was jack-standed.

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Giving up was not an option. Instead I silently simultaneously cussed and gave prayers of thanks. You can see Javier’s nice leather shoe under Moxie’s #59. And, in case you’re wondering, I wasn’t exactly doing my nails—I was trying to see where the U Bolts came from in case my tech needed me to show him. And special thanks to my special friends for mentioning my prodigious rear end. Yeah girl, it is what it is. You can look but you can’t touch.

I tried to watch Javier work.  With surgical precision, he unscrewed the U bolts attaching the broken drive shaft and, 10 minutes later, handed it to me. As Javier packed up, Evan’s friends took photos.

Other kind souls worked together to push Moxie onto Dolly and secured her tightly. We got a group photo. Javier was in a hurry, I offered payment for his expertise and his work. He just smiled kindly and briefly shook his head no. Matter-of-factly, he and his truck drove off.

Moxie shown here on life support, being pushed/hoisted up onto the dolly.
Moxie shown here on life support, being pushed/hoisted up onto the dolly.

With a grateful heart I drove back to the hotel. I planned to drive back home the next day. I texted hubby and kids but got no reply.

Then I told Swami about the driveshaft. He commiserated with me, agreeing that our hobby is a ridiculous one. I confessed that I had spent my entire annual budget, and my fear that my beloved husband would leave me because I love cars and driving. With empathy borne of suffering his own track-related fiascos, Swami offered words of wisdom and caution for future steps.

EvanM judiciously texted me that night to see if I was OK, and then again the next day on my drive home. During my drive back I was focused getting my Pig ready for the Indiana trip next week: I called Jimmy (Buddha) at European Performance to set that appointment up…and then I realized “DUH!”  I had a dead car I was towing…where could I take her? I asked Buddha. God bless him, he said: “Just bring her here.”

About a week later, Moxie had a new drive shaft and a muffler. The money for the dolly, the U-Haul, and the repairs all came from my track budget. There was nothing left. I was done with track for the year.

Tired and broke, I returned home.

This photo is the property of AP Photos, and shows a panel of art copyrighted by Marvel Comics.
This photo is the property of AP Photos, and shows a panel of art copyrighted by Marvel Comics.

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