Forgive my ramblings here... but whenever I think of what I want to be "when I grow up" - this is what always goes through my head.

They say that if you try hard enough, you can have or be anything... I disagree. Not that someone should not be optimistic about things - because there are a lot of things people could do if they were to try. It's just that the list is not infinite. Like I could never be a member of British Parliament. And if you try to say that I could be, you're either lying to yourself (and me) or you're an idiot. I could also never be a race car driver. At least not without a lot of help.

If you have been reading my site at all, you'll know that driving/racing is a big part of my life. But I "race" around cones... in a parking lot... with my regular car. And while this is tons of fun as it is, it's still hard to call it racing - especially when I explain it to people who don't know what I'm talking about. It's kind of like saying you're a Chef - but you assemble cheeseburgers at McDonald's. Just not quite the same thing. I'd love to be an actual race car driver - and I'm not even being picky here, I don't need to shoot for Formula 1 or anything, I'd just like to drive an actual race car. Professionally. Continental Tire, Rolex, ALMS, World Challenge, any of this would be ideal.

I like to think I do well at autox... and that I have some skill. I would also like to think some of this would translate into driving on an actual track and that I wouldn't be awful. Sure, there's a LOT (even a "lot" is an understatement here, I realize that) that I would have to learn and would like to learn (hell, there's a ton I still need to learn about autox)... but I would like to believe I have a tiny amount of talent and wouldn't make a total ass of myself.

But how do I even get to that point? I don't even have the budget I'd like to be able to prep for autox like I want to... let alone to build and field a race car in any sort of series. I also don't have a racing/karting background like many of the drivers out there (note: I'm leaving NASCAR out of this b/c it would be a very cold day in hell for that to really be where I ended up). I'm just a regular guy who likes driving and would like to race for real. But what kind of chances do I have? None that I know of.

How about driving schools? Sure that would be awesome, but chalk it up as another thing I don't have the $$ for. So is it just that I don't have enough $$? Do only rich people race? Do you have to be rich, in order to get into racing to become more rich? Is that the only way? And yes, I realize that getting into racing to become rich isn't how it works - that's not why I want to do it - I'm just illustrating a point.

A couple years ago VW started their Jetta TDI Cup series and at one point I actually thought "hey, I could try to get in on that..." but then you need to front like $20k for the car and stuff. Not to mention go on the road with the series for all of the races. There is just no way... where do I get that money? How do I pay my bills on the road? Do they pay you to race in this series even if you don't win? The questions go on and on...

Point is... unless someone can point out something obvious to me that I'm missing, I see no way for me to ever follow that dream... not at this rate anyway. Is it so much to ask?

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  • Chad Kacyon

    May 25, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Your thoughts are eerily familiar to my own my friend. I always wondered why my parents didn’t see my obsession for cars and anything with 4 wheels. Why didn’t they get me into karting or something? Seems that’s how many people in auto racing begin and they use it to get recognized by sponsors, etc. Hey, there’s always HPDE events, which is probably about as close to racing as we’ll get. At least it gets us on the track anyway…There’s an event in July with that guy I work with at the Glen, certainly something worth considering. You probably just need a set of rotors/pads and a fresh brake flush. I’d have to buy a helmet even…