Rev Up: Seven Years

September 11, 2008 3:30pm | by:
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev-Up. Life just never ceases to amaze me. Things move really fast around here, and I didn’t even realize what day it was until I began typing in the date to save this document. Seven years ago on this day, the world changed forever. I remember waking up and listening to the asshole morning radio guys joking about somebody in a small propeller plane accidentally flying into one of the buildings at the World Trade Center. I remember their tone all too slowly turning toward serious as more information came to them. Then I remember them actually sounding scared. We all were. At the time I worked in the warehouse at Fox Racing. My best friend Jared Wright was my manager, and he gave us word that we were being sent home for the day. For a while, I wondered if things would ever be “normal” again. As I sit here today and think about all of the things that have gone down over the past seven years, it just blows me away.

  • I've looked at soldiers and the American Flag very differently since 9/11
I just came off one of the most incredible weekends I can remember. It wasn’t just what happened that gets to me, it’s all of the odd little things along the way that make my heart clench and my head tingle. This weekend I was lucky enough to watch Jason Weigandt get married and my brother qualify for The Chase for the Nextel Cup. It wasn’t supposed to work out that way. Weege’s wedding was Saturday night and so was the Chevy Rock and Roll 400. But God blew a hurricane into the Gulf Coast, knocking the race from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon. So I drove back to Morgantown to watch Jason and Alisa Weigandt tie the knot. Have you ever been there when a couple met, watched them fall in love, and been there all the way up to their wedding? I never had until last Saturday evening. It was a very beautiful thing to behold.

Then I drove all night back to Richmond to be with my family. Mom, Dad, Casey, and I were fortunate enough to stand together in Victory Lane and watch Clint be inducted into the Chase for the Nextel Cup. Seven years ago, Clint was detailing cars in a body shop in Emporia, Kansas.

  • No way RC could have known seven years later he would win titles on a Honda and a Suzuki. Or that he would be racing a car at Daytona.
  • I'll only talk about NASCAR and Clint maybe 6 times a year. This is one of them. That's him in the Jack Daniel's firesuit. He is standing with 12 of the best drivers in the world. They will embark on a 10 race playoff event and try to win that trophy. On another side note related to NASCAR; 2001 was the year we lost Dale Earnhardt Sr. Clint drive's for Dale's old team.
Through all of this, my old pal Jared Wright from Fox had flown out to see me. He is still the warehouse manager, and as we drove down to Richmond, we talked a little about that terrifying morning seven years ago. Jared stayed in Richmond while I drove back to Morgantown for Weege’s wedding. He asked me how it went when I returned Sunday morning with bloodshot eyes. I replied, “Wedding was awesome, but the entire town is in the gutter because WVU got drilled.” Jared just kind of scratched his chin and said, “My next door neighbor, Chad Martino, went to WVU. Says he went to school with this guy named Bryan Stealey. Do you work with him?” Of course, Bryan Stealey is the managing editor of Racer X. Chad and Bryan have known each other since they were 6 years old. How about that? Two sets of lifelong friends on opposite sides of the country in towns called Morgan Hill and Morgantown.

I began writing as a hobby seven years ago today. At first, it was a productive way to get some of the hurt of 9/11/01 out. The Rev-Up was born less than a year later. When it began, I never fathomed it would amount to anything. And in the real big scheme of things, it’s just a tiny, over-the-top motocross column I use to try to get people excited.

  • 2001 Loretta Lynn's Program:
I watched a movie last night when I got home from riding. It was called The Bucket List, and they speak about Egyptian Heaven. Before an Egyptian can pass through to heaven, he is asked two questions: Do you have joy in your life? and Have you brought joy to others? I thought about that a long time before turning in to bed. There was some good and bad. Some sorrow and regret. But when I woke up this morning I looked at the little blister I have on my thumb from riding last night. I realized motocross has brought me enough joy for ten lifetimes. Then, before I sat down to write the Rev-Up, I went through the folder where I keep all of the feedback emails. I just scanned through some random ones from over the years. I think I might have made it into Egyptian Heaven.

All personal achievements and family racing stuff aside, today is a day to remember those who were lost and directly affected by the tragedy. Say a prayer for those folks. And also, maybe use today as a benchmark to ask yourself if you have joy in your life, and if you bring joy to others. We can all work a little harder on both, I’m sure. And take a little extra time now and then to sit back and think about the last seven years and where they have taken you. I’d love to hear some stories at the bottom in the comments page. I’m positive there are some astonishing ones.

Before I go, I just want to say thank you to all of you readers for making the Rev-Up what it is today. This is the first edition on the new Racer X Online. I promise you I’ll do my very best to make going to the races and going riding a little more exciting.

Thanks for reading, see you next week.