THE Cub Report, 06.28.09
Part of my responsibilities in the real world is taking care of the company that I work for factory drivers. It’s always interesting to watch shy consumers walk by the factory shoes pointing their fingers going “OMG that’s Joe Racer!”, or to slowly come up and beat around the bush for their autograph. I find that really funny, as just the night before I was watching “Joe Racer” pick his nose with a finger completely covered in nitro fuel and bearing grease, and had to explain how to use the remote control of the tv at the hotel to him. Mr Joe Racer is soooo just another human being, it’s just the general public has yet to figure it out. Same can be said for big shoe motocross racers, Nascar, and IRL guys as well, as I’ve been around them enough in off the track situations to know they are just like you and I, and not very much like that glowing smile, all American, uber happy boy wonder that they portray for a few hours each weekend while at the track in front of the tv cameras.
So this weekend, one of our factory shoes hit a fairly large race, and it was my job to keep him smiling, happy, well motivated, and at the front of the pack. Unfortunately, none of the other big name companies flew in any of their factory guys for this event, so it was our “Joe Racer” against a herd of fast locals. Word quickly spread around the pits that “Joe Racer” was a full on factory shoe, and he was just giving all sorts of parts away for free. Truth was, our Joe Racer gets a salary from us, but most of his other sponsors have reduced their support to him, so he’s paying for a lot of things this year that he hasn’t had to pay for in a decade. Joe Racer has been getting excellent results, but the economy has forced some of his sponsors to drop him from “get boxes of free stuff”, to “you are paying 50% now”. Just a sign of the times. So all weekend, I sit next to him, watching all the local yocals drop by his pit, most looking to just say hello, some looking for set-up tips, others just wanting to say hello so they could brag to their friends they “know” Joe Racer, and others dropped by to beg for free stuff. Well, the day of Joe Racer throwing away tires after every run just aren’t around any more.
One particular beggar, I’ll call him Goober, was very persistent, to the point he was straight up annoying. Goober even argued with Joe Racer, telling him that he wasn’t paying for anything, and that was a great reason to just give everything in his pit box to him for free. Of course Joe Racer and I just couldn’t tell Goober to go F’ off, because we’ve done that before, and every single time the “Goober-begger” is on the phone with the president of our company the next morning telling him what A-holes were are. It’s a no win situation for us.
Too bad Goober doesn’t know Joe Racers story, how hard he had to work to attain his sponsorships, how many hours a week he works strictly on rc, how many thousands of miles he travels each year just to have more Goobers beg him for free crap, how many of his daughters birthdays he’s missed because he had to race in BF Egypt, and how virtually ever time he shows up to work (a race), his job is literally on the line. I’ve known Joe Racer since his early days, and he was certainly no natural talent. There are tons of factory guys in rc that God simply blessed with loads of skill. The Josh Wheelers, Kinwalds, etc, are faster than you and I will ever be, and they were pretty much that way since the first time they held a controller in their hands. Our Joe Racer was a D main guy for years, but he worked his ass off. It was not uncommon for him to practice 5 nights a week, 3 hours a day, then race every weekend. Joe Racer also worked his butt off learning set-ups, and today he’s one of the elite tuning guys on the circuit. After a decade of working his butt off, Joe Racer won a big race against a lot of factory shoes out west, got noticed, and it’s been writing on the wall ever since. Joe Racer keeps working his butt off, and has become arguably one of the top 10 racers in America from pure blood, sweat, and tears, as he certainly didn’t get there the easy way.
So it was a zillion degrees at the track this weekend, but I could tell our normally fair tempered Joe Racer was about to lose it on Goober- like sticking a hot soldering iron through his eye into his skull kinda p*ssed off. Seeing as how I was being paid to keep Joe Racer out of jail and on the track, I came up with an idea. I told Goober that instead of begging for parts, that I’d fire Joe Racer on the spot, and give Goober double what Joe was making if he only did one simple thing for me. That simple thing being to beat Joe Racer on the track. Goober looked at me like I was insane, but it was a legit offer from me. After all, that’s what Joe had to do to get his factory ride, must have been easy right?
As Joe Racer and I were flying home tonight, he asked me, “You weren’t serious with the freebie guy were you?”. My response was, “Thank Goodness you won today or he’d be sitting in your seat right now. By the way, you gonna eat those peanuts? You got’em for free and I want’em.”. Joe replied, “Seriously? Here we go again… arrgghhhhh.”.
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