Anyway, it was the track's Salute to the First Responders night which brought out many local city and county EMS, Fire Units, Sheriff's deputies and city police along with D.A.R.E Program vehicles. Quite a display; we owe them so much for keeping us safe. We had a rather large crowd for the event, which was so appropriate in celebration of these men and women. The track raffled off many items including a 29 inch flat screen TV to those first responders with the lucky tickets. It was a great event.
We were blessed by some fantastic racing through the night, lots of nose to tail, side by side racing which really got the crowd excited. I am so lucky because I have the best seat in the house; the flag stand. Every race night I get the thrill of cars passing below me, the bellowing of the engines that really shake your insides. And so the night went, five racing events with the usual controversy in the fifth race which just added some spice to night. Everyone left the track fully satisfied except the ones involved with the controversy of the last race.
I hopped aboard my mighty steed (2008 Ford F-450 truck) to depart for home, hot, tired and very happy for the air conditioning. As I rolled out of the race track onto the highway I was glad to be headed home. I was starting to relax and cool off when there came a warning bell. I looked at the dash board to see the ominous message, "STOP NOW SAFELY" glaring at me. Then the truck started to slow down; I was losing power. I realized there was nowhere to pull off except a hardware parking lot a half mile away. My luck held out and I made the parking, lot but as soon as I applied the brakes to stop, so did the engine and no bit of coaxing from me would get it to even try to restart.
It's surprising the number of years of racing involvement that run through your head looking for answers to the sudden stop of the truck engine. When none seemed plausible, I naturally called Gail to give her the bad news at 11:15 pm. To say she was upset, and not happy at driving to Jacksonville at night to a place she had never been, would be an understatement. I really couldn't blame her, but like a trooper she got on the road.
As I sat there waiting, it suddenly occurred to me to call the guys at the race track, so I called Lavon, the track's competition director. He thought of his friend Billy Goines and said he would call him. Within 20 minutes, to my great relief, a rather massive roll back truck appeared. Billy, his friend Ed and I tried to diagnose the problem to no avail, so we loaded the truck on the roll back. Billy would take the truck to his house for the night and then to a Ford dealership on Sunday for a very reasonable fee and I would call them on Monday morning.
About this time we were loading the truck, I realized my phone was ringing. Gail was frantic not knowing where she is going. As it turned out she was less than a half mile from where I was and I talked her in to the parking lot. I received a good talking to, which I deserved, about not answering my phone and leaving her to fend for herself. During the loading of the truck, the noise kept me from hearing her three other calls. My phone ring has since been increased.
Monday morning came and I called the Ford dealership. They would get to it later today and let me know the bad news. About 2:00 pm I received a call saying they would have it repaired today. It turned out it was an exhaust sensor malfunction. Both Gail and I were so relieved it was nothing more serious. We had errands in Wilmington anyway so incorporated the truck pick up into our travels. The $300.00 plus hurt some but it could have been worse.
Still waiting for that peace and quiet of retirement though...Jack