This weekend I had the awesome opportunity to be in the pits for the Iowa Speedway race in Newton, Iowa. A friend and I were guests of the #52 Donate Life car driven by Joey Gase. Having been in the pits for 2 races now I just don’t know how I will be able to watch a race from the stands.
This time was much calmer than the first time because we knew what to expect. We knew where to get our credentials…we knew we needed ear plugs so we got them right away and we also figured out at the end of the last race that you can stay away from the kybos because the garage has real bathrooms. Another important difference in the races is that this one was a night race. This meant I would not be a lobster at the end of the race from a sunburn. 🙂 This was the third race that Jay’s picture went around the track on Joey’s car. The May race at Iowa Speedway and two weekends ago at Indianapolis and then this past weekend at Iowa Speedway again. I will continue to put his picture on the car. Why? I ask why not? It helps an amazing driver continue to advocate for something bigger than anyone or anything and that is helping others. Not just by enhancing their lives but in many cases SAVING their lives. And the best part is that Joey puts the donors on the car for an even more important reason. To show the world that donors are gone but NEVER forgotten.
That being said it doesn’t necessarily make it easy for me to put his picture on the car. On Saturday night when I got home I was exhausted. Yes it was a long day going there and having a good time but it takes a certain amount of energy out of me to do what I do there. I work through the toughness of my journey but I also heal. It will be something I have to work through the rest of my life and as long as I see it like that, the exhaustion doesn’t take over in a bad way. Instead I walk away exhausted but somewhat put back together and that makes it OK.
The one moment that stood out to me is one that I cannot explain my feelings but just the moment. At the end of the race we went out to Joey and the car. We all congratulated him and being a little less in pain (from my sunburn in May) and taking in the moment I actually was able to get a picture with Joey. That moment in itself was very cool but that isn’t the moment that stood out. It was when Joey looked at me and said…”Should we get a picture with Jay?” He meant his picture obviously. And so we got a picture together with the picture on his car. It was in this moment I am certain that this cause is amazing. That this driver really gets it. I support an amazing person in his journey. I support car number 52.