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Fighting the Mental Side | Putting the Crash Behind Me!!!

April 23, 2019

I have round 2 of the East Coast Pirelli GT4 Americas Championship coming up this next week and I have 2 clear thoughts running through my head.  One says, "Your good, last time was a fluke and you've got this- you're prepared, have a great car, a great teammate and you'll be fast right out of the box."  The other version keeps working its way into my head.  It says, "Last time you were here, you hit the wall going backwards at about 130mph and totaled a Porsche Cayman."  It was at no fault of my own, but happened none-the-less.  Maybe thats what makes it worse and won't let it escape my head.  I didn't have control of the situation and it was just something that happened to me.  I think I'll count this post as my medium to dispose of it and by the time I'm done sharing, it will officially be done and behind me!

 

What could have changed the situation and how can I move forward without it taking my attention from where it needs to be are the other thoughts running through my mind.  And I wasn't even hurt- just the car.  How do the guys that sustain a major injury bounce back the way they do?  We just do I guess...  There is so much passion behind our dreams to drive these cars in competition that we just create ways to have a short memory, have a stopping point from the "something bad" and move on.

 

Of course superstitions help right???  No, us racing drivers aren't superstitious...  It's totally normal to avoid stepping on cracks, and you obviously would never walk under a ladder!  Is there really another way to put on your shoes and socks other than left sock first (always and no matter what), and then onto the right sock, left shoe, right shoe?  Call it whatever you want- either way its a habit and maybe even a set of beliefs that give some of us confidence and the ability not only to put things behind, but to race forward at 110%

 

Finding a little humor in it all and taking some of the seriousness out of it helps a bit too as you may see or pick up in the above post-crash walk around video.  The real rub in this particular wreck was exactly where and what I hit.  The speed and angle were such that it bent the chassis just behind the driver door resulting in nearly a total loss.  The good news though, was that I didn't suffer even as much as a bruise.  This really says a lot about the Porsche product and the ultimate transfer of safety and technology that goes straight from the race track and into the showroom.

 

Putting the superstition and joking aside, what really gives us the most comfort in racing and our daily lives is our belief and trust that we put in God.  We ask for a lot and we pray sometimes as a group, sometimes just Brooke and I, or when I'm on my own it's a solo prayer before each race.  We have a strong belief that God puts you exactly where you are suppose to be, every moment of every day.  It's hard to explain sometimes, but we trust that everything happens for a reason.  Doors are opened and doors are closed according to a plan that we don't get to see until its unfolding right in front of us.

 

I'm ready for Virginia and can't wait to get that first lap on practice day under my belt.  We have a strong car, amazing team and a great driver pairing so I'm going in with confidence and as I said in the close of paragraph one...  The crash is done and is now left behind.  It's time to go racing with our eye on the podium and spraying Champagne once again!

 

-Derek

 

Oh, and just in case it really does matter...  I'd highly recommend ALWAYS putting your left sock on first, then the right, then the left shoe and so on.  Just in case :)