If you live along the coasts, in a large metro area, or you are just getting started, you understand what it means to be racing homeless. Most of us start out not with silver spoons in our mouth, but rather saving money for tools and building up our sets piece by piece. We slave away in a friends garage who's dad has the tools to help us get started, or we are left carrying in our tools and parts into a tiny 600 sq ft apartment, and working on them in the street, a parking lot, or a driveway. Shops, lifts, they are dreams for people like us.
When I set out to get started in Rally America, I had a garage, a nice house, and was well-to-do. But I had no tools. I relied on my friends to provide me with the tools I needed to get the job done as I collected them. I traveled 8 hours away to Oklahoma and worked in a friend of a friend's shop who did SCCA road racing fixing bigger items (engine drop-ins, engine builds, etc). My friends were there for me. Then, when I divorced, and lost some of that support structure, I relied on my parents to provide me a small pad in one of the farm buildings. I drove 1.5 hours each way after work at night to work on the car, but it was warm and we could get it done in time for sno*drift in 2012. Then, in the summer, I relied on a my crew chief renting an extra garage at his apartment complex and allowing me to work in it, rebuilding the entire setup for tarmac at elevation vs rally conditions while addressing problems that creep up after a couple rallies.
I moved the tools/parts I started to gradually aquire from place to place to place, each time the loads getting bigger and bigger till finally I had to aquire a trailer to haul all of my tires, tools, parts, and car from event to event (previously I had borrowed a trailer from friends as well as a truck). But when I went to the northeast, alone, because my job was relocating me, I was homeless. No longer did I have that support structure I had built to help me scrape by, and I didn't have a garage to work in. That's when a shop by the name of Kinetic Motor Works of Hampstead, NH stepped in.
The guys at Kinetic (Mike, Eric, Keith) welcomed me with open arms, and provided me a place and fresh support. We put together a good partnership. They helped me with fabrication, provided me additional hands when I needed it for installs, and a place for my trailer/parts. And when I had to move again, this time from Vermont to New Hampshire in the last month, they continued to provide a home for my racing parts.
So now, when I run over to work on a car at Kinetic, its like going home. And they became my new family. Its people like these that make racing possible, and every racer that has started from nothing and worked their way up, has experienced something similar and has their own set of family to thank.
So thank you to my racing family, and thank you to Kinetic for providing me with a racing home for the time that I am here. Without you guys, I wouldn't be able to race at all. Because a racer without a garage, is homeless.