SPEED NEWS March 2016

Speed News Magazine - The Official Magazine of the National Auto Sport Association

Issue link: http://mag.speednewsmag.com/i/647559

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Page 27 of 75

STORY AND PHOTOS BY ROB KRIDER L ots of racers balance their engines for optimum performance. But how many of them balance their personal relationships with their significant others for even mediocre performance? This month's Toolshed Engineer column will attempt to teach you how to keep racing in your life while keeping your favorite person in your life. Yes, racing is awesome. It is the most expensive, selfish and dangerous awesome thing you can do. It will drain your bank account. It will envelope all of your free time. It can destroy relationships. Finding a healthy balance between racing and marriage is difficult to accomplish. The first rule in having a successful marriage as a racecar driver is not getting married in the first place. If you've already broken the first rule and are currently being held back by a significant other as you chase your racing dreams, then you need to adjust your focus and attempt to be a reasonable, sharing and caring person. You need to be someone who is not just completely obsessed with getting that extra two horsepower out of an engine or finding that tenth of a second at the track. You need to be someone who is present in the relationship, especially when it's your significant other's birthday, or just any day when you should be listening, as opposed to surfing Craigslist for an extra set of lightweight wheels. If you can't find that important balance, then find a divorce attorney. And never let anyone know how much you paid for your tools – those are big assets. I've been racing since I was old enough to stand up to take a leak. I've been a complete lunatic and selfish, egotistical jerk about racing since the moment I earned my competition license, and I've been married to Mrs. Krider for nearly 20 years. How am I able to do it? It's easy. Mrs. Krider is a kind and selfless person. The real question is how is she able to do it? It isn't easy, and we almost didn't make it. After one particularly busy racing season when I raced in four different series, chased a season-long endurance championship, and decided I had to do a demolition derby at the state fair, my wife, whom I love, informed me that if I went to one more race she wouldn't be at the house when I got back. This was particularly bad news for me because I was one race away from clinching a championship. We found a way to work through our problems, and more importantly, I found a way to win that championship. My wife's announcement that she was leaving was a real wake-up call for me that we had serious problems, and they had nothing to do with the head gasket on my Honda. The first thing that had to BALANCING MARRIAGE AND RACING Mama Bear >> Happy wife, happy life — and happy crew at the racetrack. Mrs. Krider happily hands out a much-needed lunch to the pit crew. She is smiling because she made it in her new motorhome, as opposed to under a sweltering tent. T O O L S H E D E N G I N E E R be resolved was the schedule. I needed to prioritize my wife and family over the race team. These days my wife and I discuss a year in advance what events I would like to do, how many weekends I will be away, and how much travel is involved. The schedule is important to her for good reasons. Three years in a row I had to be at a race on Mother's Day. As fun as I think being at the racetrack is, most mothers 28

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