Tracey knew better than to get anywhere near a bunch of testosterone fuelled men hell bent on hurting each other. I wasn’t something that happened often in the pits of a race meeting but it happened. Drivers got hot under the collar and took it upon themselves to vent anyway they could, no one made excuses for such behaviour but it happened more than the cameras ever picked up.
She was glad Danny hadn’t risen to Fittzy’s attack, at least from where she stood that’s what she thought had happened, but given past experiences with two such hot headed rivals she would not have been surprised if things had been different. Overall she was just glad Danny did not appear to be injured.
As Fittzy was being led away by three security guards the crowd dispersed. Several of Danny’s crew stood near to him, whether they were waiting for Danny to make a move or standing beside him to prevent one Tracey couldn’t tell, and certainly wouldn’t bet on given the things she’d see happen in the pits before.
“Alright everyone, back to your jobs.” Dave ordered in a voice that was both loud and forceful. When the crowd didn’t immediately move he added. “Go on, you lot have all got jobs to do,” he was looking at his own team, “and the rest of you fuck off and mind your own business.”
Dave’s reputation in the pits was well known and while he never sorted out his aggression with his fists like some drivers might, those who’d crossed his path before knew that his words were not ones to ignore. The crowd began to disperse, heading in all directions back to wherever it was they came before hearing the melee.
Danny also began walking away, towards the trailer where Tracey stood and by the time he’d stepped up next to Tracey Dave had caught up with him.
“Thank you Danny.” Dave said.
“Huh? What for?” Danny replied half heartedly.
“For not allowing things to escalate. The last thing we need is another thing to make the stewards stand up and take notice.”
“Ah, yeah. Ok. Fair enough. He’s not worth it.”
Dave might have been happy to hear such a comment but to Tracey it was something she’d been waiting to hear for a long time, Danny happy he walked away from a situation rather than arguing or fighting his way out of it.
“I mean it Danny. After what Fittzy did on the track the media hell hounds are looking for the smallest sniff of blood to feast off. If that bullshit wasn’t just caught on camera I’ll be surprised but the fact you didn’t retaliate and that it was all Fittzy may just go in our favour down the track somewhere with the stewards.”
Danny knew what Dave meant. Whether there was a penalty enforced for the driving incident on the track having the camera pick up only Fittzy making a scene, and not only that but instigating the whole thing, could work in the team’s favour.
Over his years at the top of the heap Fittzy had been reprimanded for his behaviour on and off the track more times than Danny had. He’d been suspended twice in his fifteen year career and he’d been fined on average twice every year since he’d started racing at the top level. With a record like he had Fittzy was not only at risk of loosing his place in the team the second he started to preform inconsistently he was also looked upon by the stewards and judiciary harsher when he misbehaved. He was the equivalent of the school bully, looked upon by the teachers as the instigator of all trouble when he was involved, too often there was reasonable cause for such thought.
“No worries Dave.” Danny started. “As much as he took me by surprise I guess I wasn’t overly surprised by what he did. The guy is a hot head,” the irony of using the same term he himself had been called more than a few times not lost on him, “he’s just not worth it.”
Tracey took more from Danny’s words than Dave did but the team manager was still happy with what he was hearing.
“I’m glad to hear it Danny,” Dave replied. “As I’ve said a thousand times, let Fittzy blow it out his own arse and you prove you are better on the track not in a fight!”
“The way Fittzy is going we wont have a bloody car to beat him on the track with.” Danny said a hint of grumpiness.
“I’m going up to talk to Race Control about that now.” Dave said. “Your safety, or anyone else the prick take offence with, is obviously a concern but his bullshit is costing us money and it has to stop.”
“You think it will make any difference?” Danny asked.
Dave went on to explain that his intention was to bring the issue up with Race Control and if they refused to listen, refused to reprimand their poster boy for the sport, refused to stop such deliberate behaviour because of some misguided idea that the controversy was making the sport a conversation piece, there would be legal ramifications. Whether the threat would work, time would tell, but it was easily seen that Dave was serious and when he parted their company both Danny and Tracey were glad they wouldn’t be facing his wrath when the issues came up at Race Control.
“I’m really proud of you too Danny,” Tracey said, but Danny wasn’t really paying attention, he was still thinking about what Dave had said.
“Huh? What?” Danny said as his trance like state was broken and he stepped up to the trailer.
“I’m really proud of how you handled yourself back there.” Tracey repeated, she then put her arm around him and they walked inside the transporter together.
Previous Racing story here.