Suddenly Danny’s weekend took a real turn, for him it was a good turn, for Fittzy it wasn’t so good. Not a single driver up and down pit lane liked driver suspensions or wanted to win a championship because of their rivals being suspended. However, at the same time there was very little sympathy for Fittzy not after being caught at two successive race meetings trying to run his main rival from the track.
As news filtered it’s way along pit lane to each team garage Fittzy’s suspension became the talk of the track. The only two pit garages where talk of the suspension wasn’t happening was the pits of the two teams directly involved.
In Fittzy’s garage he was bouncing off the walls, or more accurately bouncing things off the walls. Spanners, screw drivers, gear, gloves, nothing within his reach was safe as his temper, not unlike Danny’s temper once was, exploded. Whether it was something entwined in a race driver’s DNA or came about due to the way many of them were pampered, especially on race day, wasn’t a known fact but many race drivers had bad tempers. Some drivers had teams that knew how to control that, others didn’t. Fittzy’s team was one of the later.
In Danny’s garage it was the polar opposite, firstly because Danny was not in the garage but secondly because Danny had no real reason to be upset, the bad news had not fallen upon his shoulders. Danny’s team were busy fixing the damage that Fittzy’s driving had caused but none of them were interested in bringing up Fittzy, or his behaviour, it was all about the car and making sure it was ready to race in less than an hour.
While his crew were working hard Danny was in the transporter relaxing in front of the TV with Tracey by his side. Some race weekends the news seemed not to filter outside the track at all, while other weekends it filtered out as quick as it was made. Fittzy’s suspension was one of those news stories that ran quicker than the cars themselves did.
There was a knock at transporter door, it was a hard knock that echoed around the fibreglass walls. Danny flinched but didn’t get up, he didn’t know who was on the other side but as usual someone else could deal with it. Tracey also didn’t get up, she’d been around the tracks long enough to know that someone else was paid to do things so that the driver didn’t have to.
After a second knock they both heard Dave’s voice on the other side of the door tell someone, presumably a reporter of some kind, to get out of the pits and that Danny would not be coming out to talk to them. Seconds later there was another voice which neither Danny or Tracey recognised, then Dave threatening to call security and things outside went silent.
Danny looked at the large digital clock mounted above the TV screen the two of them were watching. He had about thirty five minutes before he needed to start getting himself suited up and prepared for racing. It hadn’t been the best relaxation period to ready himself for the race but at least it hadn’t been a complete disaster.
A fire fight broke out suddenly on the TV screen. Danny wasn’t entirely sure what it was that they’d been watching, an action movie of some sort, and it was because of that lack of attention that the firing guns surprised him as they did. The guns must have surprised Tracey a bit too because she flinched as the shooting started. It was at that moment Danny realised he and Tracey were actually sitting there hand in hand.
He didn’t actually remember feeling Tracey’s hand lay on top of his. He also didn’t remember her fingers gently entwining themselves with his own. But at the same time he wasn’t sure he wanted to move his hand and break that connection the two of them had either.
“Holy shit!” Danny said reacting to the TV.
“That about sums it up.” Tracey replied.
“I guess I wasn’t watching with as much attention as I could have been because I obviously didn’t see all that coming.”
Danny and Tracey stayed like that, hand in hand on the couch, until Danny needed to get up and get his racing suit on. Neither attempted to pull away and neither attempted to get closer they just sat there watching the TV, closer than they had been for a long time but still with a wall between them.
Putting on the race suit, which included the cool suit that could be plugged into the dry ice machine, and the fire proof underwear only took Danny about ten minutes. But like most things in life he liked to be prepared and for that reason he gave himself twenty minutes to get ready.
When Danny emerged from the changing area ready to head out in the pits Tracey stepped up to him and gave him a peck on the cheek, like times of old when. She then wished him good luck and watched him from behind as he walked out of the trailer only uttering the word thanks as he went.
Danny’s reaction, or lack there of, did not offend or upset Tracey, it actually pleased her because she knew that it was all part of his pre-race ritual. He was getting himself into his racing zone, readying himself to get in the car where he needed to clear his mind of everything but the car and the race.
Tracey had her own routine, even if she hadn’t used it since he end of the previous year’s season. Her routine was to sit in the transporter, usually alone, with a cup of coffee and wait for the race start. Watching the start from pit lane was exciting but watching on the TV screen meant seeing everything and she preferred the bigger picture. She’d watch the entire first lap and would not emerge from the transporter until that lap was over. After that she’d either watch from the pit garage, watch with the other wives and girl friends or go out into the crowds.
Previous Car Racing story here.