By Bill Foland
Mountain View, CA. 11/19/02 ...It has been a while since I have written my last column, I have to apologize for not writing more, and it is just that I have a hard time finding the time to write about the races if I wasn't going to the races. This column will be dedicated to the many friends, near and far that I have accumulated over the past several years at the races. Even if I don't mention you by name, I remember each and every one of you that I have been lucky enough to meet and become friends with. Even though most of this has nothing to do with racing, I hope you enjoy what I am about to write.
... Race people are the best people in the world, they can change their emotions at a moments notice, then change back again so fast it will make your head spin. Having people around you at the races that you consider your friends can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing sometimes. If you are racing against your friends it can be tough because there is going to be times when you get together on the racetrack. That can surely strain a friendship, but usually you can get over it. If you cannot separate your friends from the people that are only your friends when they want to be, that is when you get into danger.
I have been blessed with so many nice people that I have met through racing that I wish I could keep in touch with all of them, but I can't. It is just the way life is, you are here, they are there and sometimes you just have to deal with it. I have a few friends from Pennsylvania, Iowa, Washington, Oregon, Arkansas, Kansas, Arizona and too many other states to name. But I think about those people often because those are the people that I wish I could see more or talk to more or just e-mail every now and then. I graduated from high school in 1985 and I have lost touch with all the friends that I had in high school. I replaced the friends that I went to school with, with new friends that I met when I started going to the races every week starting the year after.
I think that most people have a best friend and I have been lucky enough to have one for many years. A best friend to me is someone that either you see every day, someone you can talk to about different things, lean on when you are down and let them help you when you need it. This friend of mine has been there through thick and thin, the good times and the bad. We played baseball together growing up, we both had father's that were racecar drivers and we both like the photography part of racing. Now we go to the races at the same time but have different duties when it comes to the races. We both enjoy what we do and I am sure wouldn't change it for anything. Thanks Steve-O.
I also need to thank a friend that I have know for many years, someone that has given me the opportunity and the forum to write whatever, whenever I want. This friend I have known since I was a teenager and we met at the races and we enjoyed much of the same things besides racing with Basketball being one of them. His dad is an announcer for the Sacramento Kings and I got a chance to see some great games, go behind the scenes not only at the Basketball games but also as a spotter at the Chili Bowl a couple of years ago. But I think the biggest honor was being chosen to be in his wedding. We sure had a lot of fun during that time (Maybe too much at times) but I will always have a debt of gratitude to repay to you my friend, Bob Starr.
I was also able to meet a special friend of mine at the races. I knew of this person for many years, but it was just over the past couple of years that we have become close. I wish that I had gotten to know her sooner, but we have made up for it over the past few months. I used to see her at the races but I didn't talk to her because I never knew what to say to her. I was always going one way and she was going the other. Finally after many years of passing by at the races, we talked at The Gold Cup last year. From there she turned into my very good friend and confidant and even though we don't see each other every day, not a day goes by that she isn't in my thoughts. Every time I hear a J Lo song or Avril Levign or John Mayer, they all have different meanings but they all lead back to the same person. Thanks for being there for me, thanks for all the time and effort you have taken for me. But most of all thank you Kimberly for being my #1 fan. You also have a fan for life here as I think you are an extraordinary human being as you will always be a special friend to me. For that I will never forget you and hopefully I will make you proud when you watch me race on Thanksgiving at Irwindale.
I have so many other people to thank or just wish the best to, that I cannot list everybody. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the entire Kaeding family and everybody at Kaeding Performance for taking me in and giving me a job and an opportunity to better myself. Without them I don't know where I would have ended up. I also have to thank my parents and brother for giving me an opportunity to achieve my dream of driving a racecar. My dad was a very talented driver in his day and my brother won his share of races too.
Also thanks to Darren & Jim Powers, Dick & April Barshow, Brian Matherly, Brian Sperry, Tony Mace, Matt Britt, Lee Bandettini, Shinichi Hirano, Jonathan Foster, Don & Linda O'Keefe, Brian DeRuyter and Cliff Blackwell for helping me over the past couple of years with my racecar. You guys are the reason that I am able to go out and have fun driving that car. I just hope that someday I can live up to the expectations that I have put on myself and achieve something in racing that I can be proud of.
I will be in action at Turkey Night in Irwindale, then on to Las Vegas for my first race at the Bullring. I have raced at Irwindale twice and neither time was any fun, including a ride to the hospital once. This year I am looking forward to going there with our new racecar and see if I can better my performance from last year. With any luck, we will be on to Las Vegas where lady luck can rear its ugly head or smile on you.
I would like to hear from any of my old or new friends that read this and feel free to send me an e-mail and maybe we can keep in touch better from here on out. If you are at Irwindale or Las Vegas, please feel free to come by and say hi, I enjoy seeing people that I haven't seen in a while and I also enjoy meeting new people that enjoy what I write on the Internet. I will be driving the red and blue #78 Beast Sprint Car, so I hope to see you all or hear from you soon… BF
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