The Pits

Dear Pat,

Boy it was quite a race today! A rare treat, I was able to watch the whole thing from green to checkers – including the million full-course yellows. I had the team radio running for part of the time, but missed the part I wished I’d been there to hear. There was speculation that Risi “tricked” you guys by putting four tires over the wall to make the Lizards think they were changing four tires on No. 62, when in fact, hahaha, no tire change for the Ferrari.

The view of No. 45 from my den.

The view of No. 45 from my den.

So if you guys knew that, Pat, then this quote in the Lizards press release was a nice dig at them! “Patrick Long added, ‘We achieved our objectives today and extended our championship lead. Our Chief Strategist Thomas Blam made a great strategy call for new tires on the last yellow that helped me get by the No. 62 for position and extend our lead.'” I am usually way off about these things from my relatively limited perspective. And I’ll probably never know! But one thing was really clear – with all the cautions, pit strategy was a moving target, and your team was really on top of it. So impressive, a well-oiled machine!

During the SpeedTV coverage, they did a nice spot on the Flying Lizards, showing the complexity of travel and setup from track to track, the huge haulers required to move everything, and the logistical challenges of setting up your entire shops and pit support areas at the track. So much goes on behind what we see on TV. Pretty incredible! I am really impressed with your information tech folks, too. I love that there is such deep coverage, with the website, blog, team radio, text and Twitter updates.

It takes lots of smart people working smart to pull all this off. And I thank them all! And you and Jorg, of course, for your incredible performance at the wheel of the No. 45, and Seth Neiman and Darren Law piloting the #44 – really super exciting today. In the last few laps, I heard you on the radio, I can’t remember what the question was but I think you were asking something about placement of other cars and the number of laps left. Whoever was on the radio with you said something kind of placating or misdirecting – to which you responded, “Can I have an answer to my question please???” I think they were afraid you were going to go all Space Cowboy on them out there in the last lap, and if I remember correctly, after giving the answer, the speaker said, “DO NOT RISK THE CAR, DON’T RISK ANYTHING!” I imagine that was much easier said than done after that Corvette gave you the heave-ho in the last few laps. Anyway, awesome race, very exciting. Tough to miss you guys on the podium, but apparently it was BMW’s turn today.

Last time I mentioned a party I was preparing for, and it went off really well. All the scratch cooking I did was truly appreciated, the best indication of this, the table full of empty serving platters by night’s end. Well that, and the fact that people were here from 6pm until after midnight, an apparently rare happening for this bunch. It was great fun, and truly heartwarming to share my new home, and to feed my dear friends and coworkers from my new kitchen. I crashed Saturday, and blew off autocross on Sunday to go to church and catch up with myself at home. Still hiding out from the heat.

But I did sign up for what may be my next event, a 1-day PDX at Little Talledega on October 10. With any luck, I’ll get another day or weekend at Barber before the year is out. Oh, and I am trying to figure out the logistics so that I can drive a weekend DE at Roebling Road outside Savannah in mid-November. That’s a seven-hour drive from here, and I just can’t see making that drive in my race car, then punishing it on track for the weekend, then asking it to bring me seven hours back home. So I am looking at two alternatives: 1) finding somebody nearby who’s taking a hauler out there, who has room for my car, or 2) renting a trailer to hitch to the pick-up we can borrow from my father-in-law and hauling my own car out there. Option 1 is preferred, since I know nothing from trailers! But perhaps it’s time I learned. None of this is free, so that will be a factor as well. We’ll see what I can work out.

OK well enough of my babbling. Time to wind down and get some rest – another busy work week ahead for me.

Congrats on a great finish ahead of #62 today, enhancing your championship points lead. Next up, Mosport!

xoxo from your biggest Bama fan,


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