“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
This quote is what got me through the toughest time in my professional racing career. I received an unmarked envelope from Norm Grimes, my competitor’s crew chief, with this quote printed on a plain piece of paper. I have been a colleague of Norm’s for many years, and although we have never been on the same team, we still maintain a friendship at the track. The fact that my competitor was trying to cheer me up as I didn’t qualify for my final two races of my freshman year (Noble and Dallas 2016) really touched my heart and became a strong memory I will never forget.
Two years later, Norm and I have had our battles on the track, but I respect him and his team. He was not at the track this year when I didn’t qualify for the Gainesville regional race on March 9th, otherwise, I may have thought of his inspirational letter sooner. My team is the best and I know we gave it our all, but for some reason, it just was not our day. It didn’t hit me until after I made my second qualifying pass (our third session got taken away – one that I needed very much) and my crew guys came to pick me up from the top end. I thought that we for sure qualified – we always qualify – but then I asked Adrian, my crew chief, if we made it. He said no, and I went straight to my motorhome to cry and question why we didn’t. I didn’t understand what we were doing wrong – why did we keep having tire shake, with both cars, but my car just could not calm down enough to make a smooth pass?