Tuesday, November 11, 2008

El Famoso

The following post was written by Bill Beilharz and while it is a worthwhile read one thing I enjoy about it is how one gentlemen racer (Bill) takes the time to remember his racing roots and others who where influential in his past. This is but one of the key ingredients to being a true gentleman but a very important one.

While we were in San Luis Potosi, an old friend came up to reintroduce himself. In 2000, Gerardo Castaneda was working at Mysla Ford in Tehuacan. Our tow vehicle had broke down there and Gerardo was one of the mechanics who helped to fix it. It was great to see him again and see how he has progressed in life. He is now married and had a great job as a Fleet Manger in San Luis. He introduced me to his beautiful wife and young son. We hung out for a while and I was feeling like pretty hot stuff, leading the race and having people, like Gerardo, wanting to be around me. Then he told me that, while it was really good to see me again, what he would really like is for me to introduce him to the famous Rusty Ward and possibly arrange for a picture of his son with Rusty. With some renewed sense of humility, I was happy to help him out.

Rusty is probably the most "famous" of the drivers in this race. I first met Rusty in 1994. He crewed for my brother, David, and I, during our first La Carrera. He then fell in love with this adventure, built a car and has been back to compete almost every year since. Back then we started calling him "Superman". He would work on the car till 11 PM and then go out partying, reappear the next morning just in time to leave for the next town - only do the same thing again that day. I don't know that I ever saw him sleeping. With his long, curly blonde hair he was a BIG hit with the ladies. Now that he's married with children he's slowed down a little but he still lives life to it's fullest.

For anyone who has missed his 2006 crash, here it is again:

I was crewing for him that year and, believe it or not, after we pried the sheet metal off of the tires, he was able to drive it out of the water.

I'm thinking of painting some sharks teeth on my car. Maybe I can steal some of his mojo.

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