Today when very good friend of mine, Carson Shields wrote to tell me all about the race (As much as can be told in one sitting) and one of the points he mentioned was that even though he enjoyed the race he could not have been done by himself. Here is what he wrote... "I would like to mention my co-polito, Shields Richardson, and the great job he has done the last two years. As you know this race/rally is truly a team effort, my job as the piolto is to go fast as the conditions allow and don't hurt the car, the co-piloto is to calculate time and distance as to avoid penalties.
We couldn't have finished as well these last two years with out each of us doing our best, but I give most of the credit to Shields and the rest of the credit the Victoria the Ford,... what a gal....."
In reality I suppose the credit should reach even further since the overall effort of any La Carrera Panamericana team requires that lots of responsibility be delegated to many others who all too often stand quietly in the shadows of our adventure. They would be those countless families back at home who waited at home many evenings and weekends while we spent time working on "the beast". They would be those who had some sort of attachment whether it be the neighborhood kids who worship what it is we do and are heroes in their and their buddies eyes or it may be Bob down at the barber shop who has asked "Hey, how's the car coming along and when are you leaving?" for the last 10 months. They are the devoted crew who drudged along in all that bullshit traffic trying their damnedest to be at their assigned service stop in time to make all the right things happen and without them your race is over. They are the ones who hear no cheers, never get asked for their autograph, and receive no award or pat on the back. There are others, like sponsors, friends and more and in some way everyone of them helped make the car reach it's destination in history whether it be on the podium or the wrecking yard but know this... They are as much to blame for the journey as we are to sit behind the wheel and to each and every one of them we all take off our hats and say, "Thank you for making this all possible."
For all of these reasons and more, I find it to be very gracious and honorable that guys like Carson feel the way they do and are willing not only to share the victory but in fact to realize that those "others" are as important to the overall experience as an engine is to a car. Without them we might as well stay at home because if we can not share our victory with those we care about what good is it?
I would also like to apologize to those who I may have not mentioned in all the excitement when reporting various results throughout the last week. Please understand that many of the results I posted were not available to me until late in the night or into the wee hours of the morning. Knowing that many were sitting on the edge of their seats trying to get information I would write as fast as I could to get results posted and in the process I did not always get every one's name posted. My thinking at the time was, those who were routing for a certain team or car would surely know who the "others" where if as least they saw their car number or driver's name. In retrospect, I now realize that if I was reading these reports and never saw my name I might take exception to it and say, "Hey, what am I... chopped liver?" Rest assured, you're all heroes to me.