Having been so very fortunate and to be able to look back at so many awesome adventures and experiences in my lifetime it can often be overwhelming. But one of the very best adventures of all was competing in La Carerra Panamericana. Most of us know why and it is so much more than just another race. It's a tradition, it's exciting, it's all about becoming part of a legendary race, one of the most recognized in the world, it's about making some of the most unforgettable friends in your lifetime and if nothing else, it's an honor just having been involved. Combine this with the facts that I got to do it with one of best friends and teammate Jon Emerson and not to mention we finished so well especially considering it was our first time in LCP and it makes it all the more rewarding.
As exciting as all of the above was and still is, all that aside, one of the very best parts of the entire journey was being able to do it with my son Will. From the time Will was a very little boy he was driving/racing something. We have more battle scared walls, furniture, ankles and yes even a few cars, than most people will ever encounter. The point is, it truly has been a special journey of it's own having a son like him to watch grow up let alone remembering all the smiles he has put on our faces and memories I am sure to take to the grave with me.
Not only was Will an intricate part of Team California's Best which was an asset in helping us obtain such a great finish and helping us find our place in the history books but he was so much more. He was my best friend, my confidant, traveling companion for such a long and arduous trip, but best of all WE did the La Carrera Panamericana as father and son. Only a father and son, especially one who has raced as many years as we have, can completely understand the merits, satisfaction, self esteem, and rewards of such an adventure.
While in Mexico I saw a side of my son I had not seen before. He never ceases to amaze me. He spoke Spanish like an old pro which was something I didn't know he could do. For the first time in our lives he was the one playing the roll of being the supporter saying things like, "Now just don't worry about it. Go to your room and get some rest and I'll fix it for you. You just focus on the things you're supposed to." We raced together, we drank together, we laughed together and we even chased a few gals together. Unfortunately for the latter he always got to them ahead of me.
Knowing how exciting all this was for me and other father and son teams before us, I began thinking about my good friend Carson Scheller and a similar journey he is about to embark upon with his beautiful daughter Lauren. That's right... Father and Daugther team. How cool is THAT! It's one thing to take part in a race like this as a husband and wife team and like I already made clear, doing it with your son is something else but when I heard Carson's daughter was Co Piloto for him this year I damn near fell off the stool I was sitting on at the time. To be honest with you, since I have an amazingly beautiful daughter too and one that drives as crazy as Will, (well almost) and having a perfectly good understanding as to all that goes on in LCP, I just can't fathom what must be going on in Carson's mind. Sweet Jesus!
Lauren is the one without the mustache.
What I do know is that Carson and his wife have done a simply amazing job raising what is an amazingly beautiful, extremely smart, multi-talented and wonderfully charming young lady. I have no doubt Lauren will be an awesome co-piloto. I am also sure Carson's car will be surrounded by more autograph seekers and photographers than any other car along the way and justifiably so. If Carson ask me to be a body guard... I'm there.
Unlike most young lassies, pressure of competition is something Lauren is not unfamiliar with not to mention horsepower.
Will Carson's daughter be able to deal with all the craziness during La Carrera Panamericana. Check out this photo and you tell me.
Carson and Lauren's upcoming LCP adventure without a doubt will be one of my top priorities to stayed tuned to and I hope to be able to keep everyone up to date along that journey. I can just hear it all now, "Ok Dad... Right 4..... Left 2.... Long straight.... Flat over crest.... Right Zero... HEY LOOK AT THAT DONKEY OVER THERE!" SCREEEEEEEAAAAACCCCHHHHHHHHHH. LOL! Just kidding. What I would give to be a fly on the wall in that car.
The Scheller Family.
I wonder what the odds are that Will and Lauren could do the LCP as Piloto and Co-Piloto. I can dream can't I.