"You've got to roll with the punches and get to what's real!"
Van Halen's Jump, 1983
The truth is always stranger than fiction.
We had a easy, incident free run from Summit Point WV down through beautiful North Carolina. We had some decent results and the whole week of fun ahead... We got to the hotel just a couple miles from the track just a tick before 9:00pm.
We thought we had a big problem before we arrived... Man if we only knew!
Our "so called problem" was that we couldn't buy a six pack in South Carolina on a Sunday night. We had actually been directed to go to an unlit wrong side of the tracks speakeasy to acquire some, but when we drove by it did not appear that we we be the "appropriate demographic" to shop there. We kept going.
So, we were actually a fair bit ahead of schedule while others stopped elsewhere for proper dinners near Charlotte. We squeaked our way into Kershaw SC and pulled into the "Executive Inn" under the registration car port. All 3 of us exited the car and went in to the office. Unfortunately, none of us knew the last driver did not completely engage the parking brake and the car was not in gear.
It was 2-3 minutes of standing around while another guy was fussing over a missing reservation with the desk clerk. It was a normal wasted moment where you are just waiting for your turn... We heard a really sickening thud and when I looked our the door, THE CAR WAS NOT THERE.
It rolled with a partially engaged parking brake down a pretty steep hill in the lot, crashing into a parked Honda Goldwing, past the tipped over bike and into the motel wall! Thankfully, nobody was outside and no people were injured. Unbelievably, it missed another competitor's car and two pickup trucks, all of which would have been insanely worse. The gentleman who owned the bike was as gracious as anyone could possibly be in the situation. He and his friend made a special trip to COME SEE One Lap at Kershaw.
I have almost never felt so sick with confusion and awe. The Kershaw Police handled the paperwork with dignity and respect. The motel owner literally said this was "the best thing" that had happened there recently. Mr. Bike owner (not naming to protect his privacy) must still be in shock. My insurance company was not alarmed... I guess they usually hear worse.
To keep it in perspective, this is an freak accident with no human casualties, and some repairable stuff is bent up, but I can still barely believe it. The "last driver" is one of the best friends I have ever had and we will simply move on from this.
Apologies to all of our friends, family, sponsors and supporters for the very disappointing news. After some additional repairs in SC, The car will make it home, but it is not safe to continue in competition this year.