It was just one year ago that I teamed up with Travis Okulski to win American Endurance Racing’s debut event at New Jersey Motorsports Park. But in that short year, quite a bit has changed. Back then, we were like Rocky in the first Rocky movie: scrappy underdogs fighting through pain and poverty, running up a long set of stairs, followed by hundreds of fans.
Well, okay, Travis drove a new Aston Martin to the race and I was wearing an Omega DeVille Hour Vision. You get the idea, though. We sweated together through blood and rain and fatigue to reach the top of the podium together. No longer. In 2015, Travis is more like Rocky in the beginning of Rocky III. Driving Lamborghinis around. Getting promotions at work. Sitting around his palatial loft and letting an army of fawning sycophants lick melted dark chocolate off his toes. Crashing race cars because he was too busy checking out his Instagram on-track.
He’s even renamed the AER winner’s trophy the Jalopnik Cup Of Excellence! There’s no limit to his fame or his ego. But as Carlito Brigante used to say, the street is watching. And now, he’s going to pay.
I’m driving a rented Prius from rural Ohio all the way to New Jersey Motorsports Park with just one goal: to kick Travis’s ass around the “Lightning” track until it’s bloody. I’m going to teach him that you can’t just rename trophies after yourself without consequences. And I’m doing it straight Midwest hick style, yo.
While Travis prepared his poncy mega-buck BMW and discussed team strategy with his European-born teammates, probably over a Frappuccino, my group of Ohio rednecks was busy dropping a rebuilt 3800 V6 into a 1990 Mazda RX-7. That’s right: the greatest LeSabre motor of all time, in the second-greatest car that ever looked like a Porsche 944 from a distance. (The first-greatest? The 968. Duh.) What are we towing it with? A beat-up Ram Cummins. Where are we staying for the weekend? The fuckin’ parking lot. Who’s on our team? A guy who got expelled from high school for doing the Karate Kid kick to the chin of a differently-abled classmate, a guy who drank an entire bottle of Captain Morgan and puked out the door of Robert Cray’s tour bus, and a sheetmetal worker. Just three drivers for eighteen hours.
I want to invite all Jalopnik readers to come out this Saturday and watch Travis get stomped to the curb while I hoist the Jalopnik Cup Of Excellence over my head and then rub it suggestively against my nut sack as a solid two middle fingers to Travis, Travis’ family, Jalopnik, every one of you forever-alones on “Oppo”, and every person who has ever commented favorably on a Doug DeMuro “humor piece”. I’ll show all of you that there is no substitute for the power of pure, burning hatred.
Plus, there will be stickers.
And if you show up on Friday before noon, I’m giving rides around the track in the Prius.
That is all.