It should always be remembered that the trucks you see on mudbog day were put together with a great deal of expense and time and care. They all want to win.
Some will drive a great distance to Gumboro.....hours. For those of 187 East Peformance it is a 1 1/2 hour drive. Most of us stop for breakfast in the morning and dinner in the evenings before venturing home. It is not an expense free day.
Without these trucks and without these fearless drivers Gumboro would NOT be what it has become. Each and every truck that enters the pit has paid their fair share, just like everyone else, to participate. And it is always a sigh of relief for me knowing that we arrived safely and the rest of the 187 East Peformance would arrive shortly.
Saturday after the mishap of Orange Crush the spectators witnessed another hair raising moment with Sod Buster.
Flips and roll overs and fires may be excitement for the crowd but I can assure you that it most definitely is NOT for those in the pits! The family is there too....not to forget the extended family of the 187 East Performance.
This incident is unsettling with me. I did not like what I saw in the few seconds after this truck caught fire.
Here's the video followed by some photos.
The first one to arrive to the side of the truck was this driver's son! Within seconds other drivers had jumped the fence INCLUDING the driver's WIFE, daughter and daughter's boyfriend followed by my husband and even more.
Then appearing on the scene even seconds later was the staff arriving in their golf cart looking like the Keystone Kops! That's right. I said Keystone Kops! They do a remarkable job measuring distances driven by the trucks in the pit but when it comes to an emergency situation they stink!
Everyone was screaming to remove the driver. Others were screaming for fire extinquishers. They yelled and yelled while this driver's family and friends scrambled to unhook the extinguishers they had................The "staff" had come unprepared! No one on that cart had a fire extinguisher in hand!
And at the same time all of this was happening the daughter of the driver was running towards the pits screaming for a screw driver. I can't imagine that cart not even being equiped with a few tools..... common sense should tell them that a screwdriver and hammer could always come in handy.
And the other racers and racers families even helped clean up. All that was left to be done was to tow the Sod Buster. The driver was not hurt..........but as in any mishap HE COULD HAVE BEEN!
What is it going to take before an ambulance is present at these races? What's it going to take before fire extinguishers are placed ALONG THE FENCE NEAR THE PITS so your summer tanned pretty boys can fight a flame or a flicker in a truck if they know how to!?
Each and every driver is required to have an extinguisher on board his or her truck. THEY can't always get to it in an emergency situation and neither can the first person to the scene.
This isn't the first time this has occured. We witnessed a similar situation on August 28th.
These drivers spend alot money for and on Gumboro. Not because they have to........they want to. They love the sport. Each mudbog these men and women put on one heck of a show for the spectators in hopes that the crowd will spread the word and return the next time and time after that.
So, in appreciation for what these men and women do and for the revenue THEY bring to the Gumboro Mudbog organization don't they deserve to have that extra reassurance? Surely, by now they have made enough money for the Gumboro Mudbog to affored it.
They deserve it and it should NOT be put upon the people in the pits to take care of these situations...........even though they will and with a reaction time so much faster.
Let's not wait for a true horrible disaster to happen...........it can. By then it will be too late.
A little bit of money spent for SAFETY purposes will go a long way.