Damn! An audio capture became viral?
Even got the guy trending at one point and big racing names talking.
Racing story aside, we’re now hitting the toughest time of the year for me. However, I’m not going to let a typical time period of misery and disappointment bite me this time.
Sure my goals has continue to be slow and I’m not happy. However, compared to the last blog where I said it was my “worst stretch” since doing “List of Promises” in 2018, I was able to get stuff done.
Beginning Thursday, I’ll be starting my last two race weekends as I’ll head to both Texas and Phoenix. It’s been since June that I’ll be doing a NASCAR weekend, but the first doing two straight.
The last three IndyCar races with the first two being back-to-back was up and down beyond belief. Now going into those two NASCAR race, it’ll feel weird after the whole Todd Gilliland-Kyle Busch thing. More on that shortly but I pretty much broke the racing internet on Saturday, October 26th.
I’m still fired up on certain issues that really strained my 2020 plans and interests going forward, but I still have a few more months to sort everything out.
For now, here’s some updates as of October 29, 2019.
Promise No. 1 500 Miles (Complete)
This “tour” I’ve been calling it on Instagram began almost 10 months ago and I’m almost done in two weeks.
Quite the tour it has been and it’s not too early to think about 2020 because I’d love to give the Daytona 500 another go and hope for a complete 180 overall.
All I know my 2020 tour will start in either Daytona or at St. Petersburg, but after how the month of September went for me (good and bad), I honestly don’t know.
I enjoyed covering the last three IndyCar races and taking photos (got paid too), but I’m not really digging the vibe regarding how the higher ups view small writers like myself. Maybe I’ll express it, maybe I won’t.
The big goal is covering the Indianapolis 500 and it’ll still be my main plan. It just depends on many factors I can’t really discuss publicly right now but once a plan is set, I’ll share it.
Promise No. 2: Profiling with the Videoscope (Still Possible)
There’s some potential I may do a profile video. Just a matter of what the subject matter will be, but I’m a bit encouraged now of making one soon.
At the same time, my YouTube days will likely be over after 2019. I’m literally burnt out about making videos on this platform. I overstayed my welcome and the numbers show that nobody gives a shit about my work because I’m “not one of those guys.”
There’s this whole “NASCAR YouTube community” and if you’re in that group, you’re off to the races. Guys like me, who began in 2008, had some buzz in late 2017 and early 2018, but completely flamed out since.
I don’t care anymore and more willing to pour my efforts into something I’m genuinely happy and get away from the cesspool .
Hopefully, for the last blog of 2019, I got a video profile to share here and discuss about it because I still love making videos. Just not for my YouTube channel anymore.
Promise No. 3 Eastbound & Down (Complete)
When I was thinking about 2020, I came to the conclusion that the East Coast may be hard to go frequently because of costs and finding a nonstop flight.
That’s the main reason why I’m not doing the last three straight NASCAR races. Finding the proper finances to go to Homestead-Miami Speedway is obsolete.
Then there’s Charlotte, where I gave up a spot for the team. I still hope to someday go there but it may or may not happen anytime soon.
I’m really picky on which races I can do and outside of Daytona, Texas and Gateway, the rest are in the Western region. That’s just how things worked out for a guy like me living in the Pacific Northwest.
If I can be the West Coast guy when the races come in town and hopefully get that damn license soon, I can expand my craft and maybe try doing other racing disciplines.
At the same time, I’m not saying that next year I won’t hit the East.
I for one, would like to cover the IndyCar Series race at Richmond next June. If I focus on INDYCAR, then I may set that race as priority.
If not, then I refer back to Daytona as my East Coast race. Maybe at least one more, but that’ll boil down on my budget. Mortgage and other things that are essentials will dictate everything.
Promise No. 4: SoCal Vibes (Complete)
The 2020 INDYCAR calendar really altered my ideal plans of visiting Southern California as a vacation destination.
After Long Beach, I stayed in La Jolla for a week because it was an off-week for the sport. Now in 2020, that off-week is when the second race at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, TX.
Therefore, I either have my La Jolla stay the weekend before Long Beach or some other time period. Kind of sucks but hey, if I can do both Long Beach and COTA, fine by me.
F’N Valtteri Bottas, man! He got me thinking about 2020 and places I’d like to spend time at. Venice Beach is one of those venues that’s for damn sure.
Hell, seeing the MLS Playoff match-up between LAFC and the LA Galaxy, now I may want to see the atmosphere at Banc of California Stadium (LAFC’s venue).
That’s what happens when one of your close friends produces a sports podcast that talked about LAFC’s rise in soccer. I’m not the craziest soccer fan because of my father, but never denied that when I’m interested (super key), I’ll watch.
Before I get carried away, SoCal is still a place I’ll explore in the future. Let’s move on!
Promise No. 5: Autism Awareness (Complete)
More than ever, the introvert side of me really kicked hard. I often ponder if that’s just part of what I have.
At this one large gathering last month, I really just felt isolated and wanted to say “leave me the hell alone, I need time by myself.”
I didn’t told that quotation to anyone, but to myself. The weekend I had, this was my time to get away from the madness and put myself in a corner. Sure beforehand I had a blast, but after two hours, it was time to step away and relax my brain.
Many people from the spectrum have their way of dealing shit, and my way is to step out. Yeah, I hate it that the introvert side won but I acknowledge it. Not build some excuse like some.
We’re all different and that’s fine. I’m not like everyone else.
Promise No. 6: Last Note of Freedom (Still Complicated)
Two months ago, I said maybe that freedom has been achieved. Now heading into November, I honestly don’t know.
My room was done before I turned 25, where I can finally sleep in my own proper bed. Sure, I still have books and other stuff to put up but at least the core portion is set.
Feels so refreshing having my own privacy, but outside of that, I’m confused.
The respect level isn’t quite there yet and my inner circle is really slim.
I’ve tried not to let it eat me up because I got two more race weekends to end it on a positive note. That’s my mind set, what’s coming up.
Forget everything I went through at Gateway, Portland and Laguna Seca. Even at home and work, I’ve been through a lot.
Right now, it’s Texas and Phoenix. That’s all I’m focusing on!
Who knows if a certain piece of respect will grow after certain circumstances happened in auto racing. In the meantime, I’ll just brush off for now because I focus at the task at hand, not this news breaking story everyone are talking about.
I’ll have to look at myself in the mirror and think how free I am. Right now, I think I do but I honestly don’t know. My mind is so filled with one way too many things, that I need to clear my head elsewhere.
Promise No. 7: Driving at Last (Need to Get My Act Together and JUST GO!)
As you’ve read my update here, I simply need to “JUST GO.” I will hit the books again and do that damn test before the year ends.
Sure, I’m not digging the current conditions as winter arrived prematurely. I’ll call it “FAL-TER” in Washington by the way.
Momma said (not in Bobby Boucher’s voice, dingus!) it’s best to learn at this time of year. I hope so because I simply want to get that damn license and worry about car rentals than Uber rides.
With the racing season coming to an end, it’s really no excuse at this point. This is now my biggest goal I want to accomplish more than anything else.
Wish me luck because I’ll need it once I take the exams and hopefully have that license before the Double 20s.
Promise No. 8: Bi-Monthly Reports (Almost Done)
Bret Michaels had this saying when telling the eliminated girls in Rock of Love, “Your tour ends here.”
First off, I spent a week re-watching that show on YouTube and my perception on many of the girls (some, admittedly had crushes on) changed big time. Some I’ve slept on and blah blah blah…yeah!
My tour will end once I leave Phoenix in two weeks. Therefore, adding another check mark as I was able to cover a race weekend every other month.
Gateway was rough on Friday but much better the following day. Portland went really well but a bit frustrating regarding one of my projects. Glad to have stayed with close friends that weekend in Vancouver.
Laguna on the other hand was 50/50 but proud of my hard work. Like really proud of getting tons of stories and literally carrying Motorsports Tribune.
I’m super hyped about the next two races, especially this weekend. Continuing the momentum is key and I’m not skipping a beat.
Why I’m super hyped? We had two fights happening at a NASCAR race.
In fact, two fights happened in both Cup and Xfinity, so here’s how it went down:
These are the big stories this weekend and couldn’t be more excited. What about the Truck Series?
Almost there people! Almost there.
Promise No. 9: Photography Expansion (…And Still Going)
Racing, wrestling, nature and metal shows.
Living that versatile lifestyle is fun when I taking photos and these past two months have been the absolute best.
Quite humbling taking photos at the races and often getting paid. I’m grateful for Walter of Action Sports Photography, Inc. giving me a chance to grow and take some photos at Portland and Laguna Seca.
It has helped me financially and hope it’s the first of many in the foreseeable future.
Also, going to the last three Without A Cause wrestling shows made me realize that I can do three hours a month.
It’s all I can do at this point in my life because mainstream wrestling isn’t my cup of tea for the longest of time. Not sure if I’ll ever will get into it again, but WAC is a nice niche to follow.
Now two weeks ago, my left ear took an absolute beating when I took photos of Ratts (Ratt tribute band), Lewd and Crued (Motley Crue tribute), and San Diego’s Noise Pollution (AC/DC tribute).
Definitely a blast but the metal life kicked me in the ass with my left ear feeling deaf for three days. Bound to happen sometime.
I’m excited to take more NASCAR photos and some scenic stuff in Arizona. Maybe you’ll see a project I’ll be doing as well.
Promise No. 10: Belongingness (Borderline)
I hate to say it but I should really not get my hopes up regarding anything about my career.
Whether it’s finally after months of development hell regarding my Greg Moore articles or my 2020 status, I just need to accept that not everything will go my way.
More often than not, it’s going to happen in this cut throat profession.
The last three INDYCAR races showed me that mindset where some people just don’t give a shit other than themselves. It is what it is, but I’m not going away.
I may not be a certain way. I may do both writing and photography, so I’ll be all over the place. More importantly, I have major shoes to fill, but I’m not going to change for anyone.
That’s how I work and sooner than later, they’ll see it.
My Greg Moore piece was the hardest works I’ve done because everything started well but went completely downhill in July. Some promises weren’t met like a potential outlet feature and left a lot to be desired such as more interviews falling through.
That’s how this profession works. I know that more than ever.
Even finding pictures relating to Moore was a total pain where I had to do the searching myself of what I can use of course. It was a burden and glad those stories are coming out.
If you please check them out, I’ll highly appreciate it because I want to be happy with the work.
At the same time, I’m ready to move on and focus on getting better.
For now, I don’t really feel like I belong. Well, kind of because I feel more accepted on the photography side.
Also, having a group of supportive people that I met during the Laguna Seca weekend was great. I definitely needed that and blessed of having those people right now.
So yes, I feel welcomed but not 100% at the moment. It’ll come, just have to be patient.
Hope the NASCAR world can boost my encouragement. I mean it has to after leaving Daytona disappointed at myself and Sonoma feeling angry.
Time will tell and you’ll know in my last blog in December what discipline I’ll be focusing on the most.
Promise No. 11: Building a Connecting Audience (Complete by Accident)
Here it is! I broke the racing internet and got people in the NASCAR world talking.
The Athletic, Associated Press, and NBC Sports wrote and chat about it. Even guys like Dale Jr. bringing it up on his podcast. The undeniable fact was Todd Gilliland’s audio that I heard and hesitantly shared went viral.
I’m here thinking, how the hell did that happened?
I wrote a column about my feelings but Todd’s comments about Kyle Busch was one of the biggest NASCAR stories of the weekend.
It boosted my Twitter numbers and I was the one who broke this story. My first-ever pure breaking news story is that?
Hey man, I’ll take it and with that, I do think my audience connected with me.
For 12 hours straight, countless re-tweets, views, likes and people talking about it, resulted my phone notifications to lose track. It just blew up like that!
That tweet built an audience and I still find it weird to accomplish this goal, which really was by accident.
A damn Truck Series race getting this buzz! What a time to be alive.
I’ll say this, it’s going to feel weird these next two weekends. Maybe not, but one thing is certain:
Find the news when nobody notices and have proof to back it up.
Promise No. 12: Pitch Memoir Project (On Hold)
Promise No. 11 was the turning point of 2019. Therefore, this promise is far from being complete.
Why end my journey focusing on everything up to 2019?
I got plenty of adventures and stories to tell going forward. So here’s what I’ve been thinking:
This memoir project will focus on both my academic days and the three years after graduating from college.
While I’ve been writing daily since December 31, 2017, my school stories are important to include so people see what I’ve become and what I used to be.
It’s my way of bringing awareness on how I live my life and who knows, some people who are in the spectrum can relate.
Again, this one’s the hardest to accomplish. Still not giving up on this vision, but it has taken a backseat for various reasons. Hopefully, you’ll understand that.
Promise No. 13: Securing A Home (Complete)
I’ve been living at the new home that I co-own for almost five months. Sleeping in my room for almost a month. I really enjoy being in the area, but again haven’t taken photos of the place.
At least in my Nikon D3400. I have some in my phone but the quality has degraded. Then again I hate my phone and counting the days to upgrade because I still miss my old phone (Jan. 2016-March 2018).
Got a new water heater over the past week. That was something else, but spending time with youngest brother while installation was taking place was fun.
A complete goofball, chatterbox lad he is. Also, a definite troublemaker which isn’t good in my book.
Hope he matures before going to school.
Promise No. 14: Knowing My Worth (Complete)
The stock I’ve built after 10 months has been flattering and a true ass kicking.
While I’ve dealt with so many setbacks this year compared to last year, it’s been anything but boring.
Just two more months before this wild 2019 comes to an end and prepare for an even phenomenal 2020.
I definitely know what I bring to the table and some have noticed where they feature my photography.
Here’s one that I really enjoyed from Ethan Page because it captures an amazing moment:
I’ll keep fighting and do what I do best at the racetrack like I’ve done everywhere else this year and all my life.
Even after the 2019 tour ends at Phoenix, I’ll continue to fight and thrive.
For now, doubt me if you insist, prove me wrong if I give consent.