Anyway, I just put my head down and finished the race. It’s amazing how adrenaline certainly helps you overcome so many physical challenges. Walking up to the podium, I could feel something was wrong. But I just kept a smile on my face for the ceremonies and drank more of the champagne than normal which will turn out to be a good thing later. Within a couple of hours, a blister the size of a cantaloupe developed on my hip. Needless to say, the ten-hour drive back to Portland, Oregon from Sonoma wasn’t too fun.
Once home, I got medical treatment. So, for seven weeks, I have seen a wound/burn specialist for treatment three-times per week. During this time, I battled an infection and had to get the burn debridement. Yes, removing/scrapping the dead tissue from the burn. Pain was pretty intense. I have been so frustrated on how slowly burns heal. I had no experience with any types of burns before. And I have a whole new appreciation for anyone recovering from burns and getting back to their job.
The cause of the burn was a few cracks on the driver’s side exhaust system.
I only share my story so that people will learn. I was wearing all the top-notch safety Nomex and driver’s suit. I have the best crew in the business that give me a safe and fast bullet every weekend. So, things can still happen.
9 weeks later, I jumped back in the car for the first time. Had to grit my teeth a little bit the first time I slid into my seat. But from that point on, it was a back to business.