Ron Pope Motorsports                California Custom Roadsters               

One night I won't forget


Active Member
What a day yesterday! Note that this story is a bit long-winded, but felt compelled to share it:

A little background: The last month or so for me has been one of the most stressful I've had in the last 10 years. I've been working on a project at work with an almost impossible timeline for its size. The last month since we returned from the T-Bucket Nationals has been filled with long days and night of work and client meetings that made me wish I was in another profession (I'm in architecture). So this weekend, when my girlfriend headed up to Chicago for a bachelorette party, I decided I needed a day away from work to clear my head and that I was going to get the '27 out for some fun.

I spent the morning at our ceramic/powdercoating shop shooting the bull, and get the '27 out about noon. About 3 miles away from the shop I noticed that the drivers side kingpin had rotated and had lifted about 3/4"! I pulled over as quick as I could and and surveyed the issue. I tried pounding it back in with no luck so it appeared that it would hold together enough to limp back. When I got back I took the drivers side apart and realized that I had somehow not gotten the kingpin in the correct rotation in final assembly. The king pin and bushings in he spindle were ok, so was able to reassemble without to much difficulty. I've got about 8,000 miles on the '27, so its amazing that this hasn't happened before. I haven't driven the T since the Nationals, so this much have loosened on the way back from Dayton. Moral of yesterday morning: Check your rotation of the kingpins!

So after reassembly, I take the '27 and head to my uncles to pick him up as we decided to go to the Suds in Greenwood. If you are not from this area, the Suds is one of the oldest drive-ins in central Indiana, and can get over 150 cars a night due to the adjacent parking areas. We head off and had a great time there. At about 8pm-ish, we notice that the sky looks pretty dark and that we'd better head off home. I dropped him off and got about a mile away before the rain hit. I decide I'd better head home and park the T there for the night as it was closer than the shop and was surface streets rather than the under-construction interstate loop. The winds picked up to about 40-50 mph pushing the T all over the road--the rain was so hard and almost unbearable--I was beginnning to think that I would not have any forehead skin left when I get home! I soldiered on as it didn't look like it would let up anytime soon. Needless to say as I got closer to home I was completely soaked along with the interior of the car. I got a lot of strange looks from passing cars and at lights. It got worse...

As I got about 1 mile from home (on a major Indy road with construction), the traffic came to a halt and about then, firetrucks, half a dozen state and local police cars, 2 ambulances and even three huge tow trucks came screaming up past us. For about 5 minutes I sat there, getting soaked wondering what sort of car accident must be ahead--I also had thoughts of how to tell this funny story on how I got caught on this huge storm, got stuck in traffic, and got completely drenched. The traffic started to let up and about 5 minutes later I finally got home. I was soaked head to toe and the car had about 1/2 a gallon of water in it. I stripped out of my clothes and ran into the house to dry off. I turned on the TV before I headed back out to the garage to dry the car off. That's when I realized what the trucks and police cars were heading to--you see, I live about 3 miles due west of the Indiana State Fairgrounds. If you haven't seen the news today, just before 9 last night, the main concert stage collapsed before the Sugarland concert--at least 4 were killed and over 40 injured. The fair is closed today, and it is uncertain how long it will take to sort all of this out. A State Police friend of mine was working at the fair last night and was one of the first responders--he posted on facebook late last night (after the rescue) that it was "really bad"...and he is a 20+ year veteran and seen a lot in his days.

I knew the storm I got stuck in was bad, but I didn't comprehend the severity until then. I knew when I got caught in the storm, this would be a crazy memory for a while, but now it seems pretty stupid compared to the people that lost lives and families affected over this storm...not sure there is a point to all of this, but I needed to share my story. It was a day I won't forget, but not for the reasons I thought.

Please keep these families and the critically injured affected in your thoughts and prayers--
Saw that about the stage collapse this morning. My thoughts and prayers go to those in peril.


Life always has a way of putting things into perspective. When I was younger getting caught in the rain in a T bucket would have been a major problem creating enough stress in myself to cause a near nervous breakdown. Now it becomes a story to tell as I have seen and experienced enough life events to understand perspective. I saw the video of the stage collapsing this morning on AOL. Thank you for telling your story & reminding us to pray for those families whose lives just changed forever in a second.

Ben, while the rain was a real bummer, you were able to place it in perspective. That is a great thing. I have had my ups and downs, but when I got caught in the "why me" mode, things only got worse. So, I try to remind myself that there are others who are far worse than me.

When I had my accident, I let things get to me in a bad way. It took a long time for me to REALLY understand how bad it could have been. I forgot how fortunate I was and became selfish. Basicly, when the sh*t hits the fan, you gotta think of the person who may be sitting in front of a bigger fan.

I go into the VA and see so many people who are far worse than me and it never fails to make me put my little world in perspective. The situation at that concert is also such a case. You see stuff like that and have to count your blessings and realize that no matter what you're dealing with, someone is far worse.

Prayers to those folks up there.
Seen that story up here, we had a very similar situation a couple weeks ago. Same exact story, outdoor concert, sudden storm and the stage collapsed. This was at a Cheap Trick concert. Lucky in ours though is the stage blew back away from the crowd, not on top of it.

Glad you made it home safe Ben.

(I knew there was a reason I made all my interior from Marine material :D )

     Ron Pope Motorsports                Advertise with Us!