Imagine being just 0.11 mph over the speed limit and it ends up costing you $244,000. That’s exactly what happened in Indianapolis today.
No, it wasn’t on the highway…it was on the speedway. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And the driver was not happy about it at all.
Juan Pablo Montoya, former Indy 500 winner was leading the Brickyard 400 when he was caught speeding on pit road. His penalty cost him the race, and the extra $244,000 he would have earned had he won. Read about it here.
So what’s the lesson here and how does it apply to your life and mine?
1. Even in the go fast world of auto racing, there are rules that must be followed. If you don’t, it will cost you.
On the race track the cars can go as fast as the drivers and teams can make them go (within the other rules for engines, etc.). At speeds exceeding 200 mph, you wouldn’t think 0.11 would make that be a difference. But on pit road, safety matters, and going too fast endangers the crews and race officials. Sorry Juan…the computers got you on this one.
2. Push the limits, but don’t cross a line unless you’re willing to face the consequences.
At Indy, NASCAR mandates that the pit road speed limit is 55 mph, but gives an additional 5 mph buffer zone to account for variables like avoiding other cars and whatnot. Juan, like all drivers, was pushing the limit as hard as possible, because it’s much easier to pass cars with a fast pit stop than it is on an old, flat race track.
Juan was leading the race with a five second lead…huge in a sport where tens or even hundredths of a second matter. In pushing so hard to maximize his time, he crossed the line. It cost him the race.
We all need margin in our lives. Race car drivers are supposed to live on the edge–they can’t do their jobs properly unless they do so. But the smart ones know when to ride and when to race!
We are faced with choices everyday. Choices that approach lines in our lives. Choices to lie, steal or cheat. Be careful how close you put yourself to those lines, and be prepared for what happens should a “gust of wind” force you onto the other side.
3) Do things differently when you’re the leader.
Juan had a five second lead. He had margin, room to breathe. There was no need to push the limits. It was a hefty price. But he’s not thinking about the money as he tries to go to sleep tonight. The money is nice, but racers race to win. Winning or losing that race meant more to him than the paycheck waiting for him.
Breathe a little as the leader. Don’t get complacent or cocky, but lead with confidence because you have the advantage of your margin. Imagine driving your car down a narrow, winding country road. It’s tight, but it’s fun whipping through those sweeping corners. Now trade your car for a moving truck…a big, wide, heavy, stiff moving truck. The road is the same, but your margin for error has been reduced.
4) Monday starts a new week.
As much as we sometimes hate Monday’s, they are a chance for a fresh start. Juan Montoya can feel bad about losing the race for a little while, but there’s another race on the schedule that he has to prepare for. If he can’t let it go and learn the lessons from his mistake, he won’t stand much of a chance at winning next weekend.
You have to start over from your failures too. You have to pick yourself up when you get knocked down. Can you do that? Can you CHOOSE to do that?
Hope you have a great Monday!
Any thoughts? Leave a comment!