Brad stepped through the chainlink fence into another world. He glanced up at the people filling the stands, their faces a blur, but their movements cosmic. These were the same folks that Sean had lived, and ultimately died for.
Sean, two years younger than Brad, had always followed Brad's lead. And Brad, at the young age of thirteen, fell in love with hot rod cars. His half-sisters husband, Tony, was a diesel truck mechanic by trade, with a passion for beefing up car engines. Tony had taken the rebellious Brad under his wing. And like Tony, Brad seemed to have a feel for engines. With Tony on one side of a car and Brad on the other, they could pull an engine in under thrity minutes.
Sean, however, at age eleven, was more interested in video car racing games. He was rail thin and callow. At nine, he had spent four months in bed with rheumantic fever; he came out of that with a heart murmur. This same heart murmer was what kept him from following Brad into the Marines.
Sean was seventeen when Brad left for bootcamp. As the family watched the plane taxi away from the gate, Tony put an arm around Seans shoulders and whispered into his ear, "Are you going to be my new helper?"
It turned out that Sean was about as good a help as a swamp would be on a race track. But then one day, Tony took Sean with him to the local dirt rack, and Frankie Merker, a local legend, offered to let Sean do a lap around the track. Not only did Sean love it, but he was a natural. He and the car bonded as one.
From that time on, Sean spent all his free time at the track.