Punctuality is a common theme when it comes to the Rules of the Road. There are fines for being late for the plane or the bus along with the glare of teammates who were patiently waiting on board.
Usually, tardiness is the byproduct of being unprepared, but as Travis Hamonic found out in his rookie year, there are just some things you just can’t plan for.
It was both Marty (Matt Martin) and my first year with the team and we were going to the airport in my old F-150, which was a pretty standard commute.
But just as we get to a traffic light my truck just started making noises and started acting funny. My radio was turning up and down on it’s own and I started to lose power. Every time I’d hit the gas the speed got progressively slower, from 60 to 40 to 30 and then I couldn’t get it above 20.
We are approaching a set of lights and I told Marty, I don’t think the truck was going to start up again if we stopped. So I think we even ran a red light to avoid stopping, but when we get to the next intersection, we had no choice but to stop.
It’s not going to start again, I said as we stopped.
Sure enough, right at the crosswalk, the truck died. I mean fully dead. I couldn’t even turn my blinkers on, nothing. (Turns out I blew my alternator)
So now we’re holding up traffic on Hempstead Turnpike. People were honking their horns and throwing stuff at us while Marty was trying to stick a sign on the back of my truck trying to tell people to go around us. We were in a bad spot.
We waited for someone to come pick us up from the airport but we also waited for my car to get towed before we could go to the airport.
It was a huge production and all in, we were about two-and-a-half hours late for the plane.
At the time we were rookies, so we were quite nervous about the reaction we were going to get on the plane. The guys were pretty understanding because you can’t really plan ahead for a truck breaking down.
Looking back on it now, it’s pretty funny, but at the time we were sweating. I also don’t know why we took that route. But it was my first year, I just didn’t know any better.