Will you ever CoDrive again?
No. And here is why –

Disclaimer: This is MY story, MY opinion, MY views.  Please do not attack these statements, or try to prove me wrong with argument.  I don’t want any sympathy, or advice to heal, I just want to share thoughts. Thank You.

Every morning when I wake up, I see my racing trophies, memorabilia, my bags full of SFI safety gear-it’s all in a corner of my bedroom. It seems to be a never ending debate in my hectic mind, whether or not I should get back in a race car. I’ve felt every emotion when it comes to being on that stage-I’ve won, I’ve lost, I’ve lost friends, I’ve crashed, I’ve experienced the ambulance rides & terrible phone calls to my parents from the ER.  I rolled in a rally car when my daughter was 7 months old, and 3 US states away.  Not only did I miss her first steps because of that race event, but I also could not physically pick her up for weeks afterwards because of the injuries I sustained.

August 2012, Cody Loveland proposed to me on stage at the award ceremony for the Pikes Peak International HillClimb, after we had competed as a team to place 2nd in Unlimited Class.  He and I had been together for 18 months, dating & building an insane Acura NSX together that soon received worldwide recognition.  I loved that man, his intelligence, his dreams, his work ethic, all of it.  I believed in him.
proposaltabppihcSoon after his proposal, December of 2012, we found out we were expecting a child.  Cody had already signed sponsorship contracts with numerous companies to compete in the 2013 Pikes Peak race event, and money was already very tight.  His worry was that if he did not compete, he would have to pay those companies back the money & parts that they had offered him.  I wanted him to race, I truly did, I wanted him to podium on Pikes Peak again.  Our love story went downhill very fast from there.
Cody owns an automotive shop, LoveFab Inc., which was our main source of income. I was hired at a local mortgage center when I was 5 months pregnant, which ended up being a financial Godsend because we would have lost our house otherwise.  Cody made sure that he never missed an ultrasound appointment, he loved seeing our baby grow.  But between his shop hours, building his race car, and my 40 hours a week at the bank, we spent zero quality time together.  He missed my maternity photo shoot, didn’t take time off, didn’t go shopping for the baby, or help me get the house ready for our child.
bellyJuly 2012, Cody & his crew left to compete in the Pikes Peak HillClimb.  The epoxy was still wet on the new carbon fiber body, and Cody was stretched so thin physically & financially.  We were just ready for this race to be over so he could come home in time for her birth.  I washed his safety gear, packed his luggage, gave him cash for food & a keychain with our daughters ultrasound picture in it so she could ride with him to the Finish Line. Saying bye, I held his head, kissed him over & over, told him I loved him. Then I waddled my 9 month belly back to our empty house & counted the days until he would be back.

Day 1 of testing, bottom section of Pikes Peak: The rear control arm of Codys’ vehicle snapped, sending him straight into 8 foot tall boulders.  Instantly the car was in flames & spectators rushed to pull him out.  He experienced minor burns on his face, burning off some of his facial hair, the car was destroyed.  I was in my office at the bank, about 8:30AM, when my cell rang for a 3 second call that literally dropped me to my knees.  “Tab, there was an accident. Huge fire, the car is gone.”  I dropped the phone & fell out of my chair screaming, which sent my coworkers running to me.
I couldn’t breathe, my body was hot, fearing the worst, praying that Cody was okay.  I laid on the floor crying & finally I got another call saying that Cody had minor injuries.  I hung up and didn’t move, all I could do was hold my belly and cry, the anger I felt was enormous.  All this work, long hours, MONEY, fighting, missed memories, an entire beautiful pregnancy for our daughter, that we would never see again.
cody1
Cody
August 14th, 2013: Vera Lohr Loveland was a born naturally & healthy.  Cody & I thought if we could survive everything we had been through together, and now to have this perfect daughter, we thought we could be together forever.
family1 familyWith time though, things became worse between us.  Of course we were stressed with our newborn, bills were adding up & I was unable to work.  Cody would work even longer hours, but the debt we had accumulated from the 2013 season was too much for us to handle.  Finances aside, there was guilt, and damn was it overwhelming.  The list of things we were dwelling on, regretting, replaying, it began to pull us apart.  I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, to put you on a path that you were meant to follow.  But why would the Universe bless me with such an incredible daughter, but curse me on a dozen other levels?  I tried everyday to be grateful for such a hard working man, but in the end, I strongly feel he chose work over us.  He & I both did things we wished we hadn’t, wished we could take back those horrible things you say during an argument. We both were changed people after that fiery Pikes Peak accident, our love for each other was gone.  Racing had brought us together, encouraged us to fall in love, but it also helped to ruin us in the end.
April 2015: Cody & I were numb, at our breaking point.  We had basically no help with our daughter, all we did was work & sleep, with no true time together.  He had been so distant all winter, trying to keep our heat on & still recover from the 2013 wreckage.  Cody asked me to take Vera & drive 550 miles to Pennsylvania for a week to visit my family, so he could finish customer car projects.  It took him two days to convince me to go, I knew he needed help in the shop & I didn’t want to leave him alone.  April 2nd, at 5AM, Cody loaded our 1 suitcase in the car, strapped our daughter Vera in her car seat, handed me a change jar for tolls and said, “See you girls next week.”
Vera and I never came home to Michigan, we are both now Pennsylvania residents.

What does all this have to do with me being a competitive codriver?
What happened between Cody & I is incredibly heartbreaking on many levels.  To wake up one morning in another state, in your Mothers spare room, with 1 suitcase and your 1 year old-Your life perspective & your goals do a fast 180. My point is this-People and situations change, which will have a huge affect on your personal dreams.  What you may have wanted 2 years ago, may not be the same as what you want 5 years into the future.  And being a single Mother, my entire mindset has changed.  Every minute of my life is dedicated to my daughter & continuing to grow my company, Lohr Marketing.  If I am away from Vera, it is for a work trip or a quick run to the store.  I love being able to work from home & wake up to her climbing in my bed every morning.
For me, I have been happier & more successful being outside of the race car and behind my desk instead.  Becoming a mother was the greatest thing that ever happened to me, and the thought of getting hurt at a Rally (again) is just not in the cards anymore.

Vera & I
Vera & I

Plus I am now able to help dozens of competitors & teams continue to race, promoting their achievements & cheering them on over late night phone calls.  I’m still able to be up to date on competitors events, cars, new product lines, it’s truly amazing!

We all have our reasons for pursuing our passions, whether it be from a peer inspiration, a tragic event, or a self motivated goal.  And what helps us achieve those dreams, is the support from others.  Even though I strongly feel I will never codrive a rally car again, I do know that I LOVE the automotive community and want to still be apart of it.  Helping my friends & even total strangers, make their automotive dreams a reality.

Disclaimer: This is MY story, MY opinion, MY views.  Please do not attack these statements, or try to prove me wrong with argument.  I don’t want any sympathy, or advice to heal, I just want to share thoughts. Thank You.