Mike Mujsce's life is spent in one garage or another.
He owns and operates Mike's Auto Services in Quogue, and much of his spare time is spent working on his race car in the garage at his East Quogue residence. The 53-year-old is the points leader in the figure 8 division and is looking for his first track championship.
Mujsce, though, does not view racing through the narrow prism of wins and checkered flags. He owns the car raced by Patchogue's Tom Ferrara, who is ranked third in the figure 8 standings. He has been known to loan an engine and assorted tools to fellow drivers.
"Racing is a big family," Mujsce said. "Yeah, we have our heated moments, but when the moment passes, we're all there for the same reason. We all want to win, so if I can, I help people as much as I can. There is a financial limit to it. You can only go so far with it, but I help out where I can.
"I've had help from other people in the past, and I only see it fitting to keep the field as big as we can."
Mujsce began his Riverhead racing career in 1989 in the blunderbust division. In 1995, he moved on to figure 8's, a crash-heavy division in which the cars cross over at the center of the oval. The oval requires precise timing, as cars are at risk of slamming into a competitor's blind side.
"The first time I went through that 'x' with a close call, and I saw the crowd on their feet with their arms in the air, it was a pretty incredible feeling," Mujsce said.
Seventeen years later and countless borrowed engines later, Mujsce is still having the time of his life.