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360 Nationals & Tournament of Champions

All summer, I have been working towards this one weekend. This is it, all the work is going to finally pay off. The sweat, the tears, the bruises, the miles driven, is down to this one weekend where I finally am going to show everyone what I am made of... the 360 Knoxville Nationals, and Tournament of Champions!

Day 1: Thursday July 31st

I arrived at the camp grounds@ the track around12am. I was very tired, but I unloaded all my stuff into the motor home, my new home for the next 2 weeks. I got all my stuff organized, then went to bed. Tonight I wasn't racing, so I took the day to get things settled, and just relax a little. I went over & said hi to the neighbors Lou& Sue who helped us a lot over nationals, I couldn't begin to thank them enough. It was so hot out, wow, I was glad that I didn't have to race. I headed into the pits later on with Kenny to watch tonight's qualifying events. It was good to be able to watch the other drivers that I don't race with much or at all and see how they drove at Knoxville, compared to what the local guys do. It was a good race with Jason Johnson taking the A main. It was a fun night, I saw a lot of faces that I haven't been able to see much this season! My mom got here later on that night and we just hung out for a little bit then went to bed. I am qualifying Friday so I needed all the rest I can get!

Day 2: Friday August 1st

Once again another scorcher, wow this Iowa weather is so crazy hot. See Im used to the 60 degree below zero weather, Im like an Eskimo, so this stuff is hard on a girl! :) LOL I was so excited for tonight, it was going to be great. Kenny put a whole new car together, and oh was it looking sharp. I couldn't wait to haul that J&J, Shaver powered, Butler seated, Gateway Chevrolet sprint car into turn one for the first time that night(like that, gotta plug the sponsors:)lol)! We drew a high number which would put me towards the end of qualifying. I went out for hot laps feeling great, only to have a vibration in the rear end... The guys took a look didn't see anything physically wrong, made a few changes and said to try it for qualifying. Well unfortunately it was still there when I qualified. Shucks... after the heats were posted we had enough time to change the rear end in the car, being we were in the last heat. I would line up last in my heat, I had a great start flying by 3 cars right away, but after a battle I would only come out 8th passing 2 cars. This put me in the B main for the night. I was bond and determined that I was going to make the A! Starting towards the back of the B main this was going to take some work, and fast... The first start was a restart as Roberts jumped, the next start was a red flag, a few cars got together in turn one. The next start would be the start to a long weekend for me... coming into turn one 2 cars got together on the high side, a few more cars were collected, and as I attempted to go around on the low side, my back end was just barley caught by a car rolling down towards the infield... and I flipped! I thought I had missed it! Bummer, I was disappointed. After taking a look at the car, I decided to take the car to the work area. As the crew was pulling me on the wrecker my helmet which I had placed on my frame decided to come flying off and nail me right square in the forehead! OUCH! That one hurt! I had a bump, and a bruise on my forehead, thank goodness for makeup and hair, I covered it right up the next day:) Ok back to the work area, wow, you know there is something to be said about sprint car racing, I am sitting in the work area and here are my fellow competitors working on my car to get it fixed so I can go back out there and race! Matt Morrow is turning wrenches, Jack Dover is holding my helmet, Gary Lee, and so many other crew people are out there helping. Makes a girl feel good, thank you so much to everyone that helped, because of all the help I was the only car that made it back out after that red. The race resumed, and I drove my tail off to come in 9th, they only took the top 4:( It was a ruff night.

Day 3: Saturday August 2

It was another hot day in Iowa. I saw the line up and I would be starting outside pole for the E main. Wow that was a ways back.I was determined to make it up as far as I could. I thought all day, Im going to pull a Wolfgang, or a Yelley and make it an Alphabet soup night at the nationals. Tonight we had to unload everything in the pits, and this makes it even hotter becuase now there is no place to cool off! After we unloaded everything in the pits I went back to the motor home to cool off and just relax before the night started. I knew that tonight I was going to prove to everyone that I could do this. Starting on the outside pole for the E main I would follow in a close 2nd just waiting for my chance to snag the lead, got it!!! I went on to win the E main, one down alot more to go! In the D main I would start in the back, not having alot of laps I would have to act fast, I had a good start, making my way past a few cars not knowing where I was at I knew that I just had to keep passing cars. On the last lap coming for the checkered I slid for the 5th spot thinking I missed it by one. Nope, MADE IT! Yes! I was on a roll. Ok, now it was C main time, this was getting more and more tuff. As we are rolling around to take the green, Im thinking this is it, you can do it, only about 20 cars to pass... Ok so thats a little crazy but where there is a will there is a way! For those of you who couldn't make it, the start of the C main, was AWESOME! I was checking out the track before the race and saw a dark spot in the middle and if was open I was going for it. Well on the start it was like the parting of the red sea, the middle was open and I went for it, passing about 10 cars on the start, I was even impressed:) LOL! Then I saw the yellow come out just as I was crossing the flag stand, I was so excited at first thinking yes, Im going to the middle again and passing more cars, I am making it to the B main! As I looked up at the scoreboard I see that it still says 12 laps saying to myself "please switch to 11, come on"!!! I would come around & over the radio would hear complete restart!!!!! You have got to be kidding me! I was so so so disappointed. Knowing that the move I just made would never work again, because everyone that I passed would now attempt the same thing. I was starting on the outside, so this next start I would go high, only to once again have my dreams of making the A main shot down with a car getting a lil sideways in front of me clipping my car and sending me into the wall! This was a hard crash, I bit my tongue, bruised my collar bone, cut my chest, hurt my shoulder, but none of that mattered. The thing that was hurt the absolute most was my pride. I was going to make it, I just knew it. Now its all over, and what am I left with a broke race car, and a sore body... I do however want to thank all the fans for coming down an supporting me, thanks!

Day 4: Sunday August 3

Today was the Tournament of Champions, Ok one last chance to do it! I would qualify 36th putting me on the front row. I would go on to win my heat racing transferring directly to the A main. Starting in the back I would finish 25th, wasn't the night was hoping for, maybe next time.
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