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Knoxville, the final night...

Well the pressure was on Saturday, I knew that I had to have a flawless night in order to make the top 10 in points; my goal all year. After missing a few shows this wasn't looking very promising, as I was sitting in 11th place, 20 points out of the top 10 going into Saturday nights race.. On the way to the track Mom, Katie, and I discussed who would draw the number for the night, I had a lucky draw last Saturday pulling a 5, Mom said that I used up all my luck for the year with that one:) lol. So I asked Katie if she was feeling lucky after all she did win a 20oz soda from Subway from her scrabble piece, she said no she didn't want to draw a bad number. Well my Mom never draws, so then it was Kyle, Kenny's grandson and we all say that he is lucky because he has been over seas twice, well he didn't want to either. So who other then Mr Woodruff was left to draw, now usually I am pretty confident with him drawing but lately he hasn't been doing so great... and the drum roll please.... he pulled a 4! WOO HOO! Yes, front row! That night I was awarded the hard charger from the weekend before, I didn't even know about it till Saturday so I was pumped!! In my heat I would start next to John Carney, who has more laps around Knoxville than I could ever imagine, so the pressure was on. I got the jump and led for the first 2 laps, then he made a pass on the out side. My car didn't feel like it had full power, it seemed slow, given all this I still ended up finishing second. We would later find out what was making the car run different... When I pulled in Kenny and I discussed some changes to make for the feature to make me faster. Looking at the line up I was starting in the 11th position, and Dave Hall who was in 10th for points, was starting in the 10th position. I knew before the race started that I needed to beat him by at least 7 spots. Dave is a great runner and always finishes in the front, so I knew this was not going to be an easy task. When I pushed out for the feature and stepped on the gas, I was absolutely so mad, bad luck, my car wasn't running!!! It had hardly any power, wow my luck, on the one night where I really wanted this more than anything, things go wrong, I swear I have no luck. Some one once told me, "if it wasn't for bad luck Natalie, you would have no luck at all" such a true statement. I said to heck with it, I am staying out here till my car stops, or falls apart. On the first lap I went into turn one with not a lot of power, and my car was headed straight for the wall. I held on, hit the wall and little, but to make sure I had no damage I pulled into the work area. There was no damage, & my car was still not running, but I wasn't about to give up just yet! Race resumed, I was surprisingly making my way up with minimal power, on the front straight away 2 cars got together and all I can see is parts and cars every where, I hit the brakes, swerved, did everything I could to avoid the crash... YES made it! Thank goodness. Race resumed only to have another red, this one a long red. OMG, I was pumped lets get to the work area, so I can let the crew fix my car. I pulled in and Kenny replaced the box while Jeff, and some other guys would help check the spark plugs, when I pushed back out the car was running PERFECT!! Alright, now its time to rock and roll :) I made my way up to 10th place. Pulling in I was really nervous to see if I had made the top 10 in points or not... Sue who helps with the line up and points had it figured that I made the top 10 by 5 points!!!! I was so stoked, my hard work had paid off! Lady Luck had finally shined upon me:) I stayed for a while after and talked to all the fans one last time, and said goodbye to friends that I may not see again till next year. It was a great year at Knoxville, I enjoy going there, its a great track with an exceptional staff, first class safety crew, and great fans! Thanks to everyone at Knoxville for all the support this year, it means the world to me! Hope everyone enjoys the off season, as I still have a lot of racing left to do. Hopefully you will all see me back at Knoxville again next year!
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