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Double Header- August 29th

After a long week of hard work at the shop, the #94 Total Velocity Motorsport Team was ready for a Double Header weekend. Saturday was a particularly hot day so I was glad that I brought along my Bell Helmet with Top Forced Air!
At the track, we unloaded the trailer and immediately went to work. The car felt great and I was really comfortable, right from the start.
During the second practice, we put on our sticker/qualifying tires to scuff them in. Many people focus on the race, but qualifying strategies are as important. Roger told me that I should run the new tires until the car felt comfortable. The car felt really stable after 6 laps and I brought it in. The crew quickly changed my tires back to the practice set and I was able to turn some more test laps before the track was closed for qualifying.
We qualified 8thout of a field of thirteen. With a double header in the mix, the heat race was skipped.
In the first race, the invert placed us in the third row on the outside. When the green flag dropped, I had a great start and stayed to the outside. The top was still pretty “dirty” from the previous night’s Monster Truck show so it was hard to get the proper traction. A few cars got by me before I could drop to the bottom. As the race progressed, I made a few passes, but it was a “follow the leader” kind of race due to the dirt in the second groove.
Near the end, two fellow drivers were battling for position. As they bumped off one another, I knew where I needed to be – ahead of them!!!
It wasn’t going to be easy!
Before I could attempt a pass, I found myself slamming on the brakes to avoid the entanglement they had created. The cars started to wreck coming off of Turn 2 and I unfortunately bounced off of the inside wall after making contact with one of them. Luckily, “The Miss” sustained minimal damage so I was able to continue the race. There were only a few laps left after the restart and I didn’t get the finish I had hoped for. My crew really put a great car together and the setup was phenomenal! It was disappointing that I didn’t get the finish they deserved. With a double header, we had one more chance, so I remained positive. We joked on the radio and got pumped up for race number two.
Back in the pits, the TVM crew went to work to get “The Miss” ready for the night’s second race. Cris and Toby did some minor body repair while Aaron and Roger locked up the differential to try and get more grip on the dirty track. I was excited for the last Main! I knew I had a great car and so wanted to get the team the great finish that they deserved.
My teammate, Jeff Knight, was on the pole and we were excited for him to have a good finish. After a few laps, the cars in front of me started to get together. I had to hit the brakes hard to avoid a wreck and around I went! I passed a couple cars restarting from the rear of the field and settled into a rhythm feeling good about the changes we had made to the chassis. All night, Roger had been encouraging me to make a pass in the second groove. Now, passing on the outside is something you rarely see, especially on the 3/8th’s track, and with the extra dirt on the track I was a little skeptical!
If I could pull this off, it would make the night for my team! With Roger’s encouragement, I finally executed a pass on the outside in turn three and four! I couldn’t believe it! The car just hooked up and away I went! It was amazing! Such a great feeling!
I learned a lot this past Saturday night and owe it all to my remarkable crew chief Roger, the whole 94 crew Aaron (who stepped in for Roger when he was at his son’s football game), Toby, Chris and Stevie. I also need to thank Jeff Knight, my teammate and car owner, who is always available to encourage me and answer any questions I have about the race car. Many thanks go to his Crew Chief Steve, who gives great advice! I feel fortunate to be part of the #70 and the #94 teams; one “bizarre” race family! I love the fact that everyone is always willing to help each other out. I am very blessed to be a part of such an incredible family. It will be tough to see this season end.
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