In line to lose…,
But I’ll take it!
“I got a feeling that tonight’s going to be a good, good night!” The song by the Black Eyed Peas blared through the audio and that’s how my morning started out. I kept the song on repeat all day; on the way to the shop, at the shop, and then that evening, the track even played it (pure coincident)!
This past Saturday was the second to last race of the season. We were back on the big 5/8th’s track, which happens to be my favorite. The schedule was different than normal. The NSRA Winged Sprint cars were racing! It was the Rory Price Memorial race. My crew knew they had to keep an eye on me so I didn’t sneak off and try to find a quick ride for the night;)
I had never seen a sprint car run on asphalt before and it was incredible how fast and smooth they were. They had to deal with WAY too many cautions though, but it still was a lot of fun to watch them ‘round the track.
We got two practice sessions in during the day. After the first session, the car wasn’t to my liking. Roger and I discussed ideas for the 5/8th’s set up. He and the guys worked hard to make the changes for the second session. The car felt a whole lot better. (It’s all top secret set up stuff! Sorry, can’t share what was discussed :) lol.
My qualifying time is something I have been trying hard to improve on all year. Saturday, we qualified 6th out of a field of twelve, which put us in a great position for the Main event.
The TVM, Lady Eagle Safety Wear, Massage Envy, K&N, Speedway Performance, Butler Built Seats, purple #94 race car started on the outside, front row. Pre-race Jeff (my teammate) gave me great advice on how to start. I was unfamiliar with the car next to me, so his words of wisdom helped.
The green flag dropped and I accelerated smoothly, shifting easily through each gear. I took the lead! And, it’s where I would stay for the next 36 laps until a caution flew due to Steve Ptacek (Car #06) having an unfortunate incidence with the wall off turn 3 (totally, wrecked his car – bummer of a way to finish the season).
On the restart, Jeff (Car #70) was alongside of me. I was hoping the pre-race discussion wouldn’t come back to haunt me… Well, Jeff got the jump and I was freight-trained which forced me to fall back into 5th position. But, with Roger and Aaron’s encouragement on the radio, I didn’t let myself get discouraged. I kept racing hard and eventually fought my way back to second place.
Another caution flew with about 35 laps to go, this time I found myself starting outside of Jason Fraser (Car #31) on the restart. Jason is a fantastic Late Model driver and runs with the ASA Northwest Late Model Tour. I would say he’s like the Donny Schatz of Late Model racing! I knew it was time to step up to my A game.
The green flag dropped! I was so focused on making the first corner! Over the radio as I was crossing the starting line, Roger radioed “CLEAR” turn one; “clear by 10” turn 2 “clear by 12”… WHAT! I was so pumped! I had just beaten Jason Fraser!
Problem was the caution flew during that lap, bummer! Seems I had stomped it across the starting line and the officials weren’t too happy. They wanted a more side by side race to the first corner!
Ok, so could I do it again? On the restart… green flags drops…YES! I cleared Jason off of turn 2! Unfortunately, the car got loose coming off the corner and Jason regained the lead. He pulled away during the remaining laps and I would follow in second.
It was such an incredible night for the whole team. The changes Roger had made to the car before the Main, hit the jackpot! Car #94 was bad fast! We even had the fastest lap of the entire race! I was so proud of everyone on the entire team: Roger, Aaron, Cris, Toby and Stevie. They all did an amazing job making sure the car was race ready.
As the season comes to a close with just one more race left, I want to thank everyone on the Total Velocity MotorSports teams. They have made this juncture in my life truly astonishing. I am so blessed to have had the opportunity and will be forever thankful. I am really going to miss everyone a lot.
So? It’s time to end the season on a grand scale! Come on out for the last big race! We’re running my favorite – the 5/8th’s track! It’ll be the Super Late Model stock cars and the mini-stocks in their final race for points and the Season Championship! Don’t be late! Gates open at 5pm. Racing starts at 7pm.
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