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Rain, Rain Go Away!

South Boston Speedway, July 31st
It was a long afternoon of on and off showers at the track! Somehow, in spite of the threatening weather conditions, we managed to get all the three practice sessions completed.

The first two we were on extremely old tires, but we still managed to get some decent times. After making a few changes for our tight handling car, we were on the right track for the night. In the final practice session, we put on new tires to see what the car really had and wow, we were fast! With bad weather in the area, the track operators were in a hurry to get as much racing in as possible.

Pulling out to qualify, I knew we had to lay down a fast time. Out on the track, I just could not get much of a grip, unable to get the run we wanted during the session. Track rules state that after qualifying, only one man’s allowed over the pit wall and no changes are to be made to the car.

While waiting out the rain delay, my crew chief H.C. Sellers, and I had a long discussion on how the car had been handling throughout the day. After some conferring with H.C., we opted to do a complete overhaul on the car, putting us in the rear of the field.

In spite of that, I was feeling extremely confident with the changes that the crew had made and I was hoping for a great run in the night’s main event!

Warming up the tires before we took the green, my spotter Tom Worley told me to get all we could right away because there was weather on the way!

Suddenly, the green flag drops, and I shift into fourth - the fun begins! We passed about four cars right from the start! As the tires wore away, my car got progressively tighter coming off the corner. I continued to battle a few other cars for position during a long green flag run.

With a lead lap car approaching from behind, I was in a heated battle with another car, giving the leader the courtesy he deserves as I held my line. Heading towards turn three, the next thing I knew, I felt a hit on my left rear quarter panel and I was sent spinning down the back straightaway!

I held on as well as I could and kept my car (nicknamed "Miss II") out of the wall! As you could imagine, I was very upset with what had happened! I had held my line, and the next thing you know, I'm spinning, holding on for the life of my car, praying to keep it out of the wall so I can race Sunday!

With encouragement from my team, I kept my head up and continued to charge on – there was still time left, so I thought! Racing for about 10 more laps, the rain started coming down. A racer’s worst nightmare then unraveled, as the red flag came out, which eventually and prematurely ended the race from its scheduled distance.

Overall it was a night of trial and errors, as a team we continue to learn more every week. I wish we could have had a better finish to the night, but I feel that as a team we successfully made changes and are improving each time we hit the track. I can’t even begin to express my thanks to the hard work and dedication all the guys put in at the track and at the shop! They are some of the hardest working group of guys I have ever had the privilege to work with.
Words of Natalie, edited by Rob Tiongson
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