June 12, 2007 - HARD DAY TURNS INTO 10th PLACE FINISH ON OPENING NIGHT
As my Uncle says to me, “Sometimes you’re the bug. Sometimes you’re the windshield.” I think I was the bug in the start of the Summer Shootout last night.
Things didn’t kick off on such a great note for me. I drew a 332 (draw to decide positions in the qualifying races) and started next-to-last in my heat race. When I pulled onto the grid my car had shut off by itself, but I thought nothing of it, fired it back up, and pulled onto the track. When the race started I realized I really wasn’t getting enough power coming off the turns. Then, coming off turn-four on the second lap, the engine completely shut off. I couldn’t fire it back up again. Drifting off the straightaway and back into the pits I could smell gas. By the time we got back to our garage area we new it was a gas leak. It turns out the fuel line had broken off. This gave me the last spot in the B-Main. Starting in the back is never a great thing and, as always, there was first-turn turmoil. My new teammate, Gregory Lang, had spun heading into 1 causing cars to go in all directions around him and me to be stuck in the middle and slam into him. The wreck tore up my front suspension and my dad and the guys got to work fixing it. I thought the incident also cost me a starting spot in the main event. Lucky for me, they simply put me to the rear of the feature and my car was fixed just in time for the A-Main.
Hey everybody! I am back and just in time for the start of the Summer Shootout. That’s right, yesterday was my first practice of the shootout and tonight is my first race.
I haven’t been in the car since February so it was basically a re-learning night for me. On top of it all I have a brand new car. I am extremely excited to be driving again and even more excited to be driving with new and old teammates. Nick Stroupe has moved up to the young guns class so I will be racing with him this year. I am also going to be racing with Gregory Lang, a new member of the BDI racing. Recently added to our team as well is Bandolero Bandit, Davey Matthew’s.
Everyone is working here at the shop getting ready for tonight. With rain on its way I hope Mother Nature is a fan of acing tonight. Wish me luck! I will be back with updates tomorrow.
Daddy and Derek push my car in after the fuel line problem as my sister Kaitlyn walks in the foreground.
Feature Time! We pulled onto the track with 29 cars, but let’s just say, not that many were able to drive off. This race was a WRECK FEST! We never got more than two-green flag laps in a row. I spent most of the race dodging wrecked cars in all corners. It came down to a green-white-checkered showdown which turned into a yellow-checkered finish. There was a major wreck on the last lap I was able to drive through it and jump up to 10th. My car wasn’t perfect, but it showed me that the most important thing is finishing the race in one piece and never giving up!
Gregory and I wrecked in the B-main but I was able to race the feature and finish 10th.
June 20, 2007 - SHOOTOUT ROUND TWO: IN, THEN OUT, THEN IN, THEN SPIN!
Last week's Summer Shootout had its share of good and bad. I was very happy when I finished 6th in the heat race. I would have qualified for my feature, but unfortunately we were disqualified in post-race tech for being a few pounds light on the scales.. That meant I had to start in the back of the B-Main again <sigh>, which was later on canceled. They ended up taking all of the competitors in the young guns division for the feature. I was happy until the realization sunk in that I would have to battle through a bunch of traffic because, of course, I was starting last.
I passed two cars before going into turn one and a bunch more exiting turn two due to a big wreck. I was working my way up and probably would have finished around tenth or even a little better if I hadn't been so hesitant trying to pass someone. I backed out a little too late when I would have been fine holding my line. That indecisiveness caused me to spin and go a lap down. After that I was doing pretty good and running with the 5th and 6th place cars. It stinks that I was still a lap down, but I ended up finishing 18th which isn't too horrible I guess. Luckily I am still 13th in points. Hey, a few good finishes and I can be in the top ten.
As usual in racing, the day was filled with ups and downs. Thanks to John at FASTRAC IMAGES for the bottom photo catching my spin!
June 27, 2007 - Shootout Week #3- Better, Better, Much Worse
I thought this week was going to be my lucky week for once. I drew a 1 to start off my heat race so, of course, I was on the pole.
The race began and the car on the outside of me got a good run off of four and jumped to first in the first turn. The 680 was on the outside of me going into three when the 89 decided to shove us up the turn going in to make it three wide. He took a piece of my car along with him. On the front stretch the 89 and the leader were battling it out and the 680 took the advantage to pass them on the inside. The 89 sees this and turns left, dumping the 680 into the wall. He completely trashed the poor guy’s car. Meanwhile, it put me up to second and I stayed there the remainder of the race. It felt way good to qualify and ten times better to see my number on the pole for the feature line-up. Handy-capping the points worked out in my favor in this scenario.
I held my second place spot in the heat race to qualify for the A-Main.
Unfortunately, lighting struck as I was sitting on the grid. We pulled out for one caution lap and followed the pace car right off the track again. We were told over the race ceiver to leave our car on the grid and take cover in the garages immediately.
Now on to the feature. The green flag waved and we all drove into turn 1 and out of two fine. The 04 got under me on the back stretch and I couldn’t quite get behind him because there was another car already directly behind him. I was forced to ride the wet outside through turns three and four. I knew I had to be careful, but I wasn’t about to let up a ton. Apparently, the car behind me thought he wasn’t going to let off any. He plowed right into the back of me and the next thing I knew I was up on two wheels and then into the grass and next tothe barrels. My car was turned into
My dad and Patrick push the car off the track after the clutch broke. Can you believe I raced like that?
a Convertible as the front and rear bodies flew off onto the track. I pulled off and my team helped me to where I could pull back onto the track while we were still under yellow. I tagged the end of the field and tried to work my way back up. Then, on the front straightaway my clutch broke along with my chain. I pulled off and parked it for the rest of the night.
I got interviewed by Speed Cannel as soon as I got out of the car. I thought it went pretty well.
Now all the members of my team are helping to get the cars fixed for next week. My teammate Nick wrecked into the wall so we have double trouble to deal with, but that just goes along with racing I guess.
Check back in next week for new updates!
We did as we were told and then pulled the cars back into our pit stalls. They ran us last in order to dry the track, but when they did run us, the rain wasn’t the problem for me.
July 9, 2007 - Respect Comes In a Different Form On the Track
Life has bumpy spots now and then and you just have to deal with them. Same goes with racing.
I have been taken out three weeks in a row at the Summer Shootout. I was happy when I finished fourth in my heat races both nights of the double header last week, but let’s just say I wasn’t so happy when I got booted in the feature event one night and then dumped the next. I didn’t cause these wrecks, but I understand what I can do to keep from being walked all over. People are used to me being an average to back of the pack car even though I have improved a bunch this year and can now be in the top ten. So when they see me in front of them, they know I will drive them clean and if they boot me I won’t do much about it.
That is going to be changing with me now. If people want to walk all over me they can expect the same in return. At Lowe’s you have to show that you’re not scared to lay your bumper to a few people in order to get respect. It’s not exactly what I agree with, but that’s how it is and is probably going to be how it stays.
I am looking forward to this week’s race and I am hoping for a change of luck. Check in again next week for updates.