It's too bad Universal Studio's or Walt Disney isn't one of our sponsors. We could have written them an incredibly thrilling, heart wrenching, racing adventure story last night. Over 500 of our friends, sponsors and family came out to watch us...
It's too bad Universal Studio's or Walt Disney isn't one of our sponsors. We could have written them an incredibly thrilling, heart wrenching, racing adventure story last night.
Over 500 of our friends, sponsors and family came out to watch us race. Days before the race, I kept telling myself to be cool and don't over do it. I wanted to drive well and show everyone how my team and I had improved.
In my qualifying race, I started in 8th position. I needed to finish 4th to start in the first rows of the feature. The adventure began on the first lap in the first turn. The car to the inside of me pushed really bad. We touched tires, I spun out, nearly flipped, and smacked the wall. My adrenaline was pumped so high, that I didn't even feel the accident, even though my car did. There was a lot of damage with the rear suspension parts.
You talk about an emotional roller coaster! I told myself not to get mad, just think. . . what do we have to do to race. If we can get it fixed, we can start the feature in the back
Fortunately, Bob East, the builder of our racecar was at the track. He contacted someone at his manufacturing facility, who just happened to still be there that late. My dad drove half way to meet his guy with the parts we needed to fix the racecar.
Not knowing if my Dad would make it back in time with the parts, we exhausted almost every other conceivable option. We found a car that had motor problems and wasn't able to race, but had the good suspension parts we needed. So, we frantically took the car apart, only to find out the parts didn't fit.
Next, I walked up and down the pits to see if anybody would let me drive their car. I was desperate. Fourth in points, its Rick Treadway Night, 500 people drove out to watch us race, and we were running out of time. I found one team that would let me drive their racecar, but it had an oil leak.
Unbelievably, my Dad arrived with the parts. We had less than 10 minutes to fix the car before our race started. I got strapped in, while wrenches were flying everywhere. As a driver, I was trying to help guide or coach to make sure they tightened everything up. It sure doesn't make you feel very comfortable when your crew is frantically running around like that.
At this point, all of the cars had been pushed out and were running a warm up lap, ready to start the race. They closed the gates and were getting ready to go green, when one of my racing buddies stalled his car. That gave us a couple of more minutes. The crew picked the whole racecar up with me in it, off the stands and pushed me to the gate. It was at the very last second that they decided to open the gates and let me race from the tail of twenty cars.
The crowd went absolutely nuts!!!! Everybody was on their feet waving their flags and pom poms. The Special Assistant from Mayor Peterson's office was about to drop the green flag. It was way too cool to see everyone cheering. I took a deep breath and told myself to get focused. As I drove around the second warm up lap, I noticed some parts had fallen off of my racecar and onto the track. I thought on no, I hope my mechanics didn't forget anything during the rush!
On the first lap, I decided to lay back a little to make sure the car would handle properly, and to avoid any first lap accident, due to over anxious drivers. Sure enough, a couple of cars directly in front of me got into each other. One flipped, as I went through the infield barely missing it all!!! That was close!
Luckily, there was a red flag giving the teams a chance to make their corrections. My crew came out to make sure we didn't forget anything. Good Thing!! We forgot our bleeder valves, which regulate your tire pressure, which of course, is critical. I felt a lot more comfortable after that red flag.
We started the race again. I tried to go on the outside, inside, whichever way I could go. There was so much traffic; I just kept squeezing in between cars and the wall. I had moved up from 20th to 10th by the halfway point, when a car ran right into me causing me to spin out. Back to the tail of the pack again!
Wow, was I mad and frustrated!! After the green dropped, I was on a mission!! Forward bound, inside of cars, outside of cars, I didn't know if my race car was going to stick in the corners or if I was going to be able to make some of the passes. We had come from behind just one too many times tonight, and this was it.
Somehow, I made it to 3rd,with a few laps to go. Every time I would make a move to pass for second, the guy would run me into the wall three or four times. Finally, I got a run on him and we stayed side-by-side for two laps, nose to nose until I got around him. I needed a yellow flag, or just a little more than the three remaining laps, to catch the leader. We would finish second, which just an hour earlier, seemed almost impossible!
The crowd went absolutely crazy with cheers. Drivers and crewmembers from other teams were standing in line to congratulate me on running a good race. What a relief! I wanted to put on a great race for everyone, and I was so glad to finally show how much my team and I had improved!! It was truly a team effort. We just never gave up.
Thank you to everyone who drove out last night, for the well wishes from those of you who couldn't make it out, and to the people who so generously helped us get the car back together. Thank you so very much for supporting my career!!!!
We are now third in points, and 18 out of second. Our season will finish with four races at Mount Lawn Speedway, in New Castle on:
Sunday, September 3rd
Saturday, September 9th, 23rd, and 30th
Qualifying starts at 6pm, racing at 7pm
From State Road 3 in New Castle, head west on 38 to 234. Just a few feet on your left will be a white sign for the speedway, turn left and follow the signs.
From Indianapolis on Pendleton Pike, head east to 234 then right at the white sign.
Gas it up!!
PS. Rumors of testing an IRL car?? I hope I wasn't just dreaming that rumor!! Possibly in Sept. or Oct.?
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