Saturday night was my hardest hit in a race car in 4 years of driving. I love racing. I love the speed of the 5/8’s mile race track. However, with that speed comes consequences. Maybe I dodged the bullet for all these years, but Saturday I hit the wall like a freight train, destroying my race car.
It was after the half-way break in the Galloway Memorial 125. We had a restart, where I started 4th after leading a bit in the 1st half. It was a real cat and mouse 1st half because we were all riding trying to save our stuff for a late race duel with the #00. The cat and mouse would stop as soon as the end of the first half drew near. Naima moved to the front, I was second until the guys battling to stay on the lead lap started wrecking, I had to check. I’d end up 3rd at the break with Lewis in 2nd.
On the restart my car was pretty terrible. The handle was real strange, and Moore got around me. I fell behind for a few laps while the top 3 moved out. After just 3 laps my car got some heat back in the tires and the handle came back. I was able to close the gap back to third and with Lewis and Lang swapping positions we had a 5 car battle going, that was anyones race at that point. The caution came out.
I restarted outside row 2. Dan Moore inside. Dan was strong, but so were we. I was just not quite as good in the upper groove as I like. I held Dan thru the center of three and got an awesome drive off of turn four. Out of nowhere the turn 4 wall smacked me. I hit the right front pretty good and thought I most likely knocked the toe out of the car, but left the throttle matted. Somewhere between the exit of turn 4 and the start/finish line I realized I had a cut right front tire. I checked up and started braking.
It wouldn’t stop. It wouldn’t turn. It barely slowed down. In one display of sparks and awe I pounded the wall in turn one. Hardest hit I’ve ever taken. Crazy part was I never closed my eyes. I never looked away, so I can play it over and over in my head.
While sliding along the wall the noises are strange. For a second I thought the throttle was stuck, so I shut the car off. When the noise didn’t stop I reached up and shut the master switch off cutting power to the whole car. Then I realized the noise was the wall and race track grinding on the race car. It came to a stop. It was eerily quiet. The guys on the radio said, “Are you ok?” I was, I replied, “I’m good.” Truth is, I didn’t get hurt at all. Some people think I’m bluffing because it is true that my whole life I’ve done dangerous things, and to mask the danger I sometimes would stuff the pain of injury in front of mom, dad and Melinda. But this time for real, I’m NOT at all hurt. Except my feelings for my car.
If this car hits the track again it will be affectionately named “Lazarus.” It will be coming back from the dead.
I don’t know what the rest of the season looks like. I have sponsorship lined up for the Fall Classic in October, so I want to race again, but not certain if I can pull off the repair of Lazarus or the acquisition of another decent chassis. The funds are a little tight at the end of the season, and if I can race again in 2011 it will be because of the amazing people around me. Many people came up and gave to me Sunday at church, which is amazing. I love it that people want to be a part, and these kind people are my motivation right now.
Huge thank you to my sponsors: Sound Advice, Snohomish Pie Company, Domino’s Pizza of Monroe, J’s Interiors on Main Street, JZ Motorsports, Streamline Automotive and Deyounginc.
Huge thank you to everyone who makes the #70 go fast! I really can’t race and represent Jesus the way I want to without your support!