Race Day Updates - 2015 Season
Check here often for new pictures and information from race weekends for my team!!
TURKEY DERBY 2015
Last weekend of the year for us. Makes me a bit sad, a bit happy and a lot of excited for next season to start!
Started the weekend with practice Friday night and running 7.6 to 7.8 as my fastest time...interestingly, those were about the same times Jackson was running. We ended that and had the turkey dinner!
Saturday was time for heats. Since we had 10 Junior Hondas, there were two heats of 5. I started outside pole in mine and, after a couple of problems (I was turned into the infield but the call was made on me, so I went to the back. Then I worked my way up through the field and THOUGHT I had a clean shot at the pass on the inside of Turns 1 and 2 - but I didn't. And I wrecked myself and Nicky pretty bad. The judges made a good call and put me to the back of the pack....but Nicky's car had to be fixed so he ended up behind me. I worked my way back through the third and second place cars to take home second - and a starting spot in the A main on Sunday. I'm happy to report that even though he had to race in the B main, Nicky made it to the A main, too.
On Sunday, it was a lot colder out than Friday and Saturday, but we stayed with the ratchet hub. I started on the outside pole and worked hard to get to second. Logan was as fast as me and, as always lately, Jackson was the fastest and kind of left Logan and I to decide second between us. We did close in on him when there was lapped traffic, but that's also part of why I ended up with third. Logan and I were racing back and forth for that second spot as we came up on the lapped traffic, and, coming out of two, I was on the outside beside him when I saw that he was loose and it was going to put us both in the wall. I backed out of it enough to not wreck us both, but, with only a few laps remaining, I couldn't get enough to go by him.
You know what though? This is our FIRST podium finish in a Turkey Derby/Trophy race for our whole team. We were all really happy and excited and we KNOW we have something for them next year.
Mom and dad are looking for an Animal engine for me so that I can run two divisions next year and get some seat time. It takes some money - so I hope you will all consider sponsoring me again next year. AND I REALLY HOPE you will keep watching this website, my Facebook page, my Instagram and mom's Twitter page she has for me for a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT on the contest I am entered in for sponsorship.
Thanks for coming along with me on this adventure. We have our banquet in January and then a race indoors at Trenton on February 29th.
Sunday, November 1
October 18, 2015
Last Points Race
We've been busy at our house - school, work, and getting ready to enter a big contest to look for sponsorship. But mom says we better get this updated since it has been almost 2 weeks since our last regular season race.
We had Trick-or-Treat race weekend as our last points day. Most of the drivers dressed up and walked around the track and the handlers all hung out and handed out candy and other goodies. I didn't bother since I can't eat that stuff anyway, but Cookie Marie had a good time dressed up as a cowgirl.
Racing was more fun! I started with the paper 3 in the heat - but was on the outside pole as Brian moved up this week and, with the number 2, he still had to go to the back. I took off and settled into second but then Nicky and I spent a lot of time swapping spots for the second slot with him beating me at the end of the 15 laps. The good thing? We didn't have to change my paper number for the A-main and I was starting behind Jackson. Again, I stayed right where I should and moved into second on the start. And, again, Nicky and I just couldn't stay up with him. We had a bit of a cross-over battle for a while and then I settled into the second spot. He would catch me during lapping, but then I would pull away. It's great racing with these guys - everyone is so respectful and smart out there.
Our last race at our track is Turkey Derby the first full weekend of November. And, had I done this when I should have, I would have told you I would be off racing for all that time, but...Dad and Mom decided we are going to try racing Honeybrook this weekend. It's been a while since our family has gone there so it should be fun and interesting. It looks like we will have more than a full field of cars for the races. I'll report back!!! If you leave near there...come and watch!!!
Geez - it's a good thing mom reads this before we post - I forgot to tell you that I held onto my place in the points - I WILL BE ON THE PODIUM for our awards banquet in January!!! I tied my brothers - we now will all have a third place Cup for points in our divisions: Trevor and Travis both for seasons in Heavy World Formula and now me for Junior Honda. shhhh....don't tell them - but I plan on being on that podium for many times and especially working towards getting one of the FIRST place cups. ;)
So, mom and dad and Travis took me to a new track this week - Honeybrook (DQMRC). Some people went on Saturday to practice, but we stayed home and went Trick-or-Treating which was a good thing when Beanstalk's truck broke down on the way home to work with me.
Sunday was kind of cool for the weather and the sun came out as the day went on. The track was 'slippery' and I had some issues during the heat race as I 'knew' the line but didn't know how to actually drive the car for that line. I started third and ended up 4th so that put me starting third in the B main because we had 10 cars and only 8 can be in the A main. Travis and dad took the car back to the trailer and did some work on it. They debated taking off the ratcheting hub but didn't. They decided later that, if we go back next year, we will change the hub for there.
After a bit of a break, I started third again, this time in the B main. I pulled out quickly behind my friend Kevin and we pulled away from the other drivers. The third place car did catch me but couldn't pass and then, just a lap or two before the checkers flew, we caught a lapped car and I was able to get by quicker and better than the other driver. That helped me bring the second spot home and gave me the paper #6 for the start of the A main.
My A main started with some daylight and ended in the dark. I didn't do very well - I started 6th and ended up last. Nicky and I spent some time crossing over with each other. We like racing each other that way - but we really shouldn't. It doesn't help our position on the track and it also allows the other cars to catch us - either to pass us or to lap us....
I did have a good time and I'm pretty sure we will be back next year.
Next up for us for racing? TURKEY DERBY THIS WEEKEND! Practice and turkey dinner are on tap for Friday night; Heats and lower mains on Saturday and A mains on Sunday. Come on out and watch us race!
Also, a major announcement will be made soon but, a sneak peak - we are entering a contest for a major sponsorship for next year - and we will need YOUR HELP! Watch for a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT and we will tell you how you can help!
Sunday, October 4
- Working on keeping my spot in the points
Well, we certainly weren't sure if we were going to get to race or not after all the storms and rain...but, Joaquin stayed away, the rain stopped and a lot of awesome people got the track ready to go.
I drew a bad pill stick and got the 5th starting spot; I moved up to 4th before the green because Cole moved up to race with us and you have to go to the back when you first move up from novice. Before I say anything else, I want to give him a big shout out for a GREAT JOB for his first time in our group!!
So, anyway, that put me on the second row, outside...I was 'pushing' Nicky around for the start - maybe a little too much as I'm just learning how to stay right on the car in front of me. Anyway, when we got the green, Nicky and I went straight to the front. I tried and tried to pass him, but I couldn't get there. Then Jackson came by me, then by Nicky and, at the line, at the checkers, I beat Nicky for second by "oh so very little". Dad and Mr. Mike thought Nicky beat me; mom wasn't sure - but when she went back in the tower to score, they said I got him by (holding up my thumb and finger really close together), just that much.
That put me starting outside pole for the A main with Jackson to my inside. I went at the line after the pointed flag and I tucked right down behind Jackson coming out of 4 as I was too wide to get in front of him. I stayed there the whole race and held off Nicky to keep second in the race. We just can't catch Jackson yet!
Next weekend we are off for the Pumpkin Races at Oaklane. I really want to go, but it is also one of our only chances to go camping during the season. PLUS, my Pap is meeting us at the campground. So, GOOD LUCK to all of our GSQMRC drivers that are heading that way this weekend!
For me, the next race is October 18th - our last points race of the season. Then we have Turkey Derby in November (the 6th through the 8th). Come watch us - er, me!! It's FREE!
Oh, and I almost forgot - Mom and Dad got me a new Storm chassis this weekend, a new 160 engine and lots of parts. Dad's even talking about buying an Animal engine for next season. I can't wait!!!
September 27, 2015
Not much to say. We came; we raced a heat - started third and finished a distant second to Jackson. I took off like I was supposed to at the start, but I lifted most of the race and didn't really run my line. Dad had a chat with me - Travis was at his Ultimate tournament scoring 3 times and Trevor was at his new job; mom was, as always, in the tower scoring. She talked to me at intermission and reminded me to keep my foot in it!
I started second in the A main and took off where I was supposed to and tucked in behind Jackson. I stayed there, in second, all 25 laps. Jackson is FAST!! We have some work to do.
OH...we also worked the Arrive and Drive on Saturday at our track. We watched 60 kids get their first chance to drive a quarter midget. Some of them are planning on coming back and doing novice school next spring. But, the neatest part is that mom was checking Facebook on the track and saw a really good deal on the quarter midget classifieds on a medium Storm Chassis and a 160 engine (ours blew up last year). She and dad talked; she sent a message and, this coming Saturday, we are going to go look at, and hopefully pick up, my new ride for sometime next season. Keep your fingers crossed! Of course, that means we are looking for more sponsorship. And we have an announcement about that coming up soon. Hope we see you this coming week at the track. Remember: it's FREE!
Jay Butler Weekend
September 18-20, 2015
Mom says to tell y'all she's sorry for not updating last week. She was kind of angry so...
I would think, now that it's out there, you'd like to know why? Here it is. I got wrecked TWICE on the weekend by the same driver, in the same spot, in the same way. IT WAS FRUSTRATING!
Dad took both trailers down while we were in school, so Mom was in charge of getting Shanon and me to the track. While she was rushing around, she had an accident with her phone and fried it. Let's just say, she wasn't in a good mood. We got there and I told dad I wanted to practice. So, we lined up and thought it was just me and Branden, but another driver jumped in, too. Yes, that's who wrecked me - on the first or second lap under green. He flipped his car and messed up his axle. Practice was okay, but I went out a second time myself because I was lifting. I did it again in practice. Mom finally realized I was hearing the ratcheting hub and it made me think the car was doing something bad. Nope...just the noise it makes!
Saturday was qualifying. I was second out and boy was I SLOW! 7.6 - 2/10ths slower than at Grands. We were upset!! But then Jackson went out, and, while he ran a 7.4 that was ALSO 2/10ths slower than his lap at Grands. So, you see, it's the new Dunlop tires - they are slow but don't wear out as much. That time made me 4th fastest and, with inverting, gave me the pole for Sunday's A main. During the evening, we went to the Big Track for the Fan Fest and got to walk with all the 'big' drivers. Then we all got to take our picture with drivers that had raced at Lil' Wall Stadium that now race on the Big Track - it was soooo cool! I also got paired up with a TQ driver and, if he had won, I would have been able to go to Victory Lane with him. My guy came in 5th - Kendall's guy won the race!! It was cool.
So, you think we shouldn't be angry...well...we started the A main and I did a GREAT JOB! But then, coming out of turn 4 on lap one, I got HOOKED AGAIN! Only this time he put me into the wall HARD!!! It bent three of the four 'corners' on my car; we even thought the axle was bent but thankfully it was not. Even with the car a mess, I wasn't ready to go back out...my seatbelts did a great job; so great that I ended up with some bruises. It really didn't matter; no way the car was getting ready in 5 laps. The judges made the call on the other driver so I know I didn't do anything wrong. I ended up 6th for the day - no paper finish for me. :(
Our day ended even worse, mom's truck broke down AGAIN! Some day, they will figure out what is wrong with it!
Back in the saddle again...
Finally we are back at the track!!! We really enjoyed our weekend of camping near Hershey - pool, playground, games, miniature golf. And then we went to Darlington for Labor Day weekend - our first "real" Southern 500. How throwback was it you ask? I saw drivers in the parade I have only HEARD of! Bobby Allison, Rex White, Junior Johnson and so many others! It was a true Southern 500 parade and my mom wishes so much that her camera would have worked at that time of the evening!!!!
But, now, to the business of MY racing career. We got to the track and Dad and Travis went straight to more work on my car - gear changes, again to try to get some more speed; cleaning tires; mounting the new Dunlop right sides (thank you Mr. Steve and Gwen at Quarter Midgets USA!!); and, of course, mom getting me my power breakfast. I drew the number 40, actually, Cookie Marie picked it, and that put me on the outside pole for the heat. I got a little slower start than I should have and ended up in third place not long after the green flag dropped. That's where I stayed for the entire 15 laps. Since there was no inversion for the week, that put me in third for the A main - right behind Jackson. Dad, Mom and Travis reminded me to GO!!! on the start and to stay with Jax. I told them that I knew what to do.
You know what? I did exactly what I was supposed to do and found myself in second as soon as the green flag dropped. Jackson was sooooooo fast. And, for some reason, I got it in my head that I was going to go straight to the wall so I was lifting some ... I didn't need to, and I knew that, but I just couldn't keep my right foot down on that pedal. I stayed in second the entire 25 laps...I never looked back but I also ended up almost 1/2 a track behind Jackson. I can't do that...I know I can't do that. And, believe me, I'm not planning on doing it again!
This weekend is our three day Jay Butler. Mom's trying to get me some more new right sides because we are timing this race. All of the track records will be new because we now have Dunlops for right sides; so the Vega times will go into the book and Saturday's will be the new standard. I'm hoping...well, you know.
Hope to see you there!!! Remember, admission is ALWAYS free!!!
Regular Race Day
August 23, 2013
Another day and more thrashing on my car. Dad and Travis changed gears and some other stuff; put the car on the scales at Mr. White's trailer and got me two sets of 'fresh' tires - because the next time we race, we will be on Dunlops. I went out in the paper #3 for the heat race, and, while I took off at the start, I ended up third behind Jackson and Ryan. Travis changed the tires and looked at some other stuff all while helping out with Madison and anyone else who needed him for the heat races.
Because I finished third, and the coin toss said we would be inverting the field, I started second in the A main - outside pole. Dad, Mom and Travis all reminded me that, once DJ points the flag to the start line, I'm allowed to GO at that line when we get there - and I WENT!!! Ryan was behind me and he went to. I LEAD A LAP!! I LEAD AS THE GREEN FLEW AND THEN I LED THE NEXT LAP!! Mom got some pictures and you'll see them up top on this page! It was cool and, like I told mom later, it felt GOOD!!!
Unfortunately, it didn't last too long and Ryan passed me before we finished lap 2...Jackson got me soon after the start/finish line and I settled into second. I had my foot down and I wasn't lifting...we just didn't have the speed that they had AND the car started to get tight - I'm pretty sure mom has a picture up there that shows my car on the right sides only coming out of turn 4 to prove it! We went straight through for this race - for those of you who don't know a whole lot about racing, that means we took the green flag and raced hard for the entire 25 lap distance of the race! That's really very rare for Junior Hondas...but we all ran a good, clean race on Sunday. Our families were all really proud of us.
We are off until September 13th - we're going for one last camping 'hurrah' this weekend and then I get to go see my racing idols at Darlington for the Southern 500. We all wish "Good Luck" to all of our friends racing Keystones this weekend and the Labor Day Shootout next weekend. Hope to see you at the track on the 13th!!!
Sunday, August 16
We had a busy weekend!! Saturday was Travis' 19th birthday - but we didn't really get to spend it celebrating...we had our church's Harvest Home all day. It's a lot of fun, and loads of good food...but, a really neat thing happened for me - we had my car displayed there and people wanted MY AUTOGRAPH!! That was soooooooooo cool!!
Anyway, that ended real late with all the clean up and stuff, so we went to bed late and then dragged ourselves out of bed in the morning to get to the track. The good thing was that dad was already hooked up to the trailer so that saved us a FEW minutes. Mom, as usual, stayed up even later and made sure my breakfast burritos were ready to heat up when we got to the track.
I let Shanon pick my number - 117 - a little better than my number 123 the week before - and that put me starting third. I did what I was told to do, and I fairly quickly moved up to third....then I took a little too long to pass the second place car so I didn't have a chance to get up to the guy in first. But, on the good side, once I passed and got into second, I didn't lose any ground on the leader either. Since it had been decided to go with a 'straight up' start for the A Mains, I started on the outside pole for that race. I stayed up with the leader for the start, but then I didn't quite 'go' as quickly and as hard as I should have. I did stay in second place but I was a bit behind. Then, as I was trying to pass the lapped car, he spun in front of me (No, I promise you, I didn't hit him - he just spun...he had done that earlier in the race, too). I got to start right on the rear bumper of the leader. I still didn't stay up with him, though. The other guy spun again and I got one last chance, but I just couldn't get there. Some of it was me...I was lifting. And some of it was that the car is just a little too tight. But, we are just now using a ratcheting hub so there will be some adjusting to do for set-up. I really LOVED that hub - I could see that I was doing better with that lead car (he's leading points for the season and wins quite a lot). So, we will make adjustments - including taking out some weight as I am consistently coming across the scales at about 8 pounds over minimal weight; and that weight is in a spot that might be causing the car to act like it is, too.
I want to thank the Gaiser family (Justin Emmon's grandpop, uncle and mom) for the ratcheting hub - that was really cool of you to help us out that way. And thank you to Mr. White (Jackson's dad) for all the help over messages while you were on vacation. I promise to do my best to make it a good competetive end to the racing season.
Come out and see us this Sunday at Lil Wall Stadium - as always, admission is FREE!!!!
Saturday Night Lights
First, mom just called my Pap to tell him to look for me in the paper TWICE this week! That's right...TWICE!
Some of our club friends decided to do the 'double header' this weekend and Travis wanted to do it, too. So he and mom decided they would take me while Dad and Trevor went to the big track. But on Saturday, dad came home and basically said, "Let's get going if we're going." So he came, too. We got to Oaklane in the afternoon and Dad and Travis put the car back together, changed gears and a bunch of other stuff. I got to practice for a few minutes before actually racing. I started near the back in the heat and finished 6th...my buddy Jax 'helped' me into the infield near the beginning of the race and, without a yellow, I was worried about the grass on my tires. I started 6th in the A main and moved to third (even after being in a pretty hard accident early on) when I was taken out by another driver. I had to go to the pits for my tail cone and, when I came back out, my chain came off. Then they got THAT on, and, when I went to go, my keyway fell out. So I ended up 5th (but still a paper finish)!!
Sunday we got up early and got to the track to fix the car and found out that the engine hub was also broken in the wrecks. Dad and Travis and some other handlers did lots of work and got the car ready. I started last in the heat and managed to move up to third - where I would start in the A-main. Travis told me to make sure I went with Ryan (he started first and is on top of our points standings) - so that's exactly what I did!! I ran in 2nd place for the the first 9 laps - including to restarts! Then Jax came up on my bumper quite quickly and I ended up in the infield grass - since we had no judges, that sent me to the back with 16 laps to go. I was able to make a really good move when the green was put out, but I just didn't have enough to catch up to Jax in second and Ryan in first. We need just a little bit more speed and we're going to be there. Justin Emmon's grandpa gave us a special hub to try next week and Chris Silvestri's dad gave us an engine hub to help out with the broken one. We have lots of really great people at our club - just like I have some wonderful friends, family and fans! Thanks for your support! If you can, come see us all race on Sunday - starts at 10:30 and is FREE as always!
Friday Night Lights
July 24, 2015
2015 Eastern Grands
Lil' Wall Stadium
WOW! What a busy week that was! My whole family worked a lot of different things for the week...it made it a little rough on our team and my turn to drive, but we made it through. Next year, though, when we go to New Smyrna, FL all the focus will be on me and the car. Anway.... We had a big rain and lightning storm on practice day - they did have practice at dinner time but we decided not to practice and do some work on the car and just keep me and the car away from other drivers - after all, it WAS my track. Thursday we got up, had more practice and then qualifying. I was #H296 - which was a pretty good spot. I timed at 7.451 - 2/10ths faster than my best ever before! At States, that would have put me in the A main - but for Grands, it was 12th fastest of 22 drivers - which put me on the pole in the C main on Friday. BOY WAS I READY!! But my car wasn't - a pin broke, and the car wouldn't start for warm-ups. Trevor, Travis and Dad brought me in and fixed it...but, too late, I had to go to the back of the field to start. I worked my way up to 5th but, without cautions, I was pretty far back to catch the 4th place car for the transfer spot. Finally, with 4 laps to go, we had a caution and I got bunched up with the field. One lap after the green flag, another yellow and I was in 3rd place. I WAS IN! Just 3 laps and I would make it to the B main!!! Then, coming to the green, the car behind me hit me in the right rear....yup, you guessed it, something broke. The pin came out again, and this time it couldn't be fixed. I was really upset. My brothers and dad and mom and sisters were really upset. Then, we found out I had been having even WORSE problems while I was out there....my shock was broken. I drove the car for 22 plus laps (when you add in cautions and so on) with a broken shock - and I STILL almost transfered to the B main.
Let me tell you - I AM going to make that A main next year in Florida!!! I mean it!!!
You know what, though, racing starts again this Friday night! Come out and see us! I CAN'T WAIT!!!
Mom was checking out the site and realized I never gave an update from our last race....
I've been wanting to race under the lights for a LONG LONG TIME (okay, just over two years - but that IS a long long time for me!!). So I finally got to do it the Friday after the Grands were over. There were four of us for Junior Honda and I started third in the heat. Dad, Trevor and Travis had to move some shocks around because one was broken and some others needed work, too. So they moved it to the left front where it didn't matter as much...but then that put a short shock on the right rear - so it still wasn't 'quite right'. I was lifting some in the corners but I maintained my third place spot - so we didn't have to change the paper number for the night.
Mom was up in the tower all night scoring - so her pictures of me racing under the lights are just okay...but, hey, she got SOME!
The scoreboard decided it was tired after Grands, so it refused to work right - so Miss Lisa (Kendall's mommy) did all the magnetic numbers so we ended up not having videos for the nights - but that's cool! She did a great job keeping things going for all the racers.
I ended up third in the A main as well. I was still lifting and I know I have to learn to keep that gas pedal down as far as it will go. It was nice to get a podium finish and bring home a little hardware for the night - it's been a while since I finished in the top 3 - and that's who gets trophies at our track unless it is an actual trophy race.
What I really want? I want to get one of those win stickers one of these days!! Even though I have 9 wins, none of them earned me a sticker because 6 were heat races and the 3 A mains didn't have enough cars in them to 'count' for a sticker. Mom says one will be coming soon. I sure hope she's right!
We took off the second of August to take a mini-vacation to Knoebels. We'll be back in action on the 8th at Oaklane and the 9th at Lil' Wall! Come out and see us race!!!
With the race track closed due to the rules for Eastern Grands from QMA, we got to have a fun and relaxing weekend at Grandma's shore house for the 4th of July. We did a LOT of swimming and playing in the bay/river, we watched at least 8 different towns fireworks from the boardwalk near her house and we went to the Ocean Gate Parade like we do every year...it's really neat and sometimes we get candy - I like to go and catch it even though I have to give it all to my sisters and brothers.
Grands begins this weekend - well, parking does. Practice is Wednesday the 15th and qualifying the 16th. Hope to give you a GREAT report after the 18th! Wish me (and the team) luck and keep us in your prayers!
June 25, 2015
So, we had a half a school day last Thursday...so mom got home and got us all ready to head to the track. She brought Shawna's friend Rosie, too. We met up with Chris Silvestri, Kendall Fletcher and Nicole Razzano (and their dad's) to work on the car and its set-up. Mostly, we ended up working on the gearing. Travis says we need to check the toe-in/toe-out of the left front wheel - but since it never touched the ground the whole two hours, it didn't change much on how the car was running that night. Beanstalk talked with Louie Keraitis on his phone messages while Big Red and Dad kept working on the gears. Mr. Silvestri gave us some engine gears and we were able to find the right one there. They timed me and, with the last set of gears on, I ran consistent 7.6 laps with a couple of 7.4's in there - all on some seriously old tires....they were older when we started and, on that last run, they already had at least 100 or more laps before the last set of about 35-40 laps I ran then. We did all of this on a kind of slick track as our last two times out it was 'sprinkling'. We wrapped everything up, climbed in the car and drove off to The Golden Corral for dinner. YUMMY!!! It was so nice for everyone to have a lot of different things to pick from - even me!!! Next up for us? Grands week!!! Our track is closed until then and we are going to enjoy our 4th of July weekend at my Grandma's Shore House! Hope to see you at Grands!
June 21, 2015
The Storm wins...
No, not THE Storm...Bill, the Hurricane (and no, not my Daddy)...we had rain overnight and it was still damp in the morning...so, in their best judgement, and being told rain was supposed to come again in the late afternoon, the club cancelled our last race before Grands. Dad and Mom are renting the track for me later this week. In the meantime....
June 14, 2015
The Storm Begins...
So, you might know my mom's a little, well, crazy sometimes. So, she has named this beginning with a new chassis "The Storm Begins..." (and I think she's already decided that next week is "The Storm continues..." HA! Anyway, my dad, mom, Beanstalk and Big Red spent lots of time over the last two weeks getting my new car together. They had some help from Mr. Doug because he's a really good welder - THANKS MR. DOUG!! And, while we got it done in time to race, I didn't get to practice...so, my first time in the bigger car was my heat race. Cookie pulled my pill number at sign-in's and did really good - a 55 - which put me on the outside pole! I slid to the back at the start. The car sounded really funny and I thought the belly pan was dragging. Turns out, after I went in for them to fix it, it was actually that a part moved and the chain wasn't working right. Travis asked me why I was going slow and I told him I was 'feeling out the car'. He told me to 'feel it out going faster!'...so I did! I ended up third in the six car field. That put me starting third for the A-main because it was a straight up start.
Let me tell you something: it felt SO GOOD to have a FAST CAR that was STAYING ON THE GROUND! I stayed between 2nd and 4th for a lot of the race...even after I got wrecked and poor Jax got caught up in it and it ended his day (He ended up on the wall!) Then, as I was going for second, my car just quit going. :( Travis got to me and I was really upset! I didn't do anything wrong!! And, I really hadn't. The car wouldn't go because the THROTTLE CABLE SHREDDED!! So, stepping on the gas pedal couldn't do anything!!! Well, they couldn't fix that in the pits so I was done for the day. I DID finish 4th in the race, so I made AARN again! That feels really good - especially with a new car that I didn't even get to try before Sunday.
I also learned this - I CAN keep up with those guys that have been 'running away' from me the last few weeks. My A Main engine is GOOD and it is FAST!! I know, too, that I need to work on my line again - but that's just a matter of learning how 'big' this car is - after all, my 5'9" brother was driving this car last - and I'm only 3'11"!!!!
Next week is our last day of racing before Grands...I hope we get to rent the track for more seat time! Later!
Region 2 States Races
May 22 - 24, 2015
Where do I start? The beginning or the end? In between? Okay...the beginning...we had practice on Friday afternoon into the evening. Travis changed everything - during practices, after practices, everything! Then Trevor came and changed things. It didn't matter - the car had a mind of its own - but I kept on driving. Mr. Grosso told Trevor and Travis something about the set-up - and they worked on it into the dark!!
Saturday was a beautiful day, mom got up and made me TWO porkroll, egg and cheese (my kind) burritos and then we went up to the track. Dad and my brothers helped fuel all ONE HUNDRED SIXTY THREE cars for their qualifying runs. I went out and ran my best lap EVER!!! Mom said I shaved 3/10ths of a second off my best time - with the car on 3 and sometimes two tires. I timed into the B main (6th of 14 drivers) and I was SO READY!! Racing for me would be Sunday. During Saturday night, we got to go to the big track where I got a medal and all of us got to lead the fans in the Pledge of Allegiance for Memorial Day weekend. I passed out as soon as I crawled on my bed!
So, since I did so good Saturday, mom made me my two burritos again. We went up to the track and waited for my chance to race. We were watching the C main for the Light 160's when there was this really scary accident! Shana and the other EMT did a great job of helping and keeping Hunter safe while we waited for an ambulance. He got a concussion and his helmet broke - but mom says that's the helmet's job - to break so our heads don't. He came back to the track later and I got to talk to him. Of course, that was after I took my OWN tumble in THAT car! So, yes, as I said my brothers did what Mr. Grosso told them. And the car was awful!! I even came in during warmups to have the car worked on - and didn't make it to start in the third position so I had to go to the back. That was kind of good, in the long run, because I knew the car was BAD!! Not very many laps into the race, it went up on two wheels in Turn 2, stayed on 3 on the back stretch, back to 2 going into Turn 3 and through Turn 4 and down the front stretch - it finally flipped right before the flagger stand and I ended up upside down in Turn 1. Ronnie the Rocket said it was the 'slowest flip' he's ever seen. Shana came out again...and I wouldn't answer the other EMT until Travis made me. I WAS SO MAD!! I wanted to make the A main - but I did NOT want in that car again. And I told them "NO!" So I was done for the day! I acted like I was okay with it - but mom found me crying when I went to bed. She asked me why and I told her I was disappointed. She told me it was okay to be disappointed and asked me if I was scared to drive. I told her "NO! Just upset about the car." And, then she told me we were definitely NOT using the Butler anymore and that Dad, Beanstalk and Big Red were going to bring the Storm home from Grandma's on Monday so they could start putting it together for me to drive. Mr. White - Jackson's dad (Jackson won the Junior Animal States Race) - even told us we could use Jackson's old car if we can't get the Storm ready...that was really nice and it's what quarter midget racing is all about!!
It was also a great weekend because our whole family was there!! And Shawna's friend, Kimmy, too. Shawna and Kimmy helped get some shirts signed for two drivers who have been in and out of the hospital recentlly. And Shawna even did the lap counter when the computer and MoScore decided they didn't feel like working any more. It was really nice to have everyone there and working together. And, our weekend was topped off by Big Red taking the WHOLE FAMILY out to dinner at Mulligans!
We are off the next two weeks - except, hopefully, to rent the track and practice my NEW CAR!!
May 17, 2015
Well, let me tell you - it was HOT out there! I was sweating as soon as we got out of the truck. We signed in and I picked a 73 from the pill pull. Yeah, that wasn't so good - I started 6th of 7 cars in the Junior Honda heat. Travis looked all over my car to try and find the problem - measuring tapes and a 'fine tooth comb' and it was just that the front axle can't be put in the right place with the way the chassis is. Mom even offered some of the older drivers to take mallets and sledgehammers to it just to make it stop!! But, they didn't....so we lined up and I put my game face on - I even shut my lid on mom when she tried to wave and give me a thumbs up from the tower!! I moved up to 5th for a little bit, but slid back to 6th. The car is STILL waving at everyone when I go around the turns. So back to the drawing board went Dad and Beanstalk - with Mr. Vuksanic, Mr. Mullen, Mr. Pesavage and some other handlers trying to figure it out - they all decided a lot of cutting and welding needs to go on...I don't know what that all means; I just want my car to work better for me. But, anyway, none of that could be done at the track, so out I went, starting 6th again. I was minding my own business and staying safe when a yellow came out...I got lucky!! The leader passed me but it didn't count. So, guess what? I was in SECOND PLACE - the leader was in front, a lapped car and ME!! I took off!! I didn't look back and I didn't lift - even when it felt like I might go over because the left rear started lifting off the ground, too. But, there was a problem - some of the other guys kept WRECKING so we ended up running a total of 118 laps!!! It was supposed to be only 25!!! It even took us more than 15 minutes to finish. So, there I am, working this car that just won't stay on the ground, and MY ARMS GOT TIRED!! I just couldn't do it anymore. I felt bad and said I was sorry after it was over - Travis said I only had 110 lap arms, not 118. He made me laugh! So, I ended up 5th - that means I got a PAPER FINISH and will be in the results in Area Auto Racing News on Tuesday! That's what mom asked for before the day started. I did get a lot of hugs - and people telling me they were worried. It's okay - I'll be ready to try again this weekend for the States Race. My goal? Make it to the A-main and take it from there!!!!
Mom says I don't have a whole lot to say here: Dad and Beanstalk spent a lot of time in the morning changing the springs on my shocks, cleaning my tires and doing general prep. We didn't get the new axle on because we wanted to try one more set of adjustments. In the heat, after starting third, the car was still lifting but not as much. I ended up 5th and I, as always, worked my butt off for it. They made a few more adjustments and I went back out to the A main starting 5th. The car just 'wasn't right' and, I held 5th for quite a bit of the race, but near the end, I got passed ended up 6th. Dad says we are tearing the car down completely this week and may not race next Sunday so that the car is all prepared for the States Races May 22 - 24 at our track. Oh - and I got my helmet back from the painter finally - Mom will post pictures later. Stay tuned!!! PS We've had a guest at our track lately - Joey Payne!!! He's an awesome racer and his son Anthony used to race at our track!
May 3, 2015
Our day started off great - we had Shawna AND her friend Kimmy with us! And then Chuck gave dad $50 toward my car for us sending someone to Nicole's Used Cars!! WOOHOO - I 'real' sponsor - and enough to get the new front axle at the end of the day!! I had another bad pill pick and started last in the heat - and the car was right back to where it was - biking with the left front coming off the ground...finishing 6th of 7 in my heat. After a lot of discussion, dad went back and worked on my shocks and springs and changed the right rear and left fronts and did some other adjusting...mom came down from the tower to make sure I was eating and drinking so I didn't get sick....I went out and started 6th and was able to move to 5th place - which would have put my name in Area Auto Racing News - the racing paper that our results are in each week...but, with just about 3/4 of a lap to go, my arms just could not hold the car where I needed it to stay and I lost 5th - so I finished 6th but it might have been even tougher than my last 6th place finish! Mom is going to post pictures of what my car looked like the WHOLE RACE! We have the new axle and lots of work to do this week!!
April 26, 2015
Our friends in Texas had their rig stolen this morning - so mom was a little slow getting out the info on how my day went: I picked my pill number and started 5th of 8 drivers in the heat....a little lifting and not quite running my line put me to 6th at the checkers...which is where I started the A-main as well. The crew chief and car chief did some work on the car STILL trying to get that left front to stay on the ground....well, it didn't happen - and there will be some pictures posted that show how it's coming up off the ground.....I ended up 6th but had a car to stay up with 3rd through 5th and was actually catching 5th when the yellow came out....because I was lapped, and the car I was chasing was just about to go down a lap, I had no chance to catch her at the green - I started behind the leader (so a lap down) and she started at the rear - having not been lapped - so there was no chance to catch her....I was happy - but upset that we still can't get that thing to stay down so I don't feel like I am going to dump it....
During the week, my Pap sent me $100 sponsorship to help by a new front axle....we know this isn't the 'whole' problem with my car - but it sure will help!!
Mom almost forgot to add - our friends found all of their race cars and parts and tools...but the cars were really messy, and their trailer is gone and their Excursion is destroyed. We wish them the best of luck in getting their equipment together. And we are overjoyed that Jada got back her trophy from her first National Podium finish!!
April 19, 2015
I was up and ready to go this Sunday. Mom had us all packed - lunchmeat, bread, bananas, my cookies and lots and lots to drink - including my Wat-haa (you know, we really should send them a sponsorship request - lol). Dad drove me and the trailer and Big Red followed in his truck. My mom stayed home - we had a really busy weekend and my big sister Shawna had her final performance of "Annie, Jr." at her school that day. So we split up - guys and gals. Beanstalk couldn't come this week because his big Final Review was due on Monday (we heard it went pretty well - he's got a great building he designed!) Anyway, I drew my number and I started 4th - so second row, outside - of seven cars. I ended up 5th so that's where I had to start in the A-main. I was worried that the front tire was coming off of the ground in the turns, so I didn't really put my right foot into it like I need to so I can stay up with the lead guys. I'm working on it - and Big Red says he will work on the car, too. Mom says "More right foot, less left foot!" I told her I'd give more right, but I wasn't using the left. We race again this Sunday. Hope you can come out and see me!
GARDEN STATE CLASSIC
April 10-12, 2015
WHAT A START TO MY SEASON!!! Friday night practice was rained out so it was moved to Saturday at 10. I went out with one other driver and took it easy like I was told - AND because my car was biking (that means it was going up on the two right side tires and the lefts were not on the track). Dad did some adjustments before qualifying - it still biked but I ran my line AND my fastest time ever - 8.214 - but that was 'only' fast enough for 7th quickest of 11 - which put me on the outside pole for the B-main. My friend Ryan qualified with a new track record of 7. 930!! I have never qualified for an A-main by coming out of the B so I was nervous...but Beanstalk showed up before I had to race and looked over the new adjustments dad made...and we were all set to go. Oh, did I mention this was also my first time driving with glasses? Wow, what a difference! Anyway, I was all set and in position when DJ (the flagger) gave us the one to go signal - I stayed up with the pole sitter and then WHAM!! he turned right - right into my car, pushing me in the wall and spinning me in front of the field. My thumb was hurting a little so the EMT's (and my mom) checked it out - but it was all good to go. Since we had not yet taken the green, the field went back to how we were to start. I stayed in third for most of the race - even after being put in the wall AND ran over - UNDER THE YELLOW FLAG! My car was fast but I played it smart because it STILL felt like it was biking and I was safely in a top 4 spot to transfer to the A-main!! We were ALL SO EXCITED when I did!!!! When racing was done for the day, I went back to the trailer and mom cooked me a meal - and then made MORE FOOD because I was starving. Unfortunately, I got sick early in the morning but, after going back to sleep, I woke up feeling good, had a good breakfast of proteins and some carbs, and I was READY TO GO!!! I started 7th in the A-main and was moving right along, in 4th place, with 3 laps to go! Unfortunately, I got taken out AGAIN (same driver) and this time was quite the spectacle - I went end over end and slid on the asphalt. Another Jackson's mom, Jaimee, got both video AND pictures of it to share with us!! I was quite angry and got re-focused to go back to racing - but then we discovered that the shock broke while I was taking my wild ride (worst one of the weekend at GSQMRC) so I was done with 3 laps to go. I ended up 7th in the A-main - but that's the hardest fought 7th place finish ever, I think!
We'll be back at it again next week. My mom and Travis are probably going to miss the weekend because Mom has my sister's play, "Annie, Jr." to go see for her (Break a Leg, Shawna; I love you and will see you in the play Saturday night) and Travis is getting ready for his big final review for his Freshman Architecture Classes at NJIT. But, on the neat side, my Pap is coming into town so he will be there with me and dad (and maybe Big Red, unless he has fire classes).