RACE WEEKEND UPDATES - 2016 SEASON
Battle of Trenton
December 11, 2016
So, Dad has reminded mom quite a few times that, when we updated the site, she forgot my report about racing Indoors in Battle of Trenton!
This was my first time as a Senior at an indoor event. Some days it seems like things go right - and then they go wrong. That Sunday was one of those days!
Wow! What a day! From the highs to the lows, I had an interesting day.
First, we displayed the #SFAC banner and handed out some more of the postcards about the contest. We know at least one driver who is going to put her hat in the ring!
Then we got down to business - this was only my third time racing indoors and my first in the Senior divisions since I just moved up. My Honda was FAST in practice - I was pulling away from the other drivers during practice. In the Animal I was doing well, too - but it was a bit loose.
After the pill pick, I started 8th in the first heat for Senior Honda (15 total cars). It was only a 10 lap race - and I moved from 8th to 2nd to transfer straight to the A main!! This was my first transfer straight to the A when there were more than 10 cars to the field!! I was so excited!! My family and friends and fans were, too!
The Animal heat didn't go well at all - the track got more rubber AND we tightened the car too much - I finished 7th of 8.
I started third for the Honda A main and was moving up under second when he came down and wrecked me on lap one. I got sent to the back because the rules for these races were anyone who stops or causes a wreck goes to the back. I just couldn't get around 2 cars who didn't run any kind of line and kept blocking. When I finally did, the leaders came up and passed me just before a yellow. We still weren't sure if I finished 7th, 8th or 9th in that race. It was quite disappointing after finishing 2nd in the heat. I was also in a lot of pain, but I didn't tell my family until racing was over. I did end up 5th - my actual finish was 6th but, as I also say below, one of the top three cars was disqualified so I was moved up in finish.
The very last race of the day was my Animal A main. I again got wrecked on the first lap after making a clean pass - three wide - going into turn one. A car on the outside came down across the noses of the three of us and flipped himself and the rest of us stopped. But, going to the back again, I was picking my way through the field when I spun. I worked my way up AGAIN - and spun again. After the third time, I was done for the race with just a few laps left. I gave it my all!
I know it wasn't an A main win - but we were all very proud of our second place in that heat - the Honda was the best we have run since moving up. We also found out that the car that beat us in that race was disqualified after the A main when it didn't pass tech. So, it really WAS a great race!!
Now it's time to tear down and get ready for 2017 - even though I keep asking to go to Florida, or Fort Wayne, or Ohio. LOL
Last Regular Season
Regular Race Day
October 16, 2016
...another day of learning in the Senior divisions
The Animal was just rough today....three spins and you're out - both in the heat and A main. Two different issues as the car was much too tight in the heat and, in the A main, the throttle would only stay wide open so I couldn't finesse and feather it in the turns. Dad looked and said it seemed like the throttle cable wasn't quite placed right.
Honda was much better. I started last in the heat and made my way through to third. I was gaining on second and pulling away from fourth at the checkers. Two of the drivers that I beat are in the hunt for the championship. I started the A main 3rd & was running well when I got pushed out of the groove in three by one car and then he and I got shoved into the breakers and stopped. No call was made so we both got sent to the back. I managed to get around 2 cars but couldn't get up to the 5th place car in time. I am staying up with the front runners so when we get the setup right, I am going to be right there with them!
I am very proud of my podium finish in the heat!
Our trick or treat race is next Sunday. Dad and Trevor will be in Tennessee but Travis and mom have decided they are going to take me to race! I'm excited - and Shanon is, too - because she'll get CANDY!
Sheesh!! What a day!
I picked the worst # in the Senior Honda division so I started last of 11 cars. I was moving up on the second lap when there was a flip in front of me. I slowed down, but another car spun and came up in front of me. Nowhere to go...BAM! My brother Travis and some other handlers worked hard and straightened my tie rods the best they could. I was in 8th when I came out. A car cut down as I was passing for a position and I got spun again. Then another wreck happened and those cars were sent to the back...my brother called me in and they hit me coming off the track. I stuck it out and finished. Mom got a picture of what my right side tie rods looked like while I was racing.
Started 8th in the A main. The car behind me kept banging in to me coming to the start. Finally, at the green, I ended up hitting right into the car in front of me. We were almost completely stopped but took off again. With the race going all 30 laps under green, I never really recovered...but I did finish the race and ended up 7th.
We didn't race the Animal today because we haven't found what is causing the throttle to hang wide open. Looks like we have a lot of work before our Turkey Derby in two weeks.
Mom posted pictures on our Facebook page - Schwarz Enterprize Racing of my car in the heat race. I think she posted pictures of Travis - my big brother and crew chief - and Uncle Wild Billy - one of my sponsors and good family friend - thrashing on the car before the A main. I know I don't tell them enough how much they mean to me.
We are now getting both cars ready to race again - and mom has re-posted my gofundme looking for some sponsor money for Turkey Derby - AND for the indoor races at Trenton in December.
Thanks for all of your support - I couldn't do this without all of you!!
Finally updating - we know we have been awful!
Last Junior Division Races at GSQMRC
Junior Honda Trophy Race
I guess you could say - 2's all-around!
Today was my last Junior division races at GSQMRC (my home track/club). I timed 5th fastest of 6 in my Honda trophy race as I had some trouble with the new tires not having the grip I was looking for. Due to the rules at GSQMRC, trophy races have the top 5 places inverted, putting me on the pole for the A main. I pulled out quickly and ran out front for the first 10 or so laps of the race. I was passed by the eventual winner at that point and then involved in a wreck. I received second spot back after the judging call. I would go on to stay in second for the remainder of the race. In my Junior Animal, a regular race, I would start third after finishing third in the heat race with an engine that didn't have the power I should have. It was discovered that the carb was not in place due to a missing bolt. The crew fixed that and the car looked better in the A main. I had some laps where I criss-crossed with another car but eventually came out in second place for the checkers. A double podium finish for my last Juniors at Garden State.
This coming weekend I will take on the high banks of Oaklane for my last ever Junior division races. I would like to thank Champion for their support through all of this and everyone for their help and support today - and always. We, as a team, look forward to continuing carrying the Champion banner as we go through the learning curve of moving up in quarter midgets.
Also, this weekend, my team and I set up a spot at a local festival - Harvest Home. We had out all our Champion stuff as well as my trophies from the National championship. We have at least two more events that we will be taking our cars and other items to represent #TeamChampion.
I will start with a HUGE APOLOGY for not keeping up on here. Going back to school and Cub Scouts has made life crazy hectic - especially with a trip to Darlington, school work and, of course, racing every weekend. So mom and I talked and I am going to do one big update - and I will tell you all about our weeks by using the information I leave for my Champion Spark Plugs #TeamChampion teammates each and every week. Bare with me - this is going to be kind of long since I haven't updated since August!!
Oaklane Junior Trophy Races - my last Junior division races ever!
Podium, podium and two more podiums!!
I had a busy time for my last weekend as a driver in the Junior divisions of quarter midgets. We went to Oaklane Quarter Midget Racing Club for their special 3-leg Monza weekend as well as their Sponsor Cups for the Honda 120 divisions. I didn't qualify very well in either of my cars - 4th fastest in Junior Animal and 4th fastest in Junior Honda (the Sponsor cup car). Mom said the Animal was 'a dog'...I didn't laugh!
So, for the Honda Sponsor Cup, I started third due to the inversion from qualifying. The car was still not the way I wanted it to be, but I kept it going in the right direction and kept my foot on the gas. We found out at the end of the race that the belly pan was dragging which was keeping the car from going as quickly as we'd like. However, I ended up third so a nice podium finish with that one. My friend from my home track won the race.
In the second leg of the Monza for Honda, we found some speed and I ended up finishing that race in third still. It just didn't go like we wanted it to, but it was a much more competitive race - especially at 10:30 at night after having been on the track for practice around 9:30 in the morning.
The last leg of Honda was on Sunday. I started third because it was a straight up start for points. I raced with the second starting car for quite a bit of the race. After a caution, we were 4th and 5th (me) in line because the leader had lapped two cars before we could do the same. We took off at the start and she moved up but I kept my foot in it and made a great pass around the outside and held it there through turns 1 and 2, and then through the backstretch. Going in to three I was able to make it a clean pass and I stayed in front of her. As we were coming to the checkers, she tried to dive under me but I kept my foot in it and crossed the line in second! Podium number 3 of the weekend in Honda!!!
My Animal first race wasn't a very good one. I was trying, but the car just didn't go in any way I wanted it to. I held on to it and finished 4th and on the lead lap. Mom and I were up on the photographers stand when my brother Travis brought my right front rim up to show us - it was worn and the holes for the bolts were no longer circles but ovals....that made a lot more sense!!!
In the second leg, I started second and got to the lead on lap 2! I lead 15 laps before getting passed on a restart. I couldn't hang on to second and got passed late in the 30 lap race to finish third. But boy did it feel good to lead after how that car has been running the past few weeks - first the throttle cable was messed up, then the carburetor and then the rim - which probably happened when I got wrecked into the wall before the race started.
The last leg of the Animal I started 4th and moved up to the lead at one point. I went back to second and there was a caution. On the restart, the third place car ran over me and popped my chain - I had to go in the pits and, thanks to all the handlers, I was able to get back out. Unfortunately, there were only two laps left and I finished 4th.
Overall, 4 podium finishes and my first podium finish in a Sponsor Cup race at that track made for a pretty good weekend. Mom took some video and got a few pictures this weekend as well.
First Senior Division Weekend
Wow! What an experience!
We spent 2 and 1/2 hours at the track Saturday morning (in the wretched, disgusting hot and humid 90+ temps) getting weight in the cars and trying to shake them down. We barely got to test the Animal because the weight plates just did NOT want to cooperate.
Sunday we got to the track somewhat early and Travis, my big brother and crew chief, put the cars on the scales but had all kinds of problems with where we had put the weights. He did his very best and we were on our way! Senior Animal heat was first and I started 2nd and finished 4th. The car was REALLY tight...but it was so FAST that I HAD to put the brakes on in the turns to keep from hitting the wall coming out. We worked on that a bit before the A main but it still needs some more. I finished 5th, after starting 4th, in the Animal A main - I did get lapped by the leader but, after remembering to follow him to learn more about racing in this division, the second place car was not able to catch me in the least. I feel confident that the more I race - and the more we learn as a team - that it won't be long before I'm staying up there and not after being lapped!!
The Senior Honda was a total reversal of the Animal - it was so loose I felt like I was spinning out on every turn - and I DID, twice, in the A main. I started 6th in the heat and ended up 9th. It was tough keeping the car straight and in the turns. But I hung on. We tried to make adjustments after the race and before the A main but it didn't make a whole lot of difference. I spun out about 5 laps into the race while gaining on the 8th place car. As I was sitting, the leaders came around and second place had his vision blocked - he hit me full on!! I was fine, but my left front tire went down. I went in the pits, and, with the help of many of the other teams, I was back out in track in time for the green. I spent a lot of time around 8th to 10th throughout the race; at one point, due to a wreck that didn't turn out as bad as it looked like it was going to be, I restarted as high up as 7th. I made a 'great move'. I put it that way because that's what everyone keeps telling me! LOL I was just trying not to wreck if you want the truth. But, anyway, I ended up 9th AND on the lead lap.
Overall, it was a pretty successful first week racing kids that are, mostly 4 and 5 years older than me!
Next week we have our Annual Jay Butler race weekend; I will also be doing a fundraiser called "Kids Racing For Kids" where all the money will go to Victory Junction Gang.
Jay Butler Weekend - so disappointing...
...it certainly didn't turn out anywhere near what we were hoping for.
The good: I ran fairly decent times for my first time of qualifying in Senior classes. I had the 7th fastest time in Senior Animal of 8 cars and qualified in the same position in Senior Honda out of 11 cars. I started outside pole in the Senior Animal heat - but didn't finish the race due to spinning three times after getting stuffed in the wall on the start. My dad and brother asked what I was doing and I told them - we all decided it was the way I was coming off of turn 4 and I took the blame. In the Honda, I started 4th and finished 5th - I raced really hard and kept my head - I beat a two of the drivers who will have podium finishes at the end of the year in the points standings. That felt good. The other good thing (great thing!) was getting to drive on the big track - Wall Stadium - on Saturday night. All of the quarter midget drivers got to do it; but I did go slower so my engine was good for Sunday's racing. Our retiring drivers had American flags attached to their cars and we all did parade laps during the Anthem. It was so AWESOME to look up at the crowd and see all the people standing and honoring our nation. There's a video at a Facebook page called NJ Racing (mom said she will try to get a link later) that has over 12,000 views.
The bad: Well, I didn't get to finish any of the races...which leads to
The ugly: My first race I started last as lineups were made from accumulated points (lowest points being best). Going into turn one, the fifth place driver tried to win it all on the first lap. He wrecked 4 other cars and I was on my way through the mess when he let off of his brakes and drifted down the track into me. My car was broke - and no way to fix it. Mom and dad said we spent more money this weekend on repairing my car than all of my novice season! So, I was mad, but I got myself together for the next race because I was starting 6th in an 11 car field. I was READY!! We took the green and, coming into turn 3, the 7th place car ran straight over me!!! He wrecked me into the car that was on my outside and the three of came to a stop in turn 4 with his front right sitting inside my cage. I was fine - but the car was not. And I was done for the day. It was DEFINITELY not the weekend we were looking for.
Back at it next week with my trophy race for Senior Animal. Hoping it goes much better!
First Senior Division Trophy Race - Senior Animal
We did a lot of thrashing this past week...after all, we came home with not one but TWO broken cars.
Got to the track and practiced the Animal - had some help from another handler who told us to change our left rear - boy did THAT HELP!
I didn't qualify well, so I started last on the field. It was a pretty crazy race and I missed two wrecks and was able to come home with a 5th place in the Trophy race. I was pretty happy with that since it was really only my second chance to race with the Seniors in this division.
In Honda, I inherited the lead after the initial green when the pole sitter got wrecked by the third spot car. I lead for 9 laps!!! That was really exciting! I did get a little nudge out of the way as the eventual heat winner passed me. Then the car got tight and I ended up 7th but on the lead lap. I started in that spot for the A main. I made several attempt to pass up to 6th but, each time, I became the filling in an Oreo cookie and chose to save the car and keep racing. That last attempt came with only 2 laps to go and I slid back to 8th with that. It's okay, though, I stayed up with all the older kids and we were all extremely happy with how I raced.
And that, my fans, friends and family, gets us all caught up!! We are supposed to race this Sunday - but the weatherman and Mother Nature may have other plans!
Two Week Update
Friday under the Lights
Sunday in the Heat
She looks the part, doesn't she??? Travis made sure she was safe and sent her on her way!
So, we had our first August race moved to Friday Night under the Lights due to extreme heat and humidity in our area. I was ready for the night and then it happened....
#PartsMatter - FAIL! For the first time all season, we had a part failure...I was going for the pass and hit the rumble strips and the car just quit running! They pushed me into the pits but my crew had no luck finding what was wrong. So I got a DNF in the Animal.
What do you do when you're so disappointed? You go out in your next division's heat and WIN!!! I held off our points leader (and win leader for all that) for the checkers!! He was on my bumper for 2 laps and tried rubbing me out of the way, but I held on. Then I made a mistake - I told my brother I really didn't like the new set-up he gave me even though I won. The car was fast, but I didn't like how it was sliding. So he changed it back for me.
It also took dad and Travis a while to figure out what was wrong with the animal. Finally they realize the starter switch broke so they got it changed. Then it STILL wouldn't start....so they drained the fuel and found stuff in it....with that cleaned out, they added fuel and, thankfully, she started up just moments before we were called to the hot chute. I started shotgun on the field and moved up to third. By the time I got there, I just didn't have the time to do anything to catch second or the leader. So podium finish of 3rd was it.
In the Honda, I started on the pole (no invert for the night) and took off when I was allowed....however, I got put into the infield after being shoved up into the outside pole sitter....and, since we are supposed to stop if we go in the grass, I did. With no judging for the night, I was sent to the rear and again had to make my way through the field. I got to third and was catching second, if there had been just ONE more lap, I would have had him.
So, we ended the night with two podium finishes.
That didn't end my time at the track for the weekend. Saturday we had an Arrive and Drive for kids ages 5 to 15 to come and try out driving. I got to shake down a couple of other cars (to make sure they were throttled back), did five 10 lap demonstrations in my Honda (and got to do some testing of that really good set up I made my brother change) as well as do some PR for Champion as I wore my gear and a lot of people asked about it.
My equipment was in the pits for the kids to check out as they got in the cars. One kid wanted to drive mine. Had to tell him "no"....my baby sister didn't even get to drive it for her turn!
Speaking of my baby sister...I didn't let her drive my car (good thing, too...she drove 10 pretty good laps...then put the one she did drive into the wall because she waz listening to my brother's words but not following them!)....but she did wear my gear....so she was all set to start Novice School in September. Well, I say WAS because....she broke her wrist in two places on the 15th (my brother Travis' birthday) and now won't be able to get in until March.
Between races, I got to go to my Pap's house in Pennsylvania - and he and mom took me and Shanon to Lernerville Speedway to see my #TeamChampion Champion Spark Plug's teammate AJ Flick race his sprint car. He won his heat and then, in his A main, he had his power steering pump explode! I was really sad for him and I wanted so badly to win on Sunday for him.
Now for the 14th....
Junior Animal was a hard fought second as the car just didn't have any get up and go. My crew chief, big brother Travis, says we need to rebuild the carburetor ...so I was pretty happy with the podium finish of second.
Then I went out in my Junior Honda. I was so hyped...I just KNEW I was going to get the win today! I led the first 23 of 25 laps and had already put one car a lap down when I was passing another slower car and he turned left into me and we wrecked! !!! I got sent to the back and managed to get back to second for the checkers. Let me tell you. ...that's the most disappointing second I have ever finished.
Next week is my last Junior trophy race at my track and the following weekend will be my last Junior trophy race - at another track - as I move up to Senior on my 9th birthday. Hoping for some luck to go with the speed we found in the Honda....
Finally, dad worked on my car - and found that the problem with my 'get-up-and-go' with the Animal this past week was that the throttle cable slipped. I'm ready for this week!!!
Under the Lights
So, we headed back to our own track this past Friday night for Friday Night under the Lights. We always start our races with a meeting for the drivers and handlers. They called everyone up and we were told how the Twin races were going to happen. For my divisions, we were running Twin 20's....run a 20 lap race for points, come in, the winner drew a card, and that decided the inversion; then we would go run another 20 lap race for points from the new starting positions.
But, before that happened, the club called up me and the other two drivers that won Speed Kings at Eastern Grands - and they presented us with this:
So, with my pill draw, I started 2nd for the first Junior Honda Twin - and finished second. It was a pretty good race but I just couldn't catch the leader. With the draw from the leader, we inverted the whole field so I started 6th. I worked my way all the way up to 2nd but just didn't have time to catch first. My brother was very happy with how I ran those races.
For Junior Animal, I started third and moved to second but just couldn't catch Jackson - but I was closer that we have been in a while! With the inversion I started 5th in the second Twin. That time, I didn't run quite as well as I should have - I kept trying to set up a pass on a slower car, but it took me a while to do it 'right'. By the time I did, first and second were too far gone for me to catch them. I guess a night of 3 seconds and a third, all podium finishes, is a really good night! I have one month to go until I have to move up to the Senior classes. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time.
We also went to the big track and got to watch Louie Keraitis win in his Legends race and Ronnie Mullen win in his Over 40 Legends race! And Sunday the Keraitis' gave us a whole bunch of equipment to help!! It was a great weekend!!
We are off this weekend for Dirt Grands. On August 6th, we will be helping out with our Arrive and Drive at GSQMRC - if you have a child, age 5 to 15 interested in giving racing a try, please go to our club website www.gardenstateqmrc.com to find out how you can join!! We will be racing on the 7th!
Mom says we have so much to say but for now, we are just going to drop this here...
So, as you can see from that, I WON!! I ACTUALLY WON A SPEED KING!!!! This is my first 'official' A main win - I have three others but they came in novice races and with just one other driver - QMA doesn't consider these 'official' (but we did).
Our trip started out okay, then mom noticed a crack in the windshield of the truck - no one heard it happen! We teased Travis that it was one of the Pokemon he was trying to catch as we were driving (it's a pretty neat game if you are smart about it). We were driving with the Razzano's - Chuck, Heidi and Nicole - so Nicole could race at Grands, too. We stopped for the night in Manning, SC where we also met up with our friends, Outlaw and Miss Alice. They decided to sponsor my cars, too!!! So we have a new sticker on the Animal and, mom said, another one coming for the Honda soon. After dinner at Shoney's, we all went back to the hotel to sleep. We got up to have breakfast at Waffle House but it was too crowded, so we ate at the TA restaurant instead - that was cool - because we got to sit at the 'bar' in a big horseshoe and everyone had a great time talking! Then we were off to Florida! We got there and checked in our cabins for the week. We went to Daytona on Monday for an all access tour of the speedway. It was really cool and this guy told me about a 'ride-along' they do - I thought it was cool so mom told me "If you win an A main at Grands, we will come back and do it!" Heidi and Chuck spoiled me and Cookie with new shirts, too. And mom and dad got us each a little something. Travis stayed back at the cabin to work.
Tuesday we went swimming and then we took the trailer, with the cars, over to the track. It was so cool to think that Mark Martin had helped built that track!
Wednesday was practice day! The cars were pretty good, but Travis decided to change to a "Honeybrook set-up" for racing. And boy was it hot and icky out. Mom got asked to help score for the races I wasn't in and she said she would. We're used to that so it didn't really throw us off that much. Mom made sure we did our special handshake and to tell me she loves me before I went on the track every time.
Thursday was qualifying and heat races. I qualified second fastest in my Animal and fourth fastest in my Honda. For the heats, I started second in Animal and fourth in Honda. I finished both in second. That gave me the second most points for Animal and put me on the outside pole (we only had three cars qualify but a fourth would join us to race - he had to go to the back because of not qualifying). My second place in Honda also gave me the second most points - and, with the inversion, that put me starting 5th - inside of the third row - alongside Jackson in 6th.
On Friday it was TIME!! They changed the order because the driver that was joining us in Animal was using a car from a Senior Animal driver. So we started with Junior Honda. Travis was hoping to stay in the right order, but it didn't really matter. Everyone was so nervous - I think Travis got sick a couple of times. So, we went out and the race started and Jackson passed me right away, but I went with him. There were a couple of different wrecks and spins with a couple of restarts. The first restart I started fourth and passed right away for third. The next one I spun to miss, but I got my spot back of third and passed right away again for second. I did the same on another restart for first. With 7 to go, there was another accident. On the first green, I took off, but the lap didn't count due to a spin. On the second time, I didn't get as good a start and the second place car passed me. I passed him back - then he passed me. We call this criss-cross and it really isn't a good idea. After three laps, I remembered what Travis told me to do to keep it from happening and, guess what? IT WORKED!! I led the last 4 laps and I WON!!! I WON A SPEED KING!! I WON AN A MAIN!!! We were so happy!!! I will let videos and pictures tell you how that went!
I got to jump into mom's arms just as I was getting ready to go get in my Animal. I led in the Animal race a couple of times, but I ended up coming in second to Jackson. I raced hard, but I let up on the gas when I thought there was going to be a yellow - and we didn't get the yellow. That was a mistake - but I learned, and I won't do it again. So I ended up with second in that race.
This Friday we head back to Wall for Friday Night Under the Lights. Dad got my Honda engine put back together on Tuesday so we just need to get it back in the car.
Thank you for EVERYTHING! I could not have done this without all of you!!!! #TeamChampion #TeamGSQMRC
2016 Eastern Grands Junior Honda A main
June 26, 2016
My Junior Honda win - I was getting ready to lap the car in 'front' of me.
We finally got back to racing after two weeks of family time - first for camping and then for my big sister's Confirmation.
First, though, we reserved the track for Friday night for practice. After two hours with my fellow drivers, Kendall and Nicole, I had a better grip on my line, keeping my foot in it and getting some good times. No, I wasn't perfect, but I DID show lots of improvement - including running a 7.4 in my Animal which was .2 better than I have been running - and that was on old tires and a left side rear that REALLY needs replaced. We went with Nicole's family to Golden Corral after for dinner and closed the place down - I ate LOADS of my favorite meatloaf.
Sunday was a beautiful day at the track, but I didn't start off very well. You might even say I didn't show anything good at all. My first race was the Junior Animal heat race and, when I got passed, I spun myself out. That sent me to the back - and I stayed there; I refused to pass the car in front even though I knew he was slower. My dad and brother (and I'm sure mom, too) were quite disappointed; I went up to sit with my mom while she was scoring in the tower with Sara. Travis came and found me and boy did he lecture me!!! I was upset, but I knew he was right, too. Then he had me go to the other side and sit with him, and we watched some of the older kids race; we talked about what the drivers were doing right and what they were doing wrong. The cool thing? Sara's son, Justin, won that race!! Justin's family has been really good to us - they gave us some parts that we were looking for and wouldn't take any money for it - just one more way people help to 'sponsor' me!!
So, after the lecture and the lesson, I went out in my Junior Honda - AND I WON THE HEAT!!! My second win of the season and my first in Junior Honda and my first at Wall since novice class!!!! We were all really excited - I even lead the WHOLE RACE!!
Unfortunately, I didn't do quite as well in the A main for Honda, finishing third. A couple of things didn't go quite the way they should have, but I still made a podium finish. In the Animal A main, I raced a LOT better than I did in the heat. I started last and made my way to third, which is where I finished. Two podium finishes for A mains and a win in the heats - not a bad weekend's work, I suppose. Last year, we would have been thrilled with it - now we just know we have to work harder! I'll be racing again this Sunday and then next Friday. After that - we will be on our way to Florida!!!
Mom reposted the gofundme this week as we could use some help for the two sets of tires we have to buy at Grands. I can't thank everyone enough for all of your support - money, cheering, checking in on me - everything!!! THANKS!!
Finally back on track - for a week, anyway
2016 Region 2 States
May 20-22, 2016
Not a whole lot to say this weekend. We were back at Lil Wall for a regular race day for Junior Honda and Animal. My Honda day went pretty well - I started in the back of the heat and made my way to second. Started second in the A main and stayed there, behind Jackson, the whole race. I just want some more speed - and my brother tells me I need to run a better and more consistent line. Mom said we will start working on that NOW! Animal didn't go very well - even though that has been my favorite car this year. I spun out twice during the heat (by myself) and then the chain came off - so I got a DQ/DNF for the heat and started at the rear for the A main. I moved up a little...and then spun again. And I moved up a little, and then spun again. I just stayed back in 4th place after that last spin. It was definitely disappointing and frustrating for all of us. I know it could have been a worse day, but it didn't feel like it last night.
We are off track for the next two weeks for a family event and then, well, another family event - that one is for my sister Shawna and my cousins for confirmation. As much as I want to race, they are really important!!
Grands is coming up quickly - please remember we could use some more help with our sponsorship and money for this BIG TRIP to the NATIONAL EVENT! If you go to my sponsorship page, you can see how you can help! We have the gofundme still up and running or you can contact my mom, dad or brothers directly. Thank you to EVERYONE who has been supportive of me - fan, friends, family, sponsor or just cheering me on. Also, we gained a new sponsor last week with Stone Creek Shepherds coming on board!!! Thanks, Debbi!!
Also, congratulations to all of my #TeamChampion, Champion Spark Plugs teammates on their weekends - especially AJ Flick for his second win of the season at Lernerville Speedway (my mom's home track).
It wasn't the weekend we hoped for but then mom reminded me that, just one year ago I would have been thrilled with heat finishes of second (Junior Honda) & third (Junior Animal) and A mains of 5th (Honda) and a podium finish of third in Animal.
I got that third even as my crew made an adjustment that didn't work like we wanted. I worked hard to hold off the fourth place car for more than 10 laps. I started 3rd in the A main after a not so great qualifying time and finishing second in my heat. The car that started in 6th won and the 5th starting car got 2nd so, I guess, I did pretty well if you look at it like that. Travis says he's going to change the gearing next time to 'somewhere in between what we started with and what I did for the A main.'
As for the Honda, things just didn’t go my way. Another driver wrecked me at the green. We have judges at our major events but they didn’t make the call so I was sent back to 6th after being on the outside poll (3 other cars stopped so they went back and were behind me). I picked my way through to third and was passing a lapped car when he drove me down in the infield. ..I got a charging call even though video and still pictures showed I was clearly ahead. I went to the back again but was very frustrated. I again worked my way through to 5th but with cars being lapped, the leader got wrecked...he got his spot back and I was in 4th. I stayed there last few laps but then the finish was announced and they said 5th. So, it wasn't really a very happy ending even though it was a pretty good weekend.
We are off next weekend for Memorial Day and for our Region 2 dirt track to hold their States races. Travis keeps trying to get dad to go but we are going away with family and friends to relax before the big push of the season starts.
Congratulations to all of our teammates on their wins this weekend!! AJ Flick won at Lernerville - that's a big deal to mom because it's her home track and she watched AJ's dad race, too. She hopes to get to take me to see him race this summer.
Oh yeah, I've had a couple of other neat things, too. Mom and I were featured in Champion's tweets for Mother's Day. And, this weekend, after my podium finish, my picture wasn't there but my finish was tweeted and instagrammed all over!!!! Soon I will be taking over the social media for Champion, too. Mom says we will keep y'all updated for when that happens!
Taking the checkers in the Animal heat race at Oaklane on 5/7/2016.
Ronnie helps dry the track - it was really cool to see him out there in his TQ!
It seems like a long time since I wrote here - but it's just been two weeks - and that's because we got rained out last Sunday.
During the week, we had another package delivered from Champion to our doorstep - it was my new team jacket and gear bag! Mom and I got a big kick out of it all - especially the fact that the bag is big enough for me to get in AND be zipped up and that the jacket, through some misunderstanding, fits Travis and not me! But that's okay - I am taking that as a sign that Champion is going to be with me for a LONG TIME!!
Saturday we drove out to Oaklane again - this time Travis was with us, too. We did a bit of practice on a somewhat wet track and then got ready for the races. I started at the back of the Junior Animal heat and came through the field. Once I got the lead in the race, I stayed there for the remaining laps - MY FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON!! And my first win in the Junior Animal and my first win at a track other than Lil' Wall! We were all very excited. In the Honda, I finished 4th - Dad and Travis spent some time working on it to get it more comfortable for me - it really did get better. A mains were started straight up from heat finishes so I started 1st in Animal and 4th in Honda. I led 10 laps in the Animal before 2nd and 3rd caught up with me - after some really good racing with the other two drivers, I was moving back under the second place car and he came down on me....the judges made the call on me so I was moved to the back of the field. With about 19 laps left to go, I picked my way through the field and was catching second when the checkers dropped. A podium finish with third. Honda was not quite that good of a race but I did manage to eek out a second podium finish with another third. Overall it was a pretty good day and we went home, had a very late dinner, got a bit of sleep and then we were up and heading to Lil' Wall.
It was drizzling when we left the house, and we already knew the track was wet and that members there were starting to dry the track. That turned interesting when Ronnie Mullen brought out his TQ to help dry the track!!!
I started 4th in the Animal for the heat, and that's right where I ended up at the end of the race. I didn't run a very good race and dad and Travis and I talked a lot after my heats were over (we don't get to talk much right away because I have a second race quickly after the first). In the Honda heat, I started second and, well, that's where I finished. Mom joked in the tower that, since we weren't inverting for the day, I was just 'trying to save trees'. But I know mom really wouldn't have minded needing to put some "#1" papers on the car for the A mains...especially since it was Mother's Day. Any way, I went out for the Animal A main and I really thought I had a faster car - but then the car started making a really strange noise and, eventually, I spun out - which ended up keeping me from going a lap down. They quickly looked at my car and pushed me off - but it kept making the noise. I finished where I started and took home 4th for that class. It's weird - last year a 'paper finish' (that means you finished in the top 5 and Area Auto Racing News will have your name in it) would have made me really happy - somehow, it's almost disappointing this year. I REALLY WANT TO WIN!! But, there was not time to get upset about the race because I had to go and get in my Honda and start on the outside pole. I was able to hang with Jackson for a bit but, when we got to lapped traffic, he got through a little better than me. Then, on the last lap, I got pushed down into the breakers and almost stopped on the track...but I realized that I needed to keep going and I managed to hang on for second!
I guess, overall, two thirds, one second and one fourth, along with that first win in the heat, made for a pretty good weekend!
Also, we got a new set of tires this weekend - thank you Quarter Midgets USA for your generosity! Travis enjoys helping out and we appreciate that help in return!! This gives us two new sets of tires for States thanks to Steve and to Tony Ciccone!!!
We are off this upcoming weekend so that we can go to Dover and I can watch Tony Stewart and all those other guys race.
Last, we would all like to congratulate Jack Ely on his modified win at Mahoning this weekend and Louie Keraitis on his Legends win last weekend at Wall!!!
I had a busy racing weekend. We traveled to Oaklane Quarter Midget Racing Club in PA for Saturday. We had a chance to practice before actually going on the track for the race day. That track is FAST!! And it was a great experience because I was able to learn that I do NOT have to lift in my cars there. I started the Animal A main in 3rd of 5 cars and led a few laps before the eventual winner passed me about 10 laps in to the 30 lap race. I hung on for 2nd. In the Honda A main, I started 5th as the field was inverted from the heat finish where I finished second. It took me a few laps, but I did lead for 2 before the eventual winner, again, passed me. Two second place, podium finishes felt pretty good for only my 3rd time at the track and my first time there in the Animal. I beat all of the drivers that I competed against from that track. The driver who beat me is also from my club - and my team and I are still trying to figure out how to get some speed to beat him.
Sunday found us at our home track. I finished third in my Animal heat and 2nd in my Honda heat. We again had an inverted field so I started third (it stays the same since at our track we invert the top 5) in Animal and 4th in Honda. In the Animal, I led a few laps before my rival passed me for first. I wanted that win so bad that I pushed my car (and myself) a little too far and spun, all by myself, while in second. I couldn't do much from the back of the field so I ended up 4th. I knew I had to do my best in my Honda and I pulled out on the start and went for it. Unfortunately, I still got passed for first and ended up with a second place finish.
I guess three 2nds and a 4th for the weekend weren't too bad!
Then it got even cooler!!! Mom got a notification on my personal Facebook page: Champion mentioned my weekend in the weekend rewind AND put my picture with it! WOOHOOOOOO! Thank you all again for voting for me and helping me start to realize my dreams!!!
Until next weeek - GO #TeamChampion
Oops....almost forgot.....my sponsorship check came late last week!!! I feel 'official' now!
Week two as driver of the Champion Spark Plugs, Hammerhead Promotions, Olsen BBQ and Grill, Wild Bill Productions, G and T Landscaping Schwarz Enterprize Racing Junior Honda and Junior Animal went well. (Wow! That's some mouthful isn't it? And we're looking for more!!!) I started 3rd in the Animal in the heat and finished there - so I started third in the A main, too - and finished there. I was probably faster than the second place car, but I kept trying to go on the outside - not really smart at our track, especially with all the marbles from the Dunlop tires. In Honda I started the heat in 5th and made my way to second before the checkers. For the A, since there was no inverting, I started second. It's not great starting on the outside at our track, but I managed to quickly get down and behind the leader...I need to keep my line a little better as I lost ground to the leader with the line I was running. So, I ended up second in that race. It's kind of strange to be disappointed with a third and second place finish.
Mom was looking over everything we talked about last week and we forgot to thank our new supporters Tony and Donna Ciccone! Their grandson Zack races with me; but they were so kind and bought us a new set of right sides for my race cars! We will be putting those away for the States races in May! THANK YOU!!!
This week some of the other divisions have their trophy race - but for me, it's a regular race day at our track. We are also loading up for Saturday afternoon and heading to Oaklane.
Garden State Classic
It's been crazy busy in my life these days - contests, race practice, state testing at school, homework, Bear Scouts...so I haven't updated in a while!
First - while I did not win the BIG prize from Champion, I am certainly enjoying everything that has come with being a finalist - 'swag' (that's clothes for the team for those who aren't sure - it included hats, caps, and t-shirts), parts money and we await my new personalized team jacket and gear bag as well as our $1000 check! I have also started working with Champion's social media people AND we have our own site where we can talk to all the other #TeamChampion drivers! So far I have talked with AJ Flick about going to see him when we are at my Pap's house, with Derek Krum - who races right here in NJ at New Egypt AND used to race with my big brothers (how cool is THAT?) and also with Alec Hohnadell who drives Formula Drift and will be at Big Wall in June. It's been really neat getting to report to them everything that is happening!
So, That said - I should tell you how our opening weekend went....well, it went GREAT!!!! The only two things could have made it better - the Animal not having the carb get flooded with 1 1/2 laps to go taking me from gaining on the leader in second to finishing 5th and barely crossing the finish line at the checkers and, of course, getting first instead of second and 5th. How did the day go? Let me tell you!!!
Our club held our annual Garden State Classic opener this weekend. Friday was practice but I only got there for two rounds with both cars - school first!
Saturday was rain/snow/sleet/cold so, needless to say, we didn't even see the track - but since some of our club families were camping, we did take the chance to go to see Zootopia and hang out for a while.
Sunday was sunny and cold!! We had qualifying and then straight to mains. There were no lower mains for my division as new rules this year allow for 10 Juniors to race at a time (it has only ever been 8 before). I qualified my new Junior Animal 4th - which put me on the outside pole as QMA rules invert the top 5. I pulled right into second on the start (outside is a HUGE disadvantage in quarter midgets) and stayed there. Another car would catch me in the turns but I out-powered him on the straightaways - so he hooked me coming out of 4 and sent me to the grass. We have judges in quarter midgets - so, that was a 'no way' move and he got sent to the back and I got my place back. I stayed in second place, keeping up with the leader but not having quite enough to get to him and pass him, when, with just over a lap to go, I lost most of my power. I managed to finish, but 3 cars passed me and I finished in 5th. I was really disappointed and we weren't sure what happened - when we got to look at the car, the carb had flooded. My dad and big brother think there was dirt in it. We'll get that taken care of and have the car ready for next Sunday.
Junior Honda was quite the race!! I qualified 3rd, which, of course, meant I started 3rd even with the invert. I went to the inside of second place going in to turn one a few laps in. He turned down on me and sent me to the infield. The judges called this one on me and I was sent to the back of the 9 car race. I spent the rest of the race picking my way past the cars in front of me - some were lapped before my accident, but I still had to pass them all. With about 2 laps to go, I passed for 2nd and pulled away from the 3rd place car (he's the one that put me in the grass) but I didn't have time to catch the leader.
I know I wrote a lot...but we are really excited!! This is the first time, in our family's 10 years of racing quarter midgets, that we have had a weekend like this!! It was so exciting - but, being honest, I was really disappointed, too. Now I know what my cars can do - I can't wait to be a Champion!!! #TeamChampion
More excitement -
and two days left to vote
Amateur Grand Prize
I know it's not quite NASCAR but I sure am starting to feel like a big-time racer! In the past week I was interviewed for our local newspaper and had the article put online (link below) and ON THE FRONT PAGE of our local newspaper!!! As if this wasn't excitement enough, mom and dad helped me do my first video interview - I think next time we will need to find somewhere quieter than in our backyard by our race trailer. I stuttered a little bit, but I think I did okay for a first time.
Today, my teacher, Mrs. Bash, showed all of my schoolmates my article in the paper; then showed my video from my entry in the Champion Spark Plugs #SearchforaChampion #TeamChampion contest. There's just 2 days left to vote (March 22 and 23). They will be making the big announcement on April 30th. We're all just a bit nervous!
Also, we were supposed to practice Sunday, but the weather people insisted we were going to get a big storm so it was canceled. They were wrong - but that's okay; it's time for warm weather anyway! Next up will be practice April 3rd!
HELP LIL' RED GET A BIG SPONSORSHIP
It's that time Friends, Fans and Family! I am about to need your clicking finger!! From 12:00:01 AM on January 5th until midnight on February 2nd, you can vote once per day to help me, Lil' Red, win one of 25 $1000 sponsorships from Champion Spark Plugs AND be eligible to win a $10,000 sponsorship after that!!!! All it takes is for you to hit the link provided, sign up to be eligible to vote, and then do it - EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR 29 DAYS! If I make the top 25 after voting AND a panel of judges that will judge Inspirational Quality and Best Depiction of a Champion, I would then need your vote to win the BIG $$$!!!!
My mom and dad and brothers, all my family, work really hard to get me what I need to compete with other drivers at the track - but they can't do it alone!! Please help them to help me!!! Just a click of your finger, once a day.....
Thanks again for all the support you have shown me!! I'm looking forward to our banquet in two weeks where I will get my 2015 Junior Honda Third Place Trophy/Cup - all thanks to all of your support!
SEARCH FOR A CHAMPION
IT'S UP AND RUNNING - I started on page 2 on Tuesday morning but, last evening, after moving down to 14th, I have moved back onto the FRONT PAGE in 12th place!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep voting for me! I want this sponsorship more than words can say!!
Check out the picture my supporter, Cort, sent my mom:
WHAT A LAST THREE DAYS!!
My First Article!!!!!!!
So, Sunday was our 2015 champions banquet. I brought home my third place points trophy!! It was so great to be on the podium and I would like to congratulate Jackson on his 2nd place finish and Ryan on his Junior Honda 1st place as well as their finishes in Junior Animal. Congratulations to all the winners - and all the drivers - from last season.
That was really exciting - but - today was the most exciting thing I can remember (at least until I win that sponsorship). My mom even cried!!!! I'm sure you really want to know what I am talking about by now so, here it is....
That's a link to my VERY FIRST EVER ARTICLE that someone wrote about me!! I can't believe it!!! I'm so thrilled that I made 'the big time'. THE BIG TIME!!! My own feature article! See - dreams really DO come true!!!
Thank you to all of you who support me in any way. You are how I get to live my dream!
I'm a FINALIST!!
and I owe it all to you,
my fans, friends and family!!!!
We are SO EXCITED to announce that I AM A FINALIST in the Search for a Champion Amateur entries contest sponsored by Champion Spark Plugs!!!
What does this mean? It means I have my first NATIONAL sponsorship to go along with all the wonderful people (all of you!) and small businesses (Welcome, again, Hammerhead Promotions for 2016) that have helped us out over the past year and who have helped again so far this year (Thanks, Mark!).
I now have a $1000 sponsorship for this season as well as some parts money and new gear to show I represent the Champion Spark Plug team.
But, even more, we STILL NEED YOUR HELP! Starting on February 23rd, there is a second round of voting for a $10,000 Sponsorship from Champion!! I will be competing with 24 other amateur drivers, including our friend Derek Krum who used to race with my big brothers, Trevor and Travis.
We are so very excited!! We also are happy to say that a young driver from Lernerville Speedway near my Pap's house made it into the final round of the Advanced entries. You will be allowed to vote for one driver in each group so we hope that you will help AJ Flick reach his dream, too!
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL OF YOUR SUPPORT!!!
This is the updated link for voting when it opens.....
Battle of Trenton
Champion Voting Continues
We had our second chance at an indoor race this weekend at the Battle of Trenton on Sunday, February 18th. A lot of my fellow racers from GSQMRC made the trip as well. Travis came down from college and was unhappy with my tires; he was talking to Mr. Boyd from Quarter Midgets USA and then he gave us some tires to use. We weren't able to use the rear one, but the front was so helpful!! I went out for practice and kept is steady and away from everyone. I probably should have put a little more 'foot in it' as during the heat race, the car was uncomfortable and I finished 6th - I did make a charge at the end but it was way too little, way too late. Travis and dad talked to some people and did some turning on my shocks to make the car feel better. Then it was time for the B main; I was starting 3rd. I moved right up to second on the start and, on lap 2, the car behind me ran over my left side and spun me out. I started 4th on the restart and got right around for third. I was making the pass for 1st on the inside of turn 2 (we were 3 and 4 wide) when the driver I was passing turned down in to me (I was along side of him, if not maybe even a little in front) and shoved me into the tire barrier. I had to start 6th on the restart and I really raced my butt off, but, with the laps remaining, I only managed to get up to 4th and needed to be in second to transfer. I was quite disappointed; but my family and friends all thought I did a heckuva job racing out there and said they were really proud of the effort I put in and how I didn't quit. I CAN'T QUIT! Champions don't quit and I AM a Champion.
Please don't forget voting is still taking place for the BIG PRIZE!! The button to go vote is down below.
The Off-Season Begins
Can you believe it? It's the 'off-season'...but my dad has been out in the race trailer getting my new Storm chassis ready to put together so I can drive it in the Junior Animal division in 2016!
You might remember that mom, dad, Shanon and I took a ride on an off weekend and bought a new chassis, 160 engine and lots of parts. So dad tore it apart and did an inventory and figured out what we need to get it working. Mom ordered a lot of parts from Quarter Midgets USA on Monday. Dad called A Main Motors and priced out a brand new Animal engine. To be honest, some days I forget how much my family does for me (but don't worry, when I get stubborn and don't want to do my homework or chores, mom has NO PROBLEM reminding me!!).
I just want to let you know that we can STILL use your help with sponsorship and money towards my upcoming season. It was a tough decision for them to get me a second car to compete with my friends...but they know that I really want to become a race car driver when I grow up and seat time, seat time, seat time is the key to my development as a driver.
My gofundme page is connected elsewhere on this website if you want to help that way.
If you know someone, or a business, who is looking to get their name out there to a LOT of people (down the shore, in Florida this upcoming season, on websites or even at functions in the area where we could display my cars, have me sign autographsn and give out hero cards) please let them know about me and how they can contact my PR person (mom) or my crew chief, car chief, head mechanic, (Dad, Travis and Trevor).
Also, please keep watching this website, and my Facebook page as well as Twitter and Instagram, for a way you can use the touch of your fingertip to get me a $1000 (or maybe even more) sponsorship for next year. Details will be coming at the first of the year!!!