Another Strong Mid Season

 

 

Last we left off we were on our approach to the biggest race of the year for us, That being the World Footbrake Challenge in Bristol Tennessee, As most of you know by now I was lucky enough to achieve what I thought would be the impossible. Friday night I was lucky enough to park the Spirit in the winner circle of Thunder Valley amongst some great friends and collect my first ten thousand dollar victory in what is truly a very important race for Amanda and I as going to the WFC some five years ago was our first ever out of town “big money” bracket race experience. I can’t thank everyone enough for the congratulations and words of encouragement through the whole thing. Winning a race of that caliber really takes the stress off of the weekend and at that point I was about to kick back relax and just really enjoy the racing for the weekend. I managed to make it down to ten cars on Saturday’s race and lost by just .001 of a second on the double break out, despite winning the night before it still stings to go out like that after making it so close again. Sunday was also a great day as I made it down to seventeen cars and turned on the red by just .005. Looking back on it that weekend for me is one that will be held in high regard and probably won’t be topped for a long while.

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Two weeks after and the first race after would be a great reality check of how you can go from top to bottom real quick, We decided to make a trip out west for a five thousand to win race at Beacon Dragway in Kentucky and followed that by a guaranteed ten thousand to win at Clarksville Tennessee on Sunday. The short and sweet of that story is I can count how many rounds I won in two days on one hand, Everyone brought their best out for those two days!

With the grace of good friends we were able to leave the rig down in Tennessee for the week and borrow a ride back up for the work week because the following weekend we headed right back down to Bowling Green Kentucky for the inaugural Bottom Bulb Battle, For those of you who have never been to Beech Bend you need to make a trip! It is an awesome racing facility with great staff nice scenery oh and a water park and amusement park on the same property. The first day out was nothing great and seemed my week priors performance would haunt me again the same held true to Saturday, That was until they started the second chance race after the main event was over, Something clicked and I started acting like I knew what I was doing again, I was able to end the race with once again being surrounded by great friends in the winner circle picking up the win for two thousand! The best part of the night was being able to hit up the lazy river for a couple laps and one ride on the roller coaster which I haven’t done for years. Sunday wasn’t much to write about as I turned it red fourth round to what looked like an almost unbeatable run in the other lane.

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Since I’ve been running mostly eight mile events I haven’t taken the time to switch back the center section in my car to the quarter mile gears so with this past weekend being a points race at SMP and the following week being VMP I didn’t see the sense in changing them to have to change them back. Luckily Dan Henderson was willing to let me borrow his AMX for the weekend so I didn’t miss yet another point’s race. I managed to do rather well and made it down to six cars before losing to a great run, Having only been to two points races I have a decent shot to this point of being able to make the top sixteen field for the run off, Hopefully with a little more luck and a few more win lights I can make that happen.

This weekend we will be headed back to Virginia Motorsports Park for the second time this year for the inaugural Colonial Classic so stay tuned for hopefully some good reports.

 

Another Month Down

 

Another month has gone by and another month of racing in the books! There had been a lot of ups and downs over the course of the last month. Starting off with our trip to Motor Mile Dragway for a un conventional format of a race were you could carry a mulligan card that can get you back into the race at any point up until the semifinals. The weekend went ok for me but proved to be nothing stellar making it down to 16 cars in two of the 10k races but not being able to seal the deal and going out fourth round on the last day of racing.

The weekend after was the not so good part of the last month, It was the rescheduled Super 64 run off race at SMP and from the start it would look like it was a disaster for me. My first time trail session the car launched and moved about ten feet and shut off completely, turning out to be a minor issue that was fixed and I made it back in the end of the line for the same time trail session, better results but still not good as it seemed that the car was surging the whole way down the track. So we come back and frantically start looking stuff over as they were due to call us back up for our separate time trail for the run off. Much to my dismay we couldn’t find the issue before they called us back up, oh and in the process Amanda’s car broke also! So luckily Kenny Case stepped up and let me drive his car in the run off but it was one of those days and I didn’t have enough of a run to be able to beat Steve first round and he was able to advance. He ended up lighting the red light in round two ending his shot at the big prizes. After the run off we focused back on my car and found the cause of all the problems. A probably thirty cent roll pin that holds the star wheel in the distributor to keep it in time splintered and allowed it to change timing going down the track, no good!

Back at it the weekend after at SMP once again, I was able to redeem myself some from the miserable weekend before and end up parking the spirit in the winner’s circle for the first time this season. It was a great night and was even better that I got to race one of our great friends Gary Osborn in the finals!

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The weekend after sent us packing to Lyons Indiana for the Ohio Crankshaft No Box Nationals. An event I hadn’t been able to make it to in the past few years but was really looking forward to going back, That was until I got there! Amazing track, crew, people, and promoters but the competition was second to none. It was one of those weekends that no matter how good of a run you put down they had one better, I could only manage a best showing of getting down to 18 cars for the weekend, On another note Steve stayed local for the weekend and headed out to Quaker City and by the end of the night was pulling the trusty ol gremlin in the winner circle for his first time of the year!

The following weekend was the No Box Bonanza at SMP three days of racings for 5,5,and 10K. We had a whole fleet of cars that we brought to race for the weekend and spend most of the weekend working on all the cars! Friday’s action was cancelled halfway through second round at nearly 2am due to on and off rain storms. Saturday I was equipped with my Spirit and Dan’s AMX, Amanda had some troubles that sidelined her for the day’s event. I carried one entry in Dan’s car until the fourth round were I lost a close race with the recently unstoppable Randy Biddle Jr. In my car I managed to keep up the momentum and finally fell eighth round at seven cars to the event winner and good friend Matt Dadas! Sunday was cut short for me as I turned on the red light by .003 in the fifth round.

The following weekend would require a little bit of family duties as my little sister was getting married, so I opted to take the spirit home with me in hopes of being able to make it in time to get a little bit of racing in. Friday after the rehearsal dinner we decided to take a trip out to the track with no expectations of racing, that was until we got to the track and they had not fully finished first round of eliminations, So I high tailed it back to where my trailer was parked got in my car and flew up to the lanes luckily someone was there to let them know I was on my way so they held up the last car in line long enough to put my jacket and belts on and I headed for the water. I had I rough idea of what the car would go and I managed to pull off the first round win. I was able to somehow make it happen a few more times and next thing I know I was pulling the Spirit back in the winner circle for the second time this month!

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I’ve taken plenty of your time on this one so I will cut it off there, This weekend we will be back at PRP in hopes to make a little more travel money for the following weeks World Footbrake Challenge in Bristol Tennessee Wish us some luck along the way!

The Month Long Recap

 

 

Things have been busier than ever here at SR. Unfortunately we have been so swamped that it has been a little over a month since I could sit down and actually write something. So let’s take a little trip back to the early part of April and I will try to make it quick and get caught up to present time.

After a fairly productive trip to and from VMP for the St. Patty’s race, we really didn’t have anything scheduled to do until the end of April. That rapidly changed with every new week and April quickly turned into one of my busiest months probably out of the season. Recently good friends of Amanda and I moved close to Nashville. Tennessee. We had talked about going to visit for a weekend but as soon as summer hits here we are pretty much booked solid. So we planned a last minute spontaneous trip to good Olé Nashville. It was a great weekend getaway filled with Friends, Sun (we hadn’t seen a lot of it until that point), and you guessed it a little bit of racing! Ricky was nice enough to let me beat up on his car a little bit on our return trip home from visiting them. Luckily Beech Bend Dragway in Bowling Green, Kentucky was on our return trip home, so we were able to knock a little bit of time off our trip in the process. For me it wasn’t the best of outings I managed to go .001 red dead on with a 0 for the second round loss, Ricky on the other hand took it all the way to the final to grab the win for the night. A big thanks goes out to him for the awesome ride for the day!

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The following week didn’t really have much of anything eventful going on. I made some changes to my car and went to PRP on Saturday for a couple test hits in preparation for the following weeks trip to Holly Springs, Mississippi.

April 25-27 Would bring us to probably our farthest traveled to race of the year. The second annual Southern Footbrake Challenge in Holly Springs, Mississippi. This was the first year that I was able to make it and I was pretty excited about it. Overall results were not to bad, The first day was ended real short I missed the tree second round of the gamblers race and that ended my night. Day two was the first 10k race followed by a gamblers race. I was able to carry one of my entries down to 32 cars before losing to the eventual event runner up. Later that night was a 2k to win gamblers race. I was feeling pretty optimistic about it and I was able to make it down to the four car semi-final before losing by just .001 at the finish line. It was a great race so it’s hard to get mad but it was frustrating at the same time because the car was working so well you could of almost painted a 6.86 on the window. But the race outcome was me being .014 on the tree to his .013 and both of us being in on our dial by .01X for the .001 behind loss. He also went on to finish off the night with the race win. So out of three races so far I lost to the runner up and the winner! Day three off the race saw little to.no action as the rains came in early and cancelled the race for the day. One good thing was we were able to start our fourteen hour trip home a little bit earlier than expected.

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My car doesnt leak a drop…It leaks a lot of drops!!!

 

 

The following weekend, May 2-4, brought on a surprise that I thought I could only dream of. At National Trails Raceway in Hebron, Ohio. Michael Beard and Anthony Walton were hosting the inaugural Autometer Northern Class Nationals. A week prior to the event I received a message from Michael asking if I would be interested in racing his Super Stock GT/HA 1980 Plymouth Volare at his event since he was promoting the race and wasn’t able to compete with it himself. It may not seem like a lot to the average person but to be approached by someone to drive a super stocker at probably one of the biggest class races of the year was something I would of figured would never happen and I could only dream of so I do sincerely appreciate Michaels offer in giving me a change to be a part of the great event! My on track success was not much to write home about. The first two qualifying passes were pretty much throw away runs getting used to the new environment. By day two I felt like I had a better handle on things but my first pass indicated otherwise! After number three qualifying pass I came back made a few minor adjustments for Q4 and it all started coming together at that point. I was able to get by the first round of the combo race but screwed up in round two I was .016 on the tree but took way to much finish line and ran under my dial by only .007 to end my night. Day three was the final shot and the main event straight into eliminations with no more time runs, That’s about where it ended I kicked on the red bulb first round by just .001 to end my weekend. But all around it was a great experience and I got to meet a lot of new people.

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This weekend I was at SMP for the first time of the year. But instead of the Spirit I was driving Steve’s Gremlin, I didnt have time to change the center section out back for quarter mile racing so Steve told me to go ahead and race his car and he would play around with the Javelin some. Not a lot of great to report, Steve and Amanda got cut short in round one and I wasnt much farther behind losing to Warren Smith’s .005 light dead on with a 5 run in round two!

This coming weekend Amanda and I will be headed down to Motor Mile Dragway in Virginia for three 10k to win footbrake races. Stay tuned and hopefully we come back with good results!

 

The Start Of The 2014 Season!

It hard to believe that we are back racing already when we have hardly seen temperatures above freezing in the past two months, I guess it’s all based on how far you want to drive! For myself I was willing to drive six and a half hours away to Virginia Motorsports Park for the first Loose Rockers Promoted event of the season. This year is the earliest I’ve ever been able to start racing and it was a time crunch none the less. I had not a lot on the plate as far as changes for the Spirit but fighting seemingly never ending snow and cold it felt like it would never get accomplished.

The trip started out Thursday after I was done with work as I met up with Bubba Black and we would follow each other down, the trip was smooth and great couldn’t have asked for better, that was until we reached our hotel for the night. Our printed out reservation showed that we had booked a room with two double beds and upon arrival that somehow got changed to “we must have accidently given your room away and all we have left is a handicap room with one king size bed” So instead of standing in the lobby and having leisurely midnight argument we elected to go the rout of adding two cots to the room and making it all work out, Needless to say we got a pretty awesome rate for the weekend after that incident.

Friday was the opening race with a big five thousand dollar purse at the end of it. Did I mention that I drove six and a half hours from home with a car that I hadn’t even finished yet? So we get to the track a little early so I can tie up a few loose ends that I wasn’t able to get to before we left and shortly after we are on track! The first pass of the 2014 was nothing to write home about, In fact it involved a lot of smoke at the top end of the track, from what you ask?  Well your guess is as good as mine! I looked over some stuff didn’t see anything obvious so I said heck with it and rolled in the lanes for my second time run and it went flawlessly. I’m assuming the car didn’t enjoy the long cold winter either it was not liking the first blast down the track. Shortly after we rolled into eliminations and it went so so, my first recorded run was impressive  the rest in fact looked as if Ray Charles had been driving for the first day, I had a lot of luck and a couple actual good runs and somehow managed to make it down to 6 cars before my night came to an end, Luckily enough we worked out a pretty solid split at 6 cars to the losers and I was able to cover just about all my trip costs in day one which is always a relief. The not so good news of the night was my travel partner Bubba hurt the motor in his race truck and was out of competition for the weekend, Knowing how I would feel in that situation I proposed the idea of us both running in the Top class on Saturday and just having him run one of my entries in the Spirit, Our plan sounded great on paper but only lasted until the second round of competition on Saturdays 10k race so we spent a couple hours just spectating and enjoying the 60 degree weather because it’s been a long time since we’ve seen that.

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Sunday was our last effort to come out ahead on the weekend so Bubba and I had talked and since there was pending weather for the day that would likely stop racing short he said to go ahead and run both my entries in Foot Brake again and try to make the eventual rain split. I managed to make it in with just one entry losing my first one the round right before the rain. All in all I would consider the weekend a success we made it down and back (through a snow storm) in one piece with a little bit of spending money at the end of the weekend and got to enjoy a little early season racing.

A big Thank You to everyone involved in making this past weekend’s race a big success, Michael Beard and Anthony Walton put a tremendous amount of effort into making sure their events are top notch, the VMP crew for an awesome race facility and track surface. Thank You to Kevin at Nitroplate for contributing certificates to each bye run over the weekend I was lucky enough to snag two of them and after having my headers coated this past winter there is no other place to go for high temp coatings! I’m not sure what the next month will bring in as far as racing in the north but keep posted for updates if we happen to sneak out anywhere in the mean time!

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A Little More Progress

You wouldn’t know it looking out your window or going out to get the mail, but Spring is approaching quickly. With every project we complete, the racing season creeps closer. And, luckily, we’re one step closer to being prepared for everything to start! Being 100% ready for the first race of the year is priceless. Worrying and racing never mix.

With a little polishing on the wheels and some interior detailing, she will be like new! To me, a fresh coat of paint is like getting a haircut, It wipes away the old and gives you a new confidence. Let’s hope that confidence can be transferred to the track.

Now for some eye candy of the old Ford’s face lift.

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Time to play “Catch Up”

Time for me has been a precious commodity for the past year. August though November is my busiest time of year for work. Unfortunately it also happens to be the busiest time of year for racing. Good work is hard to find these days & I am thankful to have a job that is rewarding & provides me with the wherewithal to race as I do.

My fall racing was interesting to say the least. I was able to attend most of the fall bigger money races but missed a few of my favorites. The ones I was able to attend I would return from work (out of state mostly) the night before or the day of the race, race that evening then return to the job site the next day. The exciting one was the Halloween Classic & Summit Motorsports Park. I was entered in races on Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday. What this meant to me was a lot of driving. I was working in Buffalo until Saturday night before the first race of the week. Then the fun begins. Race all day Sunday, return to Buffalo Monday morning, work till Tuesday night then Back to the track Wednesday morning. Race all night then return to Buffalo Thursday morning only to turn around & come back home Thursday night for the Friday race. Running on pure adrenalin after Fridays race I was able to sleep in my own bed for the weekend. Ahhhhhh. After the weekends races were over it was Back to Buffalo Monday morning to finish the job at hand.

The Holiday season is where work finally tapers off & I can catch up on life & all the maintenance I should have done months ago. My boss made it possible for me to bring my truck & trailer into our 16,000 Sq foot warehouse to do some truck maintenance & trailer upgrades. Working indoors with tons of room & a bunch of tools is not something I am a custom to. But I’ll take it!!!Comando2013 1280 Comando2013 1236The old Ford tow vehicle just turned 240,000 miles so I guess it is time to give er some lovin. I pulled off the broken dually fender flare & washed it real good. It is now @ a friends shop getting some rust & dents repaired & of course a new fender. There is a rust spot, ding or dent on almost every panel so thanks to Late Knight Auto it will be getting a fresh coat of paint! Pretty exciting!

 

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The other project I have been working on is my trailer. for the 2 years I have owned  it I have had big ambitions on doing some cool upgrades & at least one project is under way. Cabinets!!!! After pricing cabinets from some of the cabinet suppliers & quickly realized this was going to be a do it yourself project. So let the fun begin! It has been somewhat time consuming but a healthy challenge. Every thing you do has to be planned out so it doesn’t cause any problems down the road. If you swing a door the wrong way it won’t open because there is an electrical box in the way. If you make the upper doors too tall they will hit the ceiling lights. A lot of planning & fitting but it is coming along great. The frames are complete & the faces are laminated with aluminum. Now to attempt the doors then a counter top. Wish me luck!

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I will get to the race car @ some point but getting to the track & getting organized has been a neglected priority. For now the old Gremlin sits in the corner & watches its home get a face lift.Comando2013 1379

Keep an eye out here for more cabinet progress & whatever other trailer updates I can perform. The next big Stevand Racing event is going to be the Summit Motorsports Park Banquet of Champions. That will be a blog in itself. Pretty exciting!

 

Bitter Sweet Ending

The always bittersweet last race of the year feeling has finally sunk in, Over Thanksgiving weekend Amanda and I traveled back down to North Carolina this time to Julian, NC home of Piedmont Dragway. I’ve had a little success at Piedmont winning there back in 2010 but haven’t been able to make it back since. I was looking forward to heading back but not looking forward to the cold temperatures they had been predicting for the whole weekend though. The original format for the race was 5K, 20K, and another 5K on Friday Saturday and Sunday, Due to the irregular weather for the time of year there we did not get a chance to get the whole race finished so midway through second round of eliminations we had to call it quits on the night. That left promoters Michael and Anthony with the huge task of figuring out how to make the majority happy, That resulted in them making the great call of holding of the finish of Fridays race until Sunday and taking Sundays original 5K and putting it on top of Saturdays 20K to make it an awesome 25K payday on Saturday, I managed to make it through a few rounds with each of my entries but fell short of the big payday losing with one entry third round and the other entry in the fourth round. What is great about these races is sometimes even when you lose if you manage to do it good enough you can still earn prizes; I was able to collect an awesome two hundred and fifty dollar prize from Mickey Thompson tires for best losing package of that round!

With Saturday officially in the books I had one shot left at it and that was Fridays finish up race on Sunday. My car had been awesome like it has been for the whole second half of the season so that was a huge stress lifted and I was hitting the tree rather well all weekend so I was feeling pretty good. I lost one of my entries in the third round of eliminations but was able to take my second entry all the way down to the last 5 cars where I turned on the always frustrating .001 red light. Not exactly the way I wanted it to end but I will take it regardless we all had a great time and made it home safe and can now start preparation for the upcoming season. Thank you goes out to Michael and Anthony for hosting a great event as well as the whole track staff for doing their all to try to get the races in and keeping our safety in check as well.

In closing I’d like to take a quick minute to reflect on this past season which we couldn’t be more grateful for, this has probably been one of the best years Steve and I have had since we have been racing together as a team, Not only on track success but as far as being able to travel around more than we ever have and get to see new places and people and always making it back home with little to no troubles. In addition I would like to Thank Morethanafan.net for helping us get this whole deal started and giving us an outlet to shine a little light on sportsman bracket racing, Garry Fleenor who build the transmission in my car that has worked flawlessly for the last two seasons, As well as the great people at Wiseco/K1, Vic Ellinger gave us a huge opportunity to get active in making a great durable Piston/Rod combination that has also been in our cars for the past two season and also have worked flawlessly

Thanks again everyone and we look forward to the “bigger and better” for the year to come!

Classic Recap

As they say better late than never! We are a little slow with this update but we have been busier than ever at S&R. In the last writings I had just come off an awesome 5k victory at PRP’s Halloween Race. That very next Sunday brought us to SMP for the start of the weeklong event known as the Halloween Classic. I was able to keep on keeping on finding myself in my third final in as many weeks picking up the win in the massive 9 round no box class to kick off our week at the classic. It wasn’t without tribulations though as Steve’s car broke an input shaft in the transmission in the first round of eliminations so between rounds for us we pulled the transmission out at the track fixed it and put it back in before the night was over so everything would be ready to go for Wednesday. Our Wednesday gamblers race was cut short due to frigid temperatures that caused them to split the money up luckily Steve and I still had our entries in and got a little cut of the pie. Thursday was supposed to be an off day for us but the trusty ol concord finally gave us issues for the year as the Trans broke on the starting line for Amanda and I had to pull it out and swap it over for one we had at the garage. Friday Steve and I each had an entry in the Super High Rollers gamblers race and carried our moment deep. I eventually lost at 8 cars to the winner and always tough Ricky Baehr and Steve took runner up honors and Ricky decided to beat up on the both of us! Sunday’s main even didn’t go well for us as we lost all our entries by the third round of eliminations.

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Last week brought on an event for me that I was super anxious about going to. It was kind of late call to go but Bubba Black and I talked about heading down to Fayetteville North Carolina for the second annual American Door Slammers Nationals presented by Anthony Walton and Michael Beard. Bubba and I made arraignments to just double enter his truck split driving down and make it a quick cheap weekend and hopefully find our way out on top. A little out of my realm as it was an all delay box door car race and I had never even drove bubbas sweet s10 before that day. But we made it work to our best not setting the world on fire in the 20k but came back with vengeance in the 5k race both being double entered down to 12 cars were I lost my entry but bubba followed through grabbing the win and the 5k big check for the night! Awesome job to him and big thanks for letting me beat up on his truck a little for the weekend.

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Our next and last event for the year will be back down to Piedmont North Carolina for the Fall Footbrake Frenzy were we hoping to continue this awesome momentum!

Bringing Home The Bacon!

The great news keeps on rolling here at S&R, The weekend plans got moved around mid-week but it all worked out in the end, Originally Steve and myself planned on attending PRP’s Halloween race but due to a schedule change he was unable to make it down. So I still decided to go to PRP for what was an almost perfect weekend for racing, The original race schedule was Friday night $1200 to win plus a 64 all run shootout that I was entered in and then Saturday having first round of the 5k race and finishing it up on Sunday. Due to weather on Friday we didn’t get a chance to race anything and the schedule changed to running the whole 5k race on sat and doing Friday’s race on Sunday.

Seeing how it is towards the end of the year I figured I would double my odds up and buy two entries in the no box class and see if we could make something happen. Luckily for me that’s exactly what happened. It’s a good thing I did buy two entries because my bonehead side came out third round of my second entry when I gave back the finish line by about .5 of a second…yeah .5! We race to the 1000’ not the 1/8 mile for this race! But after laughing the loss of for a good while I managed to put the StevAnd Racing ride back in the winner circle for the second week in a row and this time for a 5K victory! Also a big congratulation goes out to our good friend Bubba Black for picking up the win on Sunday in no box for $1200 from Fridays make up race!

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Steve decided to stay local and hit up Dragway 42 for what could possibly be one of the last races there, 42’s management announced last week that the track is up for sale and would not be opening again next year under its current management after a long 24 years of service. Steve went a few round each day but bigger news was that thanks to the help of Keith and Amy  we got the blue javelin back out at the track and working better than ever. Thanks for all their help!

This weekend is the start of the marathon race known as the Halloween Classic at SMP essentially a week long race (and party) Starting on Sunday with the warm up race and a week filled full of different gamblers races and finishing off next Sunday with the main even. Hopefully we can rack up a few more win lights this week, Stay tuned for some updates through the week!

The Last Day

Well this past weekend concluded our yearly point’s race at SMP, Going into the weekend Steve, Amanda, and myself had a lot to both lose and gain. Steve was in contention for the number one spot still at that point and put forth a great effort to get it done but ended up in a four way tie for essentially fourth place but after all the tie breakers landed in seventh place, Amanda did good the week before but still found herself on the outside of the top 16 by just two rounds. Unfortunately she missed the tree first round and got beat ending her chances to qualify for the end of the year run offs. Overall she did great for the year for being her first year in a car and racing at one of the toughest tracks in the area. I had nothing to lose but everything to gain going into the last race I was four rounds out of the top 16. I entered the day with extreme confidence and took everything one round at a time and slowly marched my way through the always tough SMP field of cars and came out with a win in pro on the last point’s race of the year! Not only did I manage to qualify for the top 16 run off at the Halloween classic but I also placed myself in tenth position and will collect a little bit of money at the end of the year banquet! A win in pro at SMP is something that has eluded me for a long time now and to do it on the last race and qualify for the run off as well and finishing in the top ten is a huge bonus to me!  We look forward to carrying this moment into the money season when all the big money races start to hit! Stay tuned and hopefully we can collect on a couple more big wins before the season is over!

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