Thursday @ the IHRA Division 3 Bracket finals was the opening day of the marathon. We pull in & get all our credentials then proceed to park the rigs. Due to some politics we found ourselves parked 3/4 of a mile from the starting line with no way to hear announcements due to a previous lightning strike taking out the radio station & the speakers on the pole that took the hit. As always we would adapt & find a way not to miss our calls to the lanes. Hats off to Pittsburgh Raceway Park for working their butts off & getting us speakers the first night & a radio station by Saturday. That would make our weekend much easier. Matt & I got to make our first time run of the weekend side by side. We were both almost perfect on the tree which had the announcer on his feet cheering for our dynamic duo. Eliminations for the nights early bird race started off a little rough for me loosing first round. Matt made it through without having to spend another $20 on a buy back. After I got that out of my way I marched on along side Matt making it down to just over 16 cars where we both took a hit the same round. 1 round before the money of course..
Friday was a huge pressure day for Matt due to the Summit Super Series run off. It was a 9 car run off for a chance to go to Memphis for the IHRA World Finals & yet another run off for a huge amount of cash, prizes, & a world title. Is that enough pressure for you? Just qualifying for this run off is a huge accomplishment. Matt missed 3 points races that I know of & still wound up on top. Determination! The eliminations were to be run on a ladder so there was no picking & choosing who ran who. First round went in Matts favor. Now for the round of 5. This was the dreaded round. The opponent Matt had to face was pretty much one of the best racers in the country but Matt was prepared. Matt did his job on the starting line posting identical reaction times. Everything went as planned except for the win light. It was a double break out win for the other lane. The weather was a challenge this weekend with huge barometer changes which you can’t see but can effect the cars performance greatly. With that heart breaking loos behind us we hit the track again later that day for yet another gamblers race. I’m thinking it just wasn’t our day both loosing our 1st round & the buy back round. A day better left forgotten.
Saturday was a new day & if we won 1st round of the main event it would be a short day because there is only one round run then a consolation race for anyone who had lost in the main event. We both made it past the high pressure 1st round. Whew! There was a huge weather front on it’s way in that they thought might limit the racing on Sunday so the decision was made to cancel the Gamblers race & continue as long as possible with the main event eliminations. They got about half way through the round when what we thought was the end of the world came & had us running for cover. That was it for the day.
Sunday! The big day. The remainder of the main event. We both made it past 2nd round which felt like 1st round all over again being a new day & all. Third round was where we took our beating. Not really a true beating. We both lost by .001. Nothing to be ashamed of but still heart breaking. There was still a chance. The last chance gamblers race. A $50 entry no buy back with 80% of the total entries paid to winner, runner up, & semis. Time to win & that’s exactly what I did. It took me 4 days to find my way to the winners circle but that means nothing when you get that last ET slip of the weekend that says you won.
Our team Dragway 42 finished 4th in the overall track points. Maybe a first place next year?