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"The nights You Don't Forget"

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BF's B.S.

Kendra Jacobs

The Nights you Don't Forget .




BF's B.S. 4/11/00

Hello once again from sunny Mountain View, California. I am sorry it has taken me a while to write this but I do have a good reason. In case you haven't been following the progress of my new experience of driving my dad's pavement sprint car I will fill you in on the first weekend of action that took place at Madera and Stockton Speedway. Both races were USAC sanctioned and run in conjunction with the USAC Western States midgets. This was my first action with other cars on the track so it was definitely an all new experience for me.

The first day of action took place at Madera Speedway, where I have watched many a race in my day and I am glad that I was able to make my debut with friends and family in attendance. My grandmother lives in Fresno so it was nice to have her there as well as my aunt and 3 uncles. When we got there we went through the normal deal of getting tires, having the USAC officials inspect my car and helmet etc..The finally it was time to get out on the track. When I first went out there I was expecting there to be other cars. There was, and it was very exciting to see other cars and try to tell where they are going to go and how to try to pass them or stay out of their way. My car was a little loose so I was holding on and trying not to spin out. After about 8 laps the checkered was waved and the session was over. I told the guys it was a little loose and they went to work. We went back out for the 2nd and final session and I picked up a huge push (front wheels won't turn the car in the corner). I had a handful and really was struggling. My guys saw what was going on and they went to work to try to fix it for qualifying.

As I waited to go out for qualifying I was informed by the USAC officials that I had to run a rookie flag and had to start at the tail of the field. At first this didn't sit well with me and I had to find out why they picked me and not the 5 or 6 other cars that was their first time in a sprint car on pavement. After talking with the USAC official, I didn't agree with everything he had to say but I was satisfied that if I did good they would take them off. That was all I needed for incentive as I was the last car to qualify. As I waited in line my heart started to beat faster and faster until the time came to push off. As I entered the track I concentrated on hitting the spots where I was comfortable on the track. As I went for the green I thought to myself....I am finally driving a race car!!!! Oh well I guess you had to be there but it was a major adrenaline rush that I will never forget. As I completed the first lap I was happy that the car turned easily and I eased back on the throttle to try to get a better lap the next time. I drove into turn 1 harder this time and exited smoother and I entered turn three a little hot which most likely canceled out the good corner I had in turn one but I completed the lap and I looked at the scoreboard to see 14.8. Fast time was 14.2 so let's just say I was pretty happy with it and I returned to the pits to allot of well wishers which made me feel great.

At the pit board meeting I saw where I was for the heat race and I was happy to be there. At the start of the heat race was the first time I got next to someone so it was kind of nerve racking. At the start the field got away from me a little bit but I was able to stay pretty close throughout the race as I finished 6th and had to go to the B-Main. In the B-Main I was able to make the final transfer.

I was in my very first A-Main. With all the cars out there for the A-Main it was very intimidating to see everyone in front of me knowing they will be coming around very fast to try to lap me. My goal was to try to stay on the lead lap and finish the race. At the start I was having a hard time trying to gauge the guy in front of me because he was very loose and every time I tried to pass him he came down in front of me. Try to imagine you are on a freeway and you are driving up on a car then all the sudden he turns into your lane going way slower than you and that was what I was trying to deal with. I finally cleared him but it took over 10 laps and I lost track of the other cars in the field. Then I saw some smoke in turn 2 and I slowed down as I saw a car spun backwards in the wall. As I got off the gas here came the car I struggled with that didn't see the wreck and slid right in front of me and I was either going to hit him or try to miss him and I chose to try to miss him and I clipped the wall with my right front tire, bending my axle and ending my night.

I had a lot of fun my first night and I wouldn't change anything I did, it was a great learning experience. After the races we went to stay at my grandmother's house in Fresno before driving to Stockton the following day. We woke up early to drive to Stockton on the very sunny and what turned out to be warm day. I went out for the first hot lap session and made 3 laps before seeing the red light on going into turn 3 as I cam around I saw a long streak of rubber going into the turn one wall. It was Curtis Brown and his throttle had stuck and he drove into the turn one wall and flipped to rest in turn two it looked very ugly but Curtis was okay after some time in the ambulance. After getting restarted I was tentative and the hot lap set ended without learning anything.

The second hot lap set, I got a little more comfortable but I still was a little off. A Grand American Modified had laid some fluid down right before we went out to qualify so I knew it was going to be slippery. I went out for qualifications and I was very tentative just trying to get a lap in without spinning. I probably missed the groove by a car length and it showed on my time. I was almost a second off fast time and I was disappointed. In the heat race I started last once again and I got a great education following Jason McCord, that guy is always charging, always trying to move forward. I was able to watch his different lines and able to stay with the pack the entire 10 laps, now I was having fun...Then came the feature.

I was to start in the second to last row outside, next to Tony Hunt (the previous night's winner). I decided that I wasn't going to race him into the corner because I didn't want to do anything stupid so I let him go on the start as I entered turn one on the top behind Hunt. As I tried to negotiate the corner, out of the corner of my eye I saw a car coming quickly next to me. I tried to move up the track but it was too late as he clipped my left rear tire with his right front and the next thing I know I am up in the air and heading straight for the wall. My only instinct was to shut my eyes and hold on, but the impact knocked me out and sent my hands flopping helplessly around inside the car. I don't know how long I was knocked out for but when I came to I was looking at the ground and saw my brake fluid can sitting on the race track next to my car. My first thought was "who's is that" then I realized with all the brake fluid on me that it was mine. The only thing that I did know was that my knee hurt allot and I couldn't raise my head or move me hand. It was a very scary feeling that I wouldn't wish on anyone. But when I finally was able to move I felt like I should get out on my own and I did, it just took a while. My knee still hurt but everything else seemed OK.

My car was a huge wreck and I didn't realize how bad it was until later. I went to the ambulance for a check up then I watched the race that was won by Davey Hamilton. Every time I saw the cars coming around to complete another lap I wished that I could be out there with them and I knew it would be a while until I get to do it again.

I want to thank my brother for driving me home and my sister in law Monica for taking care of me following my crash at the races along with my friends and parents that were there to take care of me also. After I got home I knew there was a problem, I felt very sick and queasy and I was VERY sore. I had a doctor's appointment for the next day as my mom took me took the doctor, I was not feeling any better. The doctor told me I had a torn ligament in my thumb, a compressed vertebrae, a concussion, a sprained knee and a very bad contusion on my shin that was the size of a baseball. I wasn't able to go to work for the next three days, but it was great to get all the phone calls and e-mails from people that had heard about what happened. The racing fraternity really have the best people in the world when it comes to things like that happening. I am looking forward to getting back in the car once I am healed and my car is healed. It will be a while but this in no way has soured me as I had the time of my life in the short time that I got to drive that race car.

It was also great to have Brent Kaeding and Chris "Cajun" good in attendence for my first race. It meant allot to me to have the support of my friends. Dennis Roth, owner of the Danny Lasoski driven Beef Packers car on the Pennzoil World of Outlaws circuit was also there to shake my hand and offer encouragement. Again I want to thank my guys..., Darren Powers, Jonathan Foster, and Tony Mace for sticking with me through all of this.

Before I go I have to give props to somebody that was overshadowed on that weekend and I honestly don't know why. It is Amy Barnes....am I the only one that noticed that she came from 12th at Madera to get second passing some VERY good driver's including Davey Hamilton. I think she deserves allot of credit for driving a great race to finish second only to be overlooked. Keep an eye on this young racer, she is very talented and will be someone to watch in the future. After being in one of those cars and watching for years, some people never get a chance to enjoy that success so here's to you Amy on a GREAT drive.

Notes: Danny Lasoski still leads the World Of Outlaws but has cooled off a bit as Stevie Smith stepped up last week in Mississippi and Texas... Steve Kinser has been strong also taking the final night in Texas...The World Of Outlaws Support Group opens this weekend, look for Jeff Shepard, Craig Dollansky and Paul McMahan battle for the title...Tony Jones has been fast winning last weekend in Perris...Dave Ely might be the toughest driver in the East right now winning at Williams Grove last weekend and beating Fred Rahmer the week before at Lincoln...Eric Rossi picked off his 2nd consecutive Golden State race at Chico last weekend while Brent Kaeding flipped for his 2nd consecutive DNF, it will be an uphill battle to try to keep the crown...Damien Gardner broke in the new Chowchilla race track with a big win in his rookie season on the tough race track...Tim Kaeding won his third consecutive opening night points win at Chico last Friday then backed that up with a 3rd on Sat....Kasey Kahne might be the hottest driver in the country winning both days in a midget at Madera and Stockton to go with his win earlier at Oildale and sprint car win at the ultra competitive Williams Grove Speedway...Dave Haight is the new driver of the Apple Chevrolet 12...Bud Kaeding made his National sprint car debut at Eldora with a 9th place finish then finished 11th the following day at Anderson Speedway, way to go son!!!...

That is it for this week, I hope to be back to writing regular for a while now....See ya at the races....BF


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