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