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Monday, June 7, 2010

Not the Race Weekend I Had Planned

Sometimes things just don’t go as planned. Sometimes they just flat turn out wrong. This weekend was one of them.

We were entered into a 3 day race, plus I decided to enroll in
Scotty Richardson’s Drag Racing School to see if he could help me with improving my finish line driving. Scotty had come to the track for the race and to teach a class. I was also looking for ideas on how to set my car up better. Running on 9” slicks with a stock frame often times is a handicap because of the possibility of spinning. But, I have to learn to race with what I can afford to have.

I learned some good lessons from Scotty, thought he was a likeable guy and found him easy to talk to. He definitely knows his stuff when it comes to racing. I’m sure I drove him crazy with the thousand and one questions I had, but I came to learn and I didn’t want to leave without trying to understand all I could.

Learning how to figure split times was helpful, as knowing what your car would have ran if you “got out of it” at the stripe is essential. Also knowing what to do at certain points on the track is also very useful.

If you are looking to improve on your driving or want to learn from a guy who has won a lot of big races then I highly recommend his class. He is also starting a racing series called,
Grassroots Bracket Series which sounds interesting.

This weekend though I was very “off” my game. Trying a new transbrake button and having it in a very different spot along with learning a new driving style did not help matters any. Add in a long, exhausting weekend with very little sleep, a husband who was also driving and working on cars, a very active 2 year old who is not content to just sit and watch all adds up to a very bad weekend of racing. I was so bad on the tree and my last race I went so far under my dial due to weather changes and misjudging the other car that I was certainly no threat to anyone. I am usually not that bad of a racer and I was so disappointed in myself.

I guess I just don’t have the stamina to do a 3 day race at this time in my life. Most who do don’t have a little one to look after 24/7 and also have the funds to have more of the creature comforts in the form of fancy rigs, etc. Friday my back and neck were hurting and I thought I broke my foot when I kicked the generator out of frustration when it wouldn’t start (real mature of me wasn’t it?) which made the day long and miserable. Limping around was so embarrassing.

Saturday my back and neck still hurt, but my foot was better. Then during my last time run my sugar dropped and when I mean it dropped, it fell through the floor. It came on so fast and happened right before my run. Stupid me, instead of pulling my car off to the side and getting some help I thought I could make it to the end of the run. I was just afraid they would make me forfeit my run. Still, I should know that safety always comes first.

I am hypoglycemic which means I can get bouts of low blood sugar, just like when a diabetic gets too much insulin. When you don’t have enough sugar or too much insulin in your body your brain starts to “misfire”. I start to shake all over and feel very ill. By the time I had done my burnout and was trying to stage I was a mess. The tree was looking like it was jumping up and down. Somehow I managed to make a decent run and did it without incident, but it was a very unsafe thing for me to do. By the time I had made it back to the trailer it was all I could do to crawl out of the car. I managed to make it to a friend’s motor home nearby as I knew he would have some type of sugary food or drink. I found some orange juice which is really good for getting sugar in your system fast. I managed to get some in me but ended up spilling most on me and the floor. The shaking can be so violent that pouring and drinking liquids can be difficult.

I usually don’t let my sugar get that low, but I was stressing out that day over some of the ways the racers were being treated on top of being very tired and not eating right. All that contributed to a very bad sugar crash. The bad part is it brings me to tears and I find it extremely embarrassing. Friends were able to find my husband who came flying back to the trailer to help. He knows what needs to be done. The bad part is you feel so exhausted afterwards, like you ran a marathon. I did make it three rounds though before losing by breaking out a thousandth of a second to a very good racer.

By the time Sunday rolled around I was almost too tired to care. My brain was in such a fog from fatigue and not eating good food all weekend. Scotty Richardson had to leave and I wasn’t able to figure out from the one time run they let us have what my car might run. We weren’t due to race till two hours later and the weather conditions had changed. I was also trying to keep up with my two year old as my husband was working on a friend’s car. So I had to guess for myself and guessed all wrong.

Though I love having my family with me, I certainly do much better when I am by myself. It’s a catch 22. I love them there, but when they are, I have so many distractions and it is so much more exhausting, it throws off my driving. As much as I love racing though, family comes first. Instead of spending the time watching and studying the cars and other racers, I often times end up taking care of my family. Though it is the right thing for your family, it is not very good for your racing. But being a mom is all about sacrifices and I do the best that I can.

Oh well. I was able to use the weekend as a good learning experience both on the race front and health front. If you want to do your best you have to take care of yourself. That simple. I didn’t follow that simple rule and it came back to bite me.

So make sure when you are at the track and you are the one racing, that you take care of yourself first. Get plenty of rest, eat right, drink plenty of fluids and if you can afford or know of a good babysitter then bring them with you!

For more information on Scotty Richardson’s Drag Racing School, check out his website at:


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