0

The Ups and the Downs

Good evening to all. As I sit down to write this blog many things have crossed my mind. The main thing is how many ups and downs there are in this sport. It doesn’t just apply to the small teams but to the large teams too.

 

Denver... oh Denver, how great you were to us! When we arrived at Denver, it was a little different than normal. Usually when we get there me and Terry get everything set up and ready for tech. This time the truck arrived and got parked and then Terry flew to Seattle to see McKailen. The way our plan is laid out we can only leave the state for 10 days at a time, so in order to get as much time as possible we have to roll our visits together. So he took an in-state visit for a few days and rolled it with our out of state. So Friday morning Terry and McKailen got on an airplane and came to Denver! Everyone else, including myself, arrived on Thursday, so we all did as much as we could to be prepared without our fearless leader there to make sure we all were doing what we were supposed to. Denver also was the first race that the new latching and tethering systems were required. It is hard to handle a technical problem when Terry isn’t there, but luckily it was pretty easy because we followed all the directions that the NHRA had given us.

 

Our weekend in Denver went pretty well. We progressed every lap, and we qualified. Most people don't realize how important it is to a small team to qualify. On our final lap of qualifying, we went 4.43, which wasn’t too bad, and it made us #15. So we had to face our friend Jack Beckman first round. Jack is always so funny. He makes everyone laugh but always tries to do right by the small teams. We lost to him first round but it was a great race. He went 4.24, and we went 4.37. That was our best pass of the weekend. It is said that the “mountain” is worth 2 tenths of a second. Needless to say we were really looking forward to Seattle.

 

But before Seattle could happen we came home with the boys and let them be crazy! We did so much stuff in that short amount of time. We went and saw the movie Turbo, which they both loved! We went to the beach for the day. The boys played so hard that they crashed out in the car on the way home. We went to my parents, and the boys played there while Terry and I went on a date! Most importantly, we spent time together every day! As the boys are getting bigger they are getting braver... as all little boys do. I think it’s hard for them to only get to be together short periods of time because they just start to figure out their places and then they have to separate again. McKailen is getting ridiculously good at reading. He reads every day and enjoys it. Braiden tries to copy him but isn’t quite there yet!

 

After our time at home we took a road trip and picked up the truck and then continued on to Seattle. We, of course, run Seattle because of McKailen. I don't think we would have gone up there if it wasn’t for him. So we went to the Great Wolf Lodge while we were there before we were allowed to set up on Wednesday. It really bummed us out we had to return McKailen on Wednesday and then we weren’t allowed to see him the whole week we were there. His mother got married on Thursday (Congrats to Bambee and Ed), and we were glad that he got to be part of that, but it really stunk the rest of the weekend that he was there and we never got to see him. But it’s all good because we get to bring him home next week for another 10 days! How awesome is that!

 

So many people have asked us what happened. The car has been running so well and then this national event seemed to work against us. Usually we are ok with a rainout on one of the days, but this time it worked against us. Since we didn’t get to run Friday, we only got the two chances on Saturday, and by the time we figured out the problem, it was too late. The clutch is the heart of these cars, and there were a couple of problems. It was more of a communication error than anything. One person that it was being done one way and a change was made and none of us thought it would be that critical. We have been getting some help from one of the larger teams, and they are trying to teach us to run fast. We can run 4.30 and some 4.2s, but they want to skip right over that and go for a teen or a 4.0... unfortunately they don't know how to back up, and we aren’t there yet, but it's going in the right direction. In the same breath I must say that this sport has so many ups and downs... you could be like Ron Capps, who won in Sonoma and then didn’t qualify in Seattle. I am sure that is harder than what we go through! When this car finally decides to make a full pass under power it’s going to be fast. I think she (the car) is being temperamental. (Like most women, myself included)....We are giving it the attention it wants and needs, and she is going to pay us back...we know it! Oh and one more amazing bit of information: Congrats to Shawn and Taylor Cowie! Their story is amazing, and it is so great that he was able to come back and do it big for his first national event back. I don't know them but Terry does and he was so excited to hear that Shawn had won. His story is unbelievable! Congrats again!

 

So after the race, Braiden flew home with my mom so that he could spend a few weeks with his dad. (Speaking of, I had someone ask me if Braiden was Terry’s son this weekend, and I would have thought that after this long everyone knew.... Braiden is from my previous marriage just as McKailen is from Terry’s. However, Terry treats both boys the same and would do anything for either of them.) McKailen was, of course, staying there, so it was just me and Terry. We decided that we would swing through Vegas on our way home because it was only 100 miles out of the way. Our first anniversary was on the 11th, so we thought it would be a good couple of days just us. Of course, our trips never really go as planned. So on the way down to Vegas the big truck blew a water hose, and it added a nice 6 hours on to our trip. So we arrived in Vegas late. After the first day of catching up on some much-needed rest we took to the strip. Terry and I are not very big gamblers, but I will say that they have the Deal or No Deal games and I really enjoyed those! We always picked a case with little to nothing in it, so it was short lived! We also won tickets to see the Blue Man group show, and it was pretty cool! On our last night there Terry finally agreed to go on the NY NY roller coaster. Now let me explain Terry is deathly afraid of heights, and I am not! I love coasters... I would go on them every day if I could. This was a big step for him, and I appreciate his willingness to go with me! He even said he would do it again. Woot! Woot!

 

So now we are home, and we are on the gas like there is no tomorrow! We are working on engines all day every day. We need to get caught up for our customers and that’s what we are doing. We will not be racing again until Dallas. As many of you have figured out I still don't have a license and we thought that Dallas was going to be the big debut, but we are going to again push it back. However, it is already set that all of our guys will be staying after the Dallas event so that I can complete my license. Super excited! There will be another female Top Fuel driver… Woohoo! Really looking forward to competing with Leah she is a great friend of mine. Go buy her shirts in the NitroMall!

 

On the last note of this blog I would just like to say thank you to my husband, Terry, for being the person he is. If it wasn’t for him I don't think life would be as great as it is. Looking forward to the next 50 years — I love you babe! Happy one year wedding anniversary!