If you haven’t read my last blog, I would go do that before you continue reading.
OK, now that you are back, I was absolutely right about what I said. “Ride out the bad race days, and take what you can from them. It is easy to just say that, but trust me, your time is coming.” I wrote that blog two weeks ago, and now this past weekend I clinched my first win ever in the Nyes Racing Engines/Moser Engineering dragster. Words cannot even explain the absolute relief I felt crossing that finish line and seeing that win light. This race was no big-money race by any means, but it was such a huge accomplishment that I have been working so hard on for years. It didn’t matter to me if the winning money was $20 or $20,000. This was a win I will remember forever.
In the last blog, I said “I am so freaking eager to get late in the rounds again and hold up some hardware in the winner’s circle. I hate to admit that I almost forget what the thrill feels like going up for the final round.” As I am suiting up for the final round, I start to remember that I said that. So, I really took in the moment. The quietness in the air of awaiting who is about to win, the sounds of Wes May and I clinking our belts to get all buckled in, and the absolute calmness I felt. I was quickly reminded of what it felt like to be the last two cars there, and it felt so good to feel that again.
Two weekends ago in the fifth round for the May Race Carbs Trip Tens, I turned it -.015 red. I was so frustrated with myself, because I was .00 all day. I really felt like a winner’s circle picture was in my future that day. My dad tells me that my grandpa Johnny Morris used to say that when you are all of the sudden red like that, that you have been missing the tree all day. At first thought, you would think he is crazy. But, that theory made too much sense to me that day. When I let go of the button that fifth round, I was confident that reaction time was .00. Then I realized that I was just on it and finally really seeing that yellow light.
Having that in mind, I knew I was going to see that bulb clear as day in the final round. I didn’t let that get in the way of my performance, but I kept that in the back of my mind. I knew both Wes and I were more than ready to win that round, so I knew I was going to kill it on the tree. I let go of the button, and thought okay, that was good, but maybe too good. I bumped .007 into the box with not a lot of confidence to increase the chances of me being green. I take off and see that I am green, go down at the stripe killing a few thousands to be dead-on 8 taking .003.
We had a really good race, and I give a lot of credit for Wes for showing me absolutely no mercy that round. He is one bad dude, and it is always a privilege to race him, especially in the final round.
Recently, I have been mounting a 360-degree GoPro on the top of the car. I have been doing this to see if there is anything I need to be improving on and to make some really cool videos. After having the camera on there two weekends ago, I learned A LOT about my driving. Having learned what I was doing wrong, I was able to turn it around this past weekend and improve. Obviously, it worked.
There are two lessons learned here. Number one being to understand your time is around the corner. Be patient, and work for what you want. Another lesson here is the power of taking the time to understand your racing. I wasn’t making huge mistakes, there were just a few little errors I was making that goes a long way. You have to understand that we all make mistakes in racing, and the first step in improving those mistakes is to accept the fact you are capable of making those mistakes. If you are in a rut and do not know why, ask around. Someone might have the golden answer to what you have been doing wrong this whole time. You never know until you ask. I will probably make a blog exposing myself of the mistakes I was making, to hopefully help someone that needs it.
I have a lot of people to thank for getting me to the winner’s circle. Number one being my dad, for the support and encouragement that my time was coming. Shoutout to Tim Irwin from Moser Engineering for being the best fabricator there is and helping build the baddest hot rod. Thank you to Holley Performance, Wiseco, Abruzzi, Nyes Racing Engines and UNOH. I wouldn’t be able to hold up the hardware today without their support and award-winning products.
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