“No excuses. No explanations. You don’t win on emotion – you win on execution.” – Tony Dungy
Being a witness to my sister achieving her first Top Alcohol win is one of my favorite memories of 2018. Many of you know that my sister only races in our A/Fuel dragster that was previously driven by my dad a few times a year, simply because she is a full-time employee at an international engineering firm. On her weekends off, Rachel hops in her Super Comp dragster and competes at her local dragstrip, Mo-Kan Dragway in Asbury, Missouri, where she is a top-10 points contender. She is scheduled to race at two more NHRA events – one National event and one Regional event – with our team, and for her it’s all about having fun and getting her hands dirty. Rachel’s Instagram handle is Clutch Girl for a reason; she has been a clutch mechanic on our dragsters for many years and it was her first interest into becoming a mechanical engineer. While she handles the driver duties, she also handles taking out a scorching hot clutch pack immediately after a run and putting in a fresh set of discs and floaters for the next pass.
Our weekend at Heartland Motorsports Park kicked off great and ended even better, as we took the top two qualifying spots and had the best cars on track all weekend long. On the day of eliminations, we had many customers, friends, and family come out to cheer us on, and we ended up feeding over 100 people with our racer appreciation lunch for all of the Top Alcohol pits. For the opening round, I faced off with Dean Dubbin, who is the Central Region points leader that I am now currently tied with, and took the win with lane choice for the next round. Rachel had opponent Terry Schmidt and although she shook, she got the win and later beat Gary Cooper. I lost in the second round to Jared Dreher as I shook and had to lift off the throttle to regain traction, but lost crucial time on the track as he flew by me. We were all very excited and confident going into the finals for Rachel, as it was her second final round of the year and the odds were in her favor to win. Jared had a slight advantage on the tree, but Rachel got around him and took the win with a 5.29 ET at 268 mph. We had many showers for her celebration and had a few of our friends stay for the winner’s circle picture while the track was still running the other Sportsman classes.
Finishing up the month of July and headed into August, I completed most of my summer goals and will check a few more off my list soon. It’s crucial for me to set goals outside of racing to grow financially, physically, and psychologically. My racing season is over halfway done and I only have six races remaining on my schedule (Brainerd, Indy, Earlville, Reading, Charlotte and St. Louis) and all of these races will determine my 2018 points finish. The points chase is close this year, and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top after Pomona.