Hello again all my NHRA.com blog friends. I hope you all had a great weekend. After three weeks on the road, the brothaman was just happy to relax and chill around the house for a weekend. It was a rainy, gloomy weekend here in Indy, but it didn’t dampen my spirits. It makes it great to just lounge around the house.
So, we left off on our last blog on April 13 in Las Vegas, so I guess we have to pick back up in Las Vegas. April 14 I had me a little cell phone issue. I woke up and my phone was dead and I thought that my cell phone battery wouldn’t charge and I needed a new battery. It was almost noon, so I sent my boy TY (Ted) an e-mail from my laptop to call my room at the New York, New York. Little did I know that he and our motor specialist on the Matco dragster Red were at the outlet mall doing some shopping or as TY calls it, retail therapy. The boys were good and didn’t spend much money and what they did spend was at the Oakley store. It’s nice to see them support our loyal DSR sponsors.
Red and Ted — sounds like a cheap Hollywood movie doesn’t it, Red and Ted’s Excellent Adventure… LOL — went to the track for setup day and later that afternoon, after I went to the cell phone store, I had TY pick me up at the barber shop. I took a cab to the cell phone store and the kid working there took my battery out and worked some magic on my Blackberry and got it working again and the brothaman was back in business. Then I went to see my boy Rick Warren, who used to be my barber in Indy. Rick moved to Vegas, so when we go there each April and October, he gets my fade right and tight. I still haven’t found anyone in Indy who can trim my hair like Rick can. Then we made a quick pit stop at the Fashion Show Mall. We parked right by Dillard’s and didn’t have to go to another store. We had a wedding to attend on Thursday evening and we needed a sport coat, so we got hooked up at Dillard’s so we looked good. It was good we found what we needed in one place because that Fashion Show Mall has some high end stores and my wife wouldn’t appreciate me shopping there without her.
The next day was a lazy, play day. TY and I got up early and hit up the gym at NY, NY for a good morning workout. Then we hit up Starbucks for our breakfast Vivanno and did a little sight-seeing. We walked over to City Center to check out Aria and Vdara. Let me tell you, that City Center place is outta this world nice. The architecture is amazing. It’s like nothing else in Vegas and the art throughout the place is awesome. Here are a few pictures of a very large Fu Dog in front of Aria and the palm tree sculpture in front of Vdara made with canoes. I might just have to take the wife on a weekend trip to Vegas and stay at Aria.
We rushed back to the hotel to get cleaned up for the press conference at The ESPN Zone at NY, NY. I got to hang out with Melanie Troxel and Greg Anderson and Jason Line and had some good eats before we hit up the pool for a few hours that afternoon. We ended up playing volleyball with a group of Canadians who were in Vegas for a bachelor party. Then we got all cleaned up and pressed and headed over to The Bellagio for the big wedding at Picasso. A big congrats and shout out to my Top Fuel mentor and DSR team manager Lee Beard and his bride Joyce on their nuptials. I love them very much and it’s great to see them so happy. Thanks for inviting us because it was an awesome wedding on a great setting on the lake at Bellagio. Let me tell you, the head chef, Julian Serrano, is no joke. The food was awesome and it was a great evening. I’m so happy for Lee and Joyce, they’re like the first couple at the racetrack.
Friday was back to reality for us. We hit up the Starbucks on Craig Road, which got some good business from us during the Las Vegas race, let me tell you. I’m hooked on these Vivannos and think I should buy me some Starbucks stock. Then I did the Army Y.E.S. program with Tony and Fast Jack and then it was time to race. We missed it on Friday’s first run as we struggled with that left lane all weekend long as did many teams. On Friday’s second run, we laid it down in the Matco/Army dragster with that great 3.881 at 316.60. That held up for the top spot on Saturday, and it was our 23rd career pole and 12th in Top Fuel. On race day, we missed it in the first round and only ran 4.32. We’re not sure why it smoked the tires, but it did and we legged it out and didn’t have lane choice in round two. That put us in the left lane against Brandon Bernstein and we smoked the tires and got our butts kicked. That stopped our streak of three straight final rounds. Brandon sure has our number at Vegas. He’s beaten us at LVMS the last three races there and we’re 7-7 against each other in 14 career races.
The crew chiefs had us back to the track early on Monday morning. All six of our DSR nitro cars spent the day testing at LVMS, and it was great for our Matco Tools team. We made five laps on our brand new in-house DSR chassis. The new car ran great. On the first pass on Monday morning, we ran 3.87 and shut off way early. Then we raced our last four laps in that challenging left lane and finished the day by going 3.89 at 311 mph around 4:30 that afternoon, which was an awesome run on a hot racetrack. I know Brian and Mark were very happy with our performance on Monday. We’re hoping a good showing at the Monday Nationals will help us win a second straight race at St. Louis this weekend.
After testing, we all loaded up the pit so our boys could get back on the road and head back to Indy early Tuesday morning. That night, Brian, Mark, Rob Wendland, and I hit up Sirrico’s Pizza at NY, NY for a quick bite to eat before bed. I needed my rest for my big day on Tuesday.
I’ll end with there and leave y’all with a little bit of a cliffhanger. I had an awesome experience, in fact, one of the coolest experiences of my life on April 20 and I need an entire blog to talk about it. We’ll catch all my Nitrohaulics up later on this week about my final day in Vegas.
So, it’s time to close with a little bit of love, a little bit of peace and a lot of hair grease. And I’m out like shout.