Well, hey everybody. We leave for Las Vegas on Wednesday (which is when you will probably be reading this), and it's been a very productive couple of weeks, with some good relaxation thrown in there.
We went up to North Carolina and spent some time with the kids the week after the Tire Kingdom Gatornationals. It was great because we all got to get together. Both Shane and Jonathan came over with their wives and all six of our grandkids, my pilot Moe, and all three dogs were there. It was a full house! It happened to be my birthday, and it couldn't have been any better. We cooked out on the back porch and looked at beautiful Lake Norman. Everybody talked and just really had a good time. Having my family around me was present enough.
While we're talking about my birthday, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who posted comments on my Facebook page and sent me messages on Twitter. There were a lot of folks who said something, and I'm sure grateful for all of you. Thank you.
I enjoy the engine shop stuff, and while I was in North Carolina I went on over to Gray Motorsports. I like to dig in there a little bit – 'til one of the guys comes along and slaps my hand and tells me that it's okay to come up with ideas, but don't touch anything. Everything went real well, and I feel like we're learning some things that will help Shane's program in the Service Central Pro Stock car.
You know, it runs in spurts, and I guess I'm too much of an optimist and maybe not enough of a realist at times. In my mind we have been behind where I would like to be with the program. I know we are just a couple of years into this, but I expect my engine shop to be running with the best of the best by now, and that's just not the way it works. It takes time and effort, and it seems like you're getting nowhere, getting nowhere, getting nowhere, then all of a sudden you find a little something that leads you in a new direction and it's like a light bulb comes on.
We're excited because we're getting things better and better, and the boys went out to Charlotte and had a great test. I know they're looking forward to getting back out and running in Las Vegas. I am, too, because my team made some changes to the fuel car and are saying it's even going to be better.
I love to drive that Service Central Funny Car, but I also like the time off. After we left North Carolina we went on over to our mountain home in New Mexico. It's kind of nice to go back home once in a while, even if the dirt does blow up here. It was sure nice to hang out for the weekend before Vegas. We're getting ready for a great time, starting with the autograph session with Don Schumacher and all my DSR teammates on the Brooklyn Bridge in front of the New York, New York casino. It starts at 6:00 on Thursday evening, so you all come down and see us if you're around.
With all the festivities and activities, Las Vegas is always a fun race. I might be a little partial to it because we've been runner-up there two times in a row, and with the way things are going, this weekend could be a good time for us to get back in the winner's circle. We'll have to see how the weekend goes, but if it comes down to me and my teammate Ron Capps in the final again like it was last fall, I don't know what I'm going to. I think I'm gonna kind of ease around there and maybe stomp on his foot or let the air out of one of his tires. I have to do something. That guy has my number.
We'll see you all out there. It should be a good show!