Hello everyone. I am long overdue for a blog to let all of our fans know what’s going on in our neck of the woods. We have been working extremely hard over the winter trying to find horsepower. With us having everything in house, it has made it so much easier. Most of the time the off-season is somewhat of a vacation. I think we worked just as much this winter as we do during the season.
We had a test session at SGMP one week before the Gators. We ran so well that we didn’t want to keep it a secret. So we posted it on Facebook. Not all the time when you run well in testing does it show when you go to the next national event. We had another test session before Gainesville at SGMP again. The weather wasn’t so nice to us. It was extremely windy and for the bikes that plays a huge factor. Matt didn’t get to learn everything he wanted to because we couldn’t make all-out runs due to the wind. We felt great though going into Gainesville.
We arrived on Thursday. We were very excited to see our racing family and friends. Thursday was kind of a learning day for us. We got a new truck and trailer over the winter and finding all of our stuff was a challenge at first. I bet I asked Matt a hundred times where things were. Only because I was the one transporting stuff from the old trailer and he was the one finding it a new home in the new trailer. Mark and Marshall Stockseth were so generous to get us the new trailer that is an absolute beauty. We can’t thank them enough for what they have done for us.
Friday and Saturday were the days that Matt and John Hall shined. They both made awesome runs. By the end of the day on Saturday John was qualified 6th and Matt qualified numero UNO!! Yes we were happy. I was very disappointed that I didn’t get in. I got bumped out on the last session. I just didn’t make good runs on the sessions that counted the most. Like I said I was disappointed, but I can assure you that I will be testing next week in Charlotte, and when we show up for Charlotte we will be pretty good.
Sunday wasn’t the day we expected. With Matt being number one we knew he had a pretty good bike to go a few rounds on Sunday. That wasn’t the case. When Matt attempted to shift into 3rd gear it didn’t go. It was an absolute shame. Devastated is a pretty good word to describe it. John Hall kept the MSR team alive. He beat Shawn first round and proceeded to 2nd round. John left a little early and our day was over. All in all, things went pretty well in Gainesville.
MSR was so happy to partner with Viper Motorcycle Company for the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series in 2013. The Viper Motorcycles are top notch and please come by our pit area and check them out. They are pretty sleek looking if you ask me.
Just want to say thank you to Viper Motorcycle Company, Mark and Marshall Stockseth, and NitroFish for stepping up and helping our MSR team out for the 2013 season. Also thank you to Colbert Seagraves of Viper Motorcycles for keeping all of us straight at the racetrack. LOL. That’s a very tough job at times.
We are proud to have John Hall part of our race team. He is so down to earth and just a funny guy. I really think our Viper Motorcycle team is going to be very strong this year. We can’t wait for Charlotte, which is our hometown race. All of our friends and family will be in attendance. Come by and see us.
Life at MSR has been crazy the last four weeks. From Matt and I finalizing our deal that we will be racing this year, to doing motor work for more horsepower, to getting things ready for a teammate, it’s been crazy. Oh, and I forgot to say, we are going snowboarding with the Wilsons and the Speeds for a couple of days as well.
Matt and I are very pleased that both of us will be racing the 2013 NHRA season. Last year was a great year but a hard year for me. My dream and love is to be on a Pro Stock Motorcycle letting the clutch go at every national event. Last year the funding wasn’t in place for me to do that. This year it is and I am so excited to get back on the bike. I am sure I’m a little rusty but as soon as we go testing in a few weeks it will all come back to me. The hardest thing was being at every event last year and not being able to race but all in all it turned out with a positive outcome. We have not directly announced who our sponsor will be yet but it will be coming in a couple of weeks. We are eager to get to Gainesville and start this Mello-Yello season up right.
We have been steady working at the shop trying to get all of our motors done with updates. As of now I think we have six motors complete with updates from Matt’s motor at the end of the year. We have also starting a few more things in the research department that will be very promising as well. We have 3 motors to finish before testing. Our team plans to test the second week in February in sunny south Florida for 3-4 days.
At the beginning of the month Michael Ray decided to explore other options with another team. We wish Michael Ray the best at Star Racing. So now we have a bike that is available for the year. Well we all know that Matt Smith is known for qualifying three bikes at many events. Matt has received numerous phone calls regarding being on our team. Matt has talked to one rider in particular and they are in the process of reviewing things. When things are finalized then we will be releasing that information to all of our fans.
As some of you may know I have a love for snowboarding. It’s one of those things that I can do just to relieve stress and it’s my personal get away. Last year with the temperatures being warmer than usual we didn’t get enough time to go. This year is a different story. We are leaving out in the morning heading for Wintergreen Resort. I am so excited. I put my headphones on, crank the music up and hit the slopes. After we arrive home I will be in race mode so watch out!!!
Just wanted to say thank you to all the fans, friends, and family who have been supportive to our team. We are so ready to start this 2013 season. I hope to see many more Wallys in our house this year.
We have closed this year and from a performance standpoint I think we made huge strides in the Countdown. I was pretty pleased with our performance. Pomona is always a fun but sad race. It’s fun because we get all dressed up for the banquet and get to hang out with all of our friends. It’s sad because the year has come to an end and we will not be with our racing family for several months. It’s our time though to go home and find horsepower so our team can be more competitive the next season.
After arriving home from our 41-hour journey across the country we started working again at the shop. Matt was determined to find out what happened to his bike in Pomona. We investigated the problem and the conclusion was just a parts failure. As I always say the planets lined up just right for it to happen. We worked for a couple of days at the shop and then the following week we had to attend the PRI show with IDG.
At the PRI show we met with some new companies that could possibly help us with our race team as far as parts and new technology. We are eager to test these new parts in a test session hopefully in January. Matt and I also had a little fun with WFO radio. It’s not often that we get to do interviews together. They usually get interesting and it did. It was quite fun because if he says anything I don’t like I can always just grab his leg to try and make him start laughing. It’s all in good fun.
The PRI show is a Thurs, Fri, and Saturday show. So Matt and I were getting ready for bed on Friday evening. I was tired simply because I was getting over a cold I had earlier in the week. He told me he has a surprise for me. I really didn’t have any idea what it was. I am the person that finds out all the surprises only because I take care of all the bills. If there is a charge for something then I start asking questions quick. Then I do some investigating. Well I will say he totally surprised me with a trip to the Caribbean. I wanted to get away for a few days. It had been a long year with lots of hours at the shop. So my next question was when are we leaving. He said Monday. I said oh my goodness. I didn’t bring clothes, shoes and anything else I need for a cruise. He said you have enough clothes to survive and he was right.
We departed on Monday on Royal Caribbean Cruise lines. Our scheduled stops were Haiti and Jamaica. Haiti was absolutely beautiful. We got off the boat and enjoy some time relaxing in the sun and doing a little bit of shopping from the local folks. They always have the most unique things at the markets. We made a purchase as we always do when we travel to different countries. Then it was back to the boat. There was an unexpected emergency with one of the passengers on the boat so we didn’t make it to Jamaica. She had to be airlifted from the boat. I hope she is doing well. We stayed at sea for two days so Matt and I decided to learn to surf on the FlowRider. Man was that fun. After the second day on the FlowRider Matt was pretty good. I wasn’t too shabby either. It was a great vacation away after our very busy race season. Thanks to my awesome husband for surprising me. He pulled that one off without me finding out. Good job Matt!
So our 2013 season has officially started. Even though we still have one month left in 2012 we are working hard at the shop to find more horsepower to run upfront next season. I can assure you all the other teams are doing the same thing as well. It’s been a great season for MSR. We can’t thank the Gottsacker and Ray families enough for the support they have given this team all year. We had a great time this season and hopefully next season will only be better.
Just wanted to say thank you to everyone that supported our team all year. Viper Motorcycle Company, Colbert Seagraves, Mark and Marshall Stockseth, RedLine Oil, PJ1, Wilson Concrete, WorldWide Bearings, CP Pistons, Brad Tuttle, FireCore Sparkplug Wires, ARP, IDG and Affliction have helped us have another successful year of racing. We couldn’t have raced this year without all of you. 2013 is right around the corner. I will be catching you up on what’s going on in our neck of the woods very soon.
The last few weeks of 2012 racing season are upon us. I will have to say that I am happy in some ways and sad in some ways. Happy that we are going to relax for a few weeks but sad because the racing season is over and I won’t be able to see my racing family for a couple of months.
Las Vegas is always a fun track to go to simply because IT’S VEGAS!! Lots of fun things to do but priority number one is always the race. Matt had a great race. Ever since Indy our team as made some huge strides in the horsepower department and it finally started showing on the racetrack. Reading was great and Las Vegas was one click better. For the first time this season Matt was in the finals against Eddie Kraweic. Michael Ray has been to two finals this year and winning one and we just needed to get Matt there as well. Matt was doing a great job tuning and riding and it paid huge. We made some pretty awesome runs all weekend with both bikes. Matt made up some ground in the points department as well. Jerry Savioe and the WAR team were also with us for the Vegas event. They are an awesome group of people and so kind to us. We just had some issues with the bike and we were disappointed we didn’t get all 4 qualifying runs down the track. Matt was pretty upset that we had issues with the bike. He wants everything to go smoothly every single pass. All in all, the Las Vegas event was a great event for the MSR team.
For the last 10 years I have always wanted to go skydiving. It seemed to be an adrenaline rush that I wanted to be a part of. I made a decision a couple of weeks ago after talking to several people that had done it that I was going to do it. I really wanted Matt to do it and he kept telling me heck no. You can go but I am not going. So I talked enough smack to him that he finally committed to go. Also my mother-in-law, Nancy, wanted to go so she was in 100 percent.
We had all of this scheduled for Monday after the Vegas event. We had to get up super early in order to get to the skydiving place and get registered and trained. I don’t think I slept much the night before either because I was nervous or excited. I was a little of both. So it was our turn. We got suited up and my nervous started to kick in a bit. We went up in the plane and our instructors hooked up to us. Nancy was first out, Matt was second out and I was third out and others behind me. The plane got up to 15,000 feet and it was time to go. I was pretty excited and there was no turning back. When you’re getting ready to go you are hanging out of the plane and your instructor is inside the plane. Crazy feeling. Then all of a sudden we were out.
He had told me to look up at the plane so you could see how fast you were going. It was amazing to say the least. Words can’t describe the adrenaline rush. Then we started to do some spins. We started spinning really fast. Then the chute was out and time to glide. It was so beautiful over the Hoover Dam and the Mountains. I don’t think we could have picked a better place to do it. My instructor was the best. He showed me how to drive the chute. Pretty amazing. I had so much fun that I want to do it again very soon. So I guess I can mark that off my bucket list.
Another thing that has occurred is our MSR team got nominated for the Hardworking Crew award of the year. As most of you know that follows us on Twitter and Facebook that we work really hard to have fast motorcycles on race weekends. I am thankful that we got nominated for this award and now we just want to WIN!!! So everyone please take a few minutes and go to www.nhra.com/hardworkingcrew and vote for the MSR/Michael Ray team for the end of the year honors. It’s greatly appreciated.
As we are closing in on the last race of the season it would be nothing more than spectacular for us to get another Wally for our team. Whether its Matt or Michael it would be simply amazing to end the year on such a high note. So guys let’s do this. Let’s win Pomona and have a great time at the banquet on Monday.