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Someone stole my birthday presentThursday, July 03, 2014
Posted by: Jack Beckman, Valvoline MaxLife Dodge

I’ll make this short and sweet. All I wanted for this birthday was a Wally. That’s it. Nothing more. Sure, world peace would be nice, and of course health and prosperity for all, and for my family to always be happy and secure. I just don’t want to seem greedy, so the trophy would have sufficed this year, thank you very much!

Seems that memo didn’t get over to Matt Hagan and the Mopar team, who cleaned our clocks first round (at least they went on to win the race… congrats, guys!)

Chicago marked the first race out for us after some changes in personnel. Chris Cunningham, formerly of Bob Tasca’s car, is now sitting in the second chair up in the front of the trailer. Terry Snyder is now over at Tasca’s (though still a member of DSR) as another set of eyes and ears to help straighten out that car.

Chicago also marked the third straight event where we didn’t get past first round, so I think we’re overdue for some racing fortune. We’ll see how the changes all shake out, and I shall endeavor to remain focused, optimistic, and motivated to give my best effort.


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How come I look old enough to be Richard’s dad? God, I remember when we were 9 years old and wondering where life was going to take us!
 
Though Epping was a frustrating race, I did get to spend some time with my dad, who came out with his lady, Teri, and her daughter, Carol. Also, my buddy Richard Schwartz, who was a classmate from fourth grade through high school, came to witness his first drag race ever. Richard and I did all the crazy teenage stuff, including running around town in my El Camino back in the early ’80s… man has time flown!

Richard has a PhD in mathematics and is a tenured professor at Brown University in Rhode Island. I must have taken a wrong turn in 10th grade, as all I got was a GED, but I wouldn’t trade my vocation in chemistry (as in, “CH3NO2”) for anything!

The Blackbird trailer sold to the second person who came to see it, so now we’ve freed up more space in the yard, and I’ll be thinning my material possessions even further in the coming weeks. There’s a whole lot of nice racing inventory of new and used parts that I emptied from the trailer, I just have to get a list and start selling it.

I also bid a tearful farewell to the old, trusty Nissan. Yes, thirteen years and one hundred and fifty thousand miles (it had over 100K on it when I purchased it), and it was time to cut the purse strings and let it go free… literally. My buddy Jerry Sanchez (the one who basically built my garage while I handed him tools and complained about the heat) really wanted it, and boy did he get it! I told him not to call me next week when he’s broken down on the side of the road… not my fault.

Sorry for the quick entry, but I’m off to Norwalk to pick up my belated birthday present!

Stay tuned, happy birthday to me, PhDs are impressive, and so is my team!

PS: Happy Birthday to a country that, although its government could stand a long look in the mirror at times, really is the greatest country in the history of this planet. Though I’m tired of the political rhetoric and pandering, consider me a proud American!

 
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