So my mom, Ruth, came to visit last week from California. She took time off from her job where she works as a registered nurse at a hospital in Eureka. It was a nice time for her to come to Michigan because the fall colors are really pretty right now. We did a lot of driving around, sightseeing, and enjoying the scenery. She got the chance to see what I see every day. She got to see my condo, the Kalitta shop, etc. When we stopped into the Kalitta shop, Dave Grubnic happened to be there preparing for his upcoming race. He was nice enough to take a second and pose for a picture with us. My Mom also sat in the cockpit of a dragster for the first time when she sat in the one I use for my practice tree.
I’m not much of a cook so I couldn’t make my Mom good food while she was here, but at least I know where to find some. Right after she flew in, I took her to one of my favorite restaurants for dinner in Ann Arbor called Vinology. The food and wine are excellent. We ate somewhere good every night that she was here. One of my new favorites is a sushi place we went to in Royal Oak called Ronin Sushi. It was delicious too.
Another night we went to a March of Dimes Charity event in Dearborn. There were foods from all the best restaurants in the surrounding Detroit area and people could just go around and sample different things. There were some really great items there. The event was an auction that raised funds for March of Dimes. I didn’t know a whole lot about this organization prior to this event, but my Mom and I both learned about how they help families with babies that are born prematurely. It was neat event, and I was thankful to have been invited.
My mom and I also did a lot of shopping while she was here. There are a couple of good malls that aren’t too far from where I live. We also shopped in Royal Oak, which is about a 50 minute drive northeast from Ypsilanti. There are some cute little shops up there, some nice art galleries, and an interesting European wine shop. We’ve always liked shopping together.
However it didn’t really matter where we went or what we did, it was just nice spending time with my mom. I can’t even remember the last time we got to spend so much one-on-one time together. My schedule and my living so far away don’t make that very easy.
While we were shopping, my mom noticed all the purples that are in stores now. You may have noticed that it’s a popular color for fashion right now. It just happens to be my favorite color of all time and so my Top Alcohol Dragster design for the upcoming races has a lot of purple in it. Our uniforms are also going to have some purple too. I can’t wait for you all to see the specially designed wrap by 702 Graphics and the uniforms designed by Vicci. Needless to say, our team will be in fashion. J I’m going to write a blog on Thursday while I’m out at the track and the car is getting wrapped. I’ll introduce you to the entire team: crew chief, Tom Conway, and the crew of Ms. Stacey Beller, Ms. Sallie Knight, and Ms. Chanda Mills.
So my mom went back west to go home, and now I’m looking forward to going west too. I fly to Las Vegas tomorrow. I’ll be out at the track on Thursday, and then I get to actually go down the track for the first time all year on Friday when qualifying begins at the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals. I can’t even tell you how excited I am to get back in a dragster! The last time I drove was last December in Australia when we raced Top Fuel at the Scott Kalitta Memorial race.
I’ve never driven an injected nitro dragster before. When I raced in the Top Alcohol class in 2005 and half of 2004 with my family’s Bucky Austin-tuned car, we ran a blown alcohol combination. It will be fun to switch over to the A/Fuel combination. Procedurally, it’s just like driving a Top Fuel dragster. Of course I’ve been checking the weather conditions and the cooler conditions predicted are good news for the A/Fuel cars.
While I would like to be battling for a championship like some of the other drivers, I’m obviously not in the position this year, so I just get to go out there, try to be the spoiler to all the other racers, and win the event. I’m counting down the hours until I’ll be in my firesuit again, strapped in the dragster, and racing down the track. J
So in Thursday’s blog, I’ll also explain a little more to you about Get Screened America, which is my sponsor for the rest of the year. Get Screened America is all about trying to keep our fans and fellow racers healthy by encouraging health checks like blood pressure tests, blood glucose level tests , cholesterol level checks, and other tests. It’s a pretty neat deal that they have and even my mom, the nurse, was really glad to hear that I am helping to promote this cause. Anyway, enough for now. I will introduce you to my team and sponsor from Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Thursday!!