The ride-along in Tucson was at a Harley Davidson dealership, one of the biggest I’ve ever seen. It even made me think of getting one … not. LOL! We went down and met some of my Hispanic homies at a shop called Black Widow Customs and they gave me a really cool piece the size of my head. They have a lot of custom and innovative ways to lower and raise trucks so it was an interesting stop. We actually went to Scottsdale in January for the Snap-on Kick-off meeting so it was good to see those guys again.
We had a packed house in hospitality both Saturday and Sunday at the race. That area is really growing and the Snap-on family is really getting behind our racing program, which is awesome to see. We started to get on track at the race itself and made a good run in qualifying. On Sunday, our car was on target to run a 4.05, the only problem was that the track could only hold about a 4.08 so we lost a really close race there to Capps. Had we got past that round, we felt like the race was ours to win.
During the week between Phoenix and Gainesville, we went to a truck show in downtown Indy. When Lee and I picked up our badges, we were laughing so hard because Lee’s tag said “Lec”. I told Lee, if anyone calls you Lec, I’m gonna lose it and that’s exactly what happened. LOL! It was a really busy and stressful morning getting ready for the show so it was perfect timing for something funny to happen.
Our next stop was Gainesville where we finally landed our big punch! We made an awesome run, a 4.02 and qualified on the pole. We made three of four runs down the track like last year so Gainesville was definitely a sign of things to come. We had a packed house again with Snap-on and UTI guests in hospitality so overall, it was a great event. On race day, we got our first round win of the season against Tim Wilkerson with a 4.08. Second round, we were leading and pulling away from Johnny Gray, at half-track, when we had some engine damage and broke a couple of rods. Upon further review, we might’ve had a problem in the pit area that we didn’t catch so we’re working on rectifying that now so it doesn’t happen again. Again, we felt like we were on our way to at least a semifinal finish. Now we’re at the point where we can race the car again.
The Snap-on franchisee ride along in Florida was fun, as always, with Snap-on manager Hans Mohanon. We spent the day visiting different shops, giving away race tickets and sold a few tool boxes along the way. One of my favorite stops was ShandsCair unit, who provides the race track with medical services. The head mechanic took me on a top notch tour of the whole place from the dispatch center to the helicopter pad. They’re great Snap-on customers so it was really cool to see the helicopters (with two jet engines) that they service. They even gave me a t-shirt to take home.
During my time off, I’m gonna work on getting caught up in the shop and start looking around for sprint car races I can go to. We’re also getting the new car ready and will hopefully debut that with the brand new 2012 Toyota Camry body in Las Vegas. Come by the pit and check out the new body while it’s carbon fiber only.
Las Vegas is a race where we go back west and feel like we’re hitting our stride now so it’ll be a good event. Every race is important and we’re starting to fight our way into the top 10 so we can have a little breathing room. We definitely left one on the table in Gainesville so we’re looking to rebound in Vegas. Needless to say, it’s a state of the art facility and a fast track if it’s cool so we want to make our mark before we leave the West Coast!