Blogs after a win are always my favorite ones to write. We picked up our second victory of the season in our Mopar Dodge Avenger at Topeka on May 20 and also gained some ground in the standings on the two drivers currently ahead of us.
You can’t have much better of a weekend than we had at Topeka, unless you set the national record and get those 20 points. We were the No. 1 Qualifier, set a new track speed record, set a new track elapsed time record and won the final on Sunday. We were very consistent all weekend and everyone was calm and did their jobs. In the final, we knew it was going to be a real hard race against Greg Anderson, and we came out on the winning end.
It really means a lot to our entire J&J Racing team to have two wins this early in the season. I’ve never done that before. We definitely want to get four or five wins under our belt this year. Hopefully we can pick up another one or two more before the Countdown and then a couple during the Countdown. That’s what our goal is and we definately have the package and personnel to accomplish that.
Before Topeka we did some testing in St. Louis and that really paid big dividends. The conditions were very stable and that allows you to try a number of different things. We were able to go through six or eight different scenarios of chassis set-up and things like that, and we really gained some valuable data and learned quite a bit that should help us throughout the rest of the season, especially during the Countdown.
We had a chance to visit with a lot of fans during a Fan Fest in Topeka on the Thursday before the event. The whole town of Topeka really gets behind the race and comes out. It was a great event and they plan on doing it each year, so they certainly have a good foundation to build on. Anytime we can introduce more people to our sport and get them to come out to the track is exciting.
This past weekend, we had a great Memorial Day, as Pam and I went to Sanibel, Fla., to relax a little bit and enjoy the great weather. Pam’s mother and brother visited for the first time this week. They’ll stay through the coming weekend with Pam, while I head up to Englishtown to race. We are really enjoying our home there in Sanibel, along with all of the sights and sounds.
I’ve been able to do a fair amount of fishing down here as well this year. I caught the biggest redfish I’ve ever seen the other day, so that was a lot of fun. My buddy Kevin, who has been doing some work on our house, invited me fishing. It’s nice to know someone down here with a boat who loves to fish. He’s a huge race fan as well and keeps up with us on that end too. I’ve had him out to a couple of races already this year and he’s had me out on the water fishing a few times.
I’m headed up to Englishtown tomorrow and I can’t wait to get there. That’s one of my favorite tracks. We’ve done well there and if the weather doesn’t get us, it should be a great weekend. I’ve been watching the weather up there every day and hopefully the rain and storms move out. We feel real good right now and have plenty of confidence in our Mopar Dodge Avenger with how well we’ve been running.