I really don’t even know how to even start this blog. An overwhelming amount of emotions would be a start. I can’t believe it. So I will start this by telling you about the ride up to Epping, N.H.
Bobby and I had everything loaded up on Monday. Riding up the road we always check to see if all of the bikes are riding great. We have a camera installed so we can see the bikes on the top floor. We turned it on and I almost had a heart attack. My bike was swaying so bad like it wasn’t even tied down. We stopped and checked it and something happened in the front end. The front forks were completely compressed down and they would not rebound. I was a basket case. So we made some phone calls to Trac Dynamics and got all the necessary pieces to fix it. Thank you Trac for getting us parts in a hurry.
We had to make a pit stop at Vanson Leathers to visit everyone. Vanson makes the best drag racing suits in the business so we thought we would stop by and say thank you personally. We arrived in Massachusetts around 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday. Matt Silva gave us the grand tour of the facility. Man, what an awesome place. It’s an old mill. It was very intriguing to see how each part of our suit is made and all the inspections it had to go through before I put it on to go racing. Then we had lunch at a Portuguese restaurant. We all had steak and it was my first and now I am a fan of it. All of the employees at Vanson got to check out the bikes and the trailer before leaving to travel to New Hampshire.
We got to Epping on Wednesday night and got everything set up. On Thursday it was business as usual with getting bikes teched in. We had dinner at the favorite restaurant from last year ,Petey’s Seafood. Friday it was qualifying time. I made two pretty decent runs for Friday and I was just looking to improve on Saturday. On Saturday we did just that. We improved to a 6.87 and 6.89. As a driver you want to be No. 1 but I was actually pleased with making four great runs down the track.
Sunday is always a different day no matter what. Anything can happen. We always say you have to be a little lucky in this game. In first round I had a bye run because Jim Underdahl was unable to make first round. That’s a bummer for them because Jim and Greg are really awesome people in my book and I know they love racing just as much as I do and wanted to be there first round. I made a run but not a great one. My throttle position sensor went out on that run. I only went a 7.06. Wasn’t a good run but at least we got the chance to go back and fix it for second round.
I had to race one of those fast Harleys second round. With Eddie Krawiec being the No. 1 qualifier you got to throw everything at it and hope it sticks. Eddie has beaten me too many times to count. I knew I had to cut the Tree down. I had a .003 against Eddie. It was crazy because on the run I didn’t hear him or see him. In the shutdown area I knew I had won and I was going crazy. That was a tough round. I asked who I had next and they told me Andrew Hines. I said, “Dang that’s no easier than racing Eddie.” He is a tough competitor as well. I went to the starting line with the same mentality and did about the same thing. I got the win light. I was ecstatic because it was my very first final in seven years. When Matt won it iced the cake. It was an all-MSR final. A win/win situation for our team.
Of course the trash talking began in the pits from all the guys to Matt. I was a little worried about my lights being so close so I made a mental note to squeeze the lever a little harder. Well not that hard though. I had a TERRIBLE light and was already mad about third gear. Then I went flying by Matt before I could even know what was going on and I was a hot mess. I was overwhelmed with emotions. Tears were coming down my face and I was screaming at the same time. I made the turn and they started taking pics. I was absolutely on Cloud 9. I held it together through my interview until I got to the part of how long and how hard it was to get Wally.
Man what a day. I couldn’t be happier for this ENTIRE team. It’s a team effort. I couldn’t do it without my husband Matt that has always pushed me and after lots of not so fun conversations has made me a much better rider and I owe all of this to you. Bobby Webb, Keith Nichols, Ferris Webb, Michael Middleton, Colbert Seagraves are the ones that helped my through this journey from getting my motors ready to seeing that I am safe going down the track and all the other jazz in between. You guys are the best and I wouldn’t change a thing about any of it. Everyone came down to congratulate me and then I got to have a few minutes alone with Wally and the emotions were incredible.
I have waited for this day a long time and there were MANY days that I never thought it would come. Many days I contemplated on giving up but it is the awesome people that I call my family, friends, and fans that kept me pushing forward. I didn’t quit and my dreams come true. Always believe and you will achieve.
Now I really wouldn’t be writing this blog without the folks at Kandy Magazine. They saw something in me that just clicked. Now four races later we won together. Even though they were not in attendance I knew they were watching. I am so fortunate to have them as my sponsor. They do so much for me and winning a Wally for them is just a small token of how much I appreciate them. So for all the fans out there who love this MSR team please download the Kandy app on your phone or iPad. Check it out. It’s a top-notch magazine that I know you will love. Do it for this team, Kandy, and me, please. Bill and Ron thank you for taking a chance and believing me when I said I am going to try my hardest. WE DID IT AS A TEAM!! Winner, baby!!