Well it’s official. Our 2013 race season has come to a close. I will have to say it was a remarkable year. With Matt finishing at the top of the list we couldn’t be more proud of our team. It takes a lot to run a three- and four-bike team and to win the championship with this scenario is nothing short of amazing. It truly shows the hard work and dedication this team has each and every day.
The awards banquet, which was the day after Pomona, was a blast. All of us girls spent the day getting manicures and getting all dolled up for our marvelous evening. I think it is one of the days we look forward to the most for many reasons including no stress and having fun. After the girls spent hours getting ready we were finally ready to go downstairs. I kinda missed the first few things Matt had to do because I was still getting ready. He went to a couple media things for NHRA and then I came downstairs to meet him. He was doing a photo shoot with the extremely big Mello Yello championship trophy. We had a great dinner at the banquet and then it was time for him to be honored as a champion. Although this was his second championship I think he was more nervous this time than in 2007 but all in all it turned out fantastic. Then it was party time. Brandon, Susan and I danced our booties off at the after party. It was so much fun even though it gets really emotional. We usually spend more time with our racing family than we do our real families and it’s emotional and sad to be leaving them for several months. I gave my hugs and said my goodbyes even though it was very tough for me.
After a 41-hour journey across country and driving non-stop we got home on Thursday to some colder than normal weather. Our first priority was getting into the new shop. Over the course of the last four months Matt has started building his own shop at the house. The main part outside was done but nothing inside. We knew we had lots of carpentry work ahead of us. We started five days after Pomona and to this day we are still working on the inside. It’s a working progress. We have all the rooms built and completed and we are pretty close to completion. What I mean by completion is that we get to start working on bikes again. We have not even unloaded our trailer from Pomona yet just because Matt has been so focused on getting things organized for the new shop.
Last Saturday evening we took a break from being Bob the Builder and enjoying an evening celebrating the Pro Mod championship and the Pro Stock Bike championship at Rickie’s shop with all of our local friends and family. We had a huge turnout. I think we had about 300 people there. It was definitely standing room only. The kids were the center of attention at the party. They danced the night away and I will say I got out there a time or two and danced with them. I loved that the kids were having a blast. We had a live band come in and it was a success. There was one very special moment at the party. Colbert Seagraves and Matt presented the team with their Wally’s from the Norwalk event. It’s so cool that all the guys get their very own Wally to put in their trophy cabinet. Every day they get reminded that they helped achieve it. I was so glad that everyone could join us for the party and I am pretty sure everyone had a blast.
Thanksgiving was awesome because I got to see my nieces and nephew and my side of the family. We also got to visit Charlotte and see the Speeds with new baby Ava and of course Jules was very entertaining. After practically eating all day Matt decided to go to Wal-mart and get another TV for the shop. I was having no part of that. He could not have paid me to go and fight the crazy people that go shopping on Black Friday. I stayed home and did some online shopping for the Black Friday sales.
Now it’s almost time for Santa Claus to come. I hope all you children have been nice so Santa can come visit. I hope everyone enjoys the holidays with your families. Remember no one is promised tomorrow so please hug your loved ones and tell them you love them.
Until next time which I promise will be soon please have a fun and safe holiday.
I can’t believe the end of the season is approaching us quick. It seems like yesterday we were preparing for the season to start. I am thinking the older you get the more time flies by. These last several races have been pretty good to us. Taking over the points lead in St. Louis was huge. Our teams have great bikes and have had them all year. We have had a couple of hiccups in the way but it has seemed to all work out now. As you all know Scotty Pollacheck joined our team a couple of races back. He has been so great to work with. Scotty reached his first semifinal with our team in St. Louis. We were proud of the way he came over and adapted to a totally different motorcycle so quick. Sometimes that’s hard to do because as a rider you like the bike you ride and that’s it. So all in all the transition was crazy but it all worked out well in the end.
Going into Reading you have to expect the unexpected. What I mean by that is you never know if it’s going to rain, snow, sleet, and any other weather condition. We honestly didn’t know how many qualifying runs we were going to get. The forecast changes rapidly up there. We were very fortunate to have sunny beautiful blue skies the whole time. It was amazing. That’s the first time I have ever been to Reading and it didn’t rain. In qualifying we tried to put our best foot forward and get some bonus points but we only managed to get a few at most. There were other bikes out there just running a little faster. Matt was a little bummed by that but it didn’t steer his focus on the big picture. On raceday he knew he had to do his job and so did the other bikes in our camp. At the end of the day Matt was standing on the podium with the trophy and the points lead. He was proud and so was his team. As I have always said it is not over yet. I never count my chickens before they hatch if you know what I mean. We live in a world that anything can happen so I will only say that it looks better than it has during the regular season. Fingers and toes are crossed that we can bring this Championship back to North Carolina and Matt can share it with his father. From a motorsports media standpoint I think that will be huge for a father and son to win a championship in the same sanctioning body the same year.
Well since we only have two weeks at home before we head west we do have some work to do. The first order of business is to get Matt’s bike fixed. He broke the handlebars and a few welds for the frame will fix it quick. Then the plan is to dyno a few motors through the bikes. In our spare time, which is weekend time Matt plans to finish up the new shop with the wiring of new lights and things like that. It’s coming along quite nice. When we get home from Pomona that’s when all the fun will begin. The moving process will be lengthy and long but when it’s done it will be nice.
It’s been a great year so far for this Viper/MSR team. We are striving to be on top at the end of Pomona so we can add to the 2007 trophy. We just got to maintain these last two races. Thank you for all the kind words and support on the social media networks. I hope to be sharing news of a championship very soon.
After leaving Sonoma and having a 41-hour drive home we had a lot of time to plan what was going to happen at MSR for the next couple of weeks. With the schedule change this year we had more time to prepare for the Countdown to the Championship. I am pretty sure that’s going to benefit us when we come down to the last couple of races of the year. I will say that we really missed going to Brainerd this year. That’s always such a fun race because of the awesome fans at the Zoo. Hopefully someday we will make it back up there for a reunion.
Our first thing on the agenda to do when arriving home was to get all these motors apart and order parts. It’s midseason and time to order enough to get through the end of the year. After being on the phone a lot we have finally got all that accomplished and shipments were arriving daily. Matt has also been in the process of designing some new parts for us to use on our Viper S&S-powered Buells. These keys items should be an asset to us when it all starts to count.
We had a test session scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday this past week. With the weather forecast not promising we were unsure of how much we were truly going to get to test. We arrived Wednesday morning early at the track with an 80 percent of rain at 9:00 a.m. Not the forecast you even want to show up at the track for. We had to put our positive spirits on and hope for the best. We were testing four Pro Stock bikes and one Pro Mod bike. So we had a lot to accomplish and we didn’t need rain. After warming all the bikes up Wednesday morning and servicing them we were ready to go up. The boys were getting their suits on and the bottom dropped out of the sky. It basically flooded the track and rained for a couple of hours. The folks at the track finally called it for the day. Not a successful day for us. That meant we had a ton of work to do the next day. Matt chatted with someone who had the track rented on Friday and they said we could test then as well. So I was relieved. Thursday was very successful. Dawn Minturn and Keith Nichols come in so Dawn could test her bike she will be riding in Indianapolis next week. Also John Hall and Bobby Webb made it up as well to test. Matt tested a motor in his bike and Matt rode Tyler’s Pro Mod bike. Needless to say it was extremely busy. Everyone did a great job testing. Matt went 4.16 and 170+ on Tyler’s Pro Mod bike. That was a huge gain. We had been struggling with some issues with the bike but thanks to Steve Nichols and Eric Gash from Haltech they got us all fixed up.
Finally after the dust had settled it was almost time to enjoy some dinner but not before we had a little something go bad. I was changing motors in Matt’s bike when Chad Hester came over from working on Rickie’s car to get me in a panic. I said what’s wrong. He yelled come on something happened to Rickie. I immediately went into my medical mode. Rickie touched the fan on his car and cut his finger COMPLETELY off. Yes I said completely. He was in some major pain. We had to get an ambulance there and get him to the hospital. I was helping Rickie while saying they had to find the other part of the finger. Previously I had to deal with this a couple of years ago with my mother so I knew what to do. We found the portion he cut off and got it on ice so we could send it with him. Needless to say after Rickie got to the hospital they could not put it back on because it wasn’t a clean cut. I will say this. Rickie Smith is one bad man and dedicated is an understatement. He was back at the track that night and tested his car the next day. I don’t know anyone that would do that. I’m just thankful I was there to help and thankful he was ok.
On Friday Matt and I both tested and the results were great for him. We learned some stuff with the motor that was in my bike. Isn’t that what testing is for? Thankfully we will go back to the shop and work extremely hard for the next couple of days until we leave for Indy on Wednesday. I kind of wish Wednesday was here now. A little tidbit about Indy. Colbert Seagraves is so awesome. He got us some new helmets from Simpson and man are they going to be shining bright on Friday. If any of you follow me on Instagram or Twitter I am sure you have already seen some preliminary pictures. I honestly can’t wait to see it in person and to put that baby on my head and take it down the quarter mile. I am excited for Indy. This team is ready to contend for this championship. We are bringing the A game as I always say. WE ARE IN IT TO WIN IT!!! Nothing would be sweeter than to bring Viper Motorcycle Company an NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Championship on there first full season as being a sponsor. LETS DO THIS BOYS!!
Hello to all of our crazy race fans. I hope your summer is treating you well. We survived our northern swing and now we are heading to race our western swing. I will have to say that the northern swing was pretty darn good to the MSR/Viper Motorcycle team. With two out of three wins, that’s not too shabby. John Hall winning at his home track was pretty fantastic. Matt being a repeat winner at Norwalk was awesome to. Matt went to two finals on the swing and got beat by Michael Ray in Chicago. He did a great job and it was just his day to win. Congrats to Michael and to the Star team. Michael talked a lot of trash to Matt giving him a hard time about his light in the final against him. He told Matt he was too old and needed to retire. I think Matt came back and redeemed himself at the next race. Matt had stellar lights every round in Norwalk and he was unbeatable. He won two elimination rounds on a holeshot. In drag racing that means the driver did their job.
We had some work to do at the shop when we got home. With having three races back to back we have to come home and evaluate our motors to make sure everything is working right in them. Come to find out my motor was not performing at the best. With some issues with parts we were glad we took the motor apart. I was happy we found the problems so we could fix them and get everything back ready for Denver. During our brief time off Matt and Trent decided to build a “special motor” for the Denver race. We didn’t have a chance to dyno the motor so it will be interesting to see if it runs better than all of our other stuff. With both Matt and John already winning this season it has been outstanding. I really hope my luck turns around and can get some round wins. I really want to win so maybe it will come so we can have all three members of this team in the winners’ circle. Matt has been pretty successful at getting first time drivers in the winner’s circle. Maybe he can get me there as well.
We are currently en route to Denver now. It’s a long journey out there and even a longer journey on the way home. 41 hours to be exact for the drive from Sonoma to home. The only thing that would make the drive awesome would be if we had 2 Wally’s traveling with us. I am not going to be greedy and say if we had only one it would still be worth it. Wally’s make everything so much better. My fingers are crossed that I get some round wins on this western swing and can be a candidate to get in the Top 10. We will see how the cards fall. I know it would be a pretty sweet deal if we had three Viper/MSR Buells competing for the first ever Mello Yello Pro Stock Bike Championship. Until next time keep it full speed ahead.