Rushing off to HoustonWednesday, April 25, 2012
Posted by: Jim Yates
Me, Jon, and Alli at Easter

Today is Wednesday and I have just about two hours before I have to rush off to the airport to catch my flight to Houston so I thought this would be a great time to catch up on my blog. I have had a busy couple of weeks but have enjoyed every minute of it. I got to enjoy my family at our annual Yates family Easter brunch, spent some time with Melissa and Joey while attending the 4-Wide Nationals in Concord, had a great time at the race, had an awesome day of testing the day after the race, celebrated Jon's birthday, worked on my warehouse project and even got to spend some nice relaxing time on my boat – whew!

This year's Easter celebration was a little different for me. Toni was out of town visiting Melissa and Joey, Jamie, Cynthy and the kids were visiting Cynthy's family and that left just Jon, Alli and I to attend the Yates Family brunch. Jon and Alli brought some friends and as always other than eating way too much we all had a great time telling stories and just enjoying each other's company.

I left a couple of days after Easter and drove to Charlotte to get ready for the infamous 4-Wide Nationals. The great thing about any race in Concord is that we get to stay with Melissa and Joey instead of staying in a hotel. That means that I got home cooked meals every night when we got home from the track and got to sleep in my "own room" every night. Now that is a nice way to enjoy the race track.

Despite the unusual format of this particular race we felt that we had a pretty good showing. AJ made it to the semis and Vincent was in the final four so we were really happy about that. We stayed over on Monday and had a great day of testing, trying some combinations on the car that we have wanted to try and seeing some awesome results. I think everyone on the team is looking forward to Houston.

With just one weekend off Toni and I decided to check on our boat which has been docked at National Harbor since early winter. That would have been my first mistake. After sitting all winter the poor Finishline was dirtier than we have ever seen it. Not to worry, I knew just the way to spend a relaxing weekend on the boat. I'm not so sure that this was Toni's idea of a weekend off, but nonetheless she backed me up.

I got out my rags, boat soap, wax, scrub brushes and any other type of cleaner that we had available and we started cleaning. We started on the bridge at 9:30 am Saturday morning and at 7:30 p.m. we were finally rolling up the hoses and putting up the canvas. What I thought would have taken us a few hours took us all day to accomplish. We were tired but really happy with the results. 

Luckily Sunday was a cool and rainy day (not good cleaning weather) so we spent the afternoon with the family celebrating Jon's birthday. His actual birthday was March 31 but because of everyone's hectic schedules we usually have birthday celebrations at a later date. That's ok; it just makes your birthday last that much longer. Jamie's birthday is April 28 and Toni's dad's birthday was April 21 so we still have two more birthday parties to plan when I finally get home from Houston and Atlanta.

Well, Toni just gave me the sign that I have to get things packed up so that we can head to the airport. Like I said before, I am really excited about going to Houston. It looks like the weather will be good, the track is always pretty awesome and if everything goes as planned we should have this Mopar Dodge Avenger running strong. Hopefully I will be able to report back about a trip to the winner's circle. Have a great weekend everyone!