(This Page is copied near-directly from my Ionet page where I posted it shortly after this night)
The actual planned night for the "Powderpuff Race" got rained out. A week later, I begged off work about four o'clock to go to Jenks 'cause my bestest friend wanted me to come look at a car she was buying. I'd just got there, and I was standing in the middle of her living room when my cell phone rang. To tell ya the truth, I don't know how I managed to make it from Jenks to East Tulsa, test drive a car, then back to Jenks, back to my house to change clothes, then all the way North of Sperry to pick up the helmet and still get to the race track before seven. (Hey Anne, Thanks sooooo much for comin' out to watch! Love ya!)
If I'd known I was gonna end up wonderin' around in electric-orange pants, I probably wouldn't have worn the cammo-green t-shirt... But I still keep that cammo-green shirt in the bag with my helmet and all my racin' stuff.
Outta the truck and into the pits I go, Brian 's helmet in my hand and an entire week's pay in my pocket like some kinda party-animal... Yogi was pretty easy to find -- he took me to where the trailer was parked and told me to climb in the car & be sure the seatbelts fit. Then he let me hit the button & start it up -- the biggest loudest thing I ever sat my ass in, and boy was I ever turned on! ;)
Waitin' for the last race of the night is certainly a lot of time to kill. That's why I say the races are a good place to "get the most for your entertainment dollar." I looked at cars (Cruisers certainly looked like fun -- two guys in each car, throttle on the shotgun seat side), I walked around and talked to people. It's good fun out there, even if you're too worked up to sit still. ;)
There were folks sittin' in the stands wrapped up in blankets, and it may have seemed like an almost-chilly night, but gettin' tied in and then waitin' through a couple races in the car can get pretty dang warm... Does it show on me in this one? ;)
Driving in that race was one of the most exciting things I've ever done... It comes pretty close to bein' in the Rose Bowl Parade - and that was even on National Television. And that was also the night I found Misty again!
I've just gotta share this little tidbit for the folks who've never been in the pits & seen "backstage" at the dirt track... I started right behind the pole. Pickin' out who starts where involves drawing numbers (poker chips with numbers on 'em) out of a big bucket. I reached into the bucket and came out with a big ol' 43 -- y'all think that's a "Sign from King Richard?" Hee hee heeee!!! The only thing better woulda been an 88. ;)
Brian's high-quality Action-Shot from the pace-lap -- ya just gotta know where to look.
Once the green flag dropped, I don't think we made more than a lap before somebody back there spun out & crashed. I have no idea who it was, the guys just told me to stay with the car in front of me and "don't let her get away from ya, 'cause she knows what she's doin' and you two got the fastest cars out there..." I'm sure she knew what she was doin', and she was sure concerned with what I was doin' -- she flipped and flopped and bounced all over that car tryin' to look back & see where I was... My guys had tied me in so tight I could barely see out the sides, the only way I saw what went on behind me was if they were still cleanin' it up when I got to that part of the track a lap later. We spent an awful lot of time under the caution flag, seemed like every time we got a green, something happened and we were under caution again. When I finally got a chance to make a couple laps runnin' hard, I was getting more & more brave turn-by-turn, but I was still afraid of screwin' up and tearing up somebody else's car... Once I got used to how much it took to get it loose and work the oversteer, I was slingin' it out in every turn -- then there was turn one...
Actually, I ended up partway into turn two -- I let it get loose just a little bit too much, and I just couldn't pull it back in. Somehow in what seemed like twenty minutes of massive spin, while praying that I didn't hit something or get hit by something, the car died. When it finally stopped and nothing had been bashed, I couldn't get it to start back up. I cranked and cranked, and it started to smell like something was hot or burning, so I let 'em push me across the infield and the wrong way down the edge of the front straight and into the pits... All the way to the trailer. Then when Yogi reached in and hit the button, it started right up...
Yeah, that's the "about to cry" look there...
And I don't think I'da let anybody else see me like that, but I let Him see it, and he let me see what it was like to Fall In Love through the window of an Outlaw Stock... A couple months later, I bought the car; a few months after that we ended up together, and the rest is a chapter in the History Of Romance.
2000 was a good season, it had it's ups and downs, but it was always full of energy, always very intense. We had some fun, we had some fights, we made some friends and we also grew closer to each other. I finished the season eighth in the points and also took home a nifty Rookie Of The Year Trophy and a cool little vial of water with a cartoon Camaro on a grain of rice.
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