The Winter Spectacular
Another weekend down as we leave the Viking speedway in Alexandria, MN. We had a decent weekend as our new sled and motor package hasn’t run at a superspeedway yet this year. This track is fast, and wide, leaving room to pass and put on a great show for the crowd.
We hit the track Friday morning early for testing, and found we had some work to do on the sled, looking for speed, and better handling. We hit the track for the first round, and it was a fast heat. The flag was thrown and we were off down into corner 1. We finished with an honorable 4th, knowing we had some more work to do. The second round saw us with another 4th, and the last heat, a fifth. This set us up in the 8th qualifying position. We prepped the sled for the 15 lap feature, and hit the track. We lined up mid track on the start, and then were turned loose. We got a decent hole shot, but got stuck low on the race track and had some ground to make up. With 4 laps completed, there was a red flag, and we quickly cooled the sled, and lined back up for the last 11 laps. The green was waived, and we were off. We had a great hole shot, maintaining our position, while sticking with the leaders. We ran with the front pack and were running them down when with 3 laps left we got hit coming out of corner 2, and the driver lost control of his sled. With a banged up knee, but still attached, we lined up for the last 3 laps. The hole shot went great, and we battled with the leaders in turn 1. We came out running 6th, and maintained that position through the race. My leg was hurting badly and swollen. We rested the rest of the evening, tending to the sled, and trying to keep moving so my leg wouldn’t stiffen up and swell more.
Saturday morning was tough. My leg was very stiff, and extremely swollen, almost to the point of my knee braces not fitting. We strapped up and sucked it up for the day, knowing the sled wasn’t going to race itself. The first, second, and third heat race all saw us in the number four position all through qualifying. Finding speed the whole day, and still working on some handling bugs. We prepped for the final after signing some autographs for the fans, and hit the track. The 20 lap feature was going to take a toll on the other drivers and the machines, which we knew would work in our favor, but to no avail, there were no cautions for the entire 20 laps. The green was thrown, with us running with the top 4 into corner 1, and making a pass early to seat us in the number 5 position. There was a sled that went down early seeing us to the number 4 spot, and then eventually, my leg had had enough. With 5 to go, my sciatic nerve in my hip was on fire, and my calf was cramping in the worst way. We pushed on through the race, holding our 6th position through to the checkered.
With some assistance from the crew, I got off the sled and walked to the trailer. Upon taking off my knee braces we noticed a golf ball sized knot in my calf, and my knee back to softball sized swelling. It was a tough and stressful weekend for the crew, but our heads are still high. We are happy to finish the day, and go home healthy, and ready for another weekend. The team that got into us apologized, and we let them know there are absolutely no hard feelings, as they are clean racers, and a great family. I thoroughly enjoy watching #102 Blaine Stevenson progress through the sport, and love that he looks to me as a mentor. “The Kid” is a great young man, and has a bright future ahead of him, and his dad is top notch. We will lick our wounds, and get the sled ready for Weyauwega, our next TLR Cup race 2 weeks from now. Until then, keep the handlebars to the left, and the throttle wide open.