As driver of the #93 Nascar Super Late Model I am proud to announce that thanks to Tim Mcdougald, driver of the #68 Nascar Super Late Model that I will be posting weekly blogs as we journey through the 2017 season at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington. It all begin months before the race season when Tommy Rasmussen driver of the #92 Nascar Super Late Model, wanted to move forward in putting me into a racecar. I never thought that in a million years I would ever be behind the wheel of one of these cars. I was always the kid in the stands who watched and always wanted to drive. After starting my racing career at the age of 8 years old, racing was in my blood. I was racing quarter midgets out of Graham, Washington at Frontier Park. Won a few championships and finally wanted to step up into something bigger
After selling our quarter midget we bought a ’87 Honda CRX and started racing in the Hornet Division making my debut at the biggest track in the northwest of Evergreen Speedway. After racing for a year and also participating in the Figure 8 division. We got a call from Roger Drake driver of now the #10 Nascar Street Stock, asking us to see if I was interested in driving a Sky Valley Stock under the WWRA on Friday nights still out of Evergreen Speedway.
I thought to myself now why in the hell would anyone trust me, at the time a kid, in their 350 horsepower Camaro. We had our first practice day and I couldn’t have been more excited. I could have been faster, way faster. The first race of the season came that year and a low car count made my mind at ease knowing all I was supposed to do was go out and learn. We placed 3rd overall that night and had a smile on my face. We came back the next race. After some extensive practice with a few other drivers something came over me. We went out for our heat race. I passed for the lead on lap 4 and held it off for my first ever heat race win and I never had a big enough smile on my face, that is until later that night. With our 30 lap main event I went in with confidence and focus. Now keep in mind we were only in our second race of the season. I battled with the leader for laps after lap and finally, just like Roger always does. I put it to the outside and made it stick. Making not only a pass on the outside but for the lead. We held off that position and took home my first Main event win. We later collected 4 more main event wins and finished 2 points shy of a Championship.
After racing all of my life it was 2 years off of racing for me. I focused on school and getting a job like a normal teenager and graduated from high school and found a regular career job like most my age had been doing.
Around November of 2016 Tommy Rasmussen gave us a call. Told us to come out to the shop that Saturday and had some news for us. When we got to the shop he has asked me how would I feel about driving a Super Late Model for the 2017 race season. Of course wanting to be mature I politely said I would love too and begin the journey I am on now.
Weeks and weeks of preparation for the season began only to make it to our first practice day of the 2017 season. We were only able to make it 15 laps before a threat of rain hit. Our fastest was a 18.9 on the 3/8ths mile oval at Evergreen Speedway.
Our first race finally came April 1st. We got rained out for all of our practice season except our scuff season. Up next was Qualifying. Out of 22 Super Late Models on opening night we ended up in P19 with an 18.4. Our only goal was to make it to the end of an enduring 100 laps. Our race began and the nerves finally went away. There is no feeling like being out there with the best in the Northwest in racing. The race went by quick and by the time I felt it had just started we were already 50 laps into the race. We ran smooth and stayed out of trouble and learned when we could. Finally after a hard crash on lap 91 we had a red flag. The talks of wanting a lemonade and some Ice Cream had begun and being bored sitting in a red flag. While waiting for the red to be lifted my car owner came on the radio to tell me I was the only one from our team to still be racing and to bring it home. Yeah talk about pressure. A few seconds later we discovered we had a flat right rear tire from the crash that caused the red flag. As soon as the red was lifted I rushed to the pits, as I was coming out of the pits really wanting to finish my first race under the checkered flag I was held up for 3 laps because the track ambulance was blocking the pit lane. Mind you there was nobody in it and they were not paying attention. We got back out on lap 97 of 100 and finished our first race under the checkered flag and it felt just as good as a win.
Now off to race #2 of the season. We had made no changes to the car and dropped it off of the trailer and went out for practice. Wanting to be faster I had my dad who was spotting me tell me my lap times. They started as 18.4 and 18.5 and finally something came over me and I naturally just knew how to drive the car and next thing I know I hear over the radio “Oh wow a 17.6”. I had knew I picked up some speed but not nearly a whole second. I wanted to go faster. Each lap I would hear 17.5, 17.5, 17.5. I wanted that 17.4 only nearly 200 old tires. Finally over the radio he says 17.4 and I radioed right back “Ok that’s all I wanted coming in.” Finally I felt comfortable. Qualifying would be interesting up next. We were only expecting a 17.5 or something of that nature. My first lap I ran a 17.2 and I looked up at the bored as I came into turn 2 for my last lap an thought to myself “I must be going blind.” I finished my second lap and came in. Someone had told me I ran a 17.0 and I didn’t believe them. Keep in mind it was still early in qualifying but I went to look at the top 5 on the score board and there I was in 5th. Never thought I would see my numbers up there. We managed a 15th out of 21 cars in Qualifying and I was really eager to start the race cause I felt like I had a car to compete with. We started the race and everyone was patient, falling in line and not wanting to tear their equipment up early on in the race. I few cautions had happened and only lap 15 we took another restart. I had realized the car was becoming unbearably lose for some reason. I continued on having to back down so I had a car at the end of the night and not one in the wall. We finally got to the end of 100 laps again in what felt like was twice as long as the first race. After assessing the car we realized we had a oil leak and we were oiling down the right rear of the car the whole race. Not only that but we had a mild rub on the right rear as well. Everything aside we finished 16th and had a car at the end of the night.
After being in the shop this past Saturday we found all of our oil leaks and are ready and prepared to find out how fast the 16 bracket is this next upcoming race and feeling more determined to capitalize on a car I know is capable of finishing in the top 10. Our next race is May 6th at Evergreen Speedway on the 3/8ths mile oval so come on out. If you managed to not fall asleep and read all the way to the end of this thank you for your time. I promise all of my other posts will be a lot shorter. Again, thank you for your time.