Sunday, December 6, 2015

2015 - Season 5th Place & Video Recap

We really enjoyed this 2015 race season!

There were many highs and lows to the year including getting flipped in the 360 to taking 5th in points in the 305 CAT/BST Sprint Car series. We learned a tremendous amount about both cars and can't wait to apply what we learned to the 2016 season. 
Must say that out favorite thing about running the 305 this year was being able to race in our home state. We were able to gather local sponsors and develop a local fan base. The 305 race community has been a blast to hang out with and we hope it continues to grow.

Keep an eye out for winter updates as well as sponsorship opportunities.

Thanks to everyone for your continued prayers and support!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Calhan Raceway: 10/10/15 – 305 Race – Best Yet!

It was great to be back out in Calhan (El Paso County Raceway) this last Saturday. This track is only about a half hour from our house…Gotta love being able to drive home after the race! We always enjoy that many family and friends are able to make it to this race since it’s basically in our backyard. Many people showed up to cheer Justin on for his last 305 race of the year.
The track put together a fun intermission and allowed the kids down on the track to have a bicycle race. Jaedon, April's 10 year old nephew joined in on the action. He came is 3rd place and was shocked that he was beat by a girl in his age class. He had a blast being down on the track and getting to see what Uncle Justin sees when he races. Fun event!
 Justin pulled #8 pill which placed him 2nd row inside for his qualifying heat. The track was ridiculously bumpy and not prepped well so everyone took hard bumps and hits without even running into each other! At the drop of the green flag, Justin immediately jumped to the front of the pack, following the #18 for a second place finish. He then ran a trophy dash for top positions with 4 other drivers, taking 3rd place so he started inside 2nd row for the main feature.

The main event turned into a wreck-fest due to the crappy track with giant canyons and mud banks along with some aggressive driving. Thankfully Justin was able to outmaneuver many of the drivers and avoid some crazy pile-ups! He drove his way to the front and was soon caught in lap traffic. After another caution was thrown, we were disappointed when they put lap cars in front of us with the leader only a few positions away. The lap cars caused another wreck which Justin masterfully dodged and yet again they put these out of control drivers in front of us. Arg! Justin soon charged his way around them and barreled down on #18, Jeff Geig, who Justin always seem to find himself next to. The two of them rules the front of the pack until another caution was thrown with only 1 lap to go. They did a green/white/checker and on turn 2 Justin dove down to get around Jeff only to run into a wall of mud which caused his car to bounce around. Thankfully he was able to get it under control but it was too late to catch the #18. Congrats to Jeff on his first win!

2nd is our best finish yet and hard earned! We had a great night and enjoyed the success!

The rest of the crazy guys went out for a “wingless” sprint race at the end of the night which we defiantly opted out of due to the cars not being set up both winged and non winged. It is unsafe and insane so we watched them bounce and spin around the track and were happy to not be involved in the craziness.
Great ending for the 2015 season! Thanks again to everyone. We could not do this without you all.

To God be the Glory!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Dwarf & 305 Race Weekend – Called to Forgive

Dwarf & 305 Race Weekend – Called to Forgive
August 28th & 29th  2015

Friday Night – Colorado Dwarf Cars – CMP Speedway Byers, CO

We hooked up with our dwarf car friends and headed to Byers for the first night. Justin was given a fun opportunity to drive the 78c Dwarf for Rob at Papa’s Powder Coating. This was his first time driving this car and after getting on the track he soon realized that he had no breaks! He still managed a 5th place finish in the heat race, followed up with a 6th place feature after starting 12th.

The highlight of the night was that since it was NASCAR night, Kenny Wallace was there driving a modified race car. Justin learned a lot watching him drive which gave him more confidence in handling the cushion. We stayed the night at the track and after a good night’s rest, we headed to I76. Hailee likes the dwarf!
 Saturday Night – Colorado Sprint Car Alliance – I76 Speedway Ft. Morgan, CO

On our way to the track only a half hour away…BOOM!..another semi tire exploded! Thankfully we were able to get to the track and find a tire guy. Heck, if we blow a tire every race…we’ll be brand new al’round by the end of the season. Since we got to the track late, we had to park in the boonies since we so we didn’t get to hang with the other sprints but had some fun with the dwarfs and made some new track friends.

Justin drew a #2 pill which placed him in the inside poll for his heat race.  He had an amazing start and led the first 3 laps before a caution. After the single-file restart…Justin took off like he was being chased by a swarm of bees! Justin just killed it and won the heat…leading all 8 laps.

They drew #10 for the inverted start and much to our disappointment…it moved us from the starting pole to 9th (inside 5th row). But Justin was thrilled at how the car was handling and felt really good about this feature. After the green flag dropped, Justin took off into turn one only to have the driver behind him plow through his left rear, flying down the driver side and snapping off the front wing.  He also discovered that the break lines were torn off from the impact…so just like that…our night was over.
You can see video of the smash HERE at the 10 second mark.
After a fit of frustration and upset, Justin eventually calmed down and figured out the details of what happened, realizing that it was not intentional. He had such a good run so it was extremely difficult to understand why someone would try to win a race on the first lap by plowing through his car thus stealing this opportunity from him. After the race, we were thankful that the driver came over to apologize and we were able to talk things out.

We always hope to understand the importance of forgiveness and the need to mend upsets quickly. God has called us to be the light and we can’t do that carrying bitterness in our hearts. We have been racing with this guy for many years and would hate to ever destroy a friendship over a racing upset. Justin still has the utmost respect for this driver and we hope to continue this friendship on and off the track.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Valentine Speedway 1st 360 Race - Loving the Underdog

We headed to Glenrock Wyoming for our first 360 race of the year. It was great to meet up with many of our 360 friends that we hadn't seen since last summer, including Jeremy McCune, who puts on a fun show and always makes sure the fans get to see a good race. There were also some 305 Colorado guys there so we would have a fun weekend.

We really enjoy racing at Valentine Speedway because the owners really know how to take care of a dirt track and put a lot of time and effort into making the track the best it can be.

The first night had 23 cars, which was a lot for this small track. All of the cars side by side, they filled the entire front stretch. Justin had his work cut out for him, pulling the last row of the first qualifying heat. He was happy to be back in the 360 and quickly adapted to the power but we missed the set up, so the car was too loose and he took a 5th place finish in his heat.
We were then pulled for the dash for cash but once on the track the car made a horrible screaming noise so Justin pulled off and we soon discovered that the gear set was bad. We missed the dash but still got to run the main event.

This made passing extremely difficult as many of the cars at the back were tough to navigate around. Justin aggressively drove from 23rd place to 10th when disaster struck. A driver who Justin passed clean, decided to plow through him in the straightaway which caused Justin to flip and land upside down. It was incredibly scary for everyone, including Justin who was hanging upside down until the safety crew was able to pull him out. April tried to run out onto the track to see if her husband was ok, but was held back and had to wait (for what felt like an eternity) to know if he was ok. It was obvious that he was ok when the crowd roared their happiness to see him emerge and walk across the track, back to the pits.
This was an incredibly frustrating end to the night, not only for the high expense of broken parts but also the lack of judgment by the driver who hit Justin which cost us a good finish. Justin was/is still in a lot of pain but he was very thankful for his safety equipment which did it's job. It also required a super late night and early morning of assessing the damage, figuring parts loss and replacement and then putting everything back together again.
Thankfully we were able to rebuild the car in the hotel parking lot with help from fellow drivers/teams. Special thanks to the Valentine track gypsy, JJ who helped dissemble the wreckage and after we fed him, he disappeared.

Saturday, we got the track late and scrambled to make sure that the engine was still alive, which thankfully roared to life...first start. Justin pulled another bad position as last row of 3rd heat. He used his heat race mostly to make sure that the car was ok after the wreck. He felt good about the car but continued to use the cash dash to shake down the car. We ended up flying an old wing which has the old race colors so the car looked pretty retro.

For the main feature we decided to tighten the heck out of the car due to the dry slick track and knowing that we were starting at the back of the pack. Good decision as Justin began to pick off cars one by one. He avoided two major wrecks including a guy that tried to slide job Justin but missed and ended up in the catch fence.

He claimed 8th place from the very back and had a blast doing it! Justin as also awarded hard luck award and received a new front axle which replaced the one destroyed the night before.

All in all, an expensive weekend but much knowledge was gained along with new fans and friends in the pits. People always love the underdog!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Awesome 305 Race Community

This 305 race season has been great so far. There has been a lot of learning since we have discovered there is a major difference from 360 to 305 in setup along with how the tracks are prepped. Justin has had to learn how to drive with less horsepower along with dealing with tracks that are super dry. Justin has had consistent finishes and is improving every race.

We have had a great time building relationship with this community and it reminds us of our early 360 days where people still laughed together. We were even racing with some of these people back then and they are happy to see us back at it after our accident. People are shocked that we have not given up and they are very supportive of our return.

It has also been wonderful to race in Colorado! The shorter drives are so nice but it's even better that we have the opportunity to build a local fan base and have the support of local sponsors.

Special thanks to our new sponsors, Made in the Shade Blinds!
Also to Scott with The Huger Group Real Estate.

Both are local to Colorado Springs and offer wonderful business to Colorado so please support them and check them out! And as always, a shout out to continuous sponsors including IronWolf Designs, Dale's Paint and JBlanco.

The travel has been nice with only one upset while driving through Denver. Thanks to a motorcycle driver waving us down, we found out that we had blown the middle tire of the trailer so we had to pull over to change that. And then just miles from home there was an explosion that sounded like a bomb went off which turned out to be a semi tire blowing. Wow, that was loud! Thankfully there are 7 other tires to compensate so we could get home.

Racing is always an adventure and this family loves every minute of it! We've also have a new pit crew member, Hailee (April’s niece), who is now a huge racing fan. She never misses a race and is a great help on the crew and has also learned to drive the atv.

We will be racing in Calhan County Fair on July 25th and we also plan to have a 360 weekend in Wyoming at the end of the month so keep an eye out for us.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

2015 - Back In The Saddle Again!

It's been awhile since we've updated this blog because 2014 was a bust since we blew an engine the first race of the season. So we  spent the rest of 2014 rebuilding and planning 2015. But we have good news and would like you to meet the new addition to the race car family...

One of the biggest changes for this year was to invest in a 305 Sprint Car! A new division opened up in Colorado which was exciting for us with the opportunity for local sponsors and nearby tracks. We had some learning to do and found a great engine builder right here in the Springs...McCabe Motorsports. They built an awesome engine for us and we created a new car.

We've only completed a few races this year due to all of the rain. There is a new learning curve with these cars. Even  though they are basically the same frame, wings, etc...the engine is smaller and handles differently. "Not as much horsepower to pull'ya outta the corners!" says Justin. They also overheat easy, which caught us off guard in Holyoak, CO when Justin was gaining on lead cars and was hooked up. His car overheated and he had to pull off the track. Huge bummer!

The 305 events don't have push cars like the 360 events do, so the crews have to use their ATV's to fire off the cars. So April quickly learned how to push Justin out onto the track...which is always an adventure. Like the time when the track guys over-watered the staging area and April (plus her niece who was riding along) got spattered in mud! Dirt Girlz Rule!!

We are also excited to be hanging with friends who we raced with back before the accident. These people are super fun to hang out and race with so we are thrilled to be back in their community.

We still plan to run some 360 events and may work them into a 305 weekend. We look forward to seeing what God does this year and are just happy to be out there again after so much time of rebuilding and healing. Make sure you check out our 305 schedule and come cheer us on at a local track!!