After both Doug and I finished all of our final repairs and checks before race day, our cars were loaded and ready for action Saturday. Once we arrive at the track we start to get our pit stalls ready for the evening by getting the generator set up, unloading the water and fuel for the race cars and getting our safety gear ready in the cars. Once our pits are prepared we go to the pit canteen to “Draw our Number” which is the system used to set the starting position for the heat race, each driver is assigned a number at random, and the closer to the #1 the better the starting spot. Due to the past mechanical issues I requested to start in the back of the pack so that I would not get in the way of other drivers, and due to a high draw Doug was starting right beside me.
After choosing to skip hot laps, Doug and I took the first lap of the heat race to see how the track and our cars would handle, and we both found the fast line to be in the middle of the track. Through the first couple of laps I was working on finding a way past the #45 of Sierra Happy who was running the same line I was hoping to, but Doug was looking out for me and was kind enough to leave an opening at the bottom of the track for me to sneak into so that we could both get by Happy. At this point the leaders were close behind us so the blue and yellow flag was displayed to let Doug and I know to try and stay clear, which can be tricky when there are no mirrors in the car. As the leaders got past us the checkered flag was waving, bringing th race to a close. With a better grasp of what the track had in store for all the drivers, we took to the pits to make any final preparations for the feature race.
In the Feature my night came to a close early as within the first lap one of the hiccups that I had tried to repair throughout the week popped back up, and instead of risking damage to any more parts, I choose to pull into the pits and park the car for the night. As for Doug, he started 7th toward the back of the pack again but was able to methodically work his way through the field. As attrition took hold of the field and Doug passed multiple cars he found himself up in the 3rd position with several hungry competitors lined up behind him for the final restart. As the green flag dropped for what would be the final time Doug was able to get a good clean start and defend his position against the #18 of Abraham Germain to bring home his first podium of the season.
If you ever have any questions about the cars, what it’s like to be a race car driver, or anything else feel free to come down to the pits after the racing is over and any driver would be happy to talk with you because racing isn’t the same without those grandstands packed full of fans cheering us all on. Who knows maybe your favourite driver with have pictures or even some merchandise so you can show all your friends who your favourite driver really is!