Well, four races in eight days isn’t easy! But if it were easy, everyone would be doing it, right?
March 16 to March 25 was a grueling stretch of early mornings, late nights, lots of commuting between Arizona and (within) California, prolonged sun exposure, dehydration, and good, hard racing for 500 total laps.
The season started in Tucson, where I got my first top-5 finish last year. Unfortunately, we never found the speed we needed to be in contention for the win and I finished 12th.
The next stop was Bakersfield, CA, where I ran up in 2nd – 4th for a while. I went into tire-conservation-mode, and while running in 8th a competitor dive-bombed me going into the corner, sending me into the wall. It wasn’t a race-ending hit, but I could only recover to 12th.
The last stop on the swing was in Irwindale, CA, where we had back-to-back 100 lap races. My team and I were really pumped for this one because we had a new racecar, were 2nd fastest in both practices, and qualified 4th, only 0.04 seconds slower than the leader (on an 18 second lap!). I ran up in 3rd for a lot of both races, but then in both races found myself falling back near the end of the race. I finished 10th in the first race and 6th in the second, only to later find out that we had a mechanical failure in both races, which essentially inhibited my ability to turn efficiently and effectively.
While our results don’t do our hard work, perseverance, and hunger to win any justice, everyone on the team gave it everything they had. We learned a lot that we can use to improve for the rest of the season, and I’m excited to get out to Spokane, WA on May 13th for the 5th race of the season.
You can watch the two Irwindale races Saturday, April 1, at 7pm and 8pm on NBCSN.