|Here she is - not all the graphics are on yet.|
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
The race weekend started and ended with a ton of excitement. One of my sponsors and good friends, Dave Jones, hooked me and my family up with hot passes to the NASCAR race. He gave my dad and I the full tour of the Fox television compound. Even introducing me to the head honchos as “This is my driver” – haha. (It’s kinda embarrassing but at the same time makes me feel so honored.) Meeting Jeff Hammond was cool! I must say I gained a lot of respect for what those guys do! I was amazed with all that went into producing and broadcasting a NASCAR race. Unfortunately the Sprint Cup race was on Saturday night, which is the night I race my 305 sprint car, so I had to make a choice…….. well I am a racer so it was Kennedale Speedway Park for us.
It was only my fourth sprint car race and I was still pretty nervous, on top of that we were having some fuel problems. My heart was pumping with excitement when the grid steward was calling my heat race. When my dad pushed me up to the shoot, all I could think of was how many hot shot drivers were in my heat!!When the green flag flew it was a drag race down the front stretch between me and Scott and luckily I made it into the turn first! Once I led the first lap, Justin Melton battled with me and was able to make the pass for the lead. Jeb Sessums was also able to get by me to take second. After those to awesome drivers passed me I was sitting comfortably and was able to take the checkered in third. I pulled in to my pit with a big smile on my face! My crew was just as excited and pleased with the finish as I was. We knew that we had a great setup, just had to keep up with the track.
Before the rounds of features started, I went up and checked the lineup board. Guess what? I started outside front row!!! Right when I saw that butterflies began to take over my stomach. Everyone kept saying, “just step on the gas and you’ll be fine”. But honestly that is easier said than done! I climbed into my car, buckled up once again and got pushed up to staging. I said my pre-race prayer and took one last deep breath before firing the car up on the track. The flag man gave the signal one to go! As we rounded turn one it was green flag time!! I took off like a rocket got going in second place. By half way through the race I found myself in fourth place. During the caution all I could do was think “dang I am really in fourth place against all of these awesome guys”. The green flag came out once again, but this time I had Chase Brewer behind me trying to rattle my cage. HE hit me once going into turn 3 & 4, and then drove right into me in turn 1 &2. He ended up taking himself out and tearing up his car. After that wreck happened I looked up and saw that I was in fourth! HA! He wasn’t able to rattle or get me scared; I continued to hold my own. There was only three laps left, and by the time we got the checkered I ended up in fifth place. I was more than happy and everyone could see that! But then I had to go to the scales to weigh, found out I was 20 pounds lite. Even after finding out I was DQ’ed, I was still so happy with how hard I drove. And it was an awesome feeling when the other drivers came and told me how good I had done.
Posted by Kaley Engstrom