On my way to Attica

Welcome back, this week I'll take you back to what happened at Rainy Grove and Virginia, and what I've been up to as I traveled to Attica. Right now I'm camped at WalMart just south of Akron, OH right off of I-77, it is Wednesday May 19th at 8:48pm, I'm watch a stupid comedy on ABC waiting for the American Idol results show to start at 9pm. Hopefully the final two will come down to Crystal & Lee, lets hope the female population of this country didn't vote for Casey just because he is cute, hopefully they listened to him sing last night, which wasn't very good. Crystal & Lee definitely performed the best last night. I'll keep you updated when Ryan Seacrest lets me know live on FOX. Well, lets catch you up on last weeks happenings in PA & VA.

Last Thursday was day one of 2010's WoO vs PA Posse, after raining all day Tuesday & Wednesday, it sure was nice to wake up to blue skies with a very low chance of rain until late pm, it was still cool, but nice. Unfortunately for the driver's T-Shirt trailers, the rain had made the infield grass way to soft to get all the big 5th wheels in without tearing up the grass, if all of them had tag axel trailers, I could have gotten all them in with Woody. With my Mom & Dad here, I tried to minipulate my Mom into cooking dinner for me by buying Artichokes for the 3 of us, well she didn't cook dinner, but she did cook the artichokes for us, man I love me a good Artichoke. 46 cars signed in, 3 more cars and we would have had our first 5 heat program, qualifying was reduced to 1 lap because there was a threat of rain around 10pm, so to save time the decision was made by WoO Officials. Ray & Bob had the track in great shape for all the rain during the week and the first car fired up on schedule. In my last blog I wrote that I wanted the WoO to kick the Posse's ass just to shut up the PA fans on Hoseheads, but that didn't happen, Chad Layton pretty much kicked ass in the feature, Kraig Kinser was fast all night and led for about 10 laps until a late red came out. On the restart with about 5 to go, Kraigs car started running out of fuel, that gave the lead back to Layton. I have to give props to the wrecker crews for there quick clean up of the big crash on the front straight on the initial start. Madsen's car was upside down and stuck on the inside guardrail, they had to use some ingenuity and brute strength to get the car rightside up without tearing it up further. After the races it was great to get to spend some time with the fans camping across from me, I see them every time I'm there. Thanks for the beers and fun times, Brad, your welcome for the autograph.

Friday, the sun was out and the temps were in the low 80's (it seemed hot, but I know when I'm back in July, I would give up my left nut for temps in the low 80's), the calm before the storm. I took advantage of it and took Jim for a ride on Woody up to the gas station and then around the neiborhoods over by Ashcombe Farms, it is always good to get Woody out on the road in 2 wheel drive and let him run like he wants too. Everybody knew the storm was coming, we were just hoping it would miss us, everything was good up until 5pm, then the storm came in a vengance, with tornado warnings, you could see it coming. It rained really hard for about 45 minutes and then it was gone, the decision was to get the race in, so Ray & Bob worked on the track and had it ready to go around 8pm. Fans coming in said that about a 1/2 mile from the track on Lisbon Rd that the farm fields looked like it had snowed from all the hail that fell, by god's good graces the hail just missed the track. Again qualifying was reduced to 1 lap, the night was going really good until the C-Main, with 2 laps to go, a car stopped in turn 2 and the rain came down harder after starting with about 5 to go, so we didn't get the C-Main finished. The rain only lasted about 20 minutes and it didn't rain all that hard, but enough to take another 2 hours to get the track back ready to race on, great job by Ray & Bob again. I hate rain delays, it ruins the track (makes it on groovish) and just plain makes a mess out of everything. I couldn't believe the size of the crowd, especially after all the rain earlier and the forecast all day, but the crowd was good size. With Schatz on the pole for the A-Main, I was thinking, we are finally going to get the PA Posse fans to shut up and Schatz was the WoO driver to put a whooping on them. Well, I didn't see what happened, but I knew it was bad when I heard the crowd and the track officials voices on the radio. By the time I drove Woody up to the accident scene, Donny was crawling out of his car so I ran over to McMahan and he was ok moving around, the track safety crew along with the wrecker crews and track officials, they all did a great job of making sure all the drivers were OK before they started cleaning up all the mess. I know the pundents on Hoseheads were complaining about the safety crew, believe me, they were there and did a great job. There was 10 cars involved all over the track, 5 cars in turn 3, 3 cars on the back straight by the bridge, and 2 cars on the front straight. Once I saw all the drivers were OK, I started getting cars to the work area if they needed it and I was able to use Woody's boom (normally used for changing or moving engines) to lift Hefertepe's car off of Brad Sweets to seperate them and get Sweet to the work area with enough time to repair the front end. Man what a crazy crash, after watching all the video of it on You Tube, it was a racing deal, if you had to blame anyone, I would say it was Schatz who made a move up the track to tray and make a bonzi move to get back to 2nd after getting beat on the start. Montieth was just in the wrong spot at the wrong time and didn't have time to react to Schatz's quick move, shit happens. However, that does not give any fan (from the infield, who was escorted off the property by security) the right to throw a full beer can at Schatz after he crawled out of his car and was kneeling down to catch his breath, I don't care how much a fan hates a driver, that is bullshit. By the way, the can came closer to hitting the safety crew than it did Donny. After all that craziness was cleaned up, it was time to get back to racing, Leppo jumped out to the lead until a yellow came out and on the restart where Hefertepe got a jump on the start and led for a bunch of laps, man I was rooting for Sam to win his first WoO race and the historical Williams Grove track. But a couple of more restarts and Sam had used up his tires and Leppo got him back and led until he started running out of fuel with 2 to go, that is where Fred Rahmer came into the picture and passed Pittman, Leppo, Hefertepe and took the lead, from 24th to 1st, you don't see that very often, like never and on a mostly one grove track after the rain. Way to go Fred, I have to give it to the Posse, they have made it tough on the WoO for the last 6 races, I guess I will leave Rainy Grove with my tail between my legs and have to read all the crap about how great the Posse is until we come back in Jly and the WoO kicks some ass. During the rain delay, I did help Mike get his motorhome out of the mud, he wasn't all that stuck, but Woody pulled him out like he was a flea on a dogs back.

Saturday, I had a 250 mile drive to Saluda, VA where Virginia Motor Speedway is located, after getting Woody loaded up and taking a shower, I put my head on the pillow at 4am. I was up around 8:30am and after giving my Mom a hug, I was on the road by 9am. I took HWY 15 south to I-270 around Washington DC to I-95 south to Fredricksburg, VA, then I got on Hwy 17 south to the track. It was a really nice drive that I thought would take around 4.5 hours, but it only took me 3.5 hours. There must of been a Classic/Hot Rod car show south of Dillsburg, because there were some really cool cars driving north on Hwy 15. I arrived at the track around 12:30pm and found a hose to wash Woody, man was Woody a mess after all the rain at the Grove. I was supposed to get to work to help set up around 3pm, but I laid down on my couch and didn't wake up until 5pm, oops. Virginia Motor Speedway is an awesome facility with really friendly owners, this year they preparred the track with way less water than they have the past 2 years, so I was hoping for a good track for the feature. I know the track is in Late Model country, but he gets a pretty good crowd, but we never have gotten a good car count, this year only 23 cars showed up, Madsen was supposed to be there, but he ran out of parts after Williams Grove. The track dried out and was really dusty for the A-Main, and unfortunately the breeze was blowing right into the fans face, but after the race I still didn't hear any complaints. Meyers won the race, it really wasn't that great of a race, it went 30 laps non-stop and he laped up to about 10th place, but the good news was we didn't tear up any equipment (except for Lutar losing his drive line in qualifying causing his car to flip over) and everyone was able to head back to their shops with cars intact. After the races, I went over to Mike's campsite and had a few beers with him and his girlfriend Trena. It was a good night and man was I pooped after I got back to my RV.

Sunday, what a beautiful day, but I was still so wiped out that I didn't go out and enjoy it like Jim & Luci did. They drove their pick-up over to the beach and spent the day enjoying the seabreeze. I spent the whole day in my RV watching the F1 and NASCAR race and catching up on my rest (you can do that during a NASCAR race, especially at Dover). The American Idol results are in, YES, Crystal & Lee are in the final, can't wait for next weeks finale, I hope Crystal knocks it out of the park. Now back to Sunday, I camped at the track all day and the plan was to wash Woody on Monday morning and then slowly start heading for Ohio. Sunday night I watched the "Survivor" finale, my favorite Russell made it to the final 3 for the second show in a row and again he didn't receive one vote from the jury and didn't win the million bucks. Sandra, the sneaky Puerto Rican Marine Corps wife won for the second time, I'm pretty sure her husband can now get out of the Marine Corps, I know I would.

Monday the plan was to wash Woody and get him sparkling clean for my visit to Goodyear Headquarters on Thursday, I get to meet the big wigs and get a tour of how they make the sprint car tires, I will be there with Kerry Madsen and Sonny Kratzert. However, mother nature decided to change my plans, it rained all day long, again I never left my RV and spent the day relaxing and cleaning the inside of the motorhome.

Tuesday I took off around 11am and my goal was to make it to Ohio before 7pm. I needed to get fuel and dump my tanks and fill up with water, so I decided to backtrack a little bit to West Point, VA and take Hwy 30 to I-95 and hit the Flying J at Ruther Glen, VA. I spent about 1.5 hours doing all that before I was back on the road, my drive to Ohio was a fun drive through god's country. I took I-95 to Fredricksburg, VA where I got onto Hwy 17 to Winchester, VA (if your in a hurry, take I-66 to I-81 instead of staying on Hwy 17). From Winchester I took Hwy 522 into West Virginia and into Maryland where I got onto I-68 to Morgantown, WV (there isn't one flat stretch of interstate on I-68, it is constant up & down hills and mountains). On the big mountain climb into Morgantown, that is where I blew the fuel line last year and should of burnt my RV to the ground, this year I got to go downhill into Morgantown where I got onto I-79 to Washington, PA and got onto Hwy 18 to Hwy 22 to Stuebenville, Ohio where I spent the night at the WalMart.

Today I took off and headed towards Canton, OH, I took the back roads, it was a nice drive in the backwoods of Ohio, hoping I wouldn't breakdown and have a deliverence moment. My original plan was to find a car wash to clean Woody, find a laundramat, and maybe go see the Football Hall of Fame. I did find a car wash and got Woody looking good for tomorrow's visit to Goodyear, but the drive took longer than I anticipated, so when I arrived here at the WalMart it was too late to stop at the Hall of Fame and I forgot to do laundry, so now it is either buy more underware or find a laundamat between Akron and Attica. By the way, the back road I took today was Hwy 43, it was a fun drive, but I never got out of 5th gear or over 50mph, so its not the fastest way to go. Well, I've got to get up early tomorrow, so I'll let you know how my visit at Goodyear goes next week.

Again, I want to thank all the fans for supporting me and Work 'N Woody and the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. So, until my next blog, stay safe and keep all four wheels on the ground.

Work 'N Woody,
"Just Push'n Off"