On my way to the Ironman 55

Welcome back, I know it has been about 2 weeks since my last entry, but it has been a crazy couple of weeks of great racing, huge stress, and a bunch of driving. I finally have a chance to sit down and write for a while. I am writing this entry from the WalMart in Madison, OH, it is Wednesday Aug. 4th around 10pm, Selena and I are watching Shark week on the Discovery Channel. We just watched "So You Think You Can Dance", the final 4 episode, again Kent and Loren did great but Robert stepped up to the challenge and out danced both of them. So, if America votes on performances, those three should be the fianl three for next weeks finals. Well, lets get you caught up with what I've been up to for the past two weeks.

My last blog entry ended the night before the first night of the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove. Friday morning I was up early to have breakfast with one of my Navy friends, Dale, he picked Selena and me up and we had a nice breakfast, told a few sea stories and caught up with eachothers endevors and then he dropped us off back at the motorhome. By 10am, the temp was over 85 degrees and the humidity was so thick you could cut it with a knife. I new then we were in for a scorcher of a day. I helped Justin & Tony put up banners on the front stretch fence and hung out to see if anyone needed any help, before I headed back to my RV for some much needed air conditioning. %pm rolled around and it was time for me to get my uniform on and head into the pits, by then the temp was close to 100 with a heat index of over 110, just plain hot, but at Williams Grove, I'll take hot over wet. 48 cars signed in, the crowd was coming indroves to see their beloved Posse continue to beat the Outlaws. Ray and his track prep crew did a fantastic job preparring the track on such a hot day, I'm pretty sure in qualifying that the top 10 qualifiers came from cars that went out early, in the middle and late, can't ask for anything better than that. The heats were typical 1/2 mile heats, if you didn't make the pass on the first lap, forget it and stay in line on the freight train. In the A-Main, Lance put another whoop'n on the Outlaws, and again I had to hear Bruce say on the mike in Victory Lane, "And the Streak Continues", got I'm getting sick of those words. But I have to give Lance his due, he was the class of the field all race long. The B-Main was crazy, Joey looked like he wasn't going to make it into a transfer spot, but after numerous yellows, the leaders started running out of fuel and when a yellow was thrown for a stopped car, a Fuel Red was dropped, a freak'n red for fuel in a B-Main, crazy shit happens at the Grove. Anyway, Joey through luck and a full fuel tank, saved a provisional. Not sure where he finished in the Main, but I think he made it into the top 15. Whe the checkered was thrown, it was still over 87 degrees and the heat index was up around 95, Yukky.

Saturday, again I woke up to hot humid temps, it was going to be another scorcher. Atleast the Red Line Oil in my generator was working good and it ran all day long, thank god, not sure I could survivred with A/C. I spent the day completely stressed out over my transmission in the RV, I was thinking maybe my problem with the tranny was it was under serviced, so I added about a gallon of fluid to get it to the line on the dip stick. I thought the lines were for quarts not gallons, so I was hoping that was my problem, but I wouldn't be able to find out until I started driving to NY on Sunday morning, so I continued to stress all day. You can ask Jim, Bdooch, and Brad, I was stressed out. 5pm rolled around and it was time to go to work again, the heat index was again well over 100 and miserable, but again hot & dry at the Grove is way better than wet & cool. Again 48 cars signed in, Ray did another great job on the track and it would have been great for qualifying, but the officials decided to run group 1 again in hot laps because they were over 1 second slower than the fastest hot lap group. I never like it when we do that unless we run every group again, because after group 1 goes out again, then you have to wait about 10 minutes before that group is ready to qualify and the whole time your waiting, the track just bakes in the sun and it always kills the track and hurts the later cars out to qualify. Thats what happened, the last 12 cars out were over .3 off the pace. Oh well, that's sprint car racing on dirt. Again the B-main was loaded with A-main talent, Schatz started deep in the B-main and got caught up in an accident early, so he had to use a provisional, he barely made it out for the A-Main, his crew did a great job thrashing to get it fixed. The race started out with McMahon running away early and looking like we might finally break the streak and I won't have to listen to Bruce after the race bragging about the streak. After a Red Flag that was opened up, Hodnett's crew made some good adjustments and with five laps to go, he tracked down McMahon and passed him for the win, and again I got to hear Bruce announce, "And The Streak Continues", crap I hate that. If you were at the track, you got to witness Lance Dewease drive from a provisional all the way up to around 5th, it was amazing how fast he was. It was another great night of racing and the Outlaws left with there tales between their legs. Even with the hot miserable weather and being stressed out all weekend, I had a great time and the fans were fantastic and treated me great. I have to thank Mike, Trena & Melissa for treating Selena & I like family, Melissa & Selena got along great and had lots of fun driving Mike's golf cart all over the grounds. I also have to thank Jim and his family for feeding me Saturday, that stirfry was awesome. I'm looking forward to coming back in October and hopefully not so stressed out so I can enjoy my good friends company a lot better.

Sunday, it was an early wake up call, 7am came way to early, but I did get up and I was on the road to Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, NY, just a nice 327 mile drive for tonights race. I decided to go the Scranton, PA route, I figured if the tranny was going to fail, it might as well fail on a big climb. As I drove through Harrisburg, the tranny rocketed right up to 230 on the short climb on I-83, so needless to say, my stress level rocketed up with it. As I left Harrisburg, the tranny cooled down to 205 so I kept plugging on. I stopped at the first rest stop to check the oil level, well I noticed oil leaking around the tranny and the oil level was way over serviced, so i new the oil was coming from the overflow out of the tranny, so I decided to keep going. I made it up all the big climbs with the tranny not getting hotter than 220, and I stopped at Port Jarvis, NJ (the cheapest fuel on the east coast). Well, the tranny still acted like the torque converter wouldn't disengage and it vibrated like crazy when I stopped, so I just shifted to neutral everytime I stopped. I filled up with fuel and a new stresser showed its ugly face, when I went to start the motorhome, nothing. After trying the key a few times, I went out to the battery cables and twisted them and found one kinda loose, and thank god it started first time I tried the key. I pulled into Lebanon Valley Speedway around 3pm, shit yea, I made it, I was happy, but still stressed. If you have never been to this track, it is a one of a kind, big 1/2 mile, high banked small corners, it normally blows dust in hotlaps and it is a dusty mess all night. Well, this time we got a rain shower about a hour before the drivers meeting, which made for a way better track all night. The racing was typical follow the leader during the heats & dash, but there was some good racing in the Main. Doug Esh (subbing for Jac), who had never seen this track before, dominated the main and led all 25 laps, it was a much needed win for Doug and the whole R19 team, great job Lenoard, Marie & Kyle. Behind Doug, it was a great battle for 2nd through 7th. It was a late night, but the fans had a great time and really enjoyed the racing.

Monday morning I woke up early and called the Detroit Diesel (they are the Allison Transmission service center in Albany, NY) to see if they could look at my tranny right away, Steve the service manager said bring it in. I loaded up Woody and got there by 9am. Of course, now the tranny didn't act up, I get there and George the service tech (great guy and is an Allison expert) came out and put the computer on it and ran it through its test and we took it for a test ride. Again, it showed no signs of any problems, typical deal for me, when I want something to not work, it will work just fine. So, I left to go back towards the track to use a steam cleaner at Sunnyside Garage to clean out my generator compartment, generator, and the generator radiator. Well, on my way there the tranny started acting up again, so after I cleaned everything, I called Detroit Diesel again and headed back. This time George could tell something wasn't right, but still the computer couldn't find anything wrong, but George recommended that he pull the valve body and inspect & clean it, to see if he could find anything. He told me it was normally a 4-5 hour job and I would need to get a hotel. I asked him to try and get me out by 5pm, because I needed to be in Montreal Tuesday afternoon and I couldn't afford a hotel. George worked his ass off and got me out of there by 4:30pm, that was the good news, the bad news was he didn't find anything wrong, not one speck of metal in the filters, the valves were clean no scarring, nothing wrong. He did replace the selenoid that controls the lock out system, hoping that might be it. So, I was off to Montreal, Selena and I drove up I-87 to Plattsburg, NY and stayed the night at the WalMart. What a beautiful drive up through the Adrinandeck's (probably misspelled) and the tranny ran great the whole way. Lets hope the tranny is fixed and I get into Canada without any problems.

Well, its getting late and i have a long day of driving tomorrow, I will continue this tomorrow night and hopefully get you all caught up with what's been happening out here on the WoO trail.

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"