Back in Knoxville

Welcome back to my latest blog entry, right now it is Monday night around midnight and I'm camped at Marion County Fairgrounds, better known as Knoxville Raceway. I'm watching "Here Comes the Newlyweds" on ABC, can you tell I've turned into a reallity TV junky. Lets catch you up on last weeks adventures.

Tuesday we left Minot, ND and headed back to Sioux Falls, SD. Monday when I washed the roof of the RV, I found more damage from the hail in Dodge City, some cracks in the roof, so I called Progressive and set up an appointment to have it looked at and added to my claim. Thankfully I stayed an extra day in Minot, because there was a big wind storm that hit Fargo, poor Jim & Lucy ran right into the wind storm and had their awning come loose while driving and it flew open and flopped over their RV, their luck this year with their RV hasn't been good, but they are a tough couple with big hearts, so I know their luck will change and after they get their A/C fixed, hopefully they won't have any more major issues with their RV. So far, my RV luck hasn't been that great either, but when things have gone wrong, luckily I have been in a place where I've got good friends or RV centers close by, while we were in Sioux Falls at the WalMart, the coach's main water pump started acting up, so now we weren't able to take a shower that evening, so the next days drive to Council Bluffs on one of the hottest days of the year was kinda smelly if you know what I mean.

Wednesday, after Progressive adjusted my claim, we took off for Council Bluffs to try and get to the Camping World before it closed so I could get a new water pump and other stuff that was damaged by the hail. Mike, the parts manager was very very helpful, the water pump was under warranty and with Mike's help we called Surflo and he exchanged the pump one for one with no cost to me. Mike also found all the covers for my vents and A/C units, that I needed, and he gave me huge discounts on all the covers, thanks Mike, you have reinstalled my faith in Camping World. After getting everything at Camping World, it was off to the laundermat for some much needed clean clothes. While my girls were doing the laundry, I replaced the A/C unit covers and sealed up all of the cracks in the roof, damn was it hot & humid, there wasn't one part of my body that wasn't sweating. After laundry, it was off to camp at Harrah's Casino on the river. With the hot weather, we had to run the generator until bedtime for the A/C, at least we were able to take some cold showers after I replaced the water pump.

Thursday, Tom, Justin, Vince and myself went golfing at Fox Run Golf Course in Council Bluffs. What a miserable hot & humid day to golf, especially teeing off at 11:00am. I have golfed in some of the hottest places in the world (Thailand, Philipines, Guam, Singapore, Maylasia) but man it was miserable hot in Council Bluffs. At least when your in an exotic country playing golf, your brain can justify the hot weather, not when its that hot in Iowa, yuk. I didn't play very well, but I hadn't played since last July at the WoO Benevolent Fund Golf Tournament. Tom had the best round shooting a 85, he's a pretty good golfer, I shot a 94 and Vince & Justin were entertaining to watch all day and they ended up tying with 114's. I'm pretty sure I lost about about 5lbs, that includes drinking a six pack of Coors Light during the round. After about an hour after golfing, it was off to US-36 Raceway to get there before the sun went down. Its not a very exciting drive going south on I-29, but it is the fastest way to get there. We stopped in St Joseph's to eat dinner at a place called Village Steakhouse, not recommended in the future. We arrived at the track before the sun set, so we got settled in for the night.

Friday, it is raceday and knowing that the weather is going to be damn hot & humid, I wasn't looking forward to sitting on Woody right above his engine when the temp of the engine gets to 220 degrees, it is like sitting in an oven, but it is still better than working at a boring job from 8-5 everyday working for some jackass you don't respect. I was looking forward to eating breakfast at a little cafe in Osborn, MO, so I drove Woody across the highway to the town, but I was bummed to find out the cafe closed last year, man they really had a great country breakfast when my Dad & Frank Carr ate there in 2006 & 2007. After getting all the T-shirt trailers in place, I spent a couple hours in my RV soaking up some much needed A/C, my poor generator ran over 24 hours over the last two days. When I finally got to work about 2 hours before the drivers meeting, I saw that there wasn't any water put down in the push lane or the pits, so when I asked Larry for some water, he informed me that the water truck had been broke down all day and that the track needed the water, so that was going to make for a dusty time in the pits during the early evening. Getting the engines fired for heat was a learning experience, after many of the cars engines wouldn't fire because of the loose dry dirt I was sending them off on, the tires wouldn't turn over. When Cale Kahne brought Joey up, he suggested getting the cars right rear on the top of the track for better traction, thanks Cale, that worked great and we got all the rest of the cars fired with no further problems. The rest of the night went pretty smoothly, the racing was great and surprisingly the track surface turned out to be almost perfect. Jason Meyers put on a driving clinic in his heat to come from the 4th row to finish in 2nd and make the dash. What an A-Main, Herrera & Saldana put on a great show, using the high and low grooves they battled for all 40 laps, Johnny made one mistake and over drove into turn one on the white flag lap to lap Dollansky and hit the big hole in the middle of the turn and made a great save (I thought he was going over) and Joey got by, Johnny almost got Joey off of turn 4, but ended up 2nd. After the races, all the fans that came down to the pits were still pumped up and were raving about how great a race it was. That is why I love bull ring racing over the big tracks, the drivers have to drive their ass off to win, not just who has the best motor and car setup. After getting all the T-Shirt trailers moved so the drivers could get them with their RV's and getting Eloy's scoreboard and the WoO tech trailer out of the infield and pits, it was time for a nice cold shower and bed. I laid my head down on my pillow around 2:00am.

Saturday I was up at 8:00am and on the road to Knoxville by 9:00pm. I decided to take the most direct way, I took I-35 north to HWY 34, then HWY 34 to HWY 14 right into Knoxville. It took me about 3 hours, only because these bonehead farmers don't know how to drive, they all play the game of that big RV isn't going to get in front of me. I had one guy pass me when I was going 65mph on HWY 34 and then slow down to 50mph, what a jerk, I wanted to just run him off the road. Then when I got onto HWY 14, another asswipe decided to run a stop sign just to get infront of me, then he proceeded to drive 55mph when I wanted to go 65mph, after tailgating him for about 15 miles, he finally sped up about 10 miles out of Knoxville. I arrived at Knoxville Raceway right at Noon, unloaded Woody and got with Brian with the track and rearranged the T-Shirt trailers the way he wanted them. At that time the temp was hot & miserable, I got the RV hooked up to electricity and got the A/C going. I got the satellite up just in time to watch the Dodge City race on SPEED, or should I say the Joey Saldana Budweiser #9 show. I do have to give mad props to Bobby Gerould for mentioning me by name and Work'N Woody, Thanks Bobby. During the A-Main, after Joey got the lead, it seemed like that was the only car on the track except when he lapped someone. That is horrible producing, there are 23 other racers on the track. Now, maybe I could see it if Budweiser was a major advertiser on the telecast, but Budweiser doesn't even run one ad. Back to Knoxville, I want to thank BOSMA Poultry, Inc for coming on board as an advertising partner on Woody. BOSMA Poultry, Inc was on the LH Wing Panel for this weekends races and it will be on next weekend at Huset's & Eagle, and then you will see it again during the Knoxville Nationals and probably at Spencer in Sept. I met Mr. Loren Bosma here at Knoxville, a supper nice guy who loves sprint car racing, thank you Loren for supporting me and Work'N Woody.

The racing at Knoxville was fast, and I mean fast all night. The track crew got caught by the weather (I think), because it was crazy hot up to 4:30pm, then a cold front came through and brought a little rain, but more importantly the temp changed about 15 degrees cooler and the humidity dropped to nothing. So, the track was a little wet and it took a while to run it in, then the track just never widened up and stayed one groovish all night, but man was it fast. McCarl did a great job all night, and it didn't hurt that the kid that drew his pill for the dash put him on the front row and the kid who drew Donny's pill pulled the 10 pill. During the A-Main, Terry just ran away with it after he cleared Kraig Kinser, Donny made his way to 2nd and was coming, but Terry was fast and deserved to win the race. After the races, my good friends from New Sharon, IA (Ralphie & Lee) just love my daughter Selena, when Ralphie found out I was staying in Knoxville until Wednesday, she kidnapped Selena and will bring her back Tuesday evening (Yeah).

Sunday was a beautiful day and I didn't even see it until after 6pm, because I slept in until 11:00am and then just sat on my ass and watched sports on TV. Alisha and I walked to Godfather's Pizza for dinner and then when we got back I went up on the roof to replace one more hail damaged vent cover, again when I was up there, I found more cracks in the roof from the hail, so I got out the sealent and sealed them up. I now only have one more item to replace on the roof, the sky light bubble, and I will have everything fixed on the roof of the RV.

Today, I had breakfast at Mr. C's with John McCoy, Jim, Eloy, Vince, and Tom, after breakfast it was time to go over to Jody's shop across from the track to see if he could help me figure out some noises on Woody and help me replace the refer vent on the foor of the trailer. He told me to come back after 1pm, so I took Woody downtown to the Square to check out downtown Knoxville. On my way back to the track I stopped at the Ice Cream shop for a nice cold choc shake. I picked up my trailer with Woody and towed it over to Jody's shop to replace the vent. I needed to drill out the rivits to get the vent off, it took me over 3 hours to replace the vent, but I got it done and Jody was able to diagnose the sounds on Woody as nothing bad, so Woody is ready to go to Huset's next Friday. After I got the trailer back to the track, Alisha & I drove Woody downtown to get my hair cut, but the place was closed (20 minutes early) so we drove back to another place and I got my hair cut (thank god, in this heat I hate my hair longer), while she was cutting my hair, I realized I didn't have enough cash to pay for it (oops), but this is Knoxville, super nice & friendly people, so tomorrow I will take the $5 I owe her. Alisha & I had dinner over at Bill & Linda's RV along with Eloy, Vince, & Tom, good food with great friends, can't ask for anything better than that. Now you are caught up with what we have been up to this week, Wednesday we will be off to Huset's, if you will be in Sioux Falls on Thursday evening, come on out to Borrowed Bucks for a Meet & Greet of some of the WoO drivers & teams and of course me and Work'N Woody.

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"