Camped at I-55 Speedway

Welcome back to another installment of my blog, right now I am camped at I-55 Speedway in Pevely, MO, it is 12:32am on Friday Aug. 7th. I am watching Late Night with Jimmy Fallon with my oldest daughter Alisha. I last left you right after we got into Canada. So sit back and I will catch you on what's been happening with us.

The races at Ohsweken Speedway on Tuesday & Wednesday had a little bit of everything. After last years complete washout, any time I saw the sun this time I cheerished it. We got there Monday night, no problems crossing the border and I actually remembered how to get to the track, so I didn't get lost. However, I did miss a turn, so I had to use a farmers driveway and have Justin get out and block traffic on the highway to make a U-turn. Tuesday the weather was great, blue skies and warm weather, I got to visit with Ken & Cheryl Pelkie (they have become great friends over the past 3 years), Blake & Dean Outhouse and their family & friends (they are the owners of Outhouse Images & Designs) awesome people who are great friends of mine, they do all the vinyl wraps for Woody and this year they did the wrap on the WoO tech trailer while we were there in Canada (thanks Blake & Dean). I also ran into Kevin Loveys, he has been a crewman on several teams the past 3 years on the WoO tour, now he is back living near Ohsweken Speedway and racing a 360 for Big Moose Racing. Kevin, sorry for yelling at you in the pushoff lane and it was my pleasure to push you off twice and congrats for making the A-Main Wednesday night. The racing was pretty good Tuesday night, the track wasn't that great, dry slick after hot laps, but it didn't take rubber and the A-Main was pretty good. Jason Meyers won, but Jason Sides I thought was the class of the field until he ran over a radius rod on the track from a crashed car before the yellow light came on. Overnight, it rained about 2 inches and made everything a muddy mess (bad flashbacks from last year), it stayed overcast and sprinkled all day until the drivers meeting when the sun came out and made for a beautiful night for racing. The track was fast, I think 9 drivers broke the track record. Again, Sides was the class of the field and this time he closed the deal and won the race, hopefully he can win some more now, not just in Canada (maybe in Edmonton Jason). It was a pleasure working with Glenn Styers and his staff at Ohsweken Speedway, I'm definitly looking forward to coming back next year.

Thursday morning I washed Woody and loaded him up and we took off for the border. I decided to go back into the U.S. across the Rainbow Bridge at Niagra Falls, we went right thru downtown Niagra Falls in Canada and came across the bridge and crossed the border with no problems. I decided to not take the NY Thruway to Erie, PA, so we drove right thru Buffalo and onto HWY 20 to HWY 5 and cruised down the coast of Lake Erie. It was a really nice drive and I found a truck stop on an Indian Reservation that had diesel fuel for $2.31/gal, so filled up with 93 gallons. We stopped for dinner on the lake, the meal was good, but the waitress spilled my drink (pepsi) all over my youngest daughter Selena and a little bit on me. It was an accident and she couldn't apologize enough and she gave us 50% off our total bill. After dinner we just cruised down HWY 5 into Erie, PA and finally found a WalMart in Ashtabula, OH.

Friday, I promised the girls that we would go to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH. We got to the HOF around 1:00pm and spent about 30 min trying to find a parking spot, after having to make a U-turn in a tight area (almost jacknifed the trailer, but with Alisha's help) we made the U-turn with no damage. Finally I went over by the Brown's Stadium and talked with a parking attendent who told me to park on the side of the street with signs saying no parking anytime. Finally I went with the attendents advice and parked in the no parking zone. We walked around the HOF for about 3 hours, there is really some cool stuff in that HOF, my girls had a good time, but they really didn't know many of the artists in the there, except for Michael Jackson and the bands that are on their Guitar Hero Game on the Wii. After 3 hours, I was a nervous wreck about parking in the no parking zone, so I was expecting the worst and was relieved to still find the motorhome & Woody still there and without a ticket (phew). I also promised the girls I would take them to a Mall, so we found a mall south of Cleveland and walked around. I feel sorry for the poor bastards who end up married to my girls, they sure do like to go to malls and spend their money. After the mall, I drove to Mansfield, OH and spent the night at the WalMart.

Saturday I got up early, 8:00am (sorry Dad, thats early for me), and drove to KC Raceway in Chillicothe, OH. We got there around 11:00am, and when I got there I found out that my refridgerator in the trailer had stopped working, so my ice in the freezer turned into a small pond. The races went off pretty smoothly with threatening weather all night, I like it when we push a program thru, the checkered flap waved at 9:30pm. The fans and teams left with smiles on their faces. Schatz kinda dominated the night, but what a battle for 2nd thru 7th.

Sunday, we left the track and found a laundramat and my girls did the laundry while I tried to figure out the refer problem. With no luck on the refer and some much needed clean clothes, we headed for the WalMart in Circleville, OH to spend the night. Monday, I promised the girls we'd go to the Columbus Zoo, so we got up early and headed for the Zoo, the four of us (Alisha's boyfriend Justin came along), (he provided the transportation), what a beautiful day for the Zoo, blue skies and not to hot temps, most of the animals were out and about and we got to see the baby elaphant, we watched them feed the tiger, and the gorrilla's. That was a really neat Zoo, Jack Hannah has made that Zoo a good one, I would recommend it for all families who are in that area. After the Zoo, we decided to go see a movie, we saw "The Proposal", it was a god movie, but I was disappointed that I didn't get to see Sandra Bullock fully nude (which I thought I would since she said she bared all when she was on the Tonight Show). When we got back to the motorhome, I was really looking forward to taking a nice shower, oh but a big fat "no" on that one, as soon as I tried to flush the toilet, the water pump quit, no warning, it just quit. After trying to troubleshoot it for about an hour, I gave up and filled up a pan full of water and took a cat bath as my wife would call it. Isn't living in a motorhome fun, everyday I pray everything works. Most days everything works fine, but it is those surprises that really piss you off.

Tuesday I had to get to Cincinnatti, because I had already purchased 4 tickets to the Reds game against the Cubs for Tuesday nights game. After I got up, I called Shurflo (water pump maker) and asked them to find me a dealer in Cincinnatti to hoefully swap out my pump one for one, since it was still under warranty (I just replaced that pump in late June in Omaha). My luck was good and there was one RV place in Cincinnatti that had a pump and agreed to replace it one for one. So, we drove in a driving rain storm and 50mph winds to Cincinnatti to a WalMart right near the RV dealer. The rain just wouldn't stop, so I had to take the pump out in the rain (got completely soaked) and drove Justin's car to the RV dealer to get the new pump. It still wouldn't stop raining, so I installed the pump getting completely soaked again, but it was worth it, I now had running water again. The rain finally stopped around 5:30pm and the Reds game was still a go, so we took Justin's car downtown to the game. What an awesome ballpark, Great American Ballpark, we had seats on the field level behind 1st base about 30 rows up. The weather stayed overcast all night, but the temps stayed cool and it was a great game. It was Selena's first ever MLB game and it was Alisha's 1st MLB game since she was around 20 months old. Everyone had a good time, there were more Cubs fans at the game than Reds fans, and the Cubs pulled it out, holding off the Reds to win 6-3.

Wednesday was the long drive day, 450 miles to Pevely, MO. The drive went pretty smoothly, I decided to take the interstates, so I took I-75 to I-71 to Louisville, KY then it was onto I-64 to east of St. Louis, IL, then we got on the I-255 loop to I-55 then onto Festus, MO for an overnight stay at, you guessed it (WalMart). Today, I got rid of my girls for the day (they went with Justin to see the Arch and downtown St Louis). I picked up some needed parts for the motorhome, Woody's trailer, and Woody and headed for the I-55 Speedway. When I got there, I was greeted by Ray Marler (one of the owners) and he got me parked where he wanted me. After getting settled in, it was time to complete my to do list of maintenance on everything. I changed the oil filter on Woody (I use Red Line Oil, I only need to change the filter not all the oil) and checked all the fluid levels. Then I needed to repair one of the ramps on Woody's trailer, got that fixed, then I fixed the running lights on the trailer that have been out for the past 3 months (I finally found the broken wires). Then I worked on the refer in the trailer, I couldn't find anything, so I just blew off all the dust on the back of the it where all the electrical connections are and I also blew off the burner where the gas burns on dc power (that must have fixed it, because it has been working since, hopefully it will be on in the morning). I sealed up another leak on my roof that I found in Cincinnatti, replaced the wiper blades, and adjusted the mian door on the motorhome. So, it was a full day of little maintenace items and my girls had a good time in St Louis.

Tomorrow is race day, there has never been a 2-day show at I-55, Ray is a nervous wreck and he is worried about getting the track prepped right so it doesn't take rubber, I know he will do his best and the track should be in great shape. I can't wait for Saturday nights race, 55 laps, its about time these drivers have to work for their prize money. If I had it my way, all A-mains would be 40-50 laps long, depending on the tracks length. Then after the races, Sunday my motorhome will be headed North to Iowa for the longest week in sprint car racing. First, Woody & I will be working Terry McCarls races at Osky on Monday & Tuesday, then its over to Knoxville, where again Woody & I will be working the Nationals for Cappy and the Knoxville Fairboard. I can't wait for an exciting and long week of racing, here's to praying for great weather in Iowa.

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"