Williams Grove National Open up next

Welcome back, right now I am writing this from Williams Grove Speedway camped out in my usual location out by the pit gate entrance. It is Thursday night at 10pm and Selena & I are watching "Big Brother" on the DVR, still don't have a favorite, but the quiet one "Lane", is keeping a low profile and I like the way he is playing the game right now. Later we are going to watch the results show from "So You Think You Can Dance", after watching last nights show, Kent and Lauren are still the best dancers and Lauren is still my favorite. Last week we ran one of Sprint Car racing's crown jewel's, the "Kings Royal", I will get to what happened in a little bit. Last week was a busy one and it doesn't get any slower this week. Let's catch you up on last weeks happenings.

Friday, I woke up to a beautiful morning and drove over to Eldora Speedway, as I drove in from the huge metropolis city known as North Star, OH, I couldn't believe how many campers were already camped at the track, holy crap there was a lot. I lined up behind Jim & Luci so when the gates were opened at noon for drivers & officials, I would get in, when they opened the gates, I originally parked over by Jim, but the track crew saved me an electrical outlet over by the gate, so I moved over there and set up camp. When I got set up, I went over to sign in and go to work, I ran into Bill at the pit gate and he gave me the very sad news that Jim & Luci's oldest son Jerry had just been killed on a motorcycle back in OK City. It was kinda hard to believe, Jim & Luci were understandably devestated and a plan was being hatched to get them home quickly but safely. Eloy volunteered to drive them and their motorhome to OK City, because by the time they got a flight out of Indy, they would be half way to OK City, plus they have their dog Harley, so driving was the best option at the time. After Eloy got everything he needed, they headed out the gate and ran into Danny Schatz, and when Danny was told the news, he imediately said he would fly them and Harley home in his private plane and he wasn't going to take no for an answer. So, Jim & Luci quickly packed an over night bag and they were off to Celina, OH to Danny's plane. Eloy then took off for OK City in their motorhome, it has everything they need to live on, so they needed their RV. I saw Danny in the pits later that night and personnaly thanked him for his generosity and friendship to Jim & Luci. Eloy arrived in OK City in the late morning on Saturday. Again what very sad news and I have kept them in my heart and prayers every night since. Now lets get back to Eldora, it was a very hot day, but no rain in the forecast. 46 cars signed in, the crowd had to be the tracks largest Friday night crowd ever on a Kings Royal weekend. The track stayed consistant during time trials (great job Chad on track prep) and we were in for a great night of racing. Joey put on a clinic on how to run Eldora and won the race, Donny came from around 6th to 2nd and looked fast all night. Now for the bad news for me, Woody quit running right after the heat races, I went to go out for my wave lap and Woody wouldn't start, I couldn't even get him to try to start, I had a bunch a people helping me, but nothing was working. I ran up to my trailer to get a spare computer and air valve for the fuel injection system, after getting back, I swapped the parts and he started, but he wouldn't idle, so I couldn't trust him to go out on the track and keep running, so I decided to work the A-Main on a 4-wheeler, I didn't like doing that, but it was the only way I could do my job, plus it would have been horribly embarrasing to have Woody die on the track and have to get pushed in by another push truck. After all the racing was done and all the fans had left the pit area, I started Woody (I had Selena keep him running while I climbed in) and we drove him back to the RV, when I got back to the RV, and I parked, Woody decided to idle, not good, but he idled. Just some crazy shit.

Saturday, I was up around 9am and it was another beautiful day with no rain in the forecast. I worked on Woody, I cleaned the trottle body, air valve, injectors, and anything I could think of that might help. He would start and run, not good, but he still ran, so I washed him and got ready for the Kings Royal. 49 cars showed up, the track was excellent for qualifying once again (great job Chad and your crew). The Kings Royal format is not your normal WoO format, so qualifying in the first 6 positions actually hurt you and you never had a chance to recover from it the whole night, they really needed some form of a dash to reward the 6 fastest qualifiers that transfered from their heat. Instead it was preemo to start on the front row of your heat, because we all no that at the big tracks, there isn't much passing after turn two on the first lap. Steve Kinser and Lasoski won there heats (5 & 6) and would be on the front row. My passenger on Woody with me was Joan Dawson, from my sponsor Clean Seal, Inc. (if you ever need any type of seal or hose, look them up at www.cleanseal.com). Woody made it through the heats and I was keeping my fingers crossed he would run all night. He did run all night, again not good, but he ran and never died. The A-main was a good race, poor Kasey Kahne, all three of his cars where pretty much destroyed, Joey killed his car early and Paulie was involved in Joey's crash sending Paulie back to 22nd place (Paulie needed a good weekend, because he lost the transmission in Uncle Buck, his motorhome when he pulled into Eldora on Wednesday night). On the restart after Joey's crash, Steve jumped out to an early lead as Kerry Madsen was mow'n down one by one and caught Steve around lap 10 and passed him high off of turn 2. Kerry was flying out in the lead, but Paulie was making a huge charge from the back, Paulie easily had the fastest car in the feature. Steve was catching Kerry in lapped traffic and even bounced off the back straight wall trying to catch him. Then the racing god's turned on Kerry and started making other drivers crash and causing restarts. Kerry did a good job on the first two restarts but after Kasey Kahne blew a tire and flipped hard in turn 3, Steve would figure out how Kerry was restarting and as soon as Kerry picked up the throttle (in the exact same spot he did in the previous 2 restarts) Steve was on the gas and cleared Kerry coming off of turn 4 and that was it, Kerry tried high off of turn 2, but Steve blocked him and that was it, Steve wins his 7th Kings Royal and dedicated it to Dana in his victory lane speech. Kerry deserved the win, but you can't give Steve 3 chances at double file restarts without mixing up your starting spot and expect to not get beat by the King. Paulie made it all the way up to third and on the last lap, but he and Danny got together off of turn 2 and Paulie stuck her in the fence, 3 Kasey Kahne cars junked, oh well, the good news is it wasn't a WoO points race. The good news on the night was that Woody made it through the night and after everyone left the pits, I was still able to pull Paulie's motorhome out of the compound so a tow truck could get him Sunday morning, and I got Woody on the trailer, so all in all it was a good night.

Sunday morning, I woke up to the sound of rain drops, so after 4 hours of sleep, I had to hurry up and get everything unhooked and ready to go before it down poored. I was able to get on the road around 10am, with it being a cloudy day, I decided to go the northern route (hwy 30 to Mansfield, OH, then I-71 to Akron, OH, to I-76 to Youngstown, OH, then I-80 into PA), and stop at the Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, OH to wash everything, because man was the RV, Trailer, and Woody completely filthy. The roof's must of had a half inch of dirt on them from all the dust from the track and pit entrance road. It took me over an hour to just wash the roof of the RV, Selena came out and helped me clean everything else, it took us about 3 hours, but it was worth it, now everything looked respectable again, and we were off to stay the night in Mansfield, OH at the WalMart. Selena wanted to eat Chinese food for dinner, so we stopped at the little Chinese place right by the I-75 entrance, it was pretty good food. We left Lima, OH just as the rain started to come down pretty good. We stayed just in front of the storm so the wash job never got ruined by driving on wet roads. We made it to Mansfield around 7:30pm, we should have been there a half hour earlier, but I missed a turn and ended up on hwy 23 instead of staying on hwy 30, so after about 10 miles, I was able to make a u-turn and get back on hwy 30. Kids, please don't drive tired, it can be dangerous.

Monday I slept in to about 10am and we were on the road around 11am. We stopped at the Flying J in Youngstown to fill up with diesel fuel and then it was straight through to Lernerville Speedway. From Youngstown we took I-80 to I-79 and then I-79 south to hwy 422 to Butler, PA, from Butler you take hwy 8 to hwy 356 to the track. We arrived at the track around 2:30pm and got the RV parked and then I went to take Woody off the trailer and low and behold he wouldn't start, I mean he wouldn't even try to start. I tried everything I new to look at to no avail, so I called Holley (who makes the fuel injection system) and got some needed advice and found a fuse burned in half, so after replacing the fuse I got Woody to start and I got him off the trailer. He still didn't run right, but he was running. Taking Holley's advice, I changed the throttle position switch and Woody ran a bunch better, not perfect but much better, so I thought I had him fixed. As I was letting him idle, I moved the wire harness to the computer and he died and wouldn't start. So I played with the wire harness and swapped relay's and he started again. I let him idle for about an hour and then I put Eloy's scoreboard in the infield and drove back to the trailer, so again I thought I had him fixed. I went out to dinner with Eloy and Bill & Lynda and then called it a night.

Tuesday morning I woke up to some heavy rain, it rained a bunch and completely soaked the grounds. The sun came out around 11am and started to make the grounds usable, so it was looking good to getting the race in. After getting all the T-Shirt trailers in place, it was time to get my uniform on and get to work. Just as I got Woody parked by the command center, here came the rain, with all the haulers in the pits, it rained for about 3 minutes steadily and again soaked the track and pits pretty good. The track crew worked the track and the pits kinda drained pretty quickly due to the big slope of the pits. After about a 2 hour delay, we were hot lapping around 8:30pm. Qualifying was a little scary, not for the drivers, but for the push trucks, because getting off the track on the front straight was not easy, two of the trucks actually crashed into the infield wall. So, after most of the trucks quit pushing, the track scraped the infield exits and I jumped in Woody to push a car, after I drove out of the infield to the pits, I hit a big bump in the pits and Woody died and I coasted to a stop. Thankfully qualifying was 2 cars from the end and the push trucks started pushing again, so there I was again, trying to get Woody to run. I couldn't get him to start and I figured it out that the computer wasn't sending a signal to the fuel pump, so I hot wired the fuel pump directly to the battery through a switch and got Woody running again, now I just need to remember to shut the fuel pump switch off everytime I shut Woody down, but he runs, and he ran pretty good all night. Running two 30 lap features, after a 2 hour rain delay, you just had to hope both races would go without a lot of crashes. Well, so much for no crashes, the first feature turned into a crash fest, Dale Blaney and Lance Dewease put on one hell of a show swapping the lead a few times on the fast track. With all the crashes, and on the red flag with about 8 laps to go, the officials opened it up for the crews to add fuel and make any adjustments they could in a two minute time period. To finish the last 8 laps took forever and we ran a ton of yellow flag laps and a bunch of restarts, Blaney running 2nd drove into the pits after running out of fuel, I guess George Fisher didn't put enough fuel in the car during the red flag stop, to bad for dave, because he had a good chance of winning. Lance ended up winning with Schatz hot on his heels at the checkered flag. After inverting all the lead lap cars from the first feature (17 of them), the 2nd feature was a lot smoother race with only one or two yellows, Joey started near the front and pretty much ran away with it. Dollansky ran 2nd after starting around 10th. Schatz made it up to 4th and clinched the overall title of the Don Martin Memorial champion (even though it didn't pay a dime, I would think a 5 or 10,000 dollar bonus should be in order for the overall champion, otherwise it is kinda pointless to even have an overall champion). At least we got the races in with no more rain and Woody ran good the rest of the night.

Wednesday morning I was up around 10am, Woody was a filthy mess, so I decided to leave all of Lernerville's mud at the track and washed Woody there, after getting Woody cleaned up, I loaded him up on his trailer and we were off to Williams Grove via the PA Turnpike. We needed to do laundry and the laundramat in Dillsburg is a nice one, so thats where we headed. Everything was going good until I got off of I-81 to take hwy 274 to Dillsburg, the transmission in the RV decided not to come out of 1st gear when I came to a stop and killed the engine, not a good thing. After restarting the engine the tranny went into neutral and I was able to shift it back into 1st and get going again and then i was able to make it to the laundramat. It took us about 2 hours to get all our laundry done, we headed over to the Giant grocery store for much needed groceries, then we headed to the track. After getting settled in and adding oil to the generator, I started the generator and we drove Woody over to TJ Rockwell's restaurant next to Ashcomb's for dinner. We got back to the RV around 9pm and we relaxed and watched TV for the night. I shut the generator down around 2am and went to bed.

This morning I was up around 10am ready for a big maintenance day on the RV, trailer, and Woody. As I went to check the service on the generator I noticed a bunch of oil on the ground and I thought crap I don't need an oil leak now. When I opened the compartment, i immediately called myself a moron, i had left the oil cap off and it spewed out all 4 quarts of oil out of it last night. It is supposed to shutdown when it gets below 3 qts, but it didn't, it only holds 4.5 qts, so I now have a new slogan for Red Line Oil (Red Line Oil, the oil for Morons), because it saved my generator from blowing up after it had no oil in it. I serviced it up and it worked all day today, thank god. So, I then did all my maintenance today as planned, I changed my oil filter on the RV, greased the chassis & driveshaft & U-joints on the RV, inspected the trailer wheel bearings and repacked them, thank god they were all in good shape. Mike Irving, a fan I have become good friends with came over and helped me with replacing the tire on the push bar of Woody. He basically did the whole thing by himself, he did have his girlfriend Trena help him a little bit. In the hot sun, he got it replaced and the new Goodyear looks good on Woody, the Hoosier I had on there just flat wore out, I hope this Goodyear G200 last the rest of the year. I can't thank Mike enough, otherwise i wouldn't of gotten done with all my maintenance until after 7pm, instead I was able to drive over to Dillsburg (I borrowed Mikes Suburbon) and get a good hair cut and I was home by 6:30pm. My bad news is, after calling a trusted transmission source about my RV, he told me that I'm going to need a new tranny and soon, I'm going to try and nurse it all the way to Knoxville for the Nationals and then hopefully make it up to Fargo and hope Mr. Danny Schatz can hook me up with a good Allison Tranny guy and either get it fixed or replace it and make it to Minot for the races on Aug 20th & 21st. So, I'm looking at about a $6,000 repair, yikes this year is getting expensive, but no one told me this would be easy every year. I'm just hoping the tranny makes it to Fargo and doesn't lock up on me. So, if you see me on the side of the hwy anywhere between Williams Grove to West Lebanon, NY, to Montreal and then Ohsweken, then to Fulton County, NY, then to St Louis (I-55), then to Oskaloosa & Knoxville and finally Fargo, Please stop and help me, because I will be the one crying my ass off as I wait for a tow truck. Please say a few prayers for my tranny to make it another 2,000 miles.

Well, now your caught up with my happenings, if you are a reader of my blog and you come to any of the future races, please come by and introduce yourself, I like meeting my followers.

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"