Wet & Wild 4th of July Weekend

Here I am after a wet & wild weekend, back in Knoxville, IA (it seems like I never left). Right now it is Sunday July 5th around 10:30pm and I'm watching the news from New York (see, I do watch something other than reallity shows). We arrived here in Knoxville around 6:30pm and parked at the fairgrounds, we left Eagle Raceway in Eagle, NE at 2:00pm after watching the finale race from Dodge City on SPEED. This broadcast was a little better than last weeks, but again all the focus is on Joey & Donny????? It was a nice drive from Eagle, we took HWY 34 East to Plattsmouth, NE and crossed the really narrow bridge (thank god no semi's were coming from the West) into Iowa. HWY 34 was a nice drive, I decided to take a different way to Knoxville, I turned North on HWY 69 to Indianola and then took HWY 92 to Knoxville.

What a weekend, but before I get to the weekend, we left Knoxville on Wednesday morning and headed for Sioux Falls, SD. I took another off beat path and went North on I-35 to Ames, IA and then headed West on HWY 30 past Boone, IA to HWY 71 North almost to Spencer, then we headed West on HWY 3 to Le Mars, IA (the Ice Cream Capital of the World). We spent the night at the WalMart in Le Mars and on Thursday morning we headed to the laundermat for some much needed clean clothes. The laundermat was right across the street from the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Museum. As Alisha & Selena did the laundry, I unloaded Woody and drove back across town to the Car Wash, I definitely got a few strange looks and a lot of waves from the people of Le Mars. I made it back to the laundermat without attracting Le Mars' finest (the popo) and loaded Woody back on his trailer. The girls had the laundry done and we put it all away and headed across the street to go through the museum. I learned how the ice cream sundae came about, it started in the early 1920's when the Midwest States passed a law forbidding the sales of soda on Sunday's, so the soda shops came up with the idea to sell ice cream in a bowl with other toppings (no soda floats) and called them Sundae's, changing the spelling of Sunday to signify it.

After leaving Le Mars, IA around 2:00pm we headed for Sioux Falls, SD and to Borrowed Buck's for the annual meet & greet and Mark's radio show. We got there around 3:00pm and I unloaded Woody to drive to the Progressive Insurance claims office to pick up my claims check for more hail damage I found on the roof when I was in Minot, ND. When I got back, I was surprised that there weren't any other WoO teams in the parking lot yet. I loaded up my T-shirts and decals and parked Woody over at Borrowed Buck's. Danny Lasoski was the only WoO driver to show up with his souvenior trailer, none of the cars made it. I was kinda surprised none of the teams showed up, but most of them headed back to Indy to their shops to freshen up their motors & equipment for the busy month of July. I was a guest on Mark's radio show along with my youngest daughter Selena, it was Selena's first time being interviewed on a radio show, she did a great job. One last point about this meet & greet, the fans in Sioux Falls are really great and fans deserved a better turn out from the WoO teams. Also, I want to point out that on a thread on Hoseheads Forum, that Lasoski got all the props from the fans for showing up and representing the WoO, what was Woody, chopped liver, Alisha, Selena, & I stayed there about an hour longer than Lasoski answering all the fans questions on why the other drivers & teams weren't there. We had a good time talking with the fans and we did sell a bunch of decals and a couple shirts.

Friday morning we wake up to heavy overcast clouds and a massive green & yellow blob on the radar headed right for Sioux Falls, I loaded up Woody and drove to higher ground in Brandon, SD and parked at the bowling alley to wait out the rain. It never did really rain, it drizzled a bunch, and on the radar it was amazing how the blob would just go around Sioux Falls. We headed back to the track around 3:00pm and I unloaded Woody and helped get all the T-Shirt trailers situated and then just waited like everyone else for the rain to finally come, which it did around 6:00pm. By the time I got all the T-Shirt trailers back to their RV's I loaded Woody up and we headed for the Winnavegas Casino off of I-29 (exit 127, a great little casino that has cheap RV hook-ups & cheap gas & diesel, I recommend this place as a great place to stop to rest if needed). To all those nay sayers that said we cancelled too early at Huset's, as I drove off, the rain really started to come down heavily.

Saturday morning, again we were greeted with heavy overcast skies, I arrived at Eagle Raceway around 11:00am and could tell it had rained heavily overnight, I parked my RV where I always park and unloaded Woody. I could tell then it was going to be a long day & night. I would end up using (showcasing) all of Woody's talents during this race day. It started when Schatz's T-Shirt trailer (big 5th wheel) got stuck in the grass (we got yelled at by the track owner's wife for tearing up her grass) and I had to pull the huge rig out with Woody, I just barely got it moving and back on the rock area (we did do a number on the grass, SORRY). After getting all the T-Shirt trailers in place, it was then time to watch the SLS crew do there magic to get the track ready to play on. The drivers meeting went off about 30 minutes late and we had to change everything up the way we normally would push cars off for warming motors, hot laps, & qualifying. I have to give "Bruce Almighty" and all of his push trucks at Eagle Raceway some serious props for going with the flow and staying organized, without their true professionalism, we would have never pulled everything off as well as we did. The track was fast, evidence by Sammy setting a new track record, but that meant it would be a narrow track all night. The weather never broke clear and it drizzled everytime the track sat idle without engines running. I don't normally mind support classes, but with how soft this track was, I new it would be a long night. With only 20 410's plus 2 360's that had flat wings, that meant to give the fans a value for their tickets, we couldn't cancel the support classes early, but they were put on notice early that with the way the weather was, their races could be cut short or canceled at any time. After the Mod B-main too so long, it was decided by SLS and the track owner to cancel their A-main and go with the 360 A-main. My gosh 360 A-main was crazy, the 7 or 10 laps that they did complete was quite an adventure, the early leader took a flyer down the backstraight and flew out of the track over turn 3 landing on top of the catch fence pole and looked like it was in the tree. The driver was all right, but it took over 30 minutes to extract the driver and car from the fence. Kurt and his wrecker crews did an excellent job. After one more red flag, the 360 A-main re-started and it was cut to 20 laps or 20 minutes, 3 laps later another red flag, this time the driver was knocked out and started siezing (he was stabilized and ready for transport by the ambulance crews, however, the emergency crew immediately called for lifeflight (I later learned it was because of this drivers previous injuries that they error'd on the side of safety). 45 minutes later the helicopter landed in the infield to pick him up. While waiting for the helo, it started drizzling again and the decision was made by SLS & the track to call the 360 race a completed race and go with the WoO A-main after the helo took off. Our 40 lap A-main went off with no problems, Schatz had a bad night and DNF'd, and Lasoski led wire to wire. With the track so fast, the groove never left the bottom, there was absolutely nothing the track crew could do to get the track to widen out, way to much moister in the track, they tried their best, but to no avail. I would like to say, that to all the 1 or 2 fans who left dissapointed about the Mods & 360's being cut short, if we would have gotten rained out waiting for the crash fests to take place or continue, then the whole reason you came out to the track (to see the 12 best sprint car racers in the world) would have been for not and you would have left really dissapointed. One more item about Saturday night, once again Woody's talents were shown off, after the 360 heats, one of the wreckers had a 360 hooked up, but couldn't get across the track, so I hooked Woody up to the wrecker with a strap and pulled them both across the track to the pits. I say Woody showed off not me, because when I'm on Woody, I am just along for the ride, my Dad trained Woody right during those 30 years, so Woody knows what to do, I just point him in the right direction.

After getting all the T-Shirt trailers to their rightful owners and getting Woody back to the RV in one piece, I put him to bed for a well deserved rest at around 2:30am. By the time I had a couple of Coors Lights and a shower, I put my head down on my pillow around 4:00am. What a wet & wild weekend, and now here I am back where my week started, in Knoxville. Our next race is this Wednesday at 34 Raceway in Burlington, IA, I sure hope it doesn't rain like it did last year, I really want to see some good racing on that track.

One last thing, I would like to thank BOSMA Poultry, Inc for coming onboard for the past two weekends and I look forward to putting their sign back on Woody's wing for the Nationals. Thank you Loren, I hope I represented your company proudly.

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"