Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Four Wheel Deal

Two weeks ago I participated in the Volkswagen TDI Cup at Road America racetrack in Elkhart Lake, WI. Volkswagen has this incredible series for up and coming drivers where they provide the cars, mechanics, driver coaches, PR coaching, help with sponsors, and a bunch of exposure. Basically they give you all the tools to accelerate your journey to the top. Each race of the series they bring in some Guest Drivers and with a little help from my buddy Doug (a lot of help) I was fortunate enough to be chosen to be one of them. I was originally suppose to get the pins out of my foot a week after the race which would have axed my car racing plan so I talked to my Doc and he agreed to take my pins out a week early. SWEET!! Monster Mike Schultz, my buddy Cade and myself literally left right from the hospital after my surgery and trucked it 8 hours out to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

We arrived to open arms from Jessica, Clark, and all the Volkswagen People. Oakley provides all the drivers with head to toe Driving Suites and shoes and I got to Drive the # 10 Red Bull Car. I felt right at home running Oakley gear and a Red Bull Car. I even threw a Polaris Sticker on the side for a little extra luck!

First practice session was insane, people are bombing all over the place and I’m driving around like it was a Sunday cruise. Haha. I was the slowest car out there after practice. I was pretty bummed but was determined to step it up for qualifying. I talked with some of the drivers and they were awesome giving me pointers and helping me out. In qualifying I knocked 13 seconds off my fast lap. I was only a few seconds back from the fastest lap, (which is an eternity in car racing) but in reality for having 1 hour of four wheel racing under my belt, I was pretty excited!

I went into the final thinking I was gonna make things happen. We take off and cars are flying off through the grass, spinning out and what not. I was functioning for about ¾ of race, then I started thinking I had something for the car ahead of me so I started pushing a little and thought I could out brake them. Yeah out brake them with all my car racing experience and talent. Well I ran out of talent and went blasting through the sand trap on my way to cranking the wall. Haha I almost made a whole weekend with out crashing.

My first road race didn’t go exactly to plan but in the end I had one of the best experiences ever and got to meet some top notch people. Thanks to everyone from Volkswagen and all the drivers for helping me out and making this possible.

Special Note: Thanks to Jeff Nemecek for providing the sick photos!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

X-Tremely RAD !

Mike Schultz is a ANIMAL! I had to get that out first. I had the pleasure of watching my fellow snocrosser win the Silver Medal in the Adaptive moto X race. His leg that he built, equipped with a Fox shox, worked amazing, as he was one of 2 riders to go for the huge finish line Jump. SO SICK! Congrats Mike.

Any way I went out to summer X again this year and had same result as every year- I was blown away by what the athletes were doing. Travis Pastrana trying the flip 360, Anthony Napolitan Stomping the double front flip on the bike, and the best trick riders going for tricks they had never landed before. I have so much respect for these guys after being in a similar situation last winter. As I stared at my double flip ramp, questioning whether I would be walking away or leaving in the Ambulance. The thought of landing the trick you have invested so much time, energy, and heart into, out weighs the uncertainty and leaves you fully committed in hopes of making history. It is a feeling that many X Games athletes feel at least once and in Travis’ case probably every couple weeks. Haha.

We had the opportunity to go to Oakley’s Head Quarters while on our trip and I’m pretty sure it is the craziest place I have ever seen! You drive up and all you can see is a tank, yes Military Tank on the top of this hill. You drive up the hill past the tank and you see the Building, which looks like some futuristic alien Spacecraft or something. Haha. Inside it gets even better. My boy Sheldon gave us the tour of the place and showed us where they test their eyewear. So crazy, they shoot over sized BB’s at the lens of the glasses, at over 400 mph and it doesn’t do anything to it! Then they drop a 5 lbs plum bob looking deal down this tube like 5 ft down to a pair of shades on a manikin head and it hammers the lens and doesn’t shatter. Pretty sure it blast right through your eye on its way to the back of your skull if it wasn’t for the lens. That says something about there products.

A couple other cool things that went down this year at X was I got to host a X Games party in Hollywood which was super fun. I also got to hand the Medals out for both the men’s and women’s supercross. Very cool opportunity for sure. And also got to see see the Premiere of The X Games Movie in 3D - check it out August 21st.

Another great X games, want to say congrats to all the medalists and a high five to all the athletes that were there pushing their sport. It’s amazing to watch!