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!