Posted by: Jim Yates

Greetings everyone! Today is Friday and I have finally cleared off the top of my desk enough to find my keyboard and fire up my computer. What a crazy few weeks it has been. With four back-to-back races and test sessions scheduled in between, we have been one very busy race team. Of course it has been an exciting few weeks. If you are following the countdown you know that the J&J cars are looking pretty strong right now. With Jeg currently in first place and A.J. in fourth place – just a few rounds out - we are really exciting about the next two races. Yikes! Can you believe that there are only two races left? I mean, where has the year gone?

Right now racing and winning a championship is obviously the main focus of this team but in the little bit of time that I have spent at home I have gotten to wrap up some loose ends in my tenant renovations at the warehouse, enjoy some time with my grandkids and sadly we said goodbye to our boat, the Finishline.

For those of you that have been following my blogs over the past years, you have been able to share in the fun times that we have had as a family aboard our Sea Ray. We purchased her in 2004, boated to Cape Coral, Florida and for several years kept the Finishline docked at Cape Harbor Marina. We had so much fun boating around Florida, taking spring break trips with the kids to Key West, visiting Miami Beach, and Ft. Lauderdale and enjoying our favorite place Hawks Cay in Duck Key.

A few years ago Toni and I made the decision to bring the Finishline back home. I was still racing, Ryan was a baby and we figured that we would have more time to use it if we had it docked behind our house. So we took Toni’s dad, Don and headed north from Florida to Virginia through the Intercoastal Waterway. What a awesome trip that was! I don’t think that I have ever had so much fun boating as I did bringing the boat home. It took us about 5 days (I swear that I took my time!) and it was a trip I will never forget.

Once home, we docked her behind our house and waited for the right weekend to do a trip to the Chesapeake Bay or Virginia Beach or beyond. Well, it seemed as if life just got busier, my free time was spent with Ryan and Maia and the Finishline just sat behind the house waiting to be used. We did take trips to National Harbor for the weekend, but didn’t really do much “boating” so we decided to put her on the market and see if there was any interest. It was too nice of a boat to have just sitting in the water behind our house – she needed to be used.

Well, my good friend Carlton who owns Prince William Marina called me a short time ago and informed me that there was a person very interested in seeing the Finishline. They came to Virginia for a quick visit, toured the boat, took it for a ride and that was all that was all that they needed. They made us an offer and within a couple of weeks the sale was final. The Finishline will now make her new home back in Florida where she will have lots of room to boat the beautiful Gulf of Mexico and warm Atlantic waters with a family that is just as excited to own her as we were.

We have always been a family that enjoyed boating and someday I would like to get another boat, just not right now. I think our next purchase will be a smaller more “river friendly” vessel that we can easily use with our kids and grandkids. I mean someone has to be responsible for teaching them how to water ski, knee board, go tubing, and maybe do a little fishing. They also have to learn to navigate the water, read a chart system, plot a course to a waypoint, and understand latitude and longitude.

I guess, though, the most important things that I would like to share with them is the appreciation of quality family time, the fun and adventure of boating to new places and most importantly experiencing some of the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises that God has ever created. The Finishline may have a new home now but she has, over the years, blessed this family with some of our most treasured memories.

I am looking forward to a few days home before we head to Vegas. We are still deciding whether or not our teams are going to test next week but if we don’t I may take a couple of days to visit Melissa, Joey and little Lena in NC. I did get to stay with them while we were racing in Charlotte but it is hard to have a lot of time to visit when we are on a very hectic race schedule. Of course I tried to get in as much Pop Pop time as I could get even on a limited schedule! LOL

Well, time to close this blog and get back to work. Hope everyone has a great Columbus Day weekend. I’ll touch base again soon. Thanks for checking in!