A ton has happened since I last blogged. When I last wrote we had just tested in Brainerd. We scrapped together the money and made the long trip to Chicago for the Route 66 race and I was so excited heading back to the place where I got my first round win. In Brainerd we had really made progress, and I was feeling comfortable and confident on my new bike. I was also extremely excited to get the opportunity to work with Jimmy and Greg Underdahl again.
The night before our first qualifying pass, I couldn't sleep. All I could do was lay in bed and think about how I couldn't wait to get out on the track. Unfortunately, luck has not been on our side this season. After all the hard work that went into my bike before Chicago, we couldn't get it to run right and I had to abort all four qualifying runs.
Everybody worked so hard trying to get me down the race track. Jimmy, Greg, and Gary Stoffer all put in so much time and hard work trying to figure out the problem. Unfortunately it was just one of those little glitches that we couldn't find in the four qualifying sessions. I was really bummed, and I could tell everyone else was too. However, I just can't thank Jimmy, Greg, and Gary enough for how hard they worked.
Usually our team races in Denver and Sonoma, the two Pro Stock Motorcycle races in the western swing, because they are the closest races to us. I was a little bummed out because we really didn't have time to get my bike ironed out between Chicago and Denver. So you can imagine my excitement when I got a call from Greg asking if I wanted to ride the Jimmy’s Suzuki at those two events. I was all smiles after that because it was a really great opportunity for me.
Even though we didn't qualify in Denver, I really feel like we are moving in the right direction. Greg always tells me that it takes every piece of the puzzle to make one of these bikes go fast. I now really understand what he means by that. It's not easy. It takes everything to come together: the bike, the crew, the rider. In the couple days we were in Denver I learned so much. The Underdahl’s and the Stoffer’s all really helped me with pointers on my riding. Plus I am learning a ton from them about tuning these bikes and making them go straight.
All in all, Denver was a pretty cool experience for me. Karen Stoffer has always been a huge hero since I was a little girl. To get the opportunity to learn from her is pretty awesome. What a great lady! There was also something else that made Denver really special for me. I finally got to compete with my dad at a national event. It was amazing to get to look in the other lane and see the person who has helped me achieve my goals and now watch him achieve his own goals. For my whole racing career my dad put aside his racing to help me. He has spent countless hours in the garage with me, driving to race tracks with me, and crewing for me all to help me go after my dreams. Thanks for everything dad, and I am really proud of you!
Now moving forward from Denver, we are headed to Sonoma. I feel really good about Sonoma. Jimmy is very smart and he is doing a great job as the crew chief for our team. A huge thank you to all of them for everything and also a very big thank you to Doug Johnson for the opportunity to ride his bike. Hope to see everyone in Sonoma!