What a few weeks it has beenThursday, May 10, 2012
Posted by: Michael Ray, Gottspeed Racing Buell
This is Jonathan, he is one of the awesome signatures on the side of my bike.

I hope you all have had as much fun over the past few like I have! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks with Houston, testing on Monday after Houston and heading straight to Hot-lanta I feel like I’ve just been going through the motions of life and haven’t even had time to stop to smell the roses.

You know when I started this year my business coach, Raelyn Van Pelt, had me list five goals that I wanted to accomplish this year in racing. The first thing was qualify for a race, second was make four consecutive qualifying passes, third was win one round of racing, fourth was make it a final, and fifth was win a national event. Now I know you’re asking yourself, didn’t you forget win the championship! I didn’t list that as one of five goals because with so many things new for not just myself this year but our entire team I figured if we accomplish the goals we originally set out for ourselves than a championship would come for us.

Bayard and Bergen are two of my biggest fans. Bayard has been to two national events with me now and loves him NHRA!

When I won two championships in one year racing AHDRA in 2006 I just raced and accomplished the goals we set out for ourselves at the beginning of the year.  So when it came time to count all the points at the end of the year I was on top. I tell so many people that the hardest thing about NHRA is learning how to race here. I mean you have to make every pass count and be perfect every time, by no means am I perfect every time but you got be on your game. That was the first thing my dad taught me when I started racing, practice being perfect and when you come up short the bike will be there to make you look good.  The past few weeks our team has been very fortunate to turn on quite a few win lights and achieve several of the goals we set for ourselves and it’s been a lot of fun. After the horrible outing at Gainesville to come back at Houston and go to the semi’s and then turn right around and go to my first final at Commerce was very surreal. I’ve imagined what it would be like 10,000 times over in my head like what I would say on the camera or if I would stage first all the things you have to do to be successful out here. There are so many things that happen on race day and your emotions are going, you’ve got to have a plan. So for all my sponsors and fans I hope you all have been proud of me, because without your support I couldn’t be out here.

Matt always does such a good job coaching me. He always makes sure to tell me to hit my shifts and have fun.

With Houston and Atlanta being back-to-back weekends I really didn’t have time to get much work done at the shop but I did get to put in a few days. I really have been looking hard to hire another full time parts sales person but I wasn’t getting any response from people trying to come to work with us. Then like an angel from the good Lord above I got one. I am going to get to rehire one of my best employees that had to quit last year to go back to school and I’m really excited. The Parts Department at our store is doing so good right now so getting to have Travis back will really help with the summer coming right around the corner and the racing season kicking up. Also he can just walk on and start working since he has worked with us in the past he knows our routine and what I expect out of one of my employees. It can sometimes be challenging to train someone new, especially with my travel schedule being so demanding I sometimes don’t have time to stop and teach someone every part of their new position. That’s really hard on me because I don’t any of my guys to feel left out or I don’t have time to help them. I remember when I started and the manager I had really wasn’t very helpful in training me so I just had to wing it and make mistakes to learn what not to do, but that’s not how I roll.

I’m really looking forward to getting a few weeks off from the track. The beach is only like two hours from my house so I’m going to my beautiful wife to the beach for a few days of rest and relaxation. Also I’m hoping that Matt and Angie take a few days off. That entire team for that matter has been full throttle since we left Gainesville and you can just look at them and tell there pooped. I love them so much, we have really become more than teammates I feel that we’ve become a big family. I remember at Indy last year when we showed up I was kind of intimidated by them because before they have such an accomplished team and I was still a rookie. But after about 5 minutes together we were like cutting up and just having the best time and it has been nothing but fun ever since. There are a lot of people that don’t know this but Matt is one of the drivers that signed off on my NHRA license in 2007, so it’s pretty cool that we are now teammates.

Well I am going to give your eyes a break now and let you go. I will update my blog again in a few weeks but remember you can always find me on Facebook and Twitter @michaelstingray.