Someone once said “You will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” In life sometimes the memories we store in our brains are fleeting, sometimes they are etched like a granite plaque. There are things we wish we could forget but conversely often the memories we want to remember disappear, no matter how hard we bang our heads on the wall to recall them. One can make a lot of things, but in racing one thing that most sportsman drivers won’t make is money.
This leaves one with the opportunity to make friends and memories, which is what we are trying to do. The “moment” that becomes the memory might be sharing in a victory celebration, a big round win, and the memory might be less exciting and be just a lesson learned. We love to keep photographs of these moments, but the unseen recollection is as equally important as a racer and team grow. In the few years that Braylon has been racing I have seen this growth. He is hopefully making lifelong friends as well as taking lessons from mistakes and split second decisions.
Our Lucas Oil Racing TV junior dragster team has had its share of ups and downs this season, but in the last couple of months our engine program has come around thanks to Craws Racing and their expert knowledge and technical support.
We recently participated in the Division 1 NHRA Junior Dragster Championships at Numidia Dragway on August 10th-12th. Braylon competed in 4 separate races in 3 days, including the 13-14 year old age group category for the Division 1 championship. He compiled an 11-4 win loss record over the weekend and I could see him remembering the basics like staging and launching the car consistently. His reaction times were exceptional throughout the event because of his concentration.
Thursday the 10th started without me, the crew chief and CFO of the whole operation not on the property due to work obligations. Marlin Spotts and Jason Brinckman did a great job of helping Jen and Braylon with the setup of our pit and even guiding Braylon to a round one win in the first race. We lost in the 5th round quarterfinals with 6 cars left out of around 120+ cars to the eventual winner.
On Friday the day started with two time runs for Saturday’s main event and there was another “gamblers race” to finish out the day that was cut short because of the rain. On Saturday Braylon drew a first round opponent in the Divisional event that had beaten us as recently as Thursday and also last year at this same event. To put it mildly my driver’s memories were not too positive. After some words of encouragement he went out to strap a perfect reaction time on the tree and ran .005 seconds over his dial in. Almost a perfect run which earned him a bye run in round two. The memory of this run won’t go away soon and I hope he remembers that he can beat anyone he puts his mind to. He got down to the final 6 cars out of around 40 losing in the fourth round again to the eventual winner.
In the rain delayed gamblers race we lost in the 5th round after a break out at the finish line of .004 seconds, once again to the eventual winner of the race. Braylon can take some solace from the fact that we lost the first three races to the best racer on the property entered in those events. We promptly entered the late evening High Rollers Race, where we unfortunately turned on the red light on the starting line with a -.009 effort in the first round.
Even though we were eventually on the losing end of all the races, this was as much fun as we have had in a long time. There were no big wins but the memories and lessons learned will last a while.
Fast forward a week to the 19th and 20th and we are at Cecil County Dragway for the Lucas Oil Regional Racing Series again going for an age group Wally in the 13-17 year old bracket. It is a great experience to be in front of a real crowd of spectators, even if they are there to see the bigger cars. We had a lot of compliments and questions to answer about our DJ Safety equipped ride. It’s always great to see a good mix of old classic iron and the new factory stock types of racecars putting on a great show.
Unfortunately what will be remembered was a first round loss, but hopefully the way to mitigate those miscues will be as well. We did have a great time with our extended racing family and a day at the track with your family is better than a day at work.
The Kuhn Racing/Mar-Schan Motorsports junior dragster will be at our home track Maple Grove on September 2nd for Sunoco Race Fuels ET Series race #15 and we hope to move up in points at the last event. After that it is back to Cecil County on the 9th and 10th for the Mid Atlantic Junior Challenge event where we will enter between three and four races.
Thanks to everyone who supports us with all our on the track endeavors and we hope that you too can commit some of our moments of success to your memories.