Updated Dec. 16, 2000Boy what a learning experience! Since this was the first time at a race this big, I didn't know what to expect. On Friday a.k.a. "practice day", during the tech inspection on we found out that the fuel cell bladder, and some other minor items needed to be changed. So Kevin took off running around the track infield to get the parts we needed while I was attending the rookie drivers meeting. But even though Dad and Keith were working feverishly we still missed part of the first practice session. However we did make the start of the second practice session and was getting better each lap until the oil to water heat exchanger busted and forced oil into the radiator. My advice is "Don't buy a Griffin Radiator"! So once again Kevin was off and running to find more stuff - cheap oil and more oil filters to use for cleaning out the system. The only difference this time, he had to leave the track to find a parts store and get back before the officials closed the pit entrance. Dad and Keith got the radiator changed and flushed the oil and water system just in time to be the last car to qualify even though the NASCAR officials had said we could start the race scratch if we couldn't fix the car in time. So with our sticker tires on I set out to make a good qualifying time. However, my qualifying time was not as good as my last practice time, but we did find out that the motor was ok. On race day I could never get myself up to speed and decided to park the car about halfway through the race before potentially hurting the motor or car. My finishing position was 22nd.
We learned a few things to do differently so next time things will go much smoother. One of the main changes we need to make is to take a couple of extra people along just to help push the car! We continually had to move the car from here to there - and the infield of a 3/4 mile track is pretty big. We also need to find safer lawn chairs. Both Dad and Mom had scuffles with "People-Eating" lawn chairs. My hat is off to the NASCAR officials. They treated us super nice and even helped push the car to the starting lineup position. - Kris
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