After a great weekend in Chicago and making it to my first final round, which was a huge accomplishment, we decided to stay out on the road and take a little road trip to our shop in Indianapolis. So we went there and spent a day in the office and had some meetings. We woke up the next day, got ready and took a five-hour road trip up to Norwalk, Ohio.
I drove over with my sister and a coworker. We got in early so we could celebrate the Fourth of July at the Kalahari Resort, which is always fun. We stay there every year and it's a blast. We went to the pool and had some fun in the water park with the John Force Racing teams. We just had good time and relaxed. I also got to hang out with Alexis DeJoria and some of the other drivers I race out here with. It was a good time and we got to enjoy the sun before the crazy race weekend started.
Friday in Norwalk was a little rough for us. We blew the burst panel off of my car in the first session and had to put a new body on between rounds. We hurt some parts and had to change a lot of things but my team worked hard and put together a great race car for me. We struggled a little bit in the heat just like most of the other teams out here. I got to have some fun and race my dad in qualifying. That's always a good time just because he has taught me everything I know about drag racing and it's cool to have him in the other lane beside me, even if it was just for qualifying. I outran him and it's always cool to turn on a light when I'm up against him. Most importantly, we got our Traxxas Ford Mustang qualified for the show in the sixth spot.
We had a terrible heat wave throughout the weekend and it was really hard on my guys. It's really hard to work and concentrate in such hot conditions, and it's hard to get your car to make any kind of decent runs down a race track. My team, Ron Douglas and Dan Hood put together a good car with a good set-up and got it going down the race track with a decent pass and that's really the most important thing going into race day, knowing that you can get your car to do what it's supposed to in the heat.
We had much cooler conditions on race day. First round I had Todd Lesenko and I screwed up a little as a driver. I lost my focus and got a little confused while I was staging. I pulled up and put my pre-stage light on, but it also started to flicker my stage bulb. It threw me off a little bit so by the time I staged my car and looked over at the Christmas tree, the green light was already on and I was late. We got lucky, but I was able to get the win light and even made a good run; we ran a 4.166.
We were able to go on to the second round and I had a tough competitor, Cruz Pedregon. We still made a decent run. It was a close head-to-head race. I was able to see him out my window. We weren't able to take home that win, but it was a good weekend. Everyone stayed safe and we got to root my teammate Mike Neff who went on to win the race.
It was also my sister Brittany's birthday on Sunday and my brother-in-law/crew chief Danny Hood. I was really hoping to get a win for his birthday to be able to give him that, but we did well, we went to the second round. It was a great weekend that ended with a John Force Racing win and two big birthdays in the family. Now we get to go home after being on the road for over two weeks straight. I think Brittany and I are planning on celebrating her birthday in Catalina next weekend since we have a weekend off before Denver. I'm really looking forward to having a little bit of time off before that race. I think conditions in Denver will be better too, so I'm going to clear my head, regain my focus and get ready to race!