Saturday, June 16, 2012

Brainerd International Raceway, yay!

So, we made it to BIR at about 0200 hrs. I did most of the driving so Eric could sleep since BIR is the big day for us. We had made arrangements with Tim and Katie Scallen to use their lake cabin to sleep at since it's about 2 miles from the track. Paula, Jeff, and Buck went up earlier in the evening. It was great because they had to call Katie for some directions. Then when we got close we called Paula for guidance in. Quick showers and sleep. To BIR first thing in the morning. We were second ones through the gate. Got a nice spot in the paddock for our Winsor Corvette Hospitality Zone. It was so great having tons of local friends come up to cheer us on. Buck just loves hanging out at the track. Paula had the greatest treats and snacks for everybody. The first event was the Donnybrook full track. Eric has run a few laps on this track, hahahahaahah. He got 2nd overall. His fastest lap was a 1:45.7. Pretty good for street tires. Then we moved over to the new Competition track and he eecked out a 3rd place, went off near the end and mowed some more grass. And overheated again since he clogged up the fresh air intake. There were some tense moments while John Boos worked on it trying to get the new cold coolant to circulate since it blew out a bunch of coolant when it overheated. Got it running and cooled down and then over to the drag strip. He lost some points there because he didn't understand how they were scoring it. Oh well. He's not a drag racer, and the car isn't a drag car. John offered to give the car a look over and change the oil if we stopped at his shop on the way to Road America. It isn't any out of the way for the drive. So, we headed to Zimmerman. I was with Eric, and Paula, Jeff, and Buck were going to follow us to John's so they could hang out while he checked over the car. And we were going to order pizza for dinner. After a bit of driving I realized this was dumb for her to follow us. So I called Jeff and told him we're pulling over and he can ride with Eric and I'll drive the Rav4 with mom. Wow, was it nice to drive a quiet car with air conditioning. And I got to hold hands with Paula and chat! John changed the oil and said everything looked great underneath. It is so amazing how this car has held up considering the abuse we've been giving it. The only time we've had to touch it with a wrench was to remove/install the splitter, and change a tire.

We said our goodbyes to John and his wife Jackie. And I got to drive the Rav with Paula until we got to St. Paul (another hour of holding hands and chatting with Wonder Woman). We got on our way to Road America about 2200 hrs. from St. Paul. It's normally about a 6 hour drive. But, we were both pretty fried from the day. I drove the whole way. About 0200 hrs. I was getting pretty tired so I pulled into the back lot at a gas station to nap for half hour. That was perfect to give me a re-charge. About an hour later I started hitting things. The road was a two laner so I didn't have much room to manuever. Came over a bit of a rise and found a dead racoon right in the middle of my lane. There was a car coming toward me so I couldn't go around it. Loud clunk woke Eric up. He made me pull over so he could look for damage. Yep, no damage but a bunch of blood and fur. Let's go, this is a long night. Not too long before I was forced to drive over some deer remains. Clunk clunk. Eric woke up and I told him what I hit and too bad, I'm not pulling over so you can look. All the guages look fine. Go back to sleep. A bit later, CLUNK. I don't know what I hit, never saw anything. Eric woke up and said, "what did you hit now?" I said, "I dunno, never saw it, go back to sleep." Awhile later there was no signs of any lights so I bumped up to about 14 over the 65 limit. Wouldn't ya know, there was a sheriff sittin' in the ditch. She lights it all up and I slam the brakes. Perfect timing because there is a big ol' deer right in front of me. Eric woke up and said, "wow, good job avoiding that deer." I said, "oh sure, but we're being pulled over." I had a nice visit with a deputy. She told me to slow down. I thanked her for stopping me and asked her if she had seen the deer and she said she had. I thanked her for preventing me from hitting it. I have no idea what county we were in. Oh well. About 0500 I knew we were pretty close to Road America and I was very beat so I pulled in behind a station and took an hour and a half nap. Perfect re-charge. Made it to RA, no tickets, no damage, and Eric got plenty of good rest. I got to ride with my smokin' hot wife for a bit. Life is great.