Emily got a great article in her alumni newsletter. Check it out here!
I have a confession, it has been a while since we’ve updated this blog. That’s because our efforts have been focused on live updates on our Facebook page. Interested in seeing those updates? Head on over here!
The Boise Divisional was a blast for Chris and I. Chris had taken the car out earlier in the season for some testing, but this was my first chance in the dragster since October. This new car is a dream, let me tell you. I seriously doubt Chris could have built a better ride. It’s amazing!
Chris attempted to test on Thursday, but Mother Nature wasn’t having it. Friday started out a bit drizzly, but the clouds parted, the sun shown through and we were ready to rock. We ran a solid 9.11 (on a 9.15 dial) and I was feeling quite good about my first pass. As I’m heading back down the return road, I see everyone packing up the cars. I overhear that the announcers are warning of some possible wind gusts, as well as some thunder and lightening. I ask our good friend Ed to help me lower our 20 foot EZ Up and before I know it, the tent is lifted up by a gust of wind and ready to take me with it. The tent got the better of me and went flying through the air and then through the pits. Unfortunately it took down a neighbor racer in it’s path. The tent required about 10 guys to drag it back to our trailer (mid-wind storm) to attempt to collapse it.
Needless to say, it did not collapse well. Luckily we were able to save the custom canvas top. Hopefully with a few parts, it’ll be looking brand new again.
Saturday was a much better day, weather-wise. We got three passes in, all close enough to the dial. We also had a number of friends come out to visit. It was wonderful to see all the support in Boise! This is my pup, Kora, busy with her bone.
And Sunday was race day! I won round one and was paired with our friend Ed (my tent buddy) in round two. I was a bit nervous, being that Ed had beat me many times in the past. However, I snuck out with the win this time! Next up was another pal, Bob Woodruff. The winning streak continued and I grabbed one more win light. Round four was Trevor Harkema, and unfortunately our car lost some steam. I came up short and Trevor took the win. Four rounds on Sunday was more than good enough for an awesome weekend at the track. Chris and I had a wonderful time! We received so much support and a few win lights to dream of until the next time at the track.
FINALLY! It was a long winter without it. Chris and I celebrated by hopping on a plane to sunny California for the Winternationals a few weekends ago. Chris headed out a day early to watch some of our Super Comp friends run, while I sat in my cozy office in Boise. I joined him Friday afternoon just in time for some of my favorite SoCal Mexican food.
We rose with the sun and were out at the track early on Saturday morning. It rained on and off all morning, making what should have been an awesome day quite long. We were able to see a few rounds of racing and smell enough nitromethane to make me happy. Then, as we were walking around the pits, the sky suddenly opened up and dumped everything it had. We attempted to run to the rental car, but ended up more than soaked. It was finally concluded that the purchase of new (dry) shoes would be a must, so we booked it to the mall. After finding some dry clothes and a cold beer we called it a night.
Sunday was just as much of a tease as Saturday was. We waited on and off for the rain to quit for a couple of hours and commiserated with our Super Comp friends who would not get to run. Suddenly it was clear and racing was in progress. It was an awesome day of racing and filled my heart with so much love for the sport. Being so far from Chris (and my family) makes it hard to continually stay passionate about the sport. I love racing and will always love racing, whether or not I’m in the driver’s seat. Chris gets to see the car, work on the car and head out to the track on a regular basis. However, my schedule does not allow for that much racing. I decided that weekend that I would need to find a way to get out on the track more often. Racing means too much to me to sit on the sidelines!
Oh! I forgot to mention that on Saturday there was a ridiculous crash in an Alcohol Dragster. The car got out control and took a hard right into the barrier, flipping the car into the air. After sliding along the outside of the barrier, the car finally came to a stop in the timing board at the finish line. Mark Reblias, one of my favorite racing photogs, came away with this insane shot of the dragster in the air. Amazing photo, but not something we racers like to see too often.
Hopefully we get a few of our new promotional materials up here soon for you all to check out. They look pretty good!
Calling all Eastern Washington fans! EMDUB Racing will be at Spokane Raceway Park this upcoming weekend (July 30th-August 1st). We will be at the track Friday, Saturday and Sunday for a Lucas Oil Divisional race. Please check out Spokane Raceway Park for ticket information and directions. We hope to see some of you out there!
In addition, EMDUB Racing will be racing at Bremerton Raceway Park for a PNSCA race on August 14th and 15th. Please check out Bremerton Raceway for ticket information and directions. The following weekend, EMDUB Racing will be at Pacific Raceways for the Lucas Oil Divisional race. We will be at the track Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Please check out Pacific Raceways for ticket information and directions.
Please let Chris or Emily know if you need more information about the races. We would love to see some friends and family at the track!
After a round one loss today at the Northwest Nationals, I was feeling particularly down. I happened to stumble upon a quote that couldn’t be more fitting: “A champion needs a motivation above and beyond winning” By Pat Riley (the basketball coach). This quote really got me thinking about my motivation for drag racing, specifically what my motivation consists of.
In this thought process, I realized that drag racing is not about winning. To many of you, this may seem like a cop-out statement. But I truly believe that you can learn the most from the moments in which you lose. Drag racing is a particularly interesting sport in that most participants lose a majority of the time. How does one keep up motivation with the odds so highly stacked against them? In my short three years in drag racing, I have seen racers lose passion, desire and motivation for the sport. It always saddens me when I see this, as I have yet to feel that way.
Our win the other weekend really opened the doors to so many things for us. We both felt as though we no longer had any barriers holding us back. Coming into the race this weekend, we both had endless confidence. However, our first round loss left us more frustrated than we had been in a long time. As I read the quote about motivation on our way home today, I suddenly realized why I love drag racing. I love drag racing because it forces me to know myself and what I’m capable of, and always leaves me craving more. At the end of a race I desire to know the car better, the track better, and myself better.
It is important to note that winning plays a very small role in my motivation. Winning is the result of all this hard work. But if you strive for the result, you miss all of the important steps along the way. For instance, you cannot win the race in round one. You win a race by consistently repeating those important steps time and time again. And without the motivation to continue, quite often without the reward of winning, drag racing can be quite painful.
I’ve finally realized that the passion for drag racing comes from within. I love this sport for what it brings out in me. I am constantly striving to improve and that is enough motivation for me. I only hope I can continue to remember this important lesson.
We’ve made quite a splash in the world of racing since our last blog! We’re deep in a long stretch of back-to-back weekends and we’ve come out ahead in round wins. Just when I think I’m losing patience for the long weekends, a streak like this comes along and proves me oh-so wrong. Don’t worry, fans. I have a new found passion for this ‘ole sport!
We were at Woodburn Dragstrip last weekend for the divisional event. It was wonderful to see some old friends (and meet a few new ones!). We, also have always loved that track and now that Jay Livingston is in charge, the track is an all-time favorite. Jay did a great job prepping the track and organizing the event this year. It was truly an enjoyable experience. And as many of you know, not all races are enjoyable.
The weekend started off with a test and tune on Thursday. Chris and I managed to get back from our stellar vacation at midnight the night before and headed to the track on a few hours later. We met up with Paul Nero for a new set of Hoosier slicks. He had them mounted in no time flat and we were off running. When we returned from the first test pass we noticed a huge blister on the front left tire. It’s not recommend to run with a blistered tire (at 173 mph), not to mention it can severely impact performance on the track. After a chat with Paul, we decided it was best to swap those out for a new pair as well. With all new tires (and empty pockets) we finished up the test session with another solid run.
Qualifying on Friday and Saturday was long and quite uneventful. We did, however, qualify for the Shootout race on Saturday. Qualifying for this based on the first 8 qualifiers for the divisional event who have chosen to enter the Shootout. Those 8 racers then forfeit their Saturday qualifying runs for Shootout eliminations. Unfortunately we lost in round one the Shootout to a very good racer, Andy Morris. Although disappointing, we simply rejoined the event qualifying field. And we even made back the money for the entry fee.
When Sunday finally rolled around we were more than ready for eliminations. We managed to go round after round, finally ending our streak in the fourth round to Super Comp rookie, Don Knoblauch. Don went on to runner-up in the event. We were so thrilled to have made it to fourth round (the quarter-finals) at a divisional event. We had huge smiles painted on for days to come.
This brings me to the current weekend. After a couple days off, we packed up again and headed across the board to Mission Raceways for a PNSCA double-header. As you’ve seen in previous blogs, we have a huge issue with the front end of our dragster jumping out of the beams on the starting line at this track. This is the only track where this is an issue and we’ve changed a number of different variables to try accommodate for this issue. Because the divisional event at Mission was so touch-and-go with the rain, we did experience it too much at that event earlier this year. But it was glaringly obvious this past weekend.
Saturday consisted of some confusing and frustrating red-lights and gorgeous passes. But a gorgeous pass means absolutely nothing if that red light comes on. Unfortunately, round one was no different. The car jumped the beams and left me a loser on the line. We decided to inflate the tires quite a bit, creating more spin off the line and preventing the car from jumping as high on the leave. We were able to make a test pass and our solution proved to work just fine!
I forgot to mention that because this race was sandwiched between a big divisional event and the national event in Seattle, the car count was very low on Saturday: 7 cars. On Sunday, which happened to be the Fourth of July, we only had 5 cars! Chris and I were not about to let this opportunity to make up some ground in the points go to waste. After a long morning (and afternoon) of broken cars at the line, oil downs on the track and rain delays, we finally made it to round one. We qualified number one, giving us the bye in round one.
After a couple of good passes (and a little luck) we found ourselves in our first final ever! Our last opponent was Mike Popal, a Canadian racer who runnered-up in our PNSCA race on Saturday. He had me on the line, but I caught him fast and took the stripe with a double-breakout. Luckily, we ran closer to the 8.90 dial in than Mike and took our very first race win! I was so stunned when that final win light came on I wasn’t sure if I’d really just seen it. After a few screams into the radio and a good number of fist pumps it finally sank in that I had just won a race. Now all I need is that trophy I earned!
On our way home from Mission we dropped our trailer off in line at the Seattle National Event. This is our biggest race of the year and it’s awesome to head into this race on the heels of our first win. Stay tuned for more updates soon!
No other saying could be more true for drag racing. My dad and I have always struggled with the fact that no matter how many rounds you win, the last thing you do is lose (unless of course, you win the whole thing!). Since we have yet to win a race, we are always faced with a loss at the end of a long weekend. Sometimes it’s really difficult to see the good through all the self pity. And it’s even harder when you know what that win light would have felt like. On the other hand, our round wins have slowly but steadily increased. Chris and I will both tell you that it only takes one of those to make this whole thing worth it!
We’ve had a fairly calm beginning to our season this year. We haven’t had any huge mechanical failures or disasters (except for setting the car on fire…) and weekends have all been predictable and consistent. It’s been comforting to head to the track and just have everything work. There have been the few hiccups in our plans, but for the most part we’ve been able to handle them with ease. I must admit, it’s really been a nice break from “racer’s panic.”
We’ve had been to three races so far this season: the Boise Divisional, a Woodburn PNSCA doubleheader race, and the Mission Divisional. The two divisionals have left us sore losers after round one. At Boise we lost by .004 at the finish line and Mission sent us home with a .003 holeshot loss (he beat me off the line). Although we hate losing first round, those were both amazing races. It just goes to show how close the Super Comp field can be! We were not sore losers by any means at Woodburn though. We made it to third round both days and even took home some money on Sunday. I had some of my best driving that weekend and Chris was really hot on the number. We most definitely drove away from Woodburn with huge smiles on our faces!
In terms of our personal lives, we have had some wonderful news in the past couple of weeks. Deb has been given the all-clear by her doctor and is officially in remission from her cancer. She was able to stop chemo and resume her normal lifestyle. We are all so thrilled at the news and equally as amazed at her strength throughout this process. She really is a warrior! In addition, Emily graduated from WSU with her Masters in Human Development. These two wonderful events happened within a week of each other. Needless to say, May was a very good month!
We will be taking some time off from drag racing for about a month. We don’t have any important races on our schedule and the Williams family will be taking some much needed time to celebrate all of our wonderful recent achievements. Our next race will be the Woodburn Divisional in June. We hope to see all of our fans out there. Also, stay tuned for some new EMDUB Racing apparel!
As many of you may have noticed, we’ve been slacking on our blogging lately. I promise is it not due to any laziness on our part. Chris and I have actually taken to updating our EMDUB Racing Facebook and Twitter accounts more regularly. We do updates from the track, as well as posting pictures and videos. If you are a Facebook or Twitter member, please follow our updates to keep up with our most recent activity and progress.
We will still continue blogging in addition to our other updates. Finally, please let us know if you have any suggestions for keeping in touch with our fans. We do our best to keep you all informed and always love to hear your feedback. Thanks again for all of your support!
It’s been a long, cold winter here in Washington. Not only is this evident from the bare existence that is this blog, but also from the lack of activity in our racing camp. I think Chris would agree with me that this winter has been especially hard on all of us. Here’s a little summary of our activities for the past few months.
I, personally, have been slaving away at grad school. This off season left me with more than my fair share of coursework and papers to grade, not to mention my thesis. Unfortunately, I’ve experienced some “technical difficulties” in the thesis journey. With a little blood, sweat and tears I was able to complete my 90 page document and submit for review last week. I’m currently preparing to defend this project next week in front of my colleagues and professors. Then I will be graduating with my Master’s degree on May 8th. I’m so excited to move onto the next phase of my life and get back to the track!
Chris has had a very different experience this winter. His off season was spent with doctors, surgeons and oncologists. As many of you know, Deb’s cancer returned last summer and she has spent the past year in and out of the hospital for chemo treatments, surgery and blood work. Fortunately, things are looking up for this amazing woman. Her numbers and scans look wonderful and we are all looking forward to the day when she’s off chemo. Only 8 more to go!
Now that they have settled into a routine, Chris has been able to get back into the racing mode. He’s been working diligently on the car and trailer. He’s completely redone our trailer and it looks absolutely amazing. But I won’t spoil his blog update with too much information!
In other news, we ordered a custom fire suit this year. It came back looking absolutely stunning. I might actually look like a girl out at the track! We also replaced a number of out of date parts on the car (belts, etc.). It may have been an unproductive winter, but we are most definitely back in gear – well, as least Chris is. I’ll get back into once I my defense is over and I’m free to enjoy life again. We’ll be out at Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA for a test session on April 17-18. You all should come on out!
More to come soon – I promise!