Last weekend at Arizona Motorsports Park

As many of you know from some previous posts, racing cars is my hobby. This last weekend, a new track (Arizona Motorsports Park) opened near Phoenix, so I went down for the inaugural event.

Friday was a test day, so everyone could learn the track. I like the track a lot – despite having no elevation changes (not a lot of hills out there, I guess), it’s a very technical track. The day was going quite well until just after lunch, when a car spun right in front of me, at just that distance where there’s pretty much nothing you can do. We hit nose-to-nose, and I ended up with a bent nose pan and a broken radiator. After miraculous repairs by my crew, I made it back out for the final session of the day. But all was not well…my lap times were 3 to 4 seconds slower than earlier, which let me tell you, is SO frustrating. Luckily, it ended up being a partially broken accelerator pedal, which wouldn’t allow the throttle to open completely. Much easier to fix than the loose nut behind the wheel! :-)

Saturday was the regional race, and I qualified 3rd of 18 cars. And I actually ended up winning the race – woo-hoo! It was my first win in the AZ region – there are a lot of great drivers down there, so I was pretty excited about it.

Sunday was the national race, and somehow all the stars lined up and I qualified on the pole. Out of 21 cars, I believe. It wasn’t meant to be, though…I overslowed a bit going into the first turn, and 3 cars got by on the short straightaway following it. To save you the painful play-by-play, I ended up finishing 5th. A bit disappointing after qualifying on the pole, but not too bad of a finish. And it was a great time!

This weekend was fun…I had been spending a lot of long days finishing NewsGator, and it was good to get back out and do the things that I like to do. Don’t get me wrong, I like writing software – I love my job – but it’s more a means to an end rather than the end itself. If Ferrari offered me even 10% of Michael Schumacher’s salary to drive for them, I’d go in a heartbeat! Even 1%. 0.5%. Ok, ok, I’d pay them. :-)

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