Category Archives: Racing

Cross Country Kitty

As most of you know, my hubby, Motor Man, builds high performance engines for race cars and race boats. He was tinkering with engines even before he was in his teens.

Thankfully, I became interested in racing when I was in MY teens (several years before the two of us would meet, and probably thirty years before he and I would be together).

So the majority of our friends and acquaintances are folks we’ve met through racing.

And one of the nicest of them all is our friend, Bruce.  Bruce used to race at our local short track many years ago. When he stopped racing, he began helping various teams, many of whom have been our engine customers.

And…. like us, Bruce LOVES kitties. He always pays lots of attention to Gypsy when he’s at our shop.

For several years, Bruce has worked with a very busy race team. They’re based locally, and race not only at our local short track, but also all over the world with another division of their team.   One aspect of Bruce’s job is to drive that huge car hauler.

Last week, Bruce and the team were in Laguna Seca, California.  He posted this picture on Facebook, and wrote:  “Very interesting morning here. Heard a meowing from under my trailer. Had to crawl under and found this poor thing hiding up in the axle area.”

Of course, Bruce has no idea where, when or how the kitty came to be under the hauler…. it could have been at a rest stop?  Or there at the track? How frightening for her if she rode under the hauler for miles.

Within a day or two, this little kitty had been given the name “Axle”, and Bruce posted that she would be going home with him. Of course, I commented how wonderful it is that he rescued her. Just to show you what kinda guy Bruce is, this was his response: ” I believe God put her there for me to save her.”

AND, Rick, the owner of the team posted this: “We did some great things in Laguna Seca, but saving this kitten that hitched a ride under the hauler was the biggest win! Not sure what rest stop the momma probably put her in the axle area but she was a half dead greasy, dirty, fluff ball when Bruce heard her crying and pulled her out after arriving at the track.”

Not that they need it, but purrhaps Axle brought the team some good luck. Rick allowed me to share this picture.

Bruce and Axle are back on the road, and his their Facebook friends are being treated to photo and video updates  each day.

As Bruce wrote: “Life is much better riding in the truck instead of under the trailer.”  Miss Axle has her own little “on the road apartment”.

But,  sometimes, little kitties, like race cars “spin out”:

 

Thanks, Bruce,  for letting me share your pictures, and once again, I think you are a hero for saving this sweet little baby.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

 

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Break Time!

During the next two-to-three weeks, my blog posts will be sporadic…or maybe just non-existent.

Motor Man and I are coming up on a busy time: preparing for and hosting my family reunion,

a couple of boat races,

and perhaps a little “adventure” or two.

With life being so hectic right now, I think it will be easier to just put the blog on hold for a little while.

So, stay cool, enjoy your summer, and I’ll be back soon with, hopefully, some interesting blog material!

~These Days Of Mine~

When You Can’t Go Back To Sleep

Saturday night, Motor Man and I went to our local race track. (Yes, my two days’ post-op husband. And he made out just fine.) It was just after 11 pm when we got home. But race nights usually include several phone calls to and from our engine customers and/or other engine builders once we get home, so it was nearly midnight when all was said and done.

Then I had a difficult time falling asleep, so add another 30 minutes or so to that. At 4:30 yesterday morning, I was awake and unable to go back to sleep. So, finally around 5:45, I just got up and began my day.

As I opened the living room curtains, I realized waking up (and getting up) early isn’t so bad.

I was actually glad I hadn’t gone back to sleep.

After being greeted by a scene like this,

I certainly wasn’t going to complain.

Sometimes sleep is a little over-rated anyway.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

Daytona Brings To Mind

The first Nascar race of the 2019 season, the Daytona 500, took place yesterday. Motor Man and I went to that race a couple of times several years ago.

I shared this post in 2013, and since yesterday’s race, once again, brought to mind that fateful week in 2001, I thought I’d share it again (with just a few changes) today.

Motor Man and I were in Daytona for the entire week leading up to the 2001 Daytona 500.  A friend of ours with “connections” had given us passes to several media events being held that week.

One of those was the IROC (International Race Of Champions) luncheon on Wednesday. A brief background: the IROC race featured identical (except for the color) Chevy Camaros. Drivers from several racing divisions were selected to drive in the IROC race, and a luncheon was held to determine the color car each would drive, as well as his starting position. These were determined by the spin of a wheel.

Motor Man and I were seated at the table with Nascar driver, Jeff Burton, which was fitting, since he’s also a native Virginian.  The IROC race that year was sponsored by True Value, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation was also involved.  After lunch and all the wheel-spinning was complete, the emcee announced that there was a young man there (through Make-A-Wish) whose wish was to meet Dale Earnhardt, Sr.  He then asked Earnhardt to please come forward to meet and have his photo taken with this little boy; I think his name was Travis, although I can’t remember for sure.  But I’ll refer to him in this post as Travis.

Instead of just posing by himself with Travis for those from the media to take photos, Earnhardt asked all the drivers at the luncheon to come forward. He wanted Travis to meet and have his picture taken with all of them. Motor Man and I were impressed that Dale didn’t “hog” that spotlight for himself. I was blinking back tears to the point that Jeff Burton leaned over to us and asked if Travis were our child.

I wasn’t sure if we’d be allowed to take photos at the luncheon, so I only had a little disposable cameras in my purse. This isn’t a good picture, but I wanted to share it because it reminds me of the compassion “The Intimidator” showed when meeting that little boy. (That’s Dale in the yellow shirt.)

earnhardt-and-make-a-wish-bmp

I’ve blurred out Travis’s face, since, obviously, I don’t have permission to post his picture.  But I’ve always remembered what he said while the photos were being taken: “I’ve always wanted to meet Dale Earnardt, and now I have.”

Motor Man and I were in the stands that next Sunday for the Daytona 500. Since our seats weren’t very good, we left early. We decided that we could enjoy the race more by listening to it on the car radio as we started our trip back to Virginia.

We were in Savannah when Dale Earnhardt’s death was announced: 18 years ago today.

One of our first thoughts was of Travis and how his wish had come true.

~These Days Of Mine~

Make Your Voice Heard

Now, doesn’t that sound official?

As I mentioned recently,  it seems that writing my blog sometimes seems like homework “these days”.  I’m contemplating perhaps going to no schedule and just posting at will.

So I thought I’d conduct a little poll, my first ever, I believe. If you would, please select what subject you like to see MOST here on the blog.

 

Hopefully this will give me the little push I need, so that blogging will be more fun than “work”. Writing is easy: it’s the subject matter that’s tough.

Thanks for reading and sharing your opinion.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

Back “Home”

As most of you know, Motor Man builds race engines for round-track cars as well as hydroplanes (race boats).

Our local short track, Langley Speedway, has been around for 66 years. Last year, because of negotiations between the owners and the current leasee, the track didn’t open. Life went on, of course, and many of Langley’s regulars traveled to other tracks to race.

But this season, Langley is back. The first race was last Saturday, but prior to that, of course, there were practice sessions.

Motor Man with Danny, one of our engine customers

Motor Man went to both practice days, but I was just at one. It was a cold, windy day, so the inside of the car hauler was a good shelter. Mark is also a racer and, while not one of our engine customers, he is a long time friend.

photo by our friend, Ashly

It was still cool Saturday for racing, but no chance of rain, which is always good. And the parking lot was full, with cars all along the street and nearby areas.

And the stands were packed.

Mark finished 3rd; Danny had shock issues and finished 7th.

It’s good be back “home”.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

A Winning Weekend

The annual boat race known as the Hampton Cup Regatta took place this weekend at our “home” course near historic Ft. Monroe in Hampton, Va. It’s one of the oldest boat races in the country, the first one taking place in 1926.

One of my favorite sights at a boat race are the roostertails, the spray of water from the backs of the boats.

roostertails 8-7-2016 4-07-52 PM

Boat races are family events, and friends of ours brought their three granddaughters to Sunday’s race. They made some new friends, and got t-shirts and autographs from David of Black Falcon Racing.  It was the first trip to Hampton for David and his wife, Jodi, who live in Canada.

girls 8-7-2016 3-38-24 PM

I think David has three new fans.

david and girls2 8-7-2016 3-39-34 PM

Motor Man had a couple of engine customers competing in the two -day event. One of those racers,  Doug, had two second-place finishes in the 2.5 stock class, and the other, Todd, won The Eastern Divisional Championship in his 5-litre.

jrdb todd 8-7-2016 3-59-42 PM

Before a win is official, the boat, including the engine, has to pass post-race tech inspection.  Motor Man was nearby for that process.

jr at tech 8-7-2016 7-08-35 PM

The following day, we were all excited to see a picture of Todd’s boat, taken during the race, on the front page of our local paper. We sent Todd back to Canada with several copies to share with his friends and family.

front page daily press

Daily Press photo

Congrats to our customers for races well run…. and to my Motor Man.

~These Days Of Mine~