On a rattlesnake speedway…

I imagine that the majority of the people leaving Las Vegas don’t feel quite as good as when they arrived.  I would guess that most of them are either feeling a little hungover, or a little light in the pockets.  So in that respect, perhaps I am somewhat unique.  I feel like I just got out of a sand blaster.  I have never in my life experienced wind like that.

It was a cap to an interesting weekend.  It started a day early with a Thursday test day, which required a long week of prepping the car with a new data system that I had to learn about (getting close I guess).  So I was worn out before we got there, didn’t even had time to do laundry last week.  Or the week before.  But I digress.

Anyway, Thursday actually went pretty well, though I always finding testing to be long and stressful.  Nearly everything worked, and we made some progress with the car.

And the upside of that, is that it made Friday the much more relaxing, no testing, no data system, just a regular Friday.  We struggled a bit in practice, but got it going in Qualifying and ended up 10th, which I was quite happy with.

Saturday was focused on race trim practice, and we were decent, around 4th – 8th on long runs.  I thought that, combined with a decent starting spot, would produce a good Sunday. And we ran 2nd there last year, so that inspired confidence.

The true highlight of the weekend is Saturday night team dinner.  We splurge a bit, and go to the Nine Steakhouse which is in the Palm.  Seafood and steak, chocolate desert and white Russians, delicious.  I squeezed in a bit of black jack time before dinner at Caesars, though I couldn’t find a fun table (Craig, where are you?!?).

And then race day, someone decided to mess with the weather.  I got to the pit box about 45 minutes before the race started, and it was like being in one of those machines at the fair that blow dollar bills around you.  Except instead of dollar bills, it was full of sand.  We though the pit box (which weight probably 5000 lbs) was going to blow away or over once or twice.  I’m still a little bit amazed that we got the race in.  We were up and down a bit, ran top 5 most of the day, and then kind of lost the handle a bit at the end.  We think something in the car might have broken, which caused it to be inconsistent and all over the place.  Ended up 11th, which isn’t a bad finish, but it breaks our top 10 streak to start the season.  Oh well, we aren’t here for top 10s, we need that win!

Not much of a ‘week’ for me coming up, we fly to Charlotte on Monday afternoon to test Tuesday and Wednesday.  Then Thursday we will fly to Phoenix for the weekend, it’s another track, location and weekend that I enjoy.  Gotta squeeze some laundry in somewhere…

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2 comments on “On a rattlesnake speedway…
  1. Anonymous says:

    Ryan! You’re a globetrotter now, which exempts you from laundry duty. Find a wash and fold service and never give laundry another thought! 🙂

  2. Steve Merrick says:

    You guys seemed pretty fast today. I think at 31 laps to go, you guys were 6th, but on the last restart, Martin seem to drop back a bit and lost some ground. He kept dropping…8th then 10th and finally 11th…all the time losing seconds…11.01, 12.03 behind 10th place guy in front of him. To me, something seemed to be wrong with the car, couldnt figure out why he dropped so quickly after having a fairly fast car all day. I was hoping he wasnt going to let Kahne(12th place) overtake him. I do like that track though there was a lot of penalties- speeding in and out of Pit lane. Funny scene they showed on tv quickly at the start of the race, with the gusting winds, it showed Cole getting, for lack of a better word, smothered and knocked over with the car tarp you guys were trying to get off the car before the start of the race! Even DW thought it was funny!. Looking forward to next week. Keep up the good blogging bud. Always enjoy it.

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