MONDAY, AUGUST 2, 2010 - This weekend was my first trip to the blues and barbeque capitol of Memphis and believe me, it looks much closer on the map than it really is. Tennessee is one wide state! If you haven't had the opportunity to drive 10 hours, spend three full 12-hour days in 100-degree sun and then drive 10 hours again then you have missed out on one of life's many joys. (Do you sense the sarcasm here?)
The hauler arrived back home this afternoon after spending the night in a Kentucky truck stop, while the crew drove straight through the night to get to work this morning. Everyone is home in one piece and thankful that the longest SuperLeague trip of the year is behind us and even more thankful that the results of the weekend were fruitful.
Overall, we had a pretty good weekend. The boat motor seems to be pretty much back to normal. It doesn't seem quite as fast as it was at Pittsburgh, but that may be because of the currents and river conditions at Memphis were pretty severe compared to those in Pittsburgh. Our top speed in qualifying on Saturday was 93 miles per hour which I think is pretty good considering the eddies, currents and 15 knott flow of the mighty Mississippi. Again, we weren't the class of the field by any means, but I can see progress in all of our people and our performance wasn't too bad for a team with just three weeks of experience.
The families had a good time touring Graceland and we ate dinner each night as a team, one night at a local pizza place and one night at Corky's Barbeque out in Germantown, TN. It was fun to have all of the wives and kids around the table and see everyone interacting and enjoying family time together. That is one of the most rewarding parts of racing to me, seeing relationships between team members and their families forged and grow. A month ago, Eric's little one, Emily, wouldn't let me pick her up for a million bucks. Now she passes out in my arms just as well as she does the next guy.
As for our other racing ventures, Michael Gaier performed well in his second outing in the U.S. Legends Series at Caraway Speedway in North Carolina on Friday night. Michael's usual team leader, J.D. Leedy, got drafted to go with the boat team this week to fill in for Greg Smith who is sick and wouldn't you that Michael would win his qualifier and place third in the Pro-Series final at Caraway. I guess we will have to keep J.D. away from Michael for a couple races and see what happens.
J.D. was a great help to us at Memphis. He drove Tonya's car there and back so the girls would have a ride while in Memphis to shop and visit Graceland. It seems like the past couple weeks that J.D. has pretty much been in full time Herd Racing mode and has covered everything from delivering boats and trailers to launching the boat off the start dock. Hopefully Greg will be back at Aurora later this month and we can have J.D. and Greg along to fill out the crew.
I hope to get a good night's sleep tonight and will get back to you with some more information in a day or two. We are picking up the SST-120 boat tomorrow so hopefully I can get a shop photo for you before long. We got the pickleforks done for the Yeeha SST-60 boat and Sterling will begin the body work on it later this week in hopes that we may have it ready for Kankakee or Huron in the next month or so.