Since this is my first entry to the lvms.com driver blog, I will tell you a little about myself and the rest of the H-Town Racing team. We currently have four cars that compete at The Bullring. The #1 Super Late Model driven by myself, Jim Petrie, the #2 Late Model driven by team member Jeff Bargerhuff, the #1 Modified driven by my older brother Pat Petrie, and the #1 Charger car driven by team member John Wright.
We have been very lucky over the last few years and have had great sponsorships, during that time I was able to move up to the Super's. We were able to build a new modified for Pat, add the Late Model for Jeff, invest into the Charger, and launch Jimmy Petrie's (my six-year-old son) racing career in a Micro-Kart that competes at the Las Vegas Karting Club track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
After we realized how lucky we have been we decided we needed to give something back to the youth of the Las Vegas Valley while using our racing. We started the Race to Success Reading Program in September of 2007 at two local, at risk, low income elementary schools, Dr. C. Owen Roundy Elementary School and C.T. Sewell Elementary School. The program was more successful then we could have ever dreamed of and the results were astronomical. Between September 2007 and May 2008 the fifth grade students at the participating schools read over 1,300 books. The program helped bring the students back to being able to enjoy reading, which is especially important in today's computer, video game, and i-pod world. Not only did the students learn how to enjoy reading, but the program also helped raise reading scores, build confidence in students, and made them part of the greatest sport in the world, racing!
Fast forward to today, we are still running all of cars, but are unsure from week to week if we will be able to make it to the track the following week due to the loss of our primary sponsor. We sit down each and every week to see what the budget is and what we can afford to run the next week. We have found ways to make sure the Super, Modified and Late Model have been at the track every week. We have had to miss a few nights with the Charger, but John is doing alright for himself, currently ninth in points.
I have been working night and day to secure funding for not only our racing but for the Reading Program as well. If our current situation does not improve it looks as though we may have to cancel the reading program for the upcoming school year, since it is funded entirely out of our racing budget. This is where it saddens my heart, when we first implemented the program it was just a way of giving back, but as the school year went on and I saw the results, excitement and success it brought to the students, my outlook for the program changed. The Race to Success Reading Program became my primary focus and being on the track became secondary. However, as I always say to my kids, "Never give up!"
We would like to thank our 2008 sponsors Findlay Chevrolet, Las Vegas Orthopedic's Dr. Mary Ann Shannon, Cookie Rivera - Earn Extra Money and, SFC USA Inc.
The Night of Fire was exactly that for the H-Town Racing #1 Super Late Model, very, very, hot! We ended up arriving at the track with three cars: the Super Late Model, Late Model and Modified. We practiced the night before but were still unhappy with our lap times, especially myself in the Super Late Model. The team practiced for three sessions and then I decided I needed to rest to be able to make all 76 laps, even though we made the car better we still were not where we wanted on the stop watch.
We rested and tried to stay cool until the driver's meeting. We headed over and listened to our track director say, "Outside temperature is 118 degrees, and track temperature is 149 degrees!" All I could think is that everybody out here must be crazy!
We qualified poorly, as usual. I really need to work on that! We ended up in the 17th position for the beginning of the race. I always run faster in the race, so I always say it's racing not qualifying :). We were able to pass our way up to 8th, where we finished on the lead lap, without getting passed by anybody. By the end of the race we were running with cars that have won features and qualify for the dash every week, so I think during the break we will work very hard on our qualifying set up to see if we can't crack the top five by giving ourselves a better starting position.
I had a great holiday with my family, we are very lucky that we got to spend so much time together. We started out by having a great time at the track on July 3rd, both on the track and in the stockyard. We then had all three of our cars as floats in the Boulder City Damboree 4th of July parade. We had three of the nicest trucks out there, of course from the best Chevy Dealership in the world Findlay Chevrolet, and we decorated our trailers and had special guest Pit Boss and dealer Patricia with us. I walked the route handing out promotional stuff not only for H-Town Racing, the best Chevy Dealership in the world Findlay Chevrolet, but also to help promote LVMS. We ended up handing out over 5,000 promotional items! We then headed over to the family BBQ, ate and celebrated Independence Day for the greatest country on planet earth! All in all a great racing and family weekend, and isn't that what it is all about!