It’s great to be back here blogging! I’ve had an exciting week and so much to tell you.
Let’s start this one with Gainesville. What a weekend! To qualify No. 1 and beat veteran Jim Head, our teammate Tim Wilkerson, the 14-time champ John Force, and then my dear friend Tony Pedregon in the final was a dream come true. What else can you say? When you beat the champions of the sport, that solidifies your place as a major contender in 2009 season. For me, I keep it in perspective; it was only one win, but it was a great win!
Having my family there to see my win at Gatornationals was just perfect. They don’t come to every race, so it was even more special when your family, people that you love so much are around you, and it was great to have the kids in the winner’s circle. I know it will be a moment they will never forget.
Not to sound like a cliché, but from there, we went to Disney World with Tony Pedregon’s family. I’ve known Tony since 1996, and our families are very close. We had a great time. I think our kids like the pool more than the Magic Kingdom.
When I came home to Rhode Island, I had a hero’s welcome. All of the local news stations covered my return home, and hundreds of friends were on hand to congratulate us. It really hit me a few days after the race, when I received e-mails and comments from people all over the country, how fun it is to be a part of something like this. If there is one thing that people get out of this blog, it’s that every text message, every e-mail, and every Facebook comment I receive, I really take time to read each one. I try to respond to nearly everyone, and while I can’t, I really do read everyone. I’m very blessed to be able to bring this kind of excitement and enjoyment to so many people.
I get most of the glory being the driver, but in truth, I’m a very small piece of the equation. I couldn’t be successful without all of the hard work that the team puts in and the support we get from Ford, Motorcraft, and Quick Lane. Everyone wants to be associated with a winner and to be able to capitalize on a successful asset. I’m just fortunate to represent Ford, Quick Lane, Motorcraft, and a great group of guys on my team. Chris Cunningham said in the winner’s circle that he was glad he was able to give me my first win. And let the truth be told, I’m just so glad to give him, the guys, and Motorcraft and Quick Lane their first win because of all of the hard work that goes into one of these programs.