Last week Ford invited me to participate in “Take Your Kid To Work Day.” I had a lot of fun with the kids, answering their questions and signing hero cards for them. It’s always neat to see their reaction when they hear what you do because it is really hard for people to believe just how fast these car are! It’s always fun when you have them guess how much horsepower our Shelby Mustang produces and you hear all sorts of numbers.
In addition to talking with more than 200 kids, I was also a guest judge at the Ford Flex decorating contest. There were several groups, each with kids on a team, and they painted a fiberglass miniature model of the Flex. The heartbreaking part of it was having to judge it in front of them. I thought it was going to be a secret ballot, but to judge the winning Flex and take pictures with the winners was a fun time.
Then on Friday morning I achieved a major goal that I set for myself when we started this program. We had a celebration in Dearborn, and I delivered the Gainesville trophy to Ken Czubay, Brian Wolfe and Brett Wheatley, the key Ford people in our program. It was great to be there with them and their team. I was able to share with them my story, how I got into racing and about the win down in Gainesville. To give them a Wally, for me, was kind of a small mission, but certainly a mission accomplished on that front. Our whole foundation for our program is “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday,” and we’ve accomplished the win on Sunday, so now we got to keep going. I’m certain that there are more wins in our future, but the first is certainly one of the sweetest and to leave that trophy behind and have Ford put it up in their case is a very rewarding experience.
While in Michigan, I went to the AutoWeek offices to meet Mac Morrison and Roger Hart to talk about racing. Whenever you get the chance to talk about what we do and how we did and what the experience is like as a driver, it’s always a great time. I know the guys at AutoWeek enjoyed our conversation. While I was there I met Keith Crain, he’s a pretty cool guy and he’s really a legend. He and my grandfather were friendly when he raced back in the ’60s. Keith has an appreciation for what we do. I had some time to spend with him and share some stories for what we do here today in 21st century drag racing versus back in the ’60s.
Before heading to St. Louis, I spent a couple days back home with my wife and children in Rhode Island, tested the Cobra Jet at zMax Dragway in Charlotte and checked in on the guys in the Concord shop. I’m working with my Uncle Carl to get him a Super Gas license. He is making great progress but it is not easy to jump in and drive a nine-second racecar. After lunch I had to jump in and make a pass, I ran a 9.88ET at 140mph! What a fun car to drive.
Although it was an off week for me, I was busy. I’m looking forward to racing in St. Louis this weekend. St. Louis is neat place and we had a solid Mustang there last year. We’re about two rounds out of second place, and the top 10 cars are really tight in the points. I think we’re due to go a few rounds off there, and St. Louis is as good a place as any to get a few rounds under our belt and another Wally!