Journeying in Early June

It’s always an adventure. Right now it’s 10:22pm and I’m sitting in a hotel in Grantville, Pennsylvania. I know I haven’t written in a while, but all you missed was a crazy month of May! I didn’t think the typical “Month of May in Indy is Magical” post was necessary because let’s face it, we’ve all heard that enough. But I must say, it was pretty cool getting to be a part of the month from the “inside.” I was working with Andretti and spent quite a bit of time at the track. I planned a wonderful, successful charity event and even got to visit Victory Lane when one of our drivers, Ryan Hunter-Reay, took the checkers at “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Seeing an American, and proud American at that, win the Indy 500 was awesome and getting to be a part of team photos on the bricks the next morning was even better! The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a special place and you can feel the history when you drive through the tunnel. In case you’ve been living under a rock and missed the news, Jonathan Byrd’s Racing announced they will be returning to the Indy 500 in 2015 with BC as their driver. Jonathan Byrd’s will partner with KVSH Racing at next year’s Indy 500. This announcement made the month even more exciting and I was relieved because I didn’t have to keep it a secret anymore! Obviously 2012 was a great experience for BC and I know he’s really looking forward to getting back to the 500. The countdown for next year is already on and we look forward to having the dirt track family at the Speedway supporting Bryan! It seemed like May was here and gone in a blink of an eye and now summer (and the full-blown racing season) is really here.

Like I said, I’m in a hotel in PA on this Friday night. Our trip to PA started on Monday evening about 4 hours later than planned. We were planning on leaving at 4:00pm Monday afternoon, but like usual that didn’t happen! One trait that I can’t deny getting from my parents is the inability to leave on time. It doesn’t matter how long I plan ahead for a trip (I knew this one was coming for about 364 days), I’m never, ever ready to leave on time. Once we got our suitcases packed, t-shirts loaded, and the truck packed down we were on the road. We drove 6 hours or so on Monday night and finished the trip on Tuesday morning. I had the morning shift on Tuesday and I quickly came to the decision that I do not like driving in Pennsylvania. For most of my shift there was a guardrail on the right side of the highway and a big, concrete wall that served as the median on the other side. Now I’m a female driver and I’ll be the first to admit that my driving is a little less than frightening at times, so I like a shoulder on either side of the road in case I need a little wiggle room. Add in the fact that I’m driving through mountains and tunnels and it became a stressful trip for everyone in the car. I thought I was going to have to use the emergency pull off at one point, but I got my elbows up and made it to the next service plaza. That brings me to another point. PA is the best state for post-race food stops between Wawa’s and Sheetz’s. You know what else is great about PA? The fans! The USAC shows get huge crowds out here and the best part: they really know how to buy t-shirts!

Tuesday night was the first night of the Eastern Storm at Grandview Speedway. BC spun out in hot laps and qualified 15th. I’ll admit that at this point in the night I was thinking, “Oh great, so this is how this trip is going to be… .” I’ll take credit for that rain before the B-Main because inside I was doing a big rain dance. I hate to see Bryan struggling and it seemed like that night was not going to get any better. After a long rain delay the feature finished and the TSR 20 crossed the finish line in 12th. Wednesday night was much, much better, but Bryan and the 20 team didn’t really get to see if the changes they made were for the better because the feature ended up getting rained out. Thursday night was the turnaround the team’s been looking for since early April. The 20 had a good night and BC ended the night by doing his favorite thing – Parked it! (or “Barked It” as Chevy would say.) The best part of the night was the now famous “Victory Lane Selfie.” Hopefully they’ve got things figured out and the 20 will be just as fast for the rest of the season! We’re headed to Port Royal tomorrow and Susquehanna on Sunday before heading back to Indiana.

1958105_10152103962902001_575521104240732311_nToday was an off day, but I always come up with something fun for us to do (here’s where Bryan normally rolls his eyes) on days like this! Today I drug Bryan to Hershey, PA to go to Chocolate World and Hershey Park! Let me say that it did not disappoint. I was like a little kid on Christmas when we pulled into the parking lot. I loved Chocolate World, but I knew I would because touristy things are always my favorite! We got stocked up on lots of candy, even got to make our own candy bars, and Chevy got a present (don’t worry it’s not chocolate – I’m not a bad dog mom) since she got left at home this week. After making our way through Chocolate World we ventured over to Hershey Park. I don’t know what happened because I used to really love rollercoasters, but maybe I just haven’t been to a theme park in a long time. We were waiting in line for “Skyrush,” a giant, yellow rollercoaster and it hit me that this might be the dumbest thing I’ve done in a while. I decided then that I was now afraid of rollercoasters and that was really the last thing I wanted to be doing at that moment. Well, I couldn’t chicken out because after all Hershey Park was my idea. Take a look at the picture below to see how I felt about Skyrush. You might want to save it in case you’re ever having a bad day and need a good laugh. It’s ok, I’m not too sensitive, you can tell me my face is the funniest thing you’ve seen in a while! We laughed so hard when we turned the corner and saw it on the screen, so Bryan being the loving guy that he is went ahead and bought it so we could laugh at this beauty forever.

photo(3)After a long day at Hershey Park I needed to come back to the hotel and take a little rest. Again, I don’t know when I became such a wuss, but riding roller coasters all day wore me out! We found this cute, little Italian place called “Fabio’s” for dinner and man, it was good! If you’re ever rolling through Grantville, PA I highly recommend it! Get back to the hotel and Bryan needs his stinky suits and nomex washed. If you’re ever going through Grantville, PA, I do not recommend stopping at the Comfort Suites to do laundry. After two attempts of washing them in the washing machine, we ended up hauling two soaking wet firesuits and nomex up to the 4th floor where I decided hand-washing them would be better than washing them in a non-functioning machine. I hand wash things all the time in the sink at home, so I thought this would be no problem. Well, a firesuit (times two) is slightly bigger than the hotel sink. So naturally I decided to use the next best thing – the bathtub! Here’s where the adventure part kicks in. I’m washing Bryan’s firesuits in the bathtub and it started out seemingly pretty simple. Boy, was I wrong. It was like wrestling a 6-foot long alligator. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to pick up a soaking wet firesuit, but let me tell you, it’s pretty heavy. I got the first suit washed off and as clean as it was going to get and I managed to get it hung up on the little handle on the right side of the shower. By this point I’m soaking wet myself. The bathroom floor’s wet. Bryan’s right behind me with the hairdryer in hand attempting to dry his now clean nomex. I get the second suit washed off and try to lift it up over the shower rod. Again, a wet firesuit is REALLY heavy. I start laughing as I’m doing this because I took a look in the mirror and realized how funny this really is. This is one of those times that reminds me dating a racecar driver is really not as glamorous as people make it out to be. The most glamorous thing that’s happened to me in the last month is the pink pit pass I got to wear at New Egypt Speedway last night. I managed to get the suit hung up and Bryan assisted in the drying process with the hairdryer after I wrung out all the water I could. I had more clothes that needed washed, but I think those can wait. Maybe I’ll make a stop at the Tanger Outlets in the morning, that sounds like a better option!

photo(4)It’s the little things like this that make this life a crazy and fun one! I was planning on ending my night by taking a bubble bath, but after seeing all the dirt that came off those suits that is now resting at the bottom of the tub… I think I’ll skip that and just go to bed. But, first we have to listen to the Outlaws on DIRTVision and watch updates from my little brother’s micro race in Lincoln, IL!