Chasing 200: Race 1 – 6

We’re 19 days into the new year and I already need a vacation! And I’m not doing a very good job on keeping my resolution of writing more!! But I did pack enough cotton balls for Chili Bowl, so I’m proud of that small accomplishment.

We just got home from Tulsa (and by “just” I mean two days ago) and I’m starting to get settled back in at home… Just in time to leave again! We leave for Phoenix on Thursday to go to the Winter Challenge 360 non-wing races at Canyon Speedway. We were originally supposed to leave on Wednesday, but quickly realized we need to maximize the days we spend at home! Thanks to Southwest and their no-change fees, I got our flights pushed back a day. The dogs are flying with us, so stay tuned on a post about traveling with two four-legged animals – that is if I don’t go crazy first.

Before we got home from the Chili Bowl, Bryan had been gone for almost a month. As a “welcome home” gesture, I made dinner last night… or tried to anyways. I now fully understand why I let Bryan handle the kitchen duties – I’m not very good at it! I made a cheesy chicken spaghetti… turns out you have to bake it for 45+ minutes, not the 10 minutes like I thought. We had our sides as an appetizer and then the rest of the meal about an hour later. One plus side of being on the road – no kitchen!

So let me catch you up on the races – We’re three percent of the way done with the Chasing 200 tour!

Race 1 – Western Springs, New Zealand – The year didn’t start exactly the way we had in mind. Bryan was running 2nd, battling for the lead when he hit a rut in the track and turned himself over. So, on to the next one…

Race 2 & 3 – Cocopah Speedway – Yuma, Arizona – I headed back to Indiana after New Zealand, so I took in Race 2 and 3 from the comfort of our new home! Chevy and I – Stew was too busy chewing on bones, playing with toys, and being Stewart to watch – watched the races on SpeedShift TV. Bryan said he was rusty in the winged car after the first night out, so things can only get better from here… I hope! (After proofreading this, Bryan said I made it sound like he did terrible – He didn’t. He finished 9th the first night and 16th the second night.)

Race 4 – Chili Bowl Race of Champions – Tulsa, Oklahoma – BC ran in the Race of Champions on Tuesday at Chili Bowl. He started 12th and finished 4th, so that was a good start to the week!

Race 5 – Chili Bowl Prelim Night – Tulsa, Oklahoma – Win #1! Bryan swept the night on Friday at Chili Bowl winning his heat race, qualifier, and the feature. Ironically enough, the first thing I sold after the races that night was a Ricky Stenhouse Jr. t-shirt…

Race 6 – Chili Bowl – Tulsa, Oklahoma – Bryan led a bunch of laps… was looking pretty strong… then a fan fell out of the stands. I figured that wasn’t a very good sign, so I took the dogs out for a bathroom break, got another drink, and made it back to my seat in time to watch Rico take the checkered flag for the second year in a row. Bryan and Rico made a late-night Tulsa deal earlier in the week – If Rico won and Bryan happened to finish on the podium, Bryan would catch Rico from his “victory leap.” I would have rather had Bryan win, but catching Rico during his victory celebration was pretty cool. It made for some cool pictures and an even better story that people will probably talk about for a long time!

That’s all for now! Time to go watch another episode of “Making A Murderer.”

Up next – a Racers For Autism recap. It was such an awesome event, it gets its own post!

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And so it begins…

My last blog post was in May… I think you could say I’m slacking. I’ve thought about writing so many times, but I just never sat down to do it! When we got to New Zealand last week, one of the first things someone said to me was that they missed reading my blog. So that inspired me to write more. I’ve never been one to have New Year’s resolutions, but now seems like a good time to start – My one and only New Year’s resolution is to blog more frequently. (And pack more cotton balls – I never bring enough and I end up wiping my eye makeup off with the nice, white hotel towel!)

So here it goes! My plan is to post weekly or every couple weeks. As you probably know by now, Bryan has came up with a crazy, totally insane plan for this year – The Chasing 200 Tour: Circular Insanity. To put it simply, he’s going to race as many times as he can for the next 364 days. Winged sprint car, non-wing sprint cars, silver crown, midgets, 360’s, 410’s – you name it, Bryan will drive it in 2016. We just finished the first draft of the schedule – 186 confirmed races on it right now with another 18 races that will be added once they are officially announced. You can see the whole thing here: http://www.bryanclauson.com/schedule

If numbers aren’t your thing (they aren’t really mine), let me help: 186 + 18 = 204. 204 races on one schedule for one driver in one year. Understand why we’re calling it Circular Insanity?! So here’s the thing I’ll probably repeat a million and one times this year (and it’ll get a little sassier each time; sorry, patience isn’t really my thing either!) …. Yes, we know it’ll rain and races will get rained out. Like today, for instance. This whole thing was supposed to kick off tonight at Western Springs Speedway, but it rained out, so instead we hung out with our Kiwi friends! (Lovely dinner, Brian and Annette!) Will Bryan actually race 200 times in 2016? Probably not. But I hope people don’t get hung up on that number alone. I hope people will follow along and understand what Bryan and his teams are attempting to do – hit all the big races and race as much as possible. In my opinion, it’s pretty cool that Bryan has car owners and sponsors who are willing to work together to make this insane schedule a reality. So back to the original point here – yes, it’s going to rain. Yes, schedules are going to change and races will be cancelled. And yes, I think Bryan might be insane. But one thing is for sure – 2016 is going to be one heck of a year, so sit back, relax (drink a glass of wine or two for me – I’m going to need it!) and enjoy the ride!

Cheers to you on this first day of the new year! With 200 races on tap, I’m sure we’ll be at a racetrack near you sometime soon!