Rewind button. I’m starting to see a trend here – that’s how all of these start! Let me think back to where I left off… Coming home from Chili Bowl! We got home from Tulsa on Sunday, enjoyed our new house for a few days, and then headed to Arizona.
The dogs flew with us and I’m proud to report that Stewart Frank did great!! (Chevy did too, of course.) Stewart avoided flying since his big meltdown a year ago, so I was a little worried taking him this time. We got a sedative from the vet and he wore his new thunder shirt, which really seemed to keep him calm! He’s an expert traveler now… or something like that.
So we got to Arizona on Thursday night. Mike Martin picked us up at the airport and he might be the only other person in the world who lives on “Lauren time” – aka he’s always late. Maybe that’s why I like him! We got pizza on the way back to the hotel. I was surprised to see flowers and wine in the room when I walked in – Bryan remembered our anniversary for once! (It was the wrong kind of wine, but I let it slide since the hotel picked it up for him.) So we celebrated five years in a very romantic way – only a racecar driver could pull it off – we ate pizza from the box at the table in our hotel room.
We were in Phoenix for 10 days, so we had a few off days to hang out with friends and sponsors while we were there. My favorite part of the trip was getting to meet little Miss Teagan Martin! Bryan’s been driving for Mike for a few years now, so we’ve gotten to know him and his wife, Kendra, pretty well. They always take care of us when we’re in town – giving us a car to drive, place to stay, and showing us the best pizza places around! We stayed in a hotel this trip since our room at the Martin’s has been converted into a nursery. I’ll forgive Teagan for taking over our room because she is really cute! I was scared of babies a year ago, but I’m like a pro (a pro that doesn’t change poopy diapers) now thanks to all of my fertile friends!
Now to the racing!
Race 7 – Canyon Speedway – Peoria, AZ – BC won, so that was fun. We took a Victory Lane selfie (it’s tradition now) and we almost had to do a retake in the pits because my forehead was a bit too oily for my liking! Luckily, no one else seemed to notice. At least the strangers who congratulate Bryan on social media were kind enough to keep it to themselves if they did!
Race 8 – Canyon Speedway – Peoria, AZ – As Chevy would say, Bryan “Barked it again!”. Fun Fact: Two wins in a row. Two different cars. Bryan’s No. 16B didn’t run right in hot laps, so he ran the heat race in Mike’s No. 16. They got the 16B fixed for the feature, so Mike raced in that one and Bryan raced Mike’s car. (Confused yet?) – Another fun fact: They parked Mike’s car in victory lane for pictures, so if you weren’t at the race you would have never known about the little switch-a-roo! The best part of the night was when I spotted a wild donkey when we were leaving the racetrack! A wild donkey! I couldn’t believe it. I travel with a lot of donkeys, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen a wild one.
Race 9 – Canyon Speedway – Peoria, AZ – Grumpy pants. Me, not Bryan. Bryan finished 3rd, which probably made me grumpier. Three days in a row at the racetrack with the dogs – without the t-shirt trailer to contain them – proved to be too much. Luckily the races got over early and we went to BJ’s Brewhouse for dinner, so that turned my mood right around.
Race 10 – Canyon Speedway – Peoria, AZ – Bryan “Parked It” for the 4th time of the year. We finally perfected the Victory Lane pose – we’re working on showing the sponsor on the car in pictures. It’s the marketing major in me, I can’t help it. So hopefully we’ll get to practice that pose a lot more this year!
Race 11 – Canyon Speedway – Peoria, AZ – Finally, the last night of the Winter Challenge at Canyon Speedway. Canyon is a pretty cool track and Bryan always does well there, but there is no plumbing/running water… Five nights at a track with portapotties (and no other option) is about four and a half nights too many for me. Bryan finished 2nd, but he tried everything he could to get around Josh Hodges for the win! Bryan threw some Rico-esque sliders that night, which made for an exciting race. Would have been more exciting if one of those sliders would have stuck, but you can’t win them all. At least that’s what Bryan keeps telling me!
Next Up: Three weeks in Florida!