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Old 03-10-2005
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JuicyGirl's First Race Weekend

Long time coming, Juicy Girl’s first race weekend:

Almost nine years to the day after my first inquiry into Skip Barber race series I finished my first race weekend. Many if not most of my fellow Team Juicy members have felt the exhilaration of crossing the finish line under the checkered flag. It’s a feeling so unbelievable that one must experience it for oneself to truly understand. I now know exactly what the rest of you feel each and every time you race.

Dateline- March 2nd 2005, Roebling Road Savannah, GA.
After arriving to the track for my first lapping day ever, excitement was building as I signed my name to the track waiver. I was greeted by J.P. in the classroom, who went over the standard lapping day rules and protocol. Spins, four-offs, and contact of any kind would require a pit for a “free safety inspection”, no passing except in designated areas and finally the Crash Damage liability talk. I had never been on track so J.P. set me up with a van around with BoBo . We headed out to talk line and reference markers on track. After two laps I was dropped off in pit lane to hop in the car and get prepared to hit the track.

First lap out I reminded myself to warm up the car. Cold tires on a slick track can be a bad thing. By turn three, with adrenaline flowing, I forgot about being on the warm up lap and got a bit sideways in turn five. Correct, pause, recover and back to the job at hand, warming the car. I soon fell in love with the track. Two miles of sweeping, fast turns and should I need it, great run-off with nothing to hit. It reminded me a lot of Lime Rock, less the elevation changes…and did I mention lots of run-off with nothing to hit? I was draft passing like you read about. Nah nanny, boo boo I’m Faster than you. Childish I know but, What a high!!! Unknown to me at that time, very soon I would begin to see that blue flag out for me.

I was so jazzed about how the car felt I did an extra session that day and signed up for lapping the next day.
Thursday lapping went great. More drivers than the day before so they split us up by our Sportsman/Championship groups. I continued to challenge the car, track and myself, and asked for the go ahead to enter the race weekend. Even though I knew I was driving at F1 level I wondered if the Skippy instructors had noticed my talent. Sure enough they did because they put me in the weekend.

Practice day was a real eye opener. My transponder must have been off because I just knew my times had to be quicker than the sheets said. Heck, I was driving the tires off the car, no way was I pulling 1.26’s when everyone else was doing 1.22’s. Must have been a computer glitch, but no worries, I was having a blast. I had been running turn 1 in third, but the guys pushed me to start running it in fourth with a downshift to third before the turn in to turn 2. It added two seconds to my fast lap in the third practice session because I was over slowing the car for the gear change. Too much time lost in 1 and 2 with the added distraction of a downshift in a turn. Of course the other drivers were nailing it every time and I was still fumbling through the gears. A touch frustrated, I allowed the car to drive off once and spin twice that last session, darn it all to hell! A bit disheartening, but I was still high as a kite at days end.

Race day here, and I hadn’t been asked to go home…yet. I changed into my suit and walked out of the hospitality trailer. My times were slower than most all of the Sportsman in my group, not to mention I had a bad last session with those OCE’s. I was scared to death they wouldn’t let me qualify. Stevie D, saw me and excused himself from the conversation he was in to take me aside. I knew what was going down, he was going to tell me …. (I’m thinking he was going to say that after my last session with a couple of spins, I couldn’t race)… he looked me in the eye and said “I know you have seen a lot of races and are very aware of how it goes, but I still have to ask….Do you have any questions about the start?”. Whew! I’m still a go. I’m racing. I’m actually racing! I’m really going to get to race!!!! Yippee!!!!

Qualy one went great. One second off my last session and a clean drive. Three guys were actually behind me on the grid due to spins.
As my group was called to our drivers meeting, the ear to ear grin on my face told the whole world I was on my way to the most memorable event of my life. I saw the pit lane coordinators lips moving, but all I heard was the voice in my head reviewing my race strategy.
“Keep your eye out for the green flag”, “hard on the throttle into the break zone at one…don’t forget the accordion effect!”, “give the fast guys room past me this first lap- their in it for the points and you just need to keep it clean”, “Run with that guy that’s getting the same lap times as you, he’s behind you on the grid so don’t let him slip by at the downshift point before turn two. That’s your weak spot so don’t let him know that.”
On and on my mind worked through the track until I was brought back to reality when I heard pit lane call for drivers to get in cars. I pulled on my arm restraints, affectionately known as the “Gary Manheimer Special”, grabbed my seat, helmet and gloves and walked to car #84. (I wonder how many of you remember your first car assignment, I know I’ll never forget white eighty-four.)

One 7/8 warm-up lap and stop to grid on the front strait. The real deal, this it, RB Stiewing in the pace car and away we go. Nothing new, I had done practice starts in my 3Day and ADV2, piece of cake. Oh my Gosh, the pace car just turned off the lights, I’m not ready…how are we all going to get through turn one? All wanting that same piece of real estate, charging in at 100mph. Rounding turn seven onto the front strait, the green flag drops and we have a start. I don’t remember much of what happened as we passed the pits and on into that first turn, but apparently (it was recounted to me later by one of the observers) I gained a point at that first turn only to loose the spot when one of the fast guys that spun in qualifying passed me before the track out of turn two. That’s okay, I’M RACING!!! Watching the cars ahead turn into turn four, I got a bit excited and carried more speed into the corner than I had in practice. The car got loose and slid sideways. Late, or not enough correction, or both I put white eighty-four into a spin.
“Shoot! I’ll have to pit”-( sideways on track)

“What a rookie mistake”- (now backwards on track)

“both feet in” – (Counter race)

“Checked my mirrors in the brake zone of four, and that other guy was five car lengths back, Good he’ll be clear of the mayhem”- (dust everywhere)

“ShooT! I’ve got to pit on my first lap!” – (Dust finally settling, I see I’m ten feet off track and pointed to the apex like a bird dog to game)

“Is that a nose cone coming at me through the dust?” -(completely stopped off track)

“oh my gosh he’s gonna’ hit me” -(Crunch)

“this sucks, spinning sucks, contact sucks, Damn it all to Hell!!!”

Returning to the pits, not knowing the total for the crash damage, I pulled myself from the race. Jay Altingsinger fortunately was allowed to continue and finished the race. I had what traders call a “stop loss” and my stop loss was one crash. I had hoped to at least get in race one before it happened to me, but unfortunately that wouldn’t be the case. So close I could taste the checker (okay I know it was only the first lap, but it’s all relative). By nights end I had resided myself to the fact that I wouldn’t be driving on Sunday. Live to race another day.

Sunday morning, with no thought of getting in a car, I met w/ J.P. and Jay to go over the incident. Jay was a sport and consoled me with the old standard “It’s just Racing”. Drivers meeting, and into Championship qualifying, the morning was well underway. Midway through the first session I got a call on my cell phone. One of my dear friends was calling from across track. They wish to remain nameless, but the point of me telling you all this is, What they said was exactly what I needed to get me back out to take that checkered flag. I hadn’t come this far just to walk away before finishing my first race.

Sportsman qualifying went great. They had given my car away already, so I was in a new one that hadn’t been on track that morning. I gave myself four full warm-up laps, rather than the normal two. No van around that morning and no mental time to think about a plan. Just in the car and drive. New driver, cold tires & brakes, no van around and just coming off a crash. What a combo. I drove steady and solid all session just taking it easy. The lap times showed the same qualifying as the day before- and I was taking it easy! Nice going Ash. To my horror Three of the front runners and my crash buddy Jay had spun, I was now starting P6. What am I going to do in the middle of the pack. Hell I was grided next to Rhonda Hill. Like that was going to look good if I ran her over in the first turn. Breath, It will all work out. And sure enough it did. The fast guys squeezed past me that first lap. Mrs. Hill stayed clear, and Jay and I battled it out for three laps. That was until HE spun in front of me in turn Five and I sailed by staying on track. I drove by myself most of the race…well that is until I started getting lapped…by everyone. Thank goodness the race didn’t go on any longer, or I may have been looking at being a moving chicane for everyone one more time that afternoon.

I hate to admit I never saw the white flag come out, but their was no missing the checker. It was out and it was out for me. Ya Hoo! Dream realized.

To all of my friends that sat and read this whole blessed thing- thanks. Thanks to all of you who spoke words of encouragement and, in the spirit of Team Juicy, ribbed me for good measure. You are The Best!
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Old 03-10-2005
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dalyduo dalyduo is offline
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Re: JuicyGirl' First Race Weekend

You go Juicy Girl!

Congratulations on seeing your first

May it be the first of many.

(Thought I'd worked all the spins out of white #84 at Sebring! :-)

There's nothing quite like your first checkered flag. Your account is both wonderfully detailed and heartfelt! Nicely done.

Love the avatar. Got any other race pictures?

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Old 03-10-2005
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eleven eleven is offline
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Re: JuicyGirl' First Race Weekend

Ashlei, other than Patrick Daly's write up of his first race weekend, this is the best thing I have read in along time (sorry Bobo, different comparison). Maybe because I was there and saw everything you wrote about, or because I can't remember my first race (cause it was soooo long ago!) but if this doesn't envision to someone what racing is all about, I don't know what would! Great story!

Todd

P.S. Can I post this on Skippy's sight?
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Old 03-11-2005
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MJAmok MJAmok is offline
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Re: JuicyGirl's First Race Weekend

Yee Haa! Welcome to the club!
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Old 03-11-2005
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sydude sydude is offline
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Re: JuicyGirl's First Race Weekend

It's so great to see you get your first race weekend in, and to do it in style. We've all seen how much you've wanted it, and I wish I was there to see it, but your great article made me feel like I was right there. Here's to you, and to your first win coming up soon...

And here's a bunch of great pictures (Thanks, Skippy! Sorry I didn't ask for permission...) of you from the weekend:










Last edited by sydude; 03-11-2005 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 03-11-2005
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JuicyGirl JuicyGirl is offline
Skippy Girl
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Re: JuicyGirl's First Race Weekend

Wow, I can't believe anyone actually read the story. I do have friends. I am loved. Okay maybe that's going a bit far. None the less, I did have the time of my life. Being on the other side of the track really puts my job in perspective. Skip Barber offers a truly unique environment for racing. The coaching, top notch mechanic staff, and race series make it possible for the average Joe to develop into a skilled and safe racer. Having the opportunity to run with the Sportsmen group near seasons end, is proof positive that the program works. For many of those guys this is their first full season racing, and their speed and precision is remarkable given they are so new to the sport.

Todd you are more than welcome to post the story to SBRS.com...if you think anyone would be interested in reading an online novel. It is a bit long, but I'm flattered by your interest in sharing my experience.

As far as photos, I have no clue how to post them, and fear even with instructions I will be unable to figure it out. Rick and Todd have the photos up on skipbarber.com so check out the Savannah weekend to see all of the exciting pic's.
* Thanks Sy for the complements and the photos.
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Old 03-11-2005
grady192 grady192 is offline
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Re: JuicyGirl's First Race Weekend

Great story
Great pics
"Like a bird dog to game" I'll have to remember that one.
Maybe the Skippy instructors can use it as a visual.
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Old 03-11-2005
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dalyduo dalyduo is offline
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Re: JuicyGirl's First Race Weekend

Ashlei,

You've crossed the Juicy threshold into the realm of race driver, so you must now step into the official footware that all race drivers secretly covet but rarely admit to actually wearing. Enjoy! they are, of course, in your favorite color!
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Old 03-11-2005
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JuicyGirl JuicyGirl is offline
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Re: JuicyGirl's First Race Weekend

Nice!...but Pat, do you have the matching tank top and lounge pants?
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Old 03-12-2005
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dalyduo dalyduo is offline
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Re: JuicyGirl's First Race Weekend

Yes, I'm wearing the Nomex versions under my racing suit right now. :-)
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Old 03-12-2005
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Re: JuicyGirl's First Race Weekend

YOU GO GIRL!!! You are an inspiration to the rest of the Juicy Women!! And LOVE the helmet!!!!! Great write up!!! Congratulations!!

Sue
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Old 03-12-2005
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Gerardo Gerardo is offline
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Re: JuicyGirl's First Race Weekend

Great story Ashlei. The smile on your face says it all. I'm glad I was there to cheer you on and see it for myself.
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Old 03-12-2005
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Big Sexy Big Sexy is offline
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Re: JuicyGirl's First Race Weekend

Ashlei, Congratulation! Great reading the story andI am sorry I missed the race weekend. My only question is how could you spin on the first lap in your first race? Who taught your three day? Stop by next week if you are at the race.

Spencer
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Old 03-13-2005
Susan Addison Susan Addison is offline
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Re: JuicyGirl's First Race Weekend

Thanks for letting the guys see, we girls jsut want to have fun also!

Duramater
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Old 03-14-2005
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Re: JuicyGirl's First Race Weekend

Ashlei-
WAY-2-GO!!! I was super excited to see that you are racing... I had no idea!! Congratulations, you look like you absolutely loved it in the pics!!

Last edited by CMAC; 03-14-2005 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 03-14-2005
Susan Addison Susan Addison is offline
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Re: JuicyGirl's First Race Weekend

OOPS!

Ashlei is the cute young girl in the pictures, who did a great job on her first race weekend.

I am Susan Addison, the ole lady who waited 38 years to go racing and is having the time of her life, and not doing too badly in the Southern Series.

There is a photo of me during the Barber Motorsports weekend
at the beginning of the season. The old lady with the big grin!

Susan
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Old 03-15-2005
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Re: JuicyGirl's First Race Weekend

Ashlei--You rock!
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Old 03-15-2005
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Re: JuicyGirl's First Race Weekend

J-sue, G-Row, Grady, CMAC, BGS, D-matta, and Pork Chop-Thanks for the support! You guys are what make Skippy racing so much fun.

Spencer, I know, I know. Spin in the first lap in my first race. I forget who the lead was but, if it's any consolation, I don't see him around Skip Barber anymore. Rumor has it he's given up instructing, and currently working as a dancer in a popular Atlanta dance club. Probably a wise career choice.
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Old 12-13-2005
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Re: JuicyGirl's First Race Weekend

I cant believe how long it took me to read this. IT WAS GREAT
I had the exact same feelings this year for my first race at Watkins.
Thanks for bringing back all the great feelings I had that race weekend. Everything about a race weekend is great, but the people make it all. If you cant relate what happens on the track to someone who was actually on the track, It kinda falls flat.
Thanks for the great memory flood.
Hope to repeat it all next year
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