In the first heat the track was pretty sloppy as it had been watered both to control the dust and to help it to pack properly. I started at the back of the pack and finished there too but really didn't mind. Coming over the lip and onto the track was scary and my heart was just pounding!
For the second heat they flip the finish order; last place gets pole position. I ran the first 3 laps flat out and in the lead until the better drivers caught up and a couple passed me. On about the 7th lap I blew a front tire but, never having blown a tire before in my life, had no idea why I was suddenly fighting for steering control. Undaunted I finished the race, and then some, never knowing that the yellow flag was for me! My amazing pit crew shook their collective male heads at me, muttered about not being able to save the tire and chewing up the track, put on a spare and got me ready to go in the main event.
I had some trouble with my 5 point safety harness and was late getting to the line up for the main event but the officials waved me onto the track anyway with a huge grin and shouted "GO GIRL!" for the newbie chick. The starter held off on the green and I caught up to my place, at the back of the pack. Determined not to finish last I really did my best to follow a smooth line and keep my foot to the floor. I had passed at least a couple of cars when the yellow flag went up - my friend Africa was in the wall and the tow truck was pulling him back to continue. Once the green came back he was racing again and had blown past me in the straightaway. Without warning his front end collapsed and a wheel went bounding 30 feet into the air! As he said, if you can't win then at least lose with style! Africa ended with a DNF in the main event, but maintains his substantial lead in the season points. Meanwhile, I was still racing and managed to pass another car when the green came back. The checkered flag came all to soon and I'm quite positive that another lap (or two) would have given me another position.
According to friends in the stands, I finished as the 8th car. However, there were several disqualifications (including the arse that put Africa into the wall) which had a big impact on the final standings. The official record will say that I finished in THIRD PLACE in the main event on my very first race day!
It won't be the last!