DRAPER, VA :: In my most recent trip to Kingsport Speedway, the race was interesting to say the least. There were lots of crashes, passes, and pissed off people. It was a night no one will forget, even though a lot of people want to. The race itself was good until lap 50, and then all hell broke loose as it took more than an hour just to complete those final 10 laps. After the race, it had me thinking, was I at the “Concrete Jungle” or the “Madhouse”?

In all honesty, going into this race, I personally thought we would be a ninth, maybe 10th place car at best, but when we unloaded it was fast off the trailer. We were running 15.20’s on absolute crap for tires and, when qualifying came around, we ended up qualifying eighth. Not too bad since we had no money for tires and had to use scuffs. Plus, at that point, we knew we were faster than some of the cars ahead of us. However, by the end, of the night money for tires would be the least of our worries.

After an accident early in the race, I was honestly just hoping to finish the race, but by lap 50, that mentality was thrown out the window. It quickly became apparent then that this race was going to take a while to complete. As I was riding along in 13th, the caution spree began and, after dodging wreck after wreck, I quickly found myself in second on lap 53 after numerous attempts at a restart. I had kept calm after the earlier accident and had found myself next to Anthony Anders, a man who had won the Myrtle Beach 400 just the week before.

So, at this point, I’m thinking I may have a shot to win, but I need to stay calm and learn some from him while I can. On the very next restart, I missed the shift, which was my mistake and I take full responsibility for, but on that same lap the caution was waved again. It waved due to an accident between the 64 of Tyler Goodwin and me. He and I tangled coming out of turn four after he made contact with my left rear quarter panel. So, after a red flag and numerous #1 signs pointed towards myself, the officials placed me second, again.

Now, normally I wouldn’t have thought this would ever happen, but I guess where I saved it and was only passed by four cars they went back to the last lap with me second. It seemed some people down in turns one and two didn’t like it though as I received the bird every few laps after that accident. On each restart after that, I could somewhat hold my own with Anders. He drove me rough and we even traded paint a few times, but never once did he get my car out of shape, something I can truly say I respect him for.

After about three of those restarts, I fell back to battle side by side with Derrick Lancaster. We raced hard, but never touched until Derrick got hit from behind sending him into me, which saw myself get run over and spun. It was nothing of Derrick’s fault as it was a racing incident and I knew that. So we were then back where we were earlier in 13th place. After gaining some positions, we ended up finishing eighth and here is where the fun stuff begins.

As I was coasting into pit road, I had to stop due to cars pulling into their stalls and, while stopped, here came the driver of the 64, Tyler Goodwin. He then proceeded to kick my door for “chopping him off” which I thought was hilarious as it was the only straight piece on my car. A true “Days of Thunder” moment if you ask me. After his kicking and whining, I received the bird… again … for the 100th time. While I laughed my way into my pits, they decided to follow me halfway, but were met by members of my crew and a verbal spat took place. It was nothing to really worry about as I was still laughing from the kick to my door and, by the time I was out of my car, it was already over.

So, once everyone from my small but effective team was back in our pits, Robert called some of them for a “come to Jesus” meeting, something I was familiar with as I have personally had a few during my racing career. It was the normal stay in your pits spill, but it was completely understandable. My team just acted upon their feelings at the moment and I stand behind them 100% for whatever was said.

So, once everything was straightened out and loaded up, we began our trek home from Kingsport, TN. On the home, it was kind of surprising as we laughed the entire way back to Virginia. From the fingers to the kick, it was an overall eventful night and one where people knew we were there. I left knowing that Robert Pressley is running a top notch show, that we had a fast car, and that I had raced in Kingsport’s version of the “Madhouse”. All in all, while I may not have won the race, I knew I was definitely number one in the 64 team’s eyes.

Looking ahead, I can’t really say what we have plans to do next as some stuff has come up and we will be unable to return to Kingsport on Friday night. While I may not be able to return anytime soon as Motor Mile Speedway is starting up in only a month, I will possibly make a stop at a track in NC before that time. After all, it’s pretty boring sitting around waiting an entire month for a track to start up while the other tracks have already begun. Oh well.  Before too long, it may be time to take a trip to the real “Madhouse” and that is something I am definitely looking forward to.