It's been a wild and crazy summer but I've enjoyed every minute of it.
Samantha and I have been racing whenever we can. The fun thing about Samantha is she loves drag racing as much as I do and we've been able to compete together quite a bit. She's already won a national event in SuperComp and this year we got her more involved with some of the high-dollar bracket races around the country and she's proven to be quite a natural.
My own racing has been good. We had a recent meet in Belle Rose, La., and I went deep into a $50,000-to-win race with my Chevy II wagon. I also managed to win a dragster in another race later that same day in the Chevy II. That was very cool.
I enjoyed another drag racing trip to Atco Raceway in New Jersey where I watched my nephew Troy Jr. win his first big bracket race. T.J. is quite a student of drag racing and his desire to get better every pass down the quarter-mile is unmatched. I'm quite impressed with him and it's no surprise to me he's already won a couple NHRA national events.
I've got another nephew, Cody, who is racing Late Model Stock Cars in the JEGS/CRA All Stars Tour. Cody is my brother John's son and although he's just 15 years old, the kid is almost as big as me. That's incredible by itself.
A few weeks back, Cody invited me to one of his races and I was amazed at how he handled himself out there, rubbing and banging with grown men twice his age. They gave me a radio headset – no microphone – so I could listen to the team's conversations and it was wild. It's just like you hear on TV when you're watching a NASCAR race and they listen in on a crew chief and driver talking to one another as the race is going on. Then you have a spotter telling him where the other cars are. It's pretty frantic at times but he handled it like a pro.
The guys did a great job and Cody was runner-up that night. I'm very proud of him and I'm anxious to follow his career as he continues to race with the roundy-round guys.
Our JNR Racing engine shop we started earlier this year is very close to producing its first Pro Stock powerplant. Nick Ferri and Roy Simmons have been working tirelessly down there in Charlotte getting the shop together, loading up with parts from JEGS, and getting all the equipment they need to make championship-caliber racing engines.
At the start, we'll provide our customers with two different engine platforms for people aligned with both General Motors and Mopar. We have the capacity to add Fords; so we will see how that goes down the road.
We actually partnered with Superflow and DTS to build the first-of-its-kind Pro Stock dyno. Before now, the dynos that Pro Stock teams have used were built for NASCAR engines and then modified for what we needed to test. This new machine was built from the ground up just for the high-RPM, six-second pulls our crew chiefs need. We think it will make a big difference.
The timing of everything is working out great. The NHRA season is in the home stretch and teams are starting to think about 2012. We already have a couple of very interested parties and we're confident that once we get some time on the dyno that more will follow.
Nick and Roy's reputations are impeccable and both guys are very well respected in the industry. Plus, we're not going to tie any clients down with a contract. If the motors work for them, then great. If they're not happy, they can simply walk away. It's the same 100-percent satisfaction we strive for at JEGS Mail Order.
Speaking of satisfaction, I've gotten so much personal joy out of watching my son Jeggie progress with his golf game. He's just started high school and the team dived right into the mix with sectional tournaments that will determine who advances to state.
I try not to miss any of his events. I usually get there early and observe from a distance. He knows I'm there supporting him but he's pretty self-sufficient. He's a smart kid with a good head on his shoulders and I know he arrives at each tournament with a game plan. Parents are asked not to talk to their kids during play and I always respect that request. I actually like to stay about a shot ahead of him and watch from that perspective.
I do keep stats for him, like fairways in regulation, greens in regulation, etc. He keeps a count of his putts. The pros do this as well and it helps a golfer reflect on their rounds and see where they need to concentrate their future efforts.
People ask me all the time who is the better golfer and the answer is easy now – it's Jeggie all the way. I could match him pretty well until he was about 13 and then he just blew right by me.
Jeggie got me a new set of irons for my birthday and it included going to a pro shop and having them sized for me and my stroke. It certainly seems like that's helped and coupled with the fact I'm playing more golf now than I have for years, I'm inching ever closer to my first 70-something scorecard. I've gotten close a few times and even put together a few nine-hole scores in the 30s, but to date I haven't finished it off and posted that 70. I'll get there, I hope.
We're looking to have our biggest Christmas ever at JEGS and none of that would be possible without our customers. Thanks for all the support.