Welcome to my life in the fast lane! Let me start off my first blog with a brief introduction:
I'm Sydney, but you can call me Syd. I currently live in Cypress, Texas. It's a suburb northwest of Houston. So, racing is basically my life. It's nothing new. I went to my first race at 6 weeks. My dad and uncle have been doing it for over 30 years. And, at 17, my dad was about to slap me if I asked him one more time if I could race. Luckily, he let me start racing, so I didn't have to get slapped.
So, the next couple of week, you'll be reading (well, hopefully you will be reading!) about my first trip to the Runoffs. Now, to be completely honest, this isn't my “first” trip. We went last year to watch and help out friends, but this will be my first year to race.
This year has had its ups and downs. With the help of my best friend, Austin, I realized I could actually drive a racecar fast. We worked at the track over the winter, and it paid off at the first race weekend this year. On January 18, I won my first race. It was a Regional, but I made some sweet passes, and I won.
Austin has been my toughest competitor and my biggest friend. We talk technique and †strategy, and I typically annoy him with lots and lots of questions. He hasn't complained or slapped me yet, so I think we're OK. haha.
The first National of the season was a total disappointment for me. I tend to freak myself out. I get really anxious and over-analyze things, and thus distract myself from the race. I finished a disappointing sixth, and vowed to make it better.
The next two races, I came back with back to back thirds. It was the first time I finished on the podium in a National race, so it was a nice confidence booster. Then we had a month off. And a long month it was.
Then we raced at Texas Motor Speedway. Dude, words do not express how bitchin' it was to be haulin' butt through NASCAR 3 & 4… It makes me giddy just thinking about it. Even though I didn't finish as high as I would have liked (fifth both days), nothing bad happened. Not to mention I had one heck of a night with my boys Michael, Alex, Robert and Cory at a German restaurant.
Memorial Day weekend was good. Finished fourth.
In June, the SCCA racing community lost Tom Thrash. Tom was my driving instructor in my second SCCA school. He also has been a competitor for pretty much my entire racing career. All six years of it. His is a loss that will definitely be felt for years.
Then came a little drama. We had every intent to pull our backup engine out, and put our Runoffs engine in. Yeah, didn't get it before the final race. So we had to put the backup back in.
I did, however, get a new paint job. Austin hooked me up with a solid red, sweet-looking paint job. The August Double National was OK. I raced as hard as I could and came away with two fifths. The main thing was, I didn't blow up the motor, and (more importantly to Austin) I didn't' mess up the paint job.
I finished fourth in points in the Southwest Division. Tom won, Austin was second and Mike Hart was third. I feel pretty good. It just proves that consistency pays off. I won the Regional Championship my first two seasons racing, all because I showed up to every race. Never won a race, but I won two championships.
This brings me to the current state we are in: Runoffs Prep Mode. Everything from making mile-long lists of what to do and what to bring to buying spares of just about everything.
And then there's strategy. We've never been racing outside of Texas, so figuring out how to set up a car for a track we've never been to with conditions we've never experienced is gonna be a challenge. I've never seen massive amounts of snow. I'm not really a big fan of the cold. And I've heard that Wisconsin can be have both. I think I'm gonna have to pack every piece of clothing I own. Oh, and jackets and hoodies would probably be a good thing too.
Last weekend, I went to Dallas to pick up my new engine. Saturday, Dad and I put it back in the car, then we will put some final touches on the car and load it. Sunday, we are heading down to MSR Houston to meet our engine builder. We're gonna run the engine in with him there. Hopefully, there won't be any surprises or setbacks. Being that we are just about two weeks out, I'm not sure there's time for setbacks.
So, here's to a little luck, a lot of laughs, and 13 good laps.
Follow me on Twitter @sydxracer!Sydney Davis
Asst. RE Club Racing, Houston Region SCCA
SOWDIV columnist, SportsCar Magazine
The SCCA National Championship Runoffs begins Sept. 22 with three days of qualifying. Races begin Sept. 25. For a full schedule and additional information, visit SCCA.com.