APD Member Spotlight Blog (October): Lindsey Cramsey
Hello TIBR members! Thank you all so much for reading my blogs. I have had such an amazing time writing for you all and I thank you so much for your feedback and kind comments! This is my last blog for Luke as part of the Member Spotlight, but I hope someday I can be a guest blogger, maybe something like “How I didn’t Win it” or very possibly, “How to Get Second Place”. I am highly qualified for these subjects, however, that article will have to wait, as I FINALLY WON A RACE! One of my first thoughts after winning was “thank goodness I am not the first TIBR blogger to never close a deal!” Although Jason, Jeremy, and Nick make my one win look small time, at least I can say I won something!
Back to September. Black Betty was busted, I was picking up pennies even if they were tails down so that I could get entry fee money, and my dad and I were basically sleeping in the garage to get her done for the last 3 Super Comp races as I was leading the points. Turns out, my dad is awesome, and together, we got Betty done a whole week in advance. We got it done Saturday afternoon, and then decided to take her out for Bandimere’s “Fall Racing” series on Sunday.
Almost In! Feels Like the 412,653,013 Time we Have Done This!
I can’t even begin to explain how nervous I was. I should have purchased a brown bag to take to the track, because I was honestly one step away from hyperventilating. I am sure many of you, if not all of you, have felt like this before. You just spent a ton of money, a ton of time, and now that it’s done, you almost don’t even want to run it for fear of it breaking. I warmed the car up, didn’t take my eyes off the oil pressure gauge, and listened so intently to the motor I think I could hear the spark plugs firing. So far so good. They called super pro for first time run. I get down to the staging lanes, and I realize in my nervousness, I forgot to put on my nose. How embarrassing. Luckily my parents were able to drive back up and get it, while I contemplated putting Black Betty in a glass box or making it a very expensive paperweight. Since the only racing I cared about now was Super Comp, I put the car on the stop as I can always use the practice. In the waterbox, I was still freaking out, making a crash plan. Don’t forget to pull the shoot if you go out of control, make sure you don’t hit the guy you are racing, cross your arms before the sand. Ah yes, now I am calm.. not really. We launch, and I watch the oil pressure the entire time. It looks great, and I am .005 and run 9.514. Whew. Made it past the first hurdle and it was a great pass! The car seems to be exactly the same, not any faster, not any slower. The rest of the day the car runs great, my lights are good, car is predictable, and we make it to the fourth round until I have an aneurism and redlight by -.007. Smooth Lindsey, real smooth. It is a good day though, and I am happy with the car’s performance. I feel prepared for the next Saturday, when its championship time.
My Sweet New BW Promotions Shirt
Saturday, September 29th, is supposed to be one of the 3 biggest days of my life. I am tied for first place, and third place is one point behind. I have a chance to win a championship my first year in a new car, and I am actually not nervous, but excited. Not only am I racing super comp today, but I was also “invited” to Bandimere’s Top Performer Invitational/National Dragster Challenge, where they take the top 32 finishers in super pro and race for a Wally. (I took 12th in super pro in case you were wondering, my worst finish since I turned 16, but 12th is my lucky number, so I’m taking it as an omen for next year)I was glad for this race, as I really wanted the two extra time runs it gave me. My time runs are good though, first I go .021 because I always forget the car revvs right away on a pro tree and I am surprised by the light. My next three lights are .013, .011, and .011. Super comp first round, I am ready to do work. I have Ed Cooper, he is about 15 mph faster than I am, so I decide to put the timers to run pretty much right on 9.50, maybe a high 9.48 at the fastest. We launch and I can tell I had the better light. I am looking, looking, looking for him, we get to 1,000 foot and I finally spot his nose, he is not charging. Crap! I start getting crazy and WOMP WOMP WOMP as many times as I possibly can, at mph mark I slam the brakes, I know I am too far ahead and I see him go backwards too. The win light is not on in my lane. I get the ticket, I was .012 to his .026, he was dead on 5 and I am 9.479. I get back and figure everything out. I added time to the timer after running a 9.483 in my last run, and Black Betty was on track to run a 9.41. I picked up three hundreths in the 60 foot. I curse Black Betty, and think of a lot more fitting names to call her, but I’ll keep it PG for the blog. I know that a first round loss is not ideal in a championship scenario, but I don’t panic yet. I try to stay positive.
First Round of Super Comp, Right Before my Hopes and Dreams are Crushed. Just Kidding…
It is now time for first round of the National Dragster challenge. I wish that this had been the very first round of the day, but there is nothing I can do now. I have a door car running 10.60’s. Im a bit nervous, because this is the hardest ET for me to judge the finish line, and apparently, my car is going to run within a tenth today. I take the easy win though, as the other guy is .084 to my .023 and I am on the brakes, cross by .019 and run 38 thou over. Second round I have a 9.30 dragster. I pull my finger off the button and know that I was a little late again. Luckily, the guy is -.004 and I take the win. I am .022 and on the number with a 7. In my mind I am still cursing Black Betty; Hello ! Biff! We are supposed to win super COMP, not super PRO! It is too late though, the guy that was one point behind us in third is winning the crap out of everything and is also marching into the third round. Third round I have a super gas roadster. I am .011 to his .022 and give it a couple womps to take .0137 stripe and run 17 over. This was a great day for the Cramsey racing team, as my brother qualified for the invitational in sports compact and street, and my dad qualified for sports compact. My dad and brother are facing each other in the final round of sports compact, so one of them is taking home a Wally. It’s going to be a crazy race, as it is a 1992 Honda Prelude VS 2010 Kia Forte. At speeds topping out less than 80mph, it’s going to be a wicked ride! My brother jokes around and does a front wheel drive burn out while my dad goes in a deep stages. They launch, and Kyle is red. My dad is .000 on the tree, 17 thou over and takes the Wally for sports compact. In super pro, we are in fourth round, only 4 cars left. I am paired with the only door car left in competition. He is running 10.50’s. It is getting darker, so I add a couple to the box. I also dial up a bit, trying to give myself more room to womp it, as I think I can see it better this way and womp it without giving stripe back. My light feels great, but I can tell I am not catching him, and I am definitely not catching him by how much I dialed up. I dump hard, and he crosses first by .0004, but I take the win. I am .008 to his 024 and he is 22 thou under and I am 6 thou under.
Kyle makes it to the final round in Street also. He has an 11 second car, chasing him by about 16mph. He has the better light by 6 hundreths, but takes too much stripe and settles for two second places. I can feel his disappointment, he has had a year of second places, but two finals in one day is an awesome day.
Aww I Just Love This Kid!
It is my turn now. I am in the final round. This is good news, as I need some money, any money really. I am also worried because I don’t know how many more final round losses I can take before I go a little insane. I’ve won a lot of races in the past, but I haven’t closed a deal yet in the dragster. I also have one of the absolutely toughest racers at Bandimere. I want to be double 0 on the tree, but it’s even darker than the last round. I decided to add two more thou to the box, and I leave the timers alone and dial down instead. He is chasing me down by about 12 mph. I launch and I know I was double 0, but I am expecting the same from the other lane. We get down to the finish line, and I am about where I need to be, but I give it a womp for good measure. I miss the dump as I cross the finish line, but for the first time this year, the first time in Black Betty, I WIN a final round. I was .008 to his .006, I am dead on 3 and he is 25 thou over. A sigh of relief washes over me, and like the emotional person I am, there are instant tears. I turn the corner and I really do think to myself that I am so glad I don’t have to blog about another final round loss! I get back to the trailer and everyone is so excited! My mum is tearing up and my dad says I did a great job driving. My brother throws ice cold water all over me and at first I am mad because I have to take pictures but then I just feel very proud and excited to finally be here again. Since it was a National Dragster Challenge race, we actually have a winner’s circle, and I am awarded with my Wally and get to take pictures. Before we go, we touch up one side of the motor’s headers, because they look terrible! I can’t even tell you how excited I am to send those babies to Nitroplate! My dad and I take pictures together, just because it’s funny to see a Kia in the winner’s circle. Go here http://bit.ly/RQdAjD
to see the winners circle pics!
Michael Holding my Trophy After the Final
To Do List: Send Headers to Nitroplate, Have Awesome Headers!
Oh the Life of a Drag Racer…
The next day is another Super Comp race. Of course Monte Pennetta, the guy in third place won the whole thing, and I am way back in the points, sixth or something I think it was. I am really really hoping Black Betty runs consistent like she did the later rounds yesterday. My first run is not very promising. We put what we think is a 9.50 run in the timer, and I run a 9.425. Stellar! Second time run I am a little closer and go 9.471. First round I have a dragster chasing me by 15 mph. I raced her in a time run, so I know I want to dial close, as even at 1,000 foot she is still 14 hundreths behind me. She is red, and I am very lucky, as I only ran 9.526 full out. I decide from this point on that I don’t trust Black Betty at all, and I take delay out to be more aggressive on the tree, and am going to try to take the least amount of stripe possible. I am paired with another female driver, but this time I am chasing her by about 5 mph. We launch, and even though I felt like I had a good light, I thought hers was better. I know I am going to have to cut it as close as I possibly can. I womp twice, I am in my spot where I usually take about a hundredth, so I womp it again. Whew, my win light is on! I get the ticket, and it is one of the closest races I have had all year, if not THE closest. I am .008 to her .011, I cross by .0037, and we both run 9.495 on the 9.50 index. I now have Monte Pennetta, who is now leading the points, and the guy that smoked me in the final round of the divisional at Bandimere. He is chasing me by about 5 mph. We launch and I can’t tell who had the better light. I get down there, womp it once and take stripe. Double freaking break out and Monte takes me out again! I was .014 to his .017 took .0116 stripe and was 31 thou under and Monte is 23 thou under. Monte makes it to the final round again and runners up that race. I check points, and I can no longer win the championship. I would be a liar if I said I didn’t cry a little, and I’d be a liar if I didn’t curse myself for not taking more out of the box and doing more to make the car consistent. I decide that second place isn’t so bad, but I will have to do work to get there, since I am three rounds out. I am no stranger to second places, a little secret I try not to tell many people about. Throughout my career, I have 7 second place points finishes. I think 4 of them were by one round or less. I bring new meaning to the word bridesmaid. I have made a promise to everyone that I tell this too, that if I ever win a championship, I will be wearing a wedding veil to the banquet, and I will wear it proudly all night.
The last super comp race is the very next weekend. I make some big changes to the car to help with consistency. I don’t know how much this will change the car, or if it will change my ratio, but running within a tenth is not going to work! First run I am 9.33, and second run I am 9.41. I agree, this looks very promising. First round I have Gary Wamboldt. He is very well known at Bandimere, and it isn’t just because he is a nice guy. He is a wicked racer, and he is currently second in points, behind Monte. I launch and I can’t tell who has the light. I get down to the top end and I don’t see him anywhere. I have a panic attack and think that the car is running wicked fast again, so I start killing ET. I womp it twice and my heart drops to my shoe as I see Gary go around me. I wish I had nitrous, and I think I even press harder on the gas pedal to see if there is any possibility I can get back around him. We cross the finish line, and like a MIRACLE, that little orange bulb of gloriousness is glowing in my lane. I knew it must have been close for Gary, and I cringed for him when I saw the ticket. I was .010 to his .001, and he took .0295 stripe, and ran 9.499, on the 9.50 index. He was 1 thou away from a 1 thou package. I was 9.519 and was going to run a mid 9.47. The car still wasn’t right; better lucky than good. Second round, I add more time to the car. I get a break single, so I decide to go for a perfect package and take some time out of the delay box. I am .001 but the car runs a 9.434! Black Bettty is out of her mind!!! She is a HOT MESS to say the least. Third round, of course, I have Mr. Kryptonite, Monte Pennetta. I add more time to the timer, basically clueless about what it’s going to actually run, and get ready quickly as we are losing track heat and starting to get some cars skating around. Not sure why but I can’t tell who has the better reaction time, so I try to cut it close. Monte WHOOPS me a third time, and this time I screw up both ends. I am .022 on the tree to Monte’s .005, and I gave back stripe by .0047. If I would have stayed in it, I would have won, as Black Betty was going to run a mid 9.50. Once again, maybe Black Betty isn’t a fitting name for the car… So, my season is over, but I did take second place. This is probably the very first second place that I am actually proud of, because it was a lot of work to get there. A lot of broken parts, a lot of money, a lot of stress, and a lot of tears. I am proud of this accomplishment, and I learned SO much! All those long nights in the garage seem worth it. On top of all that, Monte is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, so if I am going to lose, I don’t mind losing to Monte. (Probably not a fourth time though, he is nice, but that’s just embarrassing)
Monte Pennetta, Mr. Kryptonite. Too Bad he is the Nicest Guy Ever
The next weekend I was planning on driving to Vegas for the Jegs Sportsnational. I was DETERMINED this time to learn how to drive a manual before going, so that I wouldn’t be such a useless passenger. My mom and I took our Daewoo out for a couple of 45 minute lessons a couple days before Michael and I were supposed to leave. My mum was a great teacher! I still had to pass Michael’s test, but I was prepared. Michael and I got into his truck, and I only stalled once driving around town! He was very excited that I could help drive the 13 hour trip. I ended up driving what I would consider the WORST part of the drive to Vegas. I had only towed an open trailer, and this was really my first time driving a stick for more than an hour. Michael went to sleep, and I tried to remember all the towing skills my dad had taught me. Slow down to 75mph for turns, never let the person in front of you get more than a car length ahead, and go as fast as possible, because time is MONEY! I am only kidding, I didn’t drive like that. If you know my dad though, that is what he taught me! I drove through the Fish National Forest where I climbed and descended a million 6% grade hills, saw deer waiting to jump out on the side of the road, and I drove through 20 minutes of rain, from about 2:00am-5:00am. I kept asking myself why in the heck I wanted to learn and help drive, it was miserable. My hands hurt so bad from white knuckling it the whole time that I could barely move them. ! I was so relieved to be riding shotgun after that. Michael had a good weekend and won a nice chunk of change in the gamblers race and then the next day won Class in F/SA. We didn’t fare so well on Sunday, first round -.003, but we are coming back with a vengeance hopefully the 24-28th.
My Dad Told me He Would Buy me This Sticker if I Didn’t Learn! How Rude!
Michael in the Gamblers Race
This weekend I am headed back out to Vegas with Michael for more Vegas National Event action! As I mentioned before, I am going to continue blogging at LindseyCramsey.com, or you can follow me on Twitter @LindseyCramsey and on Facebook.com/MissLindseyCramsey.
I really want to thank Luke and all the sponsors of the Member Spotlight program. Thank you SO MUCH to Advanced Product Design (APD), K&N Engineering, Nitroplate, J&J Performance, and ThisIsBracketRacing.com for allowing all of us the opportunity to write in the Member Spotlight. It has been such an amazing experience for me, and I really want to thank everyone who came up to me or emailed me about enjoying my writing. Please don’t forget to vote throughout November for the blogger you enjoyed most!
To Jason, Jeremy, and Nick- It has been such a pleasure getting to know you all through your blogs! Thank you for all the entertaining reading and I hope to someday meet you all in person!
*This Picture May or May Not Reflect the Political Views of Blogger – This is intended to be funny, not a picture to promote either party. Lindsey Cramsey Approves This Message!