Off to the Races

Last night Bob and I went back to Sunset Speedway to hang out in the pits with Jared and his family. My friends Alice and Beth, along with Beth’s grandson, Terrence, sat in the stands and helped the announcer raffle off a copy of Running Wide Open, which was autographed by both myself and Jared. I was a little afraid that the kids who entered the drawing were just there for the free Cracker Jacks being given away, but the girl who won had a big smile on her face and was hugging my book like a devoted reader.

Did any of you Portland folks see the write-up in the Oregonian about the track this week? Here’s a link for those of you who missed it. It’s so nice to see local papers including this kind of story. We had a heck of a time getting any press when I was competing at Eugene Speedway.

Racing is a family affair for Jared and his relatives, and you can find much of their extended family in the pits on Saturday nights, either racing or helping out. Grandpa Mike and brother Jared compete in the Pure Stock class, while Cari, the boys’ mom, cheers her sons on and tries to keep up with their appetite for speedway burgers. Grandma Maxcie (a former racer, herself ) keeps track of qualifying times and sponsorship.  She did an awesome job with the logo.   Let me tell you, it’s a thrill seeing the title of my book on the side of a race car.

Older brother Jacob, who’s been racing at Sunset Speedway since he was twelve, does an excellent job of coaching Jared before the races. Last night Jacob won his trophy dash, came in second in his main, and barely missed winning his heat in a photo finish. The Salem Statesman Journal ran this story about him.

One thing that takes me straight back to my racing days at Eugene is hearing the National Anthem at a speedway. Here, as at many tracks, they have a driver carry the flag while the music is playing.

Some people might think racing is dangerous, but every safety precaution is taken. As you can see, Jared has a helmet, firesuit, neck brace, and window net to keep him safe. One thing I really like about the Tracer (Teen Racer) class is that it gives kids driving experience in a controlled environment. When Jared gets his learner’s permit in a few years, he’ll be able to fully concentrate on learning the rules of the road and paying attention to traffic, rather than having to learn how to handle a car at the same time. And lest you think allowing a kid to race makes them aggressive, you couldn’t be more wrong. Having an outlet for that competitive edge and need for speed tends to keep them from being lead-footed on the streets.

One thing that truly impressed me about Jared and his brother is that they are so polite, friendly, and confident. Mom, Cari, and dad, Sam, did a great job raising these guys.

Even though this is Jared’s first season in a full-sized car, he’s had plenty of racing experience. Both he and his brother have competed in quads and quarter midgets. Maybe that’s what gives him his confidence.

I had a wonderful time last night, and I feel blessed to have met such a great family. It’s people like this who inspired my books. I feel honored to be sponsoring Jared.

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17 Responses to Off to the Races

  1. Carol Sweet says:

    This is so cool! Exciting to see your book title on the side of the car. And great job Jared!!!


  2. Beth says:

    Last night was my first experience live at a stock car race. It was nothing like watching big televised races. You smelled the dust and racing fuel, and since we helped with the book giveaway we sat in the front row near turn one, and personally experienced thrown mud and dust as the the cars screamed by.

    Meeting Jared and his mom was a definite pleasure, and watching the various members of the family racing gave me, a least, a personal stake in the races. I knew who to root for.

    I knew absolutely nothing about stock car racing before reading Running Wide Open, but Lisa put enough racing info in so that a complete neophyte “got it.” Now a few books later, and having watched Cars more than a dozen times, I know enough to have thoroughly enjoyed my first race.


  3. momaescriva says:

    That is so great, Lisa. The book title on the race must make your stomach turn with exciement. Jared did a great. I am happy for you.


  4. Alice Lynn says:

    Being at the races and seeing some of what you so vividly describe in Running Wide Open and the following books of the series was a great experience. I even recognized the scent of that high octane fuel you mentioned. Jared and his mom were so polite and friendly. I loved seeing the sparkle in your eye and the pride in Bob’s as he looked at you.Thanks for inviting me and thanks to Beth and Terrence for giving me a ride to the track.


  5. That is awesome! I also got a thrill at seeing your title on the side of a race car. Woot woot!!


  6. Rose says:

    Wow! Your book title on a car!!! That is so cool!!


  7. Orice Klaas says:

    Wow! How exciting! You and your delightful book are as close as I’ve ever been to a speedway, Lisa. Congratulations and I know your readers are going to love you!


  8. Katy Skinner says:

    WOW!! Your book title on a car!! I’m so impressed!! 🙂 xoxo! –Katy


  9. Karen C says:

    Your logo on Jared’s car looks great, Lisa. Loved the last photo of all three of you by his car. And that’s awesome that the girl who won your book looked excited. She should be! It’s a great book, and she’s gonna love it!


  10. Your post makes me very sorry that we’ll be missing the MotoGP this year. Motorcycles instead of cars, but the same thrill of the race. How exciting to see your book being given away to a lucky reader! Sounds like a fabulous time all around.


  11. Barb says:

    So sorry to have missed the big night, but I’m so gald you posted pics and shared the wonder with us. It sounds great for everyone involved. Many congrats.


  12. That is so AWESOME. Just all around cool. And giving a book away at a race event then letting you and Jared sign it, no wonder that girl was probably so happy to have it. I bet she’ll love it.

    Really, this is the most inspired advertising I’ve seen for a book. I love it and it makes me think.


  13. Ann Herrick says:

    The title looks totally great on the car!


  14. Angela says:

    This is so beyond cool! The book title goes great on that car, I wish I could have been there. Love it!


  15. robink336 says:

    What a totally neat thing to do. And I agree, that title does look waycool on the side of a race car, go figure! Thanks for sharing the photos and story.


  16. Go Jared!
    And go, Lisa!


  17. Lisa Nowak says:

    Thanks for your comments, everyone! I’ll keep you posted on how things go at the track.


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