Moneymaker (Season 3, Article 3)
Since The Last Time I wrote a Moneymaker Column…
Since the last time I wrote a Moneymaker Column(yeah this can be a lot like a confessional) life has happened in such a way at times all I could do was hold on and believe all would workout. Well, all has worked out and I now find myself on solid ground grateful for the strength my friends and family have helped me and my wife to have while she had a mastectomy. All of Wendy’s tests came back cancer free after the surgery and she has now been started on preventive meds. She still has two more reconstructive surgeries and will be monitored closely from now on for cancer, but the day we found out she was cancer free after going through all of this, was the best relief we had both ever felt. My wife has a reconstruction surgery scheduled for October 5th which will dictate my time for the first two weeks of October and due to losing my availability for an extended period of time (between the accident and Wendy’s first operation) I lost three weeks of work. I also needed to be home for more stuff around home (no more seventy hours a week driving folks around New York City). I no longer have a job, again.
I started this column to document racing on a budget. To show if an average racer(on a good day)like myself could get to the break-even point by racing within my means and focus on what I need to help me make that happen and stay away from the “shiny stuff” anyone can. For a couple years, I have struggled(and failed numerous times) to even come close to this goal of breaking even then racing for profit with the car I chose. It’s time now to solely focus on the original goal, and from here on out that’s what my columns will be about. I will still add commentary on the mistakes I make maybe a few comical stories of races I get to attend, but the story to be told here is what it takes to race without emptying every dollar from money I earn that’s not earmarked for my racing.
At the beginning of the year I mentioned two possible sources of income that I would be using to fund my racing. One was selling starters and alternators as a sales rep. for a local rebuilder here in CT. This gives me the ability to once again offer the service of repairing racers starters and alternators for friends at my local track and tracks I travel to. By June, I had made enough from this part time gig (spend about ten hours a month at it) to fund the month of June’s racing.
In the month of June (OK and July 1st too) I won $ 2,630.00 at the track when I went the month of June winning every points round I competed in at my local track, Lebanon Valley Dragway. The June 3rd event rained out while I was still in Pro and Super going into the fourth rd. The next time I raced I chose to begin to focus on racing Pro and chose not to race Super I went on to win that race on June 17th. The next weekend I raced at my track for points, the weekend began with a trip to ATCO to run open comp. on Friday night while the Summer Series was competing (open comp. is awesome! .5 tenths Pro Tree footbrake race and you are indexed one tenth quicker than your fastest time shot) went red second rd.(.002 red) The following day I ended up taking a detour to Numidia after ATCO was struck by lightning and couldn’t run. The race at Numidia I got good and beat @three cars when my poultry thirty light was no match for Kurt Holland’s .006 start. Found my way back to Lebanon Valley to run Sunday’s points after a nap in my truck since I couldn’t find any rooms (glamorous life right?) I managed to get to the final where again a weaker start (.029 to opponents .017) got me beat this time by two time track champion Scott Samoker.
So now we have some funding from race winnings, I set my sites on the WFC VI with three triple ten thousand dollar to win races, a 64 car shootout that pays entry fee back after second rd win, and a run for the money (bogie race) each day that pays $1000.00 to win. With ALL those opportunities, how could I possibly not cash in on something?
My game plan going to the biggest race I will attend this season was race Friday’s Ten Grander and Saturday mornings’ shootout race (which I was already entered in due to this race being a pre entry race. Once 64 spots are sold its full). I would then stay to race Saturday and Sunday ONLY IF I had won enough to justify attempting to make a big payday. If I had no luck, I was planning on heading home (a mere 11 hours north) to Lebanon Valley to run our weekly points race on Sunday. My original game plan price tag for entries and buyback money was $750. So, how do I explain spending $1300.00 on entries and coming away with $ 50.00? Keep reading and maybe we will both figure it out. (Did I ever mention addictive personalities might be better suited doing OTHER things besides racing? No? Well here’s some more proof).
The WFC VI became a historic race when over 400 competitors chose to come to Bristol to race. This unprecedented car count (the largest car count in history for a footbrake only field) is a direct result of the commitment and pride Jared Pennington and Steve Stites have put into “The Greatest Footbrake Race”. As with the rest of these events (WFC) weather became a factor. We lost Friday’s race due to poor weather after the second rd (I already was shown the door by two separate opponent’s where .00 start and took .00 stripe) Saturday’s forecast was poor too and the shootout race eventually got cancelled because of weather. By the time there was no shootout race, it was after 11p on Saturday. At this point I rolled my entry for the shootout into two entries for the Sunday race.
So, to back up here for a moment the forecast was awful before I left (60 percent chance of rain both Friday and Saturday). My original game plan was in jeopardy before I drove the 750 plus miles to the race. With one phone call, I could have gotten a refund for my entries and chose to stay local. For the game plan I set into play for this race that’s what I needed to do. But I didn’t. Why? I lacked discipline in my decision. Once I was at the race and we didn’t have the shootout, my best option was to stay and race on. Why? Only other answer is I needed to learn something. And I did.
Sunday I won first round with my first entry, red lit with my second. I went to the buyback for the fifth time that weekend($500.00 of the $1,300.00 I spent came from buybacks) In the buyback round I managed to mess it up for a well-deserved loss when I took .045 or more stripe even though I left with a sizeable starting line advantage. Down to one entry going forward starting second round all three days(I only made it to third round one day with one entry) I had a tough draw(likely, all draws are tough at this race ). Pulled up to the line turned it green with my best light of the weekend(.005) to only have the car spin for the second time that weekend. (after the first time I made adjustments and hadn’t spun again until now). It wasn’t a guarantee I wouldn’t have lost this round even if I hadn’t lost five in sixty since my opponent had matched me (.011). and I am not complaining about track prep, I could’ve analyzed the starting line better and realized I might spin(after talking to my opponent ,that is what he had done that round.) I am just reporting on how I was on my way home with no more chances to take some of the sting from losing all weekend.
Favorite Quotes and messing around @ theWFC VI
“Someone better be careful out there or they’re going to get arrested for clubbing baby seals” Angela Macy, Saturday night while watching eventual winner Steve Foley dump his Opponent off for the round win late in the race. “ARGGGHHH” responded myself and other on lookers to her comment, not sure what the seal sound was out on the track?
Most fun I had that weekend was given Jared a replacement for a CD he lost due to an unfortunate incident while he was on a trip last year with one of his buddies:
Where do we go from here?
So, the month of June showed some promise while racing local and another big money race left me beaten up. My only goal from the beginning of the year I will focus on will be Lebanon Valley Dragway point’s championship which I did myself no favors not showing up for the weekend of Bristol.
I wanted to switch from written blog to vid blog this season but couldn’t afford the weekly cost of production. I want to get back to doing the blogs but I will have to get funded some way before I do. I made two with the help of David Whitney (he owns Whitney Production.) My plans to video blog will have to be on hold, for now.
Weekly Racing Cost
I have four points’ races left in my season @ Lebanon Valley Dragway. Each week costs $160.00 bucks for entry, diesel, and race fuel and tolls to race Pro ET. I have $800.00 to finish the season. Hoping things go my way for the four weeks is terrible lack of planning. Lack of funding can (and has) ended my season early in the past. Win one race and having cash on hand, will make things go smoother, being left to hoping things go that way instead of making sure I had a fund for broken stuff, not my best move.
I am currently working on selling some small stuff on EBay; looking for a few more dollars as a cushion if things don’t go perfectly smooth these last four weeks. Having money to race on coming from funds made from small business stuff I can do is going to remain my focus. Besides the starter sales, going to look into buying project cars (racing or hot rods) and finishing some with friends of mine or selling parts, flipping them. Continue writing the column I write for Bracket Race Central. Com also pays (imagine that).