Story continues below this advertisement
We decided to hang around and watch Team CFR and hopefully see them repeat as Champions. It was an excellent race to watch, enjoy a beer or two, and wander the staging lanes once in a while. Team CFR was doing good and never fell lower than 3rd place. About 4th round, I think, only one or two CFR racers went out and that left a lot of them for round 5 and beyond. The last three rounds the CFR racers kicked 'em around pretty good and by the semis it was pretty much a LOCK that Team Cedar Falls Raceway would repeat as Team Champions.
On a special note, I have to say I watched one of the most heartwarming victories I have seen. A friend of ours, Travis Smiley, was crushing them in S/Pro. When you start off with a perfect run (.000 reaction and dead-on zero), it could be the start of a great day. His S/Pro victory came just a few weeks after they received news that their adoption of a beautiful daughter was finalized! The hugs and smiles from that family reminded me EXACTLY why drag racing is such a huge part of my life... it's the people, not the win lights. What a day for the entire Smiley family (who, by the way, qualified all three of their S/Pro cars for Team CFR).
After the atta boys, photos, grins, and congratulations it was time to fire up the Hawk and head back to Iowa. Nowis one of those memorable travelling memories. I turn the ignition switch to Start and get NOTHING. No power to anything. Battery... yeah, the batteries are dead; try again, they are perfect. Off comes the dash cover and I look at the ignition switch, wiggle it... NOTHING. Get the test light out and check the wires to and from the ignition switch and lo and behold... power to switch and nothing coming out.
So I go to the race car trailer, break open the box of electrical connectors, etc (we all have that box right?). I get a toggle switch, three feet of wire, four butt connectors, and I cobble together a remote power-on switch. With that turned on I could turn the key and the old Cummins came to life. "We’re wasting daylight!" was one of the last things I remember hearing as we drove off to our rest stop on the way home, the casino in Chariton, IA. I figured I used my luck supply up getting there, so we just had dinner and got some sleep. First thing in the morning I flipped the toggle, said a short prayer and it started.
The old Hawk ran perfect the rest of the way home from what had to be one of the most exciting and satisfying events I have attended in years. Congrats to Travis Smiley and family (for a lot more than just the win by the way!) and the rest of Team Cedar Falls for getting back-to-back Team Championships.
It was my pleasure to be part of such a class act.