Looking ahead after tough first-round elimination

To say the very least we had a tough race day out at Houston Raceway Park last Sunday. In case you hadn’t heard, for the first time in 19 races, we lost in the first round of eliminations.

For some unknown reason, when I hit the throttle in my match up with Brandon Bernstein, the rear tires on my U.S. Army dragster immediately went up in smoke. We certainly didn’t expect that to happen.

Following the disappointing result, we went back and looked at the computer and to our amazement we found nothing to indicate why we lost traction. We just chalked it up to something that’s going to happen every 50 runs or so.

Of course, it’s our intention to move forward and not dwell on that outing. It’s our view you can’t change
history. We have to focus on this weekend’s SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

It’s certainly our intention to return to our winning ways. We owe that to our Army Strong Soldiers. They strive for perfection everyday so that’s our goal as well.

After the earlier than expected loss in the O’Reilly Spring Nationals, we dropped from second in the standings to fifth. We’re not used to being that far down in the order.

As you might recall, after we won in Gainesville, Fla. last month, we took over the points lead. Trust me, we enjoyed being on top. As a result, we want to get back up there as quickly as possible. A good result in Vegas would go a long way to help that cause.

We’ve clearly had some success at The Strip over the years. In fact, I have five career wins to my credit there, two of which came in the spring race including last year’s SummitRacing.com Nationals.

I love racing out there. Usually, we have some great weather. Combine that with a state-of-the-art drag strip and that typically produces some terrific side-by-side racing.

Before I close this blog out, I have to mention my meeting with Specialist David Hutchinson out in Houston. He was our Hometown Hero. Here’s the incredible story behind why he received the prestigious Silver Star:
While traveling through the mountains of Afghanistan in a convoy of four Humvees, some 20 enemy insurgents attacked in a coordinated ambush. They fired multiple rocket propelled grenades and small arms including a machine gun.

SPC Hutchinson reacted with his own firepower, which destroyed the machine gun nest. He held his position under intense fire and continued to place fire on the remaining enemy in total disregard for his own peril. Ultimately, he was seriously wounded from an RPG. Shrapnel hit his right leg and caused him to collapse into the crew compartment of the Humvee.

Even after collapsing, he saw that his first sergeant was severely injured. He calmly administered first aid, controlling the bleeding as the convoy moved out of the kill zone. When the MEDEVAC helicopter arrived, Hutchinson refused to be carried out and despite his own serious wounds insisted the single litter be used for the first sergeant. Now, that’s true sacrifice!

I hope the story above makes y’all stop and think about just how fortunate we are to have people like SPC Hutchinson protecting our freedom every day. Without those brave men and women, who knows what kind of world we would have. I’m certainly grateful for their efforts.

With that, “The Sarge” has to prep for the trip to Vegas. We’ll be back with you again next week. Hopefully, we’ll be reporting on some positive results. Until then, y’all stay well.