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VIR 2006
      
I don’t have a real sister so I really have no idea what it would be like to kiss her, but I imagine it’d be something like winning a one-car class. Yeah it’s nice, but what have you really accomplished? There certainly were other people to race with, but somehow it doesn’t mean as much when you know they’re not running the same rules you are.
      
Ends up even getting to VIRginia International Raceway for the 2006 version of the Al Fairer SARRC/MARRS weekend was something of a challenge. I left Woodstock right at 2:00 on Thursday afternoon while Dennis and Data left Tucker two hours later, but they beat me to the track by fifteen minutes! Not only did I make a wrong turn when I-85 joined up with I-40 in Greensboro, I didn’t realize it until I was halfway to Durham. After heading cross country and getting in the same county as the race track, I missed the entrance not once but twice! Turning a 60-foot rig around on a two-lane road is not for the faint of heart, but I managed to do it without getting stuck and arrived at the track around 11:00 PM.
     
VIR is arguably the finest racing facility east of the Mississippi and certainly among the top five in the entire country. 3.27 miles, two monster straights, the Uphill Esses, Stevie Wonder (the blind left at the end of the Esses also known as "South Bend"), Oak Tree, the Roller Coaster – what a rush! And with almost fifty cars in our run group, there was ALWAYS somebody to race with even though we were the only car in GTA. We were also doing some testing to see how much difference sticker tires make (we have to run a spec tire in GTA), so that introduced some variety into the game as well.
     
Because there are almost 400 cars entered in the event (seven run groups), all qualifying is done on Friday. Ends up we qualified 17th overall for Saturday’s race and 7th overall for Sunday’s race later that afternoon. Part of the improvement was about two seconds in the sticker tires, but there were also fewer cars registered for Sunday as well. Friday night we partook of libations at the excellent worker party and then had a nice dinner with former Alabama Region members Ken and Stacey Grammer.
     
Had a good race on Saturday with Steve Hammond in his ITE Corvette and Paul Arey in his GT-2 Porsche 914-6 – Paul and I traded positions twice (and paint once when I got inside him at Stevie Wonder and he didn’t see me) – but I was somewhat disappointed that my best lap was a 2:09.0. Since that was only slightly slower than I’d qualified on sticker tires, my guess is getting comfortable with the track is worth more than new tires at this point. Saturday evening we went to South Boston Speedway (home of the Burton Brothers and the World Famous Baloney Burgers) and had a great time.
     
Since we weren’t racing until late afternoon on Sunday, we arrived mid-morning and went down to Oak Tree to watch the Spec Miata race. It was a cool, crisp, clear morning, the grass was green and the sun was shining. I was just happy as hell to be there.
     
Given my troubles outrunning Paul’s Porsche on Saturday, we decided to check the timing on Cuervo after the Miata race. Finding it about 10 degrees more advanced than it should be plus knowing we were on second heat-cycle tires made me feel pretty good about our chances of moving up in Sunday’s race. Unfortunately dark clouds rolled in before we got on track and the corner workers were pointing toward the sky on the warm-up lap. At the green I left the Corvette I was struggling to stay with on Saturday then sure enough, I started seeing rain drops on the windshield the first time down the back straight. On the second lap in the Uphill Esses it DEFINITELY was starting to rain, then the next lap the track was getting seriously wet so I switched on the taillights and started waving people by. No sense in driving it off the track when all I had to do was survive to get our third SARRC GTA win of the season. Data heard on the scanner that Race Control was going to call the race after five of the ten scheduled laps due to lightning in the area, so instead of taking the checker I drove down pit road and straight to impound. I was the first one in line so I must have won!
     
Great weekend, two more SARRC wins and the car’s still in one piece. That’s a good thing because I need to spend a week in New Mexico on work and the next race is the Memorial Monster Double SARRC at CMP in two weeks.
     
See y’all at the track…