Mandy’s Monthly December 2013
I apologize for the last couple of months of missing or being delayed with the blog. I was trying to not write about the point chase, but that is so hard when we were so close to the end of the season. Daryn & I did not talk about the points all season long until the week of the Charlotte race. We just found it easier not mention it because I knew it was on his mind all the time and the phone interviews were making him discuss it enough. The three week break between the last NY race and the Charlotte week were brutal though. I could tell it was definitely wearing on him.
The entire Charlotte weekend was a roller coaster of emotions for all of us. I tried my best to keep my composure around Daryn, but those close to me know it was so hard. For some reason in my head I honestly thought after Thursday time trials and Friday’s race we would be fine and have it clinched…wrong! We didn’t time very well either session and it definitely was not the night that we were hoping for since qualifying has been our strong point all season long and I never thought it would be an issue. The format at finals is different than normal for us as we time one day and then race the next 2 nights. At a normal WOO show if you time bad you don’t even have time to think about it because the heat races are within the next 30 mins, but at Charlotte we had to “think” about it for 24 and then 48 hours. Brutal!! The team maintained on Friday starting 6 in the main and finishing 6th, but Schatz won earning him maximum points so the points deficit was very small going into Saturday night where we timed so bad that we missed the invert. Friday night was a short night’s rest…Daryn was up pacing the motorhome early that morning and finally just went to the shop to be with the guys. Everyone kept telling us “keep doing everything you always do” well if you know me and Daryn we do not get up early, but on this day sleep was not an option. Daryn said he just kept running scenarios through his head and he just had to get going. The day honestly crept along! We knew that Daryn had to run 15th or better to clinch if Donny won again so we knew the starting position was crucial. For the heat race Daryn knew he had to run top 2 to be in the dash or top 4 to transfer…we were starting 5th! I was so nervous for the heat race because top 2 was honestly the best case scenario. Otherwise, we were going to be starting around 23rd in the feature and face an uphill climb. On the start of the heat race Daryn fell back to 6th and then charged his way to 3rd and with a late caution he passed Schatz to earn the dash spot. The trailer was ecstatic…even though it was far from over we all knew being in the dash guaranteed us a much better starting position for the feature. We ran 10th in the dash. What do you say to your husband that is getting ready to race for the “Championship” something everyone dreams of…everything was on the line and it was stressful! I tried to do my normal race routine and everyone seemed to tell us good luck. We had a lot of friends there for the race and I am thankful that they got to share this night with us! I really want to thank all my friends for texting me all night …it was really appreciated!
As the feature started Daryn fell back to 17th….yes 17th! I was trying to watch his laps and at the same time watch race monitor to see where Schatz was running. The entire race seemed to last forever but counting down the last few laps knowing he just had to maintain and not make any mistakes was nervy yet fulfilling at the same time! Daryn did not have a good race, but he rallied at the end and finished 12th clinching his first WORLD OF OUTLAWS CHAMPIONSHIP!!! Amazing..even as I write it now it seems so surreal! First year back on the tour….first year with a new team….World of Outlaws Champion!
Once Carber and I pulled up to Daryn after he got off the track he just kept moving his arms yelling “are we good are we good??” He said he couldn’t do even simple math out there in the feature and just wanted confirmation it was finally over. After going back to the hauler and seeing everyone there to congratulate the team was a sight that can never be erased in my mind. Seeing Daryn and the guys celebrate together was even better…the team this year was one that you dream of being associated with. Regardless of the night we had they all were texting each other to keep your head up etc. Never once were fingers pointed ….that is true teamwork! Kale, Carber, Kolten and Daryn earned this championship by working together. Here are a few stats for the 2013 season…
* We were in the top 15 in 71 out of 74 races!
* We had 2 DNFS.
* We were never lapped while racing.
* We never used a provisional.
* We were in the top 5- 46 times and top 10- 60 times.
* 8 wins and 12 2nd place finishes.
*13 quick times.
Driving up to the shop in Mooresville after the race Saturday was unbelievable. We saw fireworks first and then saw everyone outside the front of the shop with their championship shirts on and a huge WOO Championship banner. It was so amazing to see everyone out front clapping and yelling as we pulled into the shop. THANKS GUYS..it really meant a lot to both of us!
As I have been writing all of this it seems like just yesterday and I hope that I can always remember it so vivid. Thank you to all of our family, friends and fans for the support over the years. It has been a journey to get here and we appreciate everyone for their support!
Thanks to EVERYONE at KKR…first class organization and we are so proud to be on your team!
Kale, Carber and Kolten you are what made this possible. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to this team!
I hope everyone can watch CBS Sports next Sunday to relive the Championship night with us! Tune in at 9pm on Sunday, Dec. 22nd!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!
The 2014 season starts soon at Chili Bowl! Daryn will then head to Australia for a week and then we start all over to DEFEND the WOO title in Februrary! Off season …what off season, but I would not have it any other way! We are truly blessed!