Inside Access: Defending World of Outlaws Champion Recaps Florida
Two-time defending World of Outlaws sprint car champion Jason Meyers will provide a weekly blog as he embarks upon his Allstar Appreciate Tour, including the first 11 World of Outlaws events of the 2012 season. Here is the first installment of his personal analysis, which recaps the season-opening event — the 41st annual UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., on Feb. 17-19.
By Jason Meyers
For the next six weeks during our Allstar Appreciation Tour I will blog weekly, covering the races, good times and excitement that occurs as we cross the country from Florida to California in search of victory. The Allstar Appreciation Tour and its 14 scheduled events were designed to give back to our partners and fans to show our appreciation for their loyal support over the past eight seasons that resulted in two World of Outlaws championships and numerous victories. So, here it is, from the cuff and on your screen, the fun, the excitement and the heartache.
They say if you go good in Florida that you better go back to the shop and get to work because there is nothing else like it and you will soon find yourself struggling on any other track. The good news is I guess we don’t have much work left to do … we seemed to be hot and cold all weekend. The frustrating part is I don’t mean night to night, I mean every time we touched the track we were faced with a completely bipolar experience. We went from quick time to barely transferring from the heat, then from gaining four spots in the dash to being crashed and blowing a tire in the dash. Then ultimately driving from 10th to fourth in the A Main only to lose yet another tire with less than two laps to go. Wow, that’s depressing just writing it! All in all, I actually felt like we had a decent weekend after charging hard on Wednesday night, running second on Saturday and running well Sunday – other than our tire problems. If we are going to win races though we have to be better and we will be just that when we get to Vegas. I have to thank my team – Shane, HP, Sam, Jerry, Charlie and Kelly – for working hard for the past several weeks to make the Allstar Appreciation Tour a reality. We had a lot of fun over the weekend and it was great to see Shane in his new role as crew chief.
Another really fun part of Florida was catching up with so many of our partners and fans after the long winter break. I was able to meet the president of Alpinestars for the first time, who was visiting from Italy, and I was able to spend some time with our friends from Bosch, Brown and Miller, Allstar Performance, All Pro, XYZ Machining and so many more. As tough and cold as Florida can be, it is always a time that people look forward to. I think we are all happy to get back racing after the winter break and Florida is the first chance we get for that. This year was actually really nice for weather other than the rain, with warm temperatures and sunny afternoons.
The weekend for me was very rewarding as I had hundreds of conversations with fans, fellow racers and many more who shared their support and encouragement of our recent announcement. I am very grateful for all of the support that my family and I have received through this announcement from everyone in the racing world, and the world in general for that matter. I have loved every day of the last 10 years and we will miss the people of the sport more than anything else. As I told everyone that asked, I am not sure where we are headed yet, but we will always be a part of sprint car racing … it’s who we are.
I have to run now as we are working late in the shop tonight to get things finished up this week. I have promised my girls I will be home by Friday night and that is going to be tough to do. I have got to do it though … I promised!