Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Racing Season Has Started

Sometimes Life Flips You on Your Head

This is Ashlee's first season moving up out of Kid Karts. She is really exited about making the transition. This year we decided to try a new track/club New Castle Raceway as well as race at East Lansing Kart Track. Ashlee really likes New Castle. She enjoys the speed and having more competition compared to previous years.

The first race weekend I had to stay home with Aubree. I didn't feel well and our dog had just had surgery so she needed to rest. Jim and Jerry took Ashlee down to New Castle to practice on Saturday and race on Sunday. Practice day did not start off too well. The throttle was stuck down and Ashlee ended up off the track in a low area that was filled with water from melted snow. The kart was submerged in water and still running, she was drenched but was able to get out safely. She was a little shaken however she went back out to practice and then raced on Sunday. She did well especially for learning a whole new track and finished in 4th place.

The second race weekend started off a little slow. Ashlee seemed to just drive around the track as if she was out for a Sunday drive. As she continued her lap times improved. On Sunday the practice sessions went very well. She took a few seconds off her times from the day before. During qualifying she was doing great. Just as we got excited as they announced her as fastest qualifier for her class, we turned and saw her flip her kart. I tell you I still keep seeing this accident in slow motion. The kart flipping and landing on her leg. She was so upset. She came off the track crying because she was scared and because the kart had bruised her leg when it landed on her.

Ashlee's immediate reaction was that she wanted to be done and "go home". As a mom I was so torn. I wanted to go home too but at the same time she was doing so well and I didn't want her to quit because of an accident. If she didn't get back in that kart that day she may never get back in it. She truly loves the sport and I didn't want to see her give it up that easily. I told her that this is a life lesson- Sometimes life flips you on your head. You need to brush it off and just keep moving forward. Of course her response, "Mom, I didn't flip on my head...the kart landed on my leg." Yes child it was just a metaphor, not an exact description. We let her calm down.

Jim immediately began to fix the kart so that she could go back out and race should she change her mind. Luckily after some discussion with her friends she decided she wanted to go back out and race. Now the problem... Jim wasn't sure he could get the kart ready in time. One of Ashlee's friends decided he had to help. He went back to his trailer and recruited his father to help. With the two of them working on it they got it ready for Ashlee to get back out and race.

Ashlee had qualified on the pole but had to start in the back because she did not weigh in after the accident. She was not disappointed and new she had work to do. She went out there with confidence and worked her way up from 6th to finishing in 3rd. She even had her best lap time in the feature! She wasn't scared and she did not let the accident hold her back. We were so proud!! She faced a challenge and came out the other side on top. 

This girl is tough and is learning to power through the tribulations. These past two race weekends have tested her dedication and mental strength. I cannot say I would have been able to handle situations like this with such maturity when I was 8. I know that these lessons will carry with her throughout her life. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for my girl!

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