Bowling Green, Kentucky – 2017
Hello and welcome back! Brandon back here once again and this week it is story time. Over the last week or two, we have been working hard to come up with blog topics over the off-season that our readers would enjoy. We decided that it might be fun to share some of our stories from awesome experiences we had cruising around North America going racing.
This week we will go back to 2017. It was mid March when me, Uncle Steve, Nathan and Trevor decided we wanted to get an early jump on the racing season. We had a couple options of where to go to racing during St. Patrick’s Day. The plan started with us heading to Virginia for a Loose Rocker event, but the weather forecast was looking very grim for that to be a successful trip. While looking at all the options we had in front of us we found a race in Bowling Green, Kentucky the same weekend with a similar distance drive, and a much better forecast.
Now just because the weather looked good in Kentucky does not mean that mid March in Ontario, Canada was looking promising. We were expecting large amounts of snow all week and if you have not had the pleasure of navigating a 75-foot long Toterhome and stacker trailer through a snow storm, trust me when I say it is not the most fun thing to do. It was March break so work on the school buses was slow and we decided to try and beat the storm by leaving Monday afternoon to at least get through the rough stuff.
The 4 of us loaded up in the truck to hit the road and met our first obstacle. We could not get the trailer lights to work – no matter what we did. We got the truck into the shop to check all the wiring to see what was giving us trouble. By the time we finally found the faulty relay in the trailer the sun was pretty well gone, and the snow had started. But we are not quitters and started down the highway.
We roll smoothly to the Canada-USA border between 11 PM - midnight. Pull up and we are right up to the front with not many others travelling through the weather which now had become a full-on storm. When we reach the border agent, we then find obstacle number 2. Oddly enough the people at the border did not believe the 4 Canadians driving through a storm on Monday in the middle of the night who said “we are going racing” were telling the truth lol. This became a 3 hour set back as we all had to trek through the snow in our Kentucky spring clothing in and out of different buildings meeting with different agents pleading our case that we were not on our way south to sell the race cars without claiming them and we were indeed going racing.
So back on the road finally, our running shoes all soaked and already starting to become tired from the trip we just started. Welcome obstacle number 3. I have no idea where or when we finally did stop driving that night (I was in the back sleeping), but when we finally did call it a day and lay down for some rest Steve went to turn the furnace on only to have no luck. After somewhat of an effort to find a solution we settled for the fact we left the house with no heat at all in the motorhome in March. We layered up as much as we could and managed through the first night. And no, we did no resort to snuggling all together for warmth at this point!!
Tuesday morning, we get up from what sleep we were able to get and hit the road again. Sometime around noon, we roll into the first spot to find some lunch. Cracker Barrel was the selection we had, and we went for it. Steve, Nathan, Trevor and I all make it very easy for our waitress – 16-ounce rib steak with mac & cheese and mashed potatoes. I’m not sure if it was the fact, we were frozen or starving but I can still remember to this day how unbelievable that meal was.
We carry on driving and finally make it through to Kentucky later that day. Now it is dinner time, and we are still freezing cold with no heat. We want a big hearty meal and what better than Texas Roadhouse? We wheel in there for dinner Tuesday night and had some delicious frozen beer, blooming onion, buns, and once again we go for the rib steak because how could you choose anything else? Our second phenomenal meal on our trip as we have started a great trend for the rest of the week.
Wednesday we picked up a couple electric heaters in the morning and we needed to find something to keep us occupied for the rest of the day and if you know anything about Bowling Green is the National Corvette Museum. We toured around for hours looking at years of history which was a great addition we got to add into the trip. Now before we headed back to our Walmart parking lot where we were staying with the truck until we could get into the track on Thursday, we had to find something for dinner. We consulted fellow Canadian drag racer Jamie Tupper for his opinion, and he suggested Longhorn Steakhouse. If you have been following along so far you know that naturally we had to really see how good their steak was also. By time we finished between Trevor, Steve and me we had all consumed 48 ounces of steak each over 3 meals on the trip to this point.
Thursday finally came around and we could finally get into the track today for some testing. We get in and set up to make a couple passes getting used to the cars again and make sure everything is good to go. So, we took my dragster and my brother Daniel’s, and the plan was for me to drive mine obviously while Steve and Trevor would double enter Daniel’s together. This all would have went smoothly but in comes obstacle 4. On my second time trial the driveshaft in my dragster opens like a soup can when I launch and my transmission splits in half. The only thing holding the transmission off the ground is the cooler line attached to it. Now we were prepared enough to have a spare transmission but did not have a driveshaft, and as you can guess those are not very common to find laying around at a racetrack.
We made some calls around and managed to get a hold of a racer, Jason Rich, from Tennessee who was leaving the next day for the track that would be able to bring us one. We spend Thursday afternoon/evening putting the pieces of my dragster back together awaiting the arrival of our parts.
Friday, we spent sitting in the rain which gave us extra time to finish up the dragster and be ready for 3 races over Saturday and Sunday. Now this is the exciting part about Friday. I’m not sure what you would call it or if it even deserves a name but for lunch that day Steve came up with an idea and the best way I can describe it is a meatloaf casserole completely wrapped in bacon and filled with cheese and you honestly have no idea how unbelievable this was. The rest of the day was spent cruising around the track meeting new people and checking out who all was there. We finished it off with our own steak BBQ at the track just to keep up with the carnivore trend we had going on this far.
Saturday’s racing went alright for us as we had no further issues with the cars and our only downfall was knocking the rust off ourselves to remember how to race. It was a solid day of racing and finally getting to do what we came for. There was a lucky surprise at the end of the night while I finished closing the trailer. A lovely stranger was walking around with an extra pizza they had ordered for their crew and were not able to eat, so instead of throwing it out they ran into me and figured it would not go wasted. It was a meatball pizza. Yes, I said a meatball pizza. Just cheese and meatballs and it was wild. Much better than I would have expected for those of you wondering.
Sunday was our final day of the trip before heading home and it was relatively uneventful, I started to find a rhythm in the race car, but battery and alternator issues put a stop to that. We were exhausted and just ready to get home after one of the coolest trips and experiences we had ever been a part of.
This story might seem a little ridiculous, but it was a great way to try new things and places with friends and to do something different not everyone gets to do.
See you next time,