Part II of Best Worst Day at the track

As I said in my last entry, I have a lot to say about my return to the drift track! Time stops for no one. Benson is coming home late tonight, which gives me exactly 20 minutes to write this entry. Whew.

Two weeks ago I finally made it back to the drift track. Its been shamefully, almost 4 years since my eyes have been hit with tires and dirt. Between getting my life together after having Elise, raising a teenager, working on my accounting career, running Drifting Pretty, buying a new house and keeping the family happy…where is there time for drifting? There isn’t. But as my old buddy Yoshie preached a long time ago, “if its that important to you, you will find a way to find money and make time for driving.”

The biggest hurdle was getting my car to the track. I can’t drive it and I have no truck and trailer. I am very lucky to have friends that will bend over backwards to tow the Drift Queen to the track. Thank you Chris.  He lives near the track and made 2 trips back and forth from Lancaster to Temple City.  THAT is friendship.

The Best Worst Day
We showed up just on time to the JustDrift practice. I unloaded the Drift Queen off the trailer and immediately went to the race gas pumps to fill up. I start pumping the pump stops. I try again…I get one gallon of 110 and it stops again. The gas guy comes to help, only to find that they were out of 110 fuel. Then we try to fill it with 91 and the tank overflows. I find out I miscalculated how much gas was in the tank when I stored the car (no gas gauge). So now I have 1 gallon of 110, 4 gallons of new 91 I pumped at home just to get the car started and another 10 other gallons of old fuel from 3-4 years ago. What a start!

I return to the track pissed about my gas and worried that the car will run crappy. I go to the driver’s meeting…all men..1 other gal driver. Typical. I cringe and they guys all convince me to go out with the advanced group. I’m rusty and nervous and want to go back to kindergarten in the beginners group. They push me and well, I end up in the advanced group. I grab a friend to ride shotgun and grid up on the track. As I was sitting on the grid, I tried to play back in my head how to drift. I finished the sequence only one time in my brain…the rest of the time I was staring into outer space. I used to be able to think about what was for dinner while I was drifting in 3rd gear. I kept anticipating if it would ever be like that again…

I went out for my first run…warning everyone I didn’t know what I was doing anymore. I dump the clutch…do a quick burn out to warm my tires and bust a 180. It felt so natural. I ran the car hard down the track, I hit 3rd gear full boost.  I checked the knock sensor and it was nice and low…the fuel wasn’t hindering me. I approached the main turn quickly (I stayed back in 2nd gear)…I wasn’t thinking I just did whatever felt natural. I found myself in a beautiful slide, flawless.  I yanked the e-brake to keep it going because I initiated so early…it was amazing.  I caught the next part of the track and transitioned the drift like I was possessed.   I was flooring it the tire smoke was billowing into the car. I was back.  You can see this moment captured on the in-car video section of this video feature, thanks to Mondoy.


I made another run and spun. On the final run, I dropped it into 3rd gear just like old times…kicked the clutch and pulled off an even better slide than my first. My tires were spewing out smoke and the engine was just purring away (despite my shitty fuel). I was back.


I took a break and shot some photos of my car at Horse Thief Mile (a neighboring course). I came back for my next run group. I was having a fantastic time…until I went out for my 2nd group of runs. Mentally, I hit a wall (thank god not physically). For that run group and all the other run groups of the day, I didn’t complete another run. I kept spinning out. I was there, just having fun, spinning out. Initiating drifts at all points in the track and not even trying to fix the mistakes I was making.  Benson was giving me pointers but I was Charlie Brown listening to the teacher talk.  I didn’t even hear it.

I walked away that day with mixed feelings. I had a fun time, sliding my car and seeing old friends, but know I could have driven better.  I have unfinished business with you Willow Springs.

The Aftermath
The Drift Queen is safely tucked away again. I have a faulty bleeder valve on the new stop tech calipers, ripped couplers (I went off course and hit the intercooler, which ripped 2 couplers) and for some reason my front bumper doesn’t fit (new wheels threw everything off).  Oh yea, and I’ve got to siphon all that gas out.  I’ve got lots of work to do. I’m returning to Willow Springs in October for my birthday. I think I’m going to rent the track out and throw myself a birthday party.

See you soon.

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