2016 has been a roller coaster ride with many triumphs and heartbreaks. January 7 was to be a great day, I became a uncle for the third time, but that same day I lost my sister, Stacy. We were completely devastated. Stacy had always been one of my biggest supporters in my life and until recently in racing, too.
In April, we headed out to Mokan to start the racing season. 60 points were on the line and we didn't win a single round point. Next we went to Mason Dixon in May. With 100 points available, we were only able to secured 20 round points due to carburetor trouble. Luckily, Alanna was able to do some research and figure out that it was the power valve. Then on to Bristol in June. We came away with 50 points of a possible 80 and took home our first win of the season. But, by the Knoxville race in July, I was back to being unable to win a round.
July 25th, the day following the Knoxville race, Alanna and I went in for monitoring blood work and an ultrasound to received the heart-wrenching news that she had miscarried again. She was admitted to the hospital that evening for surgery. While in surgery the doctor also removed a large cyst that she had been monitoring. Pathology reports came back that the cyst was actually a borderline cancerous tumor and we were referred to a Gynecological Oncologist for additional testing and surgery. Eventually, we decided to go to EMORY University Hospital for Alanna's treatment. Surgery was scheduled for November 1st.
As we waited for surgery and bounced from appointment to appointment, we chose to keep living our lives. So back to her crazy work schedule and racing.
In September, Alanna headed to training in Mississippi and I headed to Clay City to race. Mom was able to join me on this trip. It was a two very long days, but they paid off. I won both races, taking home all 70 round points.
With my win at Clay City, I was now in a three way tie for first with Ron Hamby and Ryan Covalt, and only one race left at Mason Dixon to see who would come out on top. Ron and I, both had the same idea to push us into the lead and added additional weight to our cars so that we could set records and add 20 additional points to our total. Luckily we both got points for breaking the existing record, even if Ron was able to set it lower than me.
On Saturday at Mason Dixon, Ryan went out early, clearing the way for Ron and I to start pulling away from him. Ron and I ended up facing off in the finals. We both had .02 lights, but Ron's was red, given me the win and a 10 point lead for the Championship.
Sunday at Mason Dixon was another story, both Ron and I went out first round, with Ryan advancing to the finals. If Ryan had won, he would have tied Ron for second in points and with a better index, secured the 2nd place title. But his brother Denny, denied him that by beating him in the finals.
November 1st, Alanna went in for surgery not knowing what the outcome would be. Surgery went incredibly well, results were better than we could have ever hoped for, and all test results came back excellent. Your prayers and out pouring of love during this time meant so much to us.
While Alanna was recuperating from surgery, we waited to find out if Ryan slipped off to the Oklahoma race to fight for the title. Ryan decided not to go and the Championship was decided.
Winning the Championship this year is very big for me considering all the things that have happened this year, and it being eleven years since I last won it in 2005. I would like to thank everyone for their support, my family and friends for their encouragement on and off the strip, and most importantly the Lord for his grace and allowing me to do the things I love. I know that Dad and Stacy are looking down on us today beaming from ear to ear and bursting with pride.