2015 was a year filled with change and excitement for my family and me. On Easter Sunday (April 5th) my husband and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world. DeLayna Jennifer Dubie changed our world and our priorities. My laptop time was replaced with feedings and diapers and smiles and giggles so to all those who are reading this…THANK YOU! Thank you for sticking with me despite the year-long hiatus.
Even though having a newborn in tow meant that my racing exposure in 2015 was limited I actually gained a new appreciation for this sport we love and the people that comprise it.
There is no other sport I can think of where a child is raised by the participants, racing is truly a family and DeLayna has been welcomed into that family with open arms. I am blessed with a sweet baby who instantly shared her mama’s passion for motor ports. At age 2-weeks she witnessed her first race via the awesomeness that is Races On The Web. Viewing Crystal Motor Speedways season opener from the warmth of a home and the comfort of the couch was perfect, even though I think neither DeLayna nor I actually stayed awake until feature time.
On the 4th of July David and I along with MeMe and Papa (My parents) introduced DeLayna to live racing with a trip to nearby Merritt Speedway. She instantly loved the Modifieds and Late Models, refusing to sleep, instead following the on-track action.
Watching races through her eyes gave me an appreciation for the sport I never had before. I always knew that racing was family oriented, but becoming a mom made me realize just how great the racing community is. There is no shushing from other spectators when a child makes loud noises; instead there is an appreciation that the future of the sport is secured with a new generation of race fans.
Although most of my racing experiences over the past year were close to home where we could easily get home fairly quickly, I still got to enjoy visiting tracks like Northern Michigan Speedway, Merritt Speedway, and Whittemore Speedway. DeLayna even made it out to her first ever MARFC night at Merritt Speedway as an official card-carrying MARFC Member (At age 3-months).
A huge highlight for me not only of the year, but my entire bank of racing memories though came in August when my family and I travelled to Waynesfield Motor Speedway in Waynesfield, Ohio to meet up with Jack and Jody Hewitt and experience a ride-along.
Getting a few laps in a two-seater piloted by one of the most genuine and kind individuals in the sport, not to mention my childhood hero was nothing short of incredible.
The Dewitt with Hewitt Experience is primarily run through Waynesfield Raceway Park, but they do have stops at other tracks throughout the season. For a cost of $125 you get to make a dream come true.
Jody gets you suited up in full safety gear and then in between hot lap sessions you get to have 4-laps at full speed in a real sprint car thats modified into a two-seater piloted by one of the most talented drivers this sport has ever known.
Everyone comes out of the experience with a different perspective which makes things even more interesting. My dad Mark was in awe, my husband David is now convinced he needs to buy a car and race, and I realized after three decades as a sprint car fan that I could “NEVER” race a sprint car because everything just happens WAY too fast. One thing is certain though, after just 4-laps you will never again look at the guy running at the tail of the field the same way again, because regardless of how slow he/she may look from the stands, from inside the cockpit they are flying.
This past year was definitely filled with a great deal of excitement and I am already looking forward to everything that 2016 has in store.
I will be kicking the year off with a trip down to Warren on January 23rd for the annual Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club (MARFC) Dinner. A night filled with the celebration of champions, camaraderie, food and dancing will be fun for our entire family
The annual Sno*Drift Rally is also fast approaching with competitors from all over the world travelling to Montmorency County to do battle on the icy back roads on January 29th and 30th.
2016 is sure to be an exciting one and I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with all of you.
Thank you all for reading and happy New Year!