By: Teresa Santos
It was an extremely hot day, and we had been planning this for a very long time. My brother and my mom came to get me early from school. Before they came, they put all our luggage in the car, so when they came to get me we wouldn't have to go back to the house. Then we were on our way to Ukiah to see the races.
As we were on our way to Ukiah we had to make one stop first. We had to stop at my Aunt and Uncle's house. To pick up my Aunt before we completely left. So we headed toward Milpitas. On our way I remember thinking how excited I was that I got to leave school early to see my cousin Martin drive his race car! I'd never seen him drive his number 27 Legend car,before. I'd seen him drive his old mini-cup car, but never this car before. I felt like I had just gotten a new puppy! I would have never thought I could be this excited about watching people driving cars in a big circle until now, but I was and I didn't know why until I got to Ukiah and realized how much fun it is even when you're just watching.
Finally we got to Milpitas, it seemed like it was taking forever. When we got there I had no idea that their race could be canceled, because they got the carburetor delivered late. I was so disappointed that I might not be able to see my cousin race. As they tried to fix the car I sat there on the ground with the smell of gasoline all around to me. I sat there on the ground watching my cousin and Uncle try to fix the car. I was sitting there for a couple of minutes and all I could think about is when are they going to fix the car?
Then about ten minutes later, they told us they were going to be able to fix the car, and my brother, mom, Aunt, and I should go ahead and get a spot at the racetrack. When they said we could go and the race was on, I felt like jumping up and down! I was so excited that we still get to go to the races. It was about a four-hour drive to Ukiah. Then we got there, but we were earlier than my Uncle and Cousin. So we went to the pits. I thought we would have to watch the race from the stands, but then we were told we were old enough to go into the pits. I was so happy, because I've never been in the pits before and last time I went to a race I wanted to go in the pits but I wasn't old enough. I couldn't believe I was allowed to go into the pits. As we went in I was amazed at all the cars that were there it was like an SPCA, but with cars. When you're in the stands you don't realize how many cars are there to race and how all the cars are so different . I never noticed that all the cars have their own uniqueness by the way it looks.
It was the first race and my Cousin and Uncle got there about an hour and a half ago. Then Martin went out on the track, but right before he did we all went up and said "good luck" to him before he went out on the track. Then I went up to the small stands and watched the race. Then the next thing I knew, people were cheering, and because he got second place. After he got off the track, we all congratulated him because he did so well. A little while later we all went to bed.
The next morning we got up and got ready to go to the racetrack. There were more cars than the day before. The place was surrounded by cars and trailers. That morning after we got to the track, we just were hanging out in the trailer. Then he had a practice race before the real race. He did pretty good then, too. As we were waiting, about two people came over to the trailer to see how good they did on video. Aunt Lou Anne recorded the race for Martin to learn from.
It finally started to cool off when Martin's final race was going to start. We all said "good luck" and my Aunt went to the other side of the track to tape the race. Then the race started. Martin was close to the front of the line. Then he started going towards the right and passing the other cars, cutting in front of them politely. The next thing we know, he's in the very front of every one. He was in first place, but he couldn't hold that position. He went back a couple spaces. Then the number bleep car couldn't pass him so he bumped him and Martin didn't move for him. So he started to push Martin to the left towards the dirt, while he moved his car to the right, but still pushing him. Then Martin couldn't control the wheel and spun out into the dirt. Then when he came back into the race, he had to start in the very back. Then they started the race again, he passed a couple cars and came in tenth place. We all told him he did a great job, but he still seemed very disappointed. They looked at the tape and saw that the bleep car was illegal and Martin should have gotten fourth place. They showed the manager what he had done and he went over to warn the other driver what he had done. We were all so mad, because it was the best Martin had raced so far. Later that night, we left and all went to the hot tubs at our hotel. My brother learned how to make a sit ball. My Uncle James and Martin finally didn't seem too upset anymore. Then they went back to the track to sleep in their tent.
The third day we were there we got there later than we though we would. We had to get gasoline and oil for the car. By the time we got there, we missed Martin's first practice. But we saw the second practice race. People were coming over to see how well or not well they did. I had to go and water the ground so the dust wouldn't fly up everywhere when the cars went by. After I did that I went and stood by the fan because it was 112 degrees outside and I was standing there in the hot sun. During the afternoon, my brother, mom and I went over to this women named Teresa, and we bought Legend car t-shirts from her. Then we went and changed into them. After that, we took our racing flags and walked around the pits asking all the drivers that we could to sign our flag. Some of the racers gave us cards of them with their cars on them.
Finally, it was time for the last race. We all went over to the stands and said "good luck" and "do great" to Martin before he went out on the track. Then we sat down on the stands, and the race started. Martin was passing cars from the outside of them. He passed at least six or seven cars. Everyone in the stands was surprised at how good he was doing and how many cars he was passing. I was so happy that he was passing so many cars. I couldn't believe it. I had no idea how good he was. I had no idea how hard it was to pass all the cars. It seemed like he had to go twice as fast as everyone else to pass them. Then at the end of the race he came in fourth. He did so good, he started out in tenth and finished fourth. I love the excitement of racing. We all went up to him and complimented him on how well he did and how great his passing was.
I want to be a race car driver because I love the excitement and the pressure that goes into being a good race car driver, like my cousin Martin. I would have never thought one experience could change the way I think about a sport.