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The First Race

Posted by Elliott Skeer , 04-10-2011 · 3,390 views

I had woken up in the exact same spot many times before. Same bed in the same motorhome, in the same pits at Buttonwillow Raceway. Except this time I wasn’t walking out of the motorhome and looking at a go kart, but a Spec Miata. That’s when it hit me that after 8 months of prepwork on both the car and myself, the day had finally arrived, my first Spec Miata race.

At least I had tech to keep me occupied until first practice. As I was watching the NASA officials tech my car, for some reason I felt nervous. I knew 100% that it was going to pass. But for some reason, it was stressful. But as I saw them stamping the Rush Motorsports cage and start signing all of the paperwork, I knew that my dad and I had passed the first step. We had an official race car, now it is time to get her on track.

I had already put 16 days worth of track time into the car, but this session felt different, it was official. Time to stop chatting to dad on the mic and get down to business. After practice was over we had to rush to make all the changes for qualifying, but it was worth it. My second flying lap was all I needed. I came in, parked it, and settled in for a 2nd place starting spot. So now for the long wait...oh great.

I sat down with the Rush Motorsports crew and just tried to keep my mind off the race, but the butterflies were slowly growing in numbers. I was feeling calm until my dad told me it was time to get in and get to grid, then the butterflies went into kill mode. I swear I felt them zipping around inside of me. But as soon as the national anthem started to play, I zoned myself out. All I was telling myself was “Ok, you have 9 years of karting experience, you have seen every start possible...your ready.” It didn't help much.

But as soon as that straight-4 came to life, it all became as calm as a walk in a park. I then knew I was ready.

As we came to the green I kept my line and by turn 1 I slotted into 3rd and stayed there for most of the race. Keeping up with the top 2 was a victory in itself. As the laps winded down, I soon began to see smoke out of the 2nd place car, and he soon was on the side of the track with a broken diff. So that just left me and the leader about 2 seconds ahead. As we were getting closer to the end, I noticed that my car was set up for the long run, every corner it was getting better and better, and the leader was getting closer.

As I came around the final corner, I saw the white flag in the air, and a 5 car gap to the leader. My dad was on the radio telling me I did great and to bring it home, and all I sad was “Its not over yet.” I charged through the Cotton corners gaining another 2 car lengths, but I now needed help to catch the other 3. And that help came in the strangest of ways.

As we came into the bus-stop, a car had gone off and was parked in the dirt, I was looking for a yellow flag, but there was not one out. Shortly after my dad said that the track is clear ahead of the dirt as I came into the braking point. The leader slowed down for the dust... and I went through it flat out, and came out the leader. I held him off and came around to the start-finish straight feeling like this wasn't real. And as I came across the line in 1st, I felt happier then I had been for any kart win. It was something truly special.

I have to thank everybody at Rush Motorsports for making us feel welcome, NASA for putting on quite an entertaining event (it always is when the H2 guys are out there with you). And especially my dad, for working so hard for 8 months to get the car ready, and to be basically everything except the driver. Thanks for everything!!!

Check out more at elliottskeerracing.com :)

Joe (dad) Jordan
04-22-2011 09:21 AM
Elliott congratulations! You accomplished something that very very dew people have, win your very first race, you did it in dominating fashion. Tip of the cap to you and your dads preparation for this moment.

You beat some good competition and have served notice that you will be one to beat!

We look forward to competing with you at the Teen Mazda Challenge, West.
    • Zack Benham likes this
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