Shake n’ Bake

As some of you may have noticed, I don’t usually post anything on the weekend. That’s mainly because its jam packed full of activities like getting the new house organized (painting, sanding, cleaning), watching Netflix or RACING. Most of the time its racing, sprinkled with doing house stuff on Sundays and watching Netflix on the long car rides to the race track.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about…….I race cars as a hobby. I started when I was 7 and raced Quarter Midgets, then 3/4 Midgets until I was a sophomore in college and for the last 3 years have been running a Supermodified. Its an open wheeled, winged car, weighing in at 2000 lbs, has about 900 horsepower and averages about 160mph. For all you motor heads its a 454 Chevy big block motor.

 This past week I started the New England tour of my racing season. My dad, mom and I left for New Hampshire on Thursday for my race in Lee, NH on Friday night.

The week before a race is usually consumed by getting the car ready. Sundays are for unloading the trailer and getting the car in our garage, along with the toolbox, spare tires, new tires and all the parts we may need to maintain or fix the car from the previous weekend. Monday’s are spent recovering from the long weekend before. Tuesday’s have been deemed “Super Tuesdays” which means my dad, my fiance, our friend BJ (my unofficial crew chief) and myself spend the night after working in the garage doing normal maintenance on the car or fixing anything that happened in the previous race. Changing the oil, cleaning the car, checking the valves, changing gears, changing tires, resetting the wing, cleaning nozzles and the fuel filter and “nut & bolting” the car. Wednesdays are for scaling the car. Thursday are for loading the trailer and Fridays are for traveling. I think I figured we travel over 15,000 miles a season in about 8 different states and Canada.

So, Thursday we packed up and headed north for a lovely 5 hour drive, all white listening to the GOP debate and eating not-so-delicious turnpike food. Got a decent nights sleep and headed to the track bright and early Friday morning.

All the teams usually get about 2 hours to prepare their cars before practice. We all get 2-3 rounds of practice and then heat races. I race with ISMA (International Supermodified Association) that’s been around longer than I’ve been alive. The heat race line ups are determined on how fast you went in practice. I think I was 9th fastest out of 24 on Friday night. Didn’t have a great heat race run. Car was too loose. Started 14th out of 24 and after 75 laps ended up 6th. Car was good, but tough competition and it was all about saving your tires for the end of the race. Lee is a tricky little bullring and guys that have been running there for 10+ years still struggle with finishing well. Last year I finished 6th also, so at least I’m consistent!

We got done around 11pm and had a 2 hour drive back to the hotel in Auburn, MA. Saturday morning we got up and headed to New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Connecticut for our Saturday race. Last year I wrecked in practice after the axle broke going into corner 1 and it destroyed the car. It took us the rest of the season to sort out the “bugs” from the wreck, only to blow the motor at the last race of the season.

Trying to get the car down the driveway afrer Waterford.
Axle broke at the left rear hub- sent me into the wall.
Aftermath of the wreck- trying ti get it in the trailer!

Practice went well at Waterford, 4th fastest over all. Started 2nd in the heat race and got wrecked taking the green flag. The 3rd place car ran into the first place car, who then turned into me and bent a few things on the front axle. I pulled in to check things over and the car was fine, but they send you to the back if you pull in the pits. So i started 6th and finished 6th. My rear fuel tank got crunched, so that will need to be fixed this week. Where you finish in the heat race- lines you up for the feature and Saturday night was all about starting position. I started 17th out of 19 and finished 12th. I passed 4 people on the start and then hung out in 13th for 48 of the 50 laps. On the second to last lap a car in front of me almost spun out and I was able to get around him to finish 12th. No one passed anyone the entire time, so I wasn’t the only one that didn’t really move. We basically completed the 50 lap race green to checkered- taking only 15 minutes to complete the race. THAT NEVER HAPPENS!. Quick race, but felt like forever because it was so hard to pass people and extremely frustrating.

Not an awesome weekend, but I’ve had worse. The car is in one piece and its pretty good to go for a week and a half from now when we head to Delaware, Ontario.

Tonight’s task is to get the fuel tank off and get it fixed. Solid 2 hour project. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world though!

Purpose

Most things in “real life” I’ve done backwards or skipped over…Skipped PSU graduation to go racing, moved in with my then boyfriend before getting engaged, got 2 dogs before owning a house, bought a house before getting married, etc.

So, here I am participating in Blogging 101 after completing Blogging 201.

usAs you probably know my name is Alison Cumens and I’m a 24 years old. I currently work at my family owned bus company as the receptionist, I graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 2013, I am engaged, have two wonderful beagles, just purchased my first home, I’m a certified personal trainer and love working out….oh and I race cars. When I find a new project I become slightly obsessed with it, until the new-ness wears off and I’m onto the next new thing. My fiance and many of my friends suggest I’m have a glass half empty/pessimistic attitude 95% of the time, but I’m very passionate about everything I do.

The purpose of my blog is to hold myself more accountable and chronicle my life after graduating college… “real life”. I’ve done journals before and there’s no feedback or people to keep up with, so I lose interest.

Some of the topics I’ll write about include:

  • Life after college or what I like to call “Real Life”
  • Fitness-Personal Training- Crossfit
  • Home owning
  • Supermodifieds- Car Racing- Three Quarter Midgets
  • Money-How I Spend it- How I Save it
  • Healthy Eating- Dieting
  • AdvoCare
  • Relationships (with everyone)
  • Dogs
  • My wedding

I’m not very good at honing in on one thing, so I’ll write about a wide variety of topics which will hopefully allow me to connect with a wide variety of other bloggers! I would love to meet other people in my current “stage” of life. Semi recent college grad, no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life, engaged, fitness fanatic, loves dogs and has unusual hobbies. I know that is a huge list of criteria, but hey- ya never know!

Here’s to finding who I am through trial and error in this “real life”.

What about what I want?

You might think this post is a self centered one…you’re right. Blogging 201 suggests analyzing what posts and at what time our readers are actually engaging in our blogs. Since I don’t have any likes or comments or followers, today is going to be about me. I’ve always thought it’s easiest to talk about myself to strangers since they have no idea where you’ve been and what you’ve done so far in life. Judge, don’t judge. All are welcome to follow along with this one.

So, today what I want to do is to give you a short background about myself: Born in raised in southeastern PA, have one brother, tons of cousins, lots of dogs and I’ve never moved. I’ve had three major hobbies in my life, racing, gymnastics and complaining.

1. I started racing Quarter Midgets at the age of 7, after watching my younger brother race cars from the grandstands. (No I don’t literally sit on midgets and ride them around in circles). Check out http://dqmrc.com/ if you want to know what they look like. At first I sucked and was afraid to do anything but ride around in circles at the back of the pack. One day a few years later it “clicked” and I started winning races. I “moved up” to Three Quarter Midgets my senior year of high school. Bigger, faster, and older men to race against (http://atqmra.squarespace.com/) I didn’t have a ton of respect, because I was just this new “chick” and girls can’t drive. I am the first ever female to win a points championship in the club’s 58 year history. I won the overall series championship, without ever winning a race. Let me tell you, that’s a big deal. Two years later I won my first feature event at Oswego Speedway in New York and was the first ever women to place that high at the track and win a race within the club. In 2013, I “moved up” again into Supermodifieds (http://ismasupers.com/) and still run them today. So far I’ve won Rookie of the Year, placed 2nd and 3rd several times and just recently have been the highest finishing female again at Oswego Speedway. This weekend I’m off to Sandusky Speedway in Ohio for a 2 night event. Hoping this time I can put it in victory lane!

Starting on the pole at Oswego in June
Starting on the pole at Oswego in June

2. Gymanstics. Love it, hate it, leave it. I’ve always had a love, hate relationship with gymnastics. Loved it as a kid, but competing and working out got in the way of having a life when I was in high school. I quit my senior year of high school and haven’t looked back until now. I recently got involved in CrossFit and I’M OBSESSED. It involves a lot of gymnastics skills, which now I wish I kept up with so I could be that much further ahead. Live and learn I guess.

3. Complaining. Ask anyone who knows me and they will cautiously tell you that I complain all the time. It’s too hot, it’s too cold, I’m tired, I’m hungry (I’m always hungry. Pretty sure I was a hungry hungry hippo in a previous life) I can’t help it sometimes, but I am trying to fix it. Its one of those goals I wrote down for the month of June and July. Complain less, make things happen more.

That is an insanely short version of the last 17 years of my life, because before age 7 I did nothing worth talking about.

-Here’s to another day and another dollar.