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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight: Wendi Zwaduk

We Are the Champions

I thought today I’d let Tucker do some talking. He’s a pro at charming the public and he’s dying to get to talk. Yeah, he’s a chatty box, but only if it’s his terms—racing, what he wants to talk about, or being good for the cameras. So, take it away, Tucker Poston.

Why thank you, Miss Wendi. My name is Tucker Poston and I race in the stock car series. At one time, I was in the top tier of racing, but things sort of fell of the racing groove and I landed a little lower than I wanted. You won’t hear me complain, though. I landed, not only on my feet, but right in the path of the one woman I love the most.

She’s just not open to realizing I still care about her.

Miss Wendi told me to talk about stock cars, what I do, and where we race, not women. She’s so silly. But I’ll behave, for now.

I race stock cars. What’s a stock car? Originally they were the cars straight out of the showroom, right off the lot, put right on the track. No modifications, no specials. And that lasted for as long as it took the main mechanic—now the crew chief—to figure out how to fudge the rules. A few guys showed up racing cars that were a little bit modified. They ran whiskey and had stronger shocks and bigger engines. Yes, there were regulations, but with lots of sports, trying to find a way to bend the rules is a sport in and of itself. Stock cars are meant to look like the cars you drive, an Impala, Charger, Camry, or Fusion, or in the case of trucks, like I race, Silverados, Tundras, F-150’s, and Rams. Yeah, so we have a few modifications, windows with tear offs so the dirt doesn’t collect, spoilers, fuel cells not tanks, roll cages, not cushy seats...but you get the idea.

What is it that I do? I race stock cars. We go to different tracks and practice.
According to our practice speeds, we qualify. You tend to want to qualify the best and stay up front. It helps when it comes to the last lap. We race anywhere from just over a hundred laps to six-hundred laps. Depends on the track. Speaking of tracks, we tend to run on ovals, super speedways, short tracks, and road courses. I’ve probably forgotten something so far along the way. Chalk it up to race brain. I swear, the temperatures we hit in those cars, it’s no wonder I’ve not cooked my noggin.

I liken the races to foot races. We want to see who is the strongest car, the fastest car, and in a lot of cases, who manages the whole of the race best. For example, you can have a fast car, but if you screw up in a turn, that fast car can collect the wall really fast. If it does, there’s a good chance you’re not going to finish on top. There are those who have strong cars. They muscle through the field and get to the front fairly quickly. Again, one mistake and it can all end in the wall. Or with an empty fuel tank. Yup. I’ve had that. I thought I had plenty of fuel, thought I could make it to the end. Crew chief says, sure, we’re good. We weren’t and I got passed by three-quarters of the field on the last lap. That stinks.

But maybe you wanted to know why I had Miss Wendi title this post We Are the Champions...the culmination of racing is to be the point champ. That’s what I want to do. Well, that and win my girl back. I want to be the champion.

And because I am in control of the post and can sneak this in, the woman I’m in love with is the woman I’m dying to make my owner. We had a relationship in the past. Damn strong one, too. But I jacked it all up by letting my ego get in the way. I’m not screwing up any longer. So you know.

I hope I gave you a taste of stock car racing and have enticed you to want to learn more. Heck, go to a track. It’s the best feeling ever. Well, except actually driving the car in the race, but that’s for the athletes.



Stormy said...

I love stock car racing and I can see where the the circuit would be a great premise for a story! Can't wait to read it!!

Cathy M said...

Great fun facts, Wendi, and you are right about Tucker, he is a charmer.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Wendi Zwaduk said...

Thanks Stormy!! So glad you are interested. I had a great time writing the book and Tucker, well, he loves to talk!

Wendi Zwaduk said...

Cathy - Glad you made it here, too. Tucker is a charmer, isn't he? He does know how to work a room. He's been a blast to write and I can't wait to get the next story going. :-) Too many ideas and not enough time in the day!

Karen C said...

Hi, Wendi and Tucker!

Tucker, you did a really great job at explaining stock car racing! I'm curious about your thoughts on 'The Chase'. What kind of impact does not making 'The Chase' have on your career?


Wendi Zwaduk said...

OOH! I am preening. Yes, Wendi is snickering that I said preening. Shrugs. Karen asked a question about me and the profession.

Ok, so. It's like this. The's a good thing. It makes us work harder to win. No wins and not enough points, then your sponsor gets twitchy. Why? No face time on TV. Gotta have the promo time. Does it impact the career? Yeah, a litte. You can lose a sponsor that way. Then there's the booger known as winning while not in the Chase but during the Chase. You gotta do what you gotta do to get into it or preform like the dickens so you still get that face time.

Does that answer the question? I hope so. Wendi's sitting behind me laughing her butt off.

(he's all serious and's comical)

Gabby said...

I think I've heard of stock car racing but I'm not real familiar with the sport itself, it sounds kind of fun though.


Wendi Zwaduk said...

Gabby - Hey, the idea of driving really fast, without getting a ticket, and looking really cool while doing it sounded like a blast to me. And then I saw it. Some of the crashes are crazy, but it's still fun to watch.

Glad you could make it. Enjoy the book!