Wednesday, February 29, 2012

TAN Driver Blog-Megan McKernan-TAD

What an amazing weekend the Darien Racing team had in Phoenix at the Division 7 opener. It was also the very first Western Regional race for the alcohol classes. But most importantly, the weekend marked a first for me; I made it to the winner's circle for the very first time. Of course, we made it there as a team. Everyone else had been there before in one form or another, whether as a driver, crew member, team owner or crew chief. Yes, as you can tell I am lucky to have such a talented team. This was special, because I was able to share my first win with the best team a driver could ever hope for. Special too because we are not just a team, but we are a family.

It was a rematch of sorts for out team, as we faced Joey Severance in the final round, just as we did last season at the Seattle National. Joey came up on the winning end of that first matchup on his way to securing a Division 6 championship. The Severance family team is tough, and we knew that even with the great car we had in Phoenix it would not be an easy battle. When that win light came on in my lane, I was ecstatic! The happiness and excitement soon turned to overwhelming emotion of course by the time I climbed out of the car and waited for the team to make their way down the return road. I could not wait to see their faces and give all of them a hug.

There are so many people to thank and acknowledge, it's difficult to know where to begin. I want to start with my parents, for sending me to Frank Hawley's in 2003 to get my super comp license, and for all of their love and support along the way. I would not be here now in my racing career if it weren't for Roger "R.C." Conley, my teacher and crew chief in super comp for eight years, and one of my best friends. He believed in me when many others did not. Unfortunately, he is not with us today, but I carry his photo in the dragster and I know he was with me on Sunday. I have to thank John Force and Robert Hight for the support and advice they have given me over the years. I owe the win to my team: Jerry and Debbie Darien, Casey Grisel, Geoff Monise, Howard Mazei and Tom Gatlin. Not only do they work their butts off weekend after weekend but they have been there to teach, encourage, support and instill confidence in me. I am also grateful for the support of my sister Shannon, my uncle Steve, and the rest of my family and friends who have been on this journey with me.

I also want to thank Truck-Lite and Davco for this our second year of sponsorship. The following companies need to be thanked as well: Midnight Impressions, Gasparrelli Printing, Cucamonga Brewery, Safety Kleen, Mahle, Specialty Fasteners, Broguiere's Dairy, Comp Cams, Moroso, Control Cables, Simpson, Castrol, VP Racing Fuels, Taylor Motorsports Products, Goodyear, XRP, Hedman, Cam Effects, BAE, ISC Racers Tape, Goodson, Jegs, Lenco, Clark Copper Head Gaskets, Weld Wheels, Mageira Wings, Molinari Clutches, Hogan's Manifolds, Strange Engineering, McKinney Corp., Bill Miller Eng., Paul Stoll PPG Paint, ISP Safety, Racepak, Horsepower Engineering, and MSD.

Our next two races will be the Las Vegas Divisional and National events in March. Like always, I cannot wait to get back in the car. Our team has so much fun together, and I love the Vegas track!

Megan McKernan is the driver of the Jerry Darien-tuned Truck-Lite/Davco A/Fuel Dragster. Follow her on Twitter at @semamckernan.

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