It's wasn't long ago that we were wondering how many months, many hours, and money it would take to bring Andrew Alepa's Corvette back out to the race track. No one, with the exception of Andrew and Chase believed that it would be done in a month and then go win it's first race back out.
In Greek Mythology, it is believed that the Phoenix rises from the ashes of it's predecessor after perish in a show of flames. Nothing else could better describe what happen to Andrew's car. By now I am sure that most of you know what happened during a test pass at SGMP the week of Donald Long's Lights Out 8 Race, when Kevin Fiscus brought the car to a stop on the top end, only to have the entire front end engulfed in flames.
Damages to the cars seemed extensive, but fixable when I saw it shortly afterward. Though I did not foresee for one moment that the car would be ready for this race. I thought to myself of all the hours worth of clean up, wiring, replacing parts, getting parts, etc. Now I knew Andrew would have the right team in place, but this would call for a rebirth of epic proportions to pull it off in time.
The car immediately traveled to Pro Line in Ball Ground, GA to start the process. The whole front end look like there was some type of damage, along with the windshield. Everything from the firewall forward was going to have to be addressed in some way shape or form. Whether it was to clean or replace.
Chase Driskell, who has been a long time friend of Andrew, but also works with Andrew on the car took care of a lot of the work that was going to have to be done. Endless days turned into sleepless nights. Chase is one that makes sure that everything is going to be right and leaves no stone unturned. He and Andrew make a team that is always hard to beat.
Last Wednesday we rolled into the track and I had heard rumblings that we would see the rise of the radial vette on the property over the weekend. Then I heard more rumblings that the rig was on the property, but the car hadn't made it yet. In fact, I had heard that the paint was drying on the front end, but would be there in time for the race. For those that don't know, there are car guys/gals, and then there are drag racers. Drag racers are a different breed of human being all together. Drag racers don't care about sleep, or much of anything else come race weekend except the drive to win. The Team Alepa guys are pure drag racing people!
None of this would matter though if the team came out and stunk up the place by having a terrible performance. Well, we didn't have to worry about that happening. The formidable Daniel Pharris was behind the wheel once again to show the world the they have risen from the ashes. Round after round the car got quicker and quicker. I spoke to Andrew at one point during the event and he couldn't stop smiling about how it was going. With Chase handling the mechanical, Daniel wheeling the car, Josh Ledford making the tuning calls, and Andrew being the glue that held it together, the team was unstoppable. In the last two round of competition alone, Daniel had to defeat the rockstar that is Jeff Lutz, and in the finals he faced off against one of the quickest cars in radial history when he lined up against Barry Mitchell.
Daniel was not going to be stopped though. It was his time, and it was Team Alepa's time. The $20k, was going home to Texas. It was the pinnacle to what was a very tough last month for the team. A month that started with no even knowing if he wanted to continue this right after the fire happened, to taking home that big check in its first outing back. We congratulate everyone involved with making this a successful weekend for Team Alepa. Look for them to be the ones people are talking about this weekend in Tulsa as well.