On Saturday, August 1st, 2020, Team PMG Awareness participated in one of Utah’s premiere motorsports events, the NASA’s Annual Utah 6 Hour Endurance Race at Utah Motorsports Campus. Seven different classes of cars competed to see who could go the furthest in class, and battle to be the overall winner. The race would start at 6:00pm and run until the competitors got the checkered flag at midnight.
Team PMG Awareness arrived on Friday, July 31st, and began setting up in Garage 22, which we shared with our dear friends and old sponsors, TruSpeed Autosports. While it was a day full of preparations, the day ended early as the teams headed back to their hotels for a good meal and a restful night’s sleep. Upon return to the track on race day, the teams would find themselves extremely busy with multiple practice runs, drivers’ meetings, qualifying trials and fine tuning the last-minute details on the car before the race began that evening.
This event usually draws a rather large following of PMG families. In the past, we have had over 20 families attend. This year would prove to be vastly different, unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many PMG families, understandably, just found it too risky to bring their immune compromised kids out to the race.
While everyone was greatly missed, one exciting opportunity did come out of it. A few weeks before, PMG Awareness Organization went through a change in leadership. The previous President/CEO of six years, Robin Hudson, finally met Cody Stevens and his family, who is the newly elected President/CEO. Even though Robin and Cody had been working together for many months prior via conference calls, Zoom calls, phone calls, email and text messages, it was a wonderful opportunity for them, along with their families, to finally connect in person. Cody and his wife Joan, and their son, Luke, were also able to finally meet Tom and the other drivers, Jim Slavik and Joel Miller, as well as the entire racing team.
Also in attendance was Leilani Daly, along with her four children and mother. Leilani attended the Utah race last year and has enjoyed coming to meet other PMG families and supporting the team. Cody was honored to meet her as well and it was nice for him to be able to put a face to a name. Leilani’s youngest son, Ian, is diagnosed with Polymicrogyria and of course, he stole everyone’s heart.
Before the race, Robin and her husband, Rick, prepared carne asada, chicken and ground beef tacos with Spanish Rice and chips and cheese for the guests and both Team PMG Awareness and TruSpeed. The teams quickly filled their bellies before having to make their way down to the pits to begin the long-anticipated event. As the night went on, the teams would trickle back in to grab some extra grub to keep them charged up through the night.
Before the drivers and team headed back to the garage to get ready to race, Tom presented last years WERC Championship trophy to the group. This marks our 4th consecutive overall championship for Team PMG Awareness! Each of the PMG kiddos who were present took turns holding and admiring it. It was such an honor to accept this award on behalf of all the PMG families! This is for YOU!
Promptly at 6:00pm, the race began. The 6-hour enduro would be split up between three drivers. First behind the wheel and starting us off was Jim Slavik. He ran for about 2 hours before coming in to pit. From there, Tom jumped in and took us another 2 ½ hours. After that, Joel Miller stepped in and led us to the checkered flag with a 4th place overall finish. In our specific class, ESR, Team PMG Awareness came in 1st place when their closest competitor ended up damaging their car in a turn giving them a 6th place finish. This gave Team PMG Awareness an overall 5 point lead and bumped us up to 1st place in our class. With one more race in Buttonwillow, California on October 10th, 2020, the team has its sights set on securing a 5th consecutive WERC Championship this year! There is also talk of another race in Sonoma California before the seasons end, so stay tuned for details!
PMGA would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Utah Motorsports Campus for the hospitality and kindness they showed to our teams and families at the event. They provided us with an air conditioned suite right above the race track where we had perfect views of the start and finish line as well as our pit crew so we were able to watch our car as it came in for tire changes, driver changes and fuel. They went above and beyond by having the tables and chairs covered as well as adding a beautifully custom designed centerpiece to each table. It was gorgeous and we truly felt very well taken care of!
Even though COVID-19 kept a lot of our usual families at bay, it did not stop those of us who did attend from having a wonderful time. Despite the 100-degree heat, we still managed to connect, share stories and encourage one another. We shared laughter and pleasant conversation and left with a very full and blessed heart!
Thank you to those who attended and to the team for racing hard and providing us with a platform upon which we can build connections and raise awareness for PMG! ❤❤❤
Until our next race in Buttonwillow, California… remember to believe, always encourage, and never give up hope! We are in this TOGETHER!