When Pat Musi returned to racing after a brutal 2011 crash, he had hoped to prove that it was the right decision.
Now, with a chance at an ADRL championship in the Pro Modified class heading into this weekend’s World Finals at the Texas Motorplex, Musi is about as satisfied as he could be.
Musi crashed hard into the guardwall at Atlanta Dragway in May of 2011, fracturing a vertebrae, but he feels as good as ever heading into the final race of the 2012 ADRL season.
“I’m feeling pretty good. I thought about hanging it up after that, but I didn’t want to go out like that,” Musi said. “I’ve worked hard on the rehab, and I just wanted to see what would happen. But it was like riding a bike, and I’ve never looked back.”
Musi had surgery to insert titanium pins into his lower back following the crash, but his performance has been top-notch in 2012.
Heading into the final event, Musi is third in points and, when bonus participation points are factored in, he trails Jeff Naiser by just 150 points (or 1.5 rounds in the ADRL).
In addition, Musi has advanced to two finals and set the world speed record in the class, running 196.22 mph at St. Louis in June.
Still, there is unfinished business for Musi, who is doing everything he can to be ready for this weekend in Dallas.
“I’m pleased with my performance, but we haven’t won a race and that’s frustrating. But we haven’t hurt any parts, the car is good and the owner is real happy,” Musi said.
“Our whole crew has jumped on board and we’re coming to Dallas to win this deal. We’ve worked the last two weeks on this thing. Everything is fresh and we’ve got a spare engine in the trailer, too. You better believe we’re going to try to win this deal.”
There are a number of scenarios where Musi could slip past both Naiser and Mike Castellana, who is 21 points ahead of Musi, but he is only focused on winning.
Should he do that, Musi will be in a great position to claim his first ADRL world championship and cap off an incredible comeback.
Musi also will have a back-up engine from Robert Patrick in case he needs it. Patrick was in a horrific crash last month at Summit Motorsports Park, but the engine suffered only cosmetic damage.
Since Patrick won’t be racing in Dallas following the wreck, Musi now has a back-up motor and he plans to push everything to the limit in Dallas.
“Our goal is just to go win the race. We want to try to run as good as we can. I’m thinking about running as fast as we can run,” Musi said. “Dallas is going to be a good track. I’ve got a hard road ahead, but we’ve been working on some stuff and we’re going to make a shot at it.
“I’m old-school. I’m completely focused. We’ve gone over the car front to back. We’ve put a lot of time into this. This week was race week, and we think we’re really ready.”
Championship or not, Musi is still thrilled with his decision to get back behind the wheel. It’s also allowed him to see his daughter, Lizzy, complete her first year of racing.
Lizzy will finish her solid rookie campaign in Top Sportsman in Dallas, adding another great aspect of Musi’s 2012 season.
“It’s been great. The whole ADRL has been great. Watching my daughter run has been great. She’s learned a lot, she’s got a good car now and that’s pretty cool,” Pat Musi said. “She’s coming along and I’m very proud of her. We’ve had a lot of fun this year.”
All articles and photography published in CompetitionPlus.com are protected by United States of America and International copyright laws unless mentioned otherwise. The content on this website is intended for the private use of the reader and may not be published or reposted in any form without the prior written consent of CompetitionPlus.com.
|< Prev||Next >|