Car of the Week: Newlywed Edition featuring Michelle and Jake

Car of the Week: Newlywed Edition featuring Michelle and Jake

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. This week we are reaturing recent newlyweds Michelle and Jake from Lavon, Texas, who both got their love of racing from the fathers.
 
Racers names:
Michelle Riedel and Jake Howard
 
Location:
Lavon, Texas
 
Where did you first meet?
It all started with a Facebook friend request since we were both racers. Then we met in person at Texas Raceway in Kennedale in June of 2010 during a bracket race.
 
Who raced first?
I (Michelle) have been involved in the sport the longest. One of my dad's proudest moments was taking me to Texas Raceway the weekend after I was born due to him having a race. Being around racing since birth, it was natural that I went into junior dragsters and then onto big cars. Jake was 7 years old when he and his dad first came to the track to race, but had been to a couple of national events previously. From juniors, Jake moved onto big cars. We most definitely have our dads to thank for introducing us to this sport!
 
Which car(s) do you drive (make/model/year)?
I race my dad's 1969 Ford Mustang, and Jake races his 1976 Pontiac Trans Am.
 
What's under the hood?
My dad's Mustang is Ford-powered with a 460 engine (yes it fits!) while Jake's Trans Am is all Pontiac powered with a 440 engine.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
The Mustang has probably one of Mr. Wendell's first BTE powerglide transmissions and the Trans Am has a BTE powerglide transmission and BTE torque converter. That one took a lot of convincing but Jake will never turn back now!
 
Do you race your own individual cars, or share?
We race our individual cars, but we are always up for sharing if the need is ever there.
 
How do you race together?
I prefer electronics and Jake prefers footbraking, but we both consult each other throughout a race on what we could have done differently and how to handle different situations from start to finish.
 
How do you complement each other while racing?
We are a team and openly discuss our races with each other and allow feedback from one another to better ourselves for the next race. We both bring years of knowledge in racing to our relationship and with our different race styles, some outside opinions are sometimes helpful. It is not always losing if you're learning.
 
What does one partner do that enhances or works together with the other?
We are both pretty self-sufficient in managing our own operations at the track as we each have specific things we track and our own routines from round to round. We are also not a sit-back-and-watch-the-other-one-do-all-the-work kind of team. Whether it is helping each other with fuel and battery charger in later rounds, or thrashing on broken cars, we can be seen side by side helping one another out.
 
Do you ever race against each other?
We have raced a handful of times against each other, mostly when we were racing in the same class at the start of our relationship. We do have a few tricks up our sleeves to stay away from each other as best we can until later rounds.
 
Do you share the pot when one of you wins?
Most of the pot goes back into our operations, but we most definitely have celebratory dinners at some of our favorite restaurants!
 
What's your strategy for staying a team? How do you support each other, win or lose?
The biggest thing that you have to learn in this funny sport of ours is to give each other some space after a loss. This sport creates some of the hottest tempered individuals, and when you're paying the money that we do to race week in and week out and keep your car at the top, you don't like losing. Winning is the fun part so we make sure to share those fun times together, especially at some of the bigger events that we have attended. It is easy to keep the team aspect alive because both of our hearts are in drag racing. Win or lose, we're out there doing what we love together. We share this time with each other, our families and closest friends, and it can't get much better than that when you share your ultimate passion with the ones you love.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at 5:10 PM