When the Sesnon Fire erupted in October 2008, Andrew Madrid and his family were ordered to evacuate their Chatsworth home. It was in the path of the deadly wildfire that covered nearly 10,000 acres in the west end of the San Fernando Valley in Southern California.
Andrew Madrid has about 150 trophies in his room
Andrew Mardrid wins NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Pacific Division, at Southwestern International Raceway in Tucson, Arizona
Andrew Mardrid's dad told his son put his most valuable items in the family's motor home. Madrid said he gathered some paperwork, some money and all of his drag racing trophies.
"My dad told me to grab everything that was important to me," Andrew Madrid said. "I can't go back to those days. I can't duplicate that. That was important to me."
Madrid's dad estimates his son had about 150 trophies in his room. Every one of them was in the family's motor home.
"He's got a room full of trophies," said Larry Madrid, who added that all of his son's trophies took up most of the space in the motor home. When he asked his son why he decided to save the trophies, his son told him, "I can't replace these."
Luckily, the fire avoided the Madrid home. Since then, Andrew Madrid has added a few more trophies to his collection, including a pair of Wallys awarded to the winner of NHRA national events.
His most recent trophy came at Southwestern International Raceway in Tucson, Ariz., in the Super Comp division of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Pacific Division, on March 28. Andrew Madrid beat Chuck Babcock in the final race and won the first race of the Pacific Division season.
Madrid also won the NHRA Super Comp portion of the drag races at Southwestern International Raceway in 2009.
Winning the race a second time in a row was challenging because every driver and team had ample time to prepare.
"Everybody got a ton of time trials," the 20-year-old Andrew Madrid said. "Everybody was pretty dialed in for that event. Back-to-back, that was definitely pretty cool for us."
The win in 2009 was a bit of a bad omen though. Andrew Madrid was not able to repeat his performance in Tucson and struggled with his car throughout most of the 2009 season.
Mechanical problems and setbacks were the source of most of his challenges. But he has a new car and is off to a great start in the 2010 drag racing season.
His Madrid Motorsports team is planning on entering a combination of NHRA national and Pacific Division events. His next race will be in the NHRA Super Comp class at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway from April 16-18.
"It's the same as far as competitiveness," Andrew Madrid said. "There are more cars, more rounds. We'll take it one round at a time and hopefully it turns out in our favor."
He also said the national events are more difficult to win because there isn't that much difference in the equipment and talent-level of most of the teams and drivers.
"It's harder to win," Andrew Madrid said. "It gets more competitive and the racing gets closer." He added that he has confidence in his car and equipment. The real challenge is preparing mentally for the races and "keeping my composure through the whole event."
The next Pacific Division race isn't until June at Top Gun Raceway in Fallon, Nev.
"I'd definitely like to keep up the points, mainly go some rounds," Andrew Madrid said. "I'd like to get another win, another few wins, but we'll se what happens."
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