Danny King column: Spreadsheets, Easter eggs, family life and the Witches... My perfect combo!
© Copyright Stephen Waller
In this week's Danny King column, the Witches skipper looks ahead to a busy Easter period and how important spreadsheets are to a racer.
Well, it's the big one tomorrow night.
The Witches opening Premiership clash of 2019 and they don't come much bigger than Belle Vue Aces.
We couldn't have asked for much tougher a test. But what a thrill it potentially could be.
The Aces have started the season on fire, winning home and away at Peterborough.
But we haven't done so badly ourselves, our defeat at King's Lynn on Monday night not helped by an injury to the 'Bomber', Chris Harris – more of that later.
So, we really could do with plenty of support tomorrow because if we were to beat the Aces, that will really send a note out to the rest of the league.
Max Fricke leads their charge and Kenneth Bjerre as well.
Both are top riders and they have plenty after that.
But we will be confident. Hopefully 'Bomber' will be fit to ride, but if he isn't we will have a good guest lined up in Rory Schlein.
Don't be late!
So, we lost at Lynn, as I have said and it was a bit disappointing to be honest.
We started so well but ended up mid-meeting a bit all over the place as the track changed.
We weren't helped by 'Bomber's' wrist injury of course, he scored just three points. Another seven from him and it has a totally different scoreline about it.
I certainly feel we would have got a point.
Our reserves, Cameron Heeps and Jake Allen were brilliant – and I mean brilliant.
Jake beat Stars No.1 Robert Lambert fair and square in heat 15. Cam's form just continues to be so consistent and I note he beat Sam Masters at Edinburgh on Friday night. Again, no mean feat.
But sadly a few of the boys struggled and I had a very up and down night, coming last in my opening ride, then winning my next before a string of seconds and thirds.
It wasn't the best but I will have learned from it. And I filled out my spreadsheet the next day, making notes of the meeting.
Yes, I've been filling out a spreadsheet of every meeting I have ever ridden in, going back to about 2010.
It might sound a bit geekish, but nothing could be further from the truth.
It's absolutely vital.
On my spreadsheet, I make a note of the date of the meeting, ie. Ipswich v Belle Vue, so I know I was at Ipswich, not away.
I put down how many points I got, the sprocket I started on and finished on, the track conditions, how it changed, how many heats I had, what engine I used. And any other notes.
It's a huge part of my preparation for meetings in the future, especially when I got back to tracks I don't race week in, week out.
And when it comes to engines, I make a note of how many races each engine has had. I always say 30-35 races before an engine needs a service.
You must look after your engines!
So, there's a little insight that I don't just go home, hose the bike down and spend hours in the workshop the next day – there is also much to be done on the computer.
I enjoyed last week away with my family in North Norfolk.
I'm lucky to have such a great family, two super boys and my wife Clara who understands my job so well.
We are both career people, me with my speedway and her with her teaching.
She's a deputy head teacher now, which is just great as she has worked so hard.
Because of my job however, I get to take my boys to school as I'm often about in the mornings, which I do love to do.
Family life. Love it.
And finally, it's Easter as you know.
But I'm going to have to put the Easter eggs on hold until Tuesday.
My Championship club, Sheffield have a load of meetings over Easter... Friday at Scunthorpe, Saturday at Leicester and Sunday I'm at home to Leicester with them.
And of course the wonderful Witches are at home to Belle Vue tomorrow night and at Swindon on Easter Monday. Five straight days racing!
By the way... the Smartie eggs and Creme Egg ones are my favourites! (just sayin')
Up the Witches.
See you at Foxhall tomorrow night. Don't forget to ask for an autograph if you want one.
AS TOLD TO MIKE BACON