Diary Of A Season 2008

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Diary Of A Season 2008

Post by Gary » Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:06 pm

Postby Gary » Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:55 pm

We are well on the way to getting ready for 2008. Pictures will be posted on our web site as well as updates here. The good news for our team is that most of our sponsors are returning for 2008. Quaker State is back for the 35th season. We're going to do even more this season to promote and take care of this incredible sponsor relationship. I say incredible because I find it hard to believe they have been with us for so many years. I don't know if it belongs in the Guiness record book. Regardless we are very proud to be running the big Q.
Other sponsors who are returning are The Auto Spa, Nelson Material Handling, JDS Insurance, Fluid Line, Lincoln Electric, The Royal Coachman, Flamboro Machine Shop and Canadian Tire (Stoney Creek). We are waiting to hear from Dr. Andrew Tam and Midtown Car Star. It's a busy time of year and some companies are still finalizing their 08' budget. We have two new sponsors, Golfi Concrete and Simone Motorsports. Golfi Concrete owner John Melo and wife want to be involved by coming to the races with their children. We also have Rain X included with Quaker State.
Our crew is basically the same for 2008. Jim Hulzinga is crew chief. Jason Chapman and Perry Van Haaren will be back full time. Jason will take on the role as head wrench, or Car Chief at the track looking after maintenance. Dave Watson has been a tremendous help getting our car ready for paint and will help us when he's not busy with his own race team. His 3 boys, Brian, Jamie and Richard running will be running Mini Stocks. It's got to be quite an honour for Dave to see all his sons racing. Of course Thatcher Krupp is helping us on the nights he's not working with his new venture in the NASCAR Canadian Tire series as Crew Chief for the Simone family.
Our goals for this coming season are simple, win the Championship, and a feature at home and away. Winning a feature on the road will be tough because most races are long, but we showed potential in 2007 at Sauble and we'll hopefully do better this season.
Winning the Championship is no easy goal to reach, but we have won twice in the CVM Hobby club. Both of those Championships took until the last night of racing to settle. Over 24 cars per night and a very competitive field made the Hobby/CVM chase exciting and gratifying to win. We feel we're ready to take a run at the Late Model title in 08'.
The key to any chance at a Flamboro title will be luck, preparation and getting a good start on opening day. Notice I didn't add the engine as a necessary key. That's because with the Crate motor, there's no longer a worry in reliability. Heat races are crucial for chasing a Championship because every point counts. We always run hard in the heats but this year we have to run harder and smarter. On some nights a top 5 feature finish will gain less points over other top runners if your heat finishes are poor, that's why heats are so important. In the last 3 years, the drivers who won Championships at Flamboro had pretty well flawless seasons. That tells me there's no room for error. Knowing this is a bonus because we need to be ready every single race. The way we finished 2007 has inspired us with confidence. We are not over confident, but many positions are gained when you have confidence.
The next post will be on changes and improvements to our race program, things we've done or doing to help us win the title. 2008 is also our 40th year and we're planning a special event to celebrate that milestone.
This season has a title..."The Giving Back Tour". More on that soon.

Last edited by Gary on Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 pm

Postby Gary » Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:10 am

Nonie and I were on holidays for the first week of January. I haven't posted much on the site lately. Our crew are working very hard on the car to get it ready for paint. Actually Dave Watson painted the chassis this week end and he will finish it tomorrow. Hopefullly Jim Sweers will paint the body for us before he goes away. Things are going very good right now. We are working on our 40th Anniversary "Giving Back Tour" as well. We will be making a fairly important announcement on that soon.
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 pm

Postby Gary » Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:34 pm

After the chassis, roll cage and panels were painted we cleaned all the reamianing parts to be reinstalled. Some will be replaced with new, the driveshaft, shocks and seat belts are all new. Now we have spares for those replaced giving us a much better supply of spare parts than when we started in this class.
We had everyone over this week, Monday and Wednesday as well as all day Saturday. Our regular crew of Jim, Jason, Dave and Perry were here as well as Marty and Dave from the #37 crew. We will finish the installation of all parts by Wednesday the 23rd and then mount the body. Jim Sweers is painting the body for us next week. Once it's painted we will send the car out for lettering.
I'm very happy with the changes we made to our car and the fact we were able to get some much needed spare parts. Stripping it down to the bare frame allowed all our crew to get a better understanding of what the car looks like disected. The process of putting it all back together has been a profitable learning seminar.
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 pm

Postby Gary » Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:32 pm

Getting the car painted will happen towards the last week of the month, around the 24th. Jim is in Daytona and will paint it when he gets back. Meanwhile we've been cleaning and preparing our spare parts and still finding things to do on the Late Model before it's painted. It seems when we think everything has been done, all the drilling of panels, nose cone, rad shroud, we still find something we missed. It's good we didn't have it painted last week, we needed the extra time.
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 pm

Postby Gary » Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:28 pm

Our car is at Jim Sweers now getting painted. Once that's done it will go to be lettered. We are scheduled for the Performance World Car Show on March 14th to 16th.
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 p

Postby Gary » Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:39 pm

Well we're getting closer. The car was finished at Jimmy Sweers on Wednesday night. I was able to drop it off at the sign shop late Thursday afternoon. Things were going great until I broke my trailer jack when I pulled away with it jacked up....yes, I know.
The car will be ready for the Performance World car show this Thursday. We will post the new paint scheme Thursday night.
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 pm

Postby Gary » Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:47 pm

Our car is in the Performance World car show with a few other Flamboro Late Models. David has his new Pennzoil Monte Carlo on display looking mean and very well painted. Jason Shaw is in the Flamboro booth with a similar paint scheme as 07, but still sporting excellent workmanship in all the visible and unseen areas. I know about the unseen because I was laying down checking out how the stainless steel body braces were attached. His car looks as good underneath. Also at the show are Dan Lawlors clean #34 Late Model in a neat display. Kevin Benish #95 is the only other Late Model (we race against) that I saw.
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 pm

Postby Gary » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:08 pm

After Performance World we dropped the car off at the Auto Spa to give some exposure to our sponsors and Flamboro Speedway. In two weeks we'll take it home and get it race ready. There's not alot to do before we hit the track and our main priority is getting it to where it was at the end of 2007. Thatcher is going to help set up the chassis, he has already said he dosen't want to make any changes until we get into the season. He was happy with the car the final two months of 07 and wants to start where we left off.
I'm glad we're 90% ready, we can rest a little before finishing the car, trailer and spare parts. Next thing you know we'll be heading to do battle with the rest of the warriors in what looks to be a very exciting season.
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 pm

Postby Gary » Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:18 am

Tonight Perry and I bled the brakes and tried to bleed the clutch. The clutch deal failed on us, we couldn't get any pressure. We found fluid leaking inside the bell housing. We'll have to take the transmission out and fix the line sometime next week.
We did get the engine started and it sounded great. It's always nice to start the engine, it's like the final touch before hitting the track, although in our case we still have a lot of little things to do before we get to practice day (more on that in a second). The carb was leaking a little and we are going to replace the plug wires. Otherwise the car idled good and sounded okay when it was reved slightly.
Practice day is suppose to be less than a month away. I still can't see our front or back yard from the 15 snow storms....and apparently there's more coming. It will take until May to get the track pits and parking lot suitable to drive in. That means we'll lose one drop night. With us going to Sauble on May 31st and possibly Nova Scotia in August, we need to run good every night were at Flamboro to have a shot at the title. We'll have 2 less drop nights then everyone else, assuming none of the other potential champs go anywhere else. It's going to be a competitive season. That's always the best kind.
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 pm

Postby Gary » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:56 am

We went over the car on Monday and found a stripped caliper bracket. We got a new one and will get the other repaired and keep it as a spare. The cap, rotor and wires will be replaced this week. We replaced all the brake bleeders and will rebleed the brakes on Wednesday night.
My biggest job will be getting all the stories and pictures ready for our 40th Anniversary book. Man, did I say 40!!
Soon we'll get a trailer safety and next week Thatcher is coming over and we will scale the car.
We have added two new categories on the front page of our site. "Glen Schurr" and "Schedule". The schedule part should be up soon and I will work away on pictures and stories of Glen Schurr...my racing hero.
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 pm

Postby Gary » Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:58 pm

We really didn't need practice, but you can be sure we'll be making our first set of warm ups a careful test to shake down our rebuilt car. I agree it's good to get some laps in before trying to lay down a few 15:4's, but we were very careful putting the car back together and will pay special attention to brakes, throttle linkage and the radiator hoses. Any miscue on those three and you could be in deep cement.
Our goal in 08' is much like most other teams..to win the Championship. The car to dethrone is Jason Shaw. He will be back along with the previous two winners David Elliott and Scott Lyons. None of these three will go down easy, if at all. Some other serious contenders include Paul Howse, who hopefully won't have the privaledge of starting up front each week (excluding specials). It wasn't Pauls fault he was in the first few rows every regular night, it was the tracks decision to line cars up by points instead of money earned divided by the number of nights you ran. Anyway, Paul got to line up at the front from bad luck on the opener and that bad night took him out of the chase. This year he can afford a few of those nights and still have a good shot at the title. (more on that). He also ran faster than most every other car on a regular basis.
Another contender (as long as he stays out of the penalty box) is Jeff Stewart. Jeff is one of the last teams still running a strong built engine. If he has any luck on the track he too will have a good shot at winning. Todd Campbell is a past Champ and is another team that can get er' done. The advantge I have over these teams is that their getting older......I'm already old. The difference is, I don't know it.
The drop nights (potentially six) are kinda strange for 08'. The track has made it possible for teams to lose nights for various reasons and still have a shot at being the division Champ. Cars that wreck seriously, or blow up, racers that want to attend a wedding, family function or go to Sauble Speedway on May 31st are welcome to do so and still be in contention for the title because only their best 18 shows count in the hunt. Last year there were 4 designated nights off, this year there are no nights off, but a team can opt to attend that special event with the family or Joe Chisholm and not be in any real jeporady. But wait!!!.
Recently the track has added an incentive to make sure a race team won't stay home after a wreck, won't go to that wedding or family holiday (that may have been planned in the winter) and will say no to Joe.
The incentive consists of two unheard of pay outs for all classes. The Late Model team who is leading the points at the end of June will get a bonus of $2000. The second bonus comes at the end of August for the same person, or a different team if there are a few within reach. The awesome pay off is a great gesture by the track and should deter most wedding guests, Disney vacationers, Lake Cruise planners, or Owen Sound shoppers, to stay home. It may even stop any of those (there are two right now) who plan to go to Sauble Speedway. The reason for the change of heart for some teams to cancel other plans, will be the $2000 (although history says 4 to 5 max will be in contention by pay out time). Of course history could be wrong and maybe there will be more cars in contention by June 30th. However, anyone who gets put in the penalty box, has a bad night, or decides to still follow through with their planned event will be out (that is unless every team takes a night off by the end of June...ain't gonna happen). Our team has only one chance to be leading the points by June 30th, and that's if Flamboro rains out on May 31st, or if Sauble is calling for rain on that night. If it's going to rain at Sauble we may not go, especially if we're in contention. If we do go we'll still have a shot at the title but not at either bonus...the two paydays reward as much money as winnng the points.
In December, long before the Flamboro incentive was announced, we committed to go to Sauble for their first ever 150 lap race. Only a very few (maybe 3) cars from Flamboro went last year. Jason and I were there for both Sunday races. I wished Sauble would have booked the race on anything but a Saturday, (maybe July 1st or May 24 long week end) and I also wished Flamboro would have given us the four nights off again, same as 2007 and worked with Sauble on this, but neither was the case. Since Quaker State sponsors Sauble, and have asked me to attend the races for Late Models, and now that Sauble will allow Crate engines, we pretty well wanted to please our sponsor and the track that has always made us feel welcome (going back to the CVM days). So, we're going, and will miss the bonus bucks but without regret...although many will question our choice if we are leading the points on May 31st...but remember our goal is to win the points, and this won't hurt us if we have a good season. I'm not bitter by this late mayhem causing carrot, but I do have a suggestion for the way it's being split up. Instead of giving it all to me (if Sauble rains out and we don't go, and I'm leading the points at the end of June) they should split it evenly for all those who have not missed a night. If 20 cars have perfect attendance at end of June, they get $100 each. If 10 cars have made every race they $200 each. That makes more sense if the reason for doing it is to stop people from going to a wedding, or whatever......Sauble. All the teams that show up every night (our team has over 30 perfect attendance years in the past 39) deserve a little piece of the pie. The guy leading the points is likely, but not definitely, the car who has won the most money to that point...so split it up. The other choice is to give it to the top 5 in points. Ask any of those who could possibly win the $2000 and see what they think....I think I know what most would say. Anyway, we are Beach bound on May 31st for their first ever 150 lap race. It won't be our first 150 lap race because we ran the Labour Day APC 300 at Delaware a gruellinig 150 lap race in 160 degree heat...and we didn't go down a lap. Plus, the payout to win at Sauble is $3500. That's nice. We finsihed 6th and 3rd in the two 75 lap races in 07.
Meanwhile, the season starts this Saturday at Flamboro, if it don't rain. There should be the most Late Models ever for an opener...Can't wait to start racing with the boys.
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 pm

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Post by Gary » Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:06 pm

April 26th........................... "Season Opener" Flamboro Speedway

Race #1

High Lites
* Steve Laking Wins
* 19 Cars
* Feature a good run for everyone
* 200 fans....lots of people in the pits
* Feature runs clean
* David a no start
* We get lucky, but struggle

Feature.#36.....13th......#37......No start


Front end
routine check


In my last post on Diary Of A Season 2008, I mentioned there were three things that could get you in trouble when practicing for the first time after redoing a car over the winter. I agree they shouldn't happen. and rarely do they but the big three are
1) throttle sticking
2) rad hose coming off
3) brakes failing
Any one of these could lead to a terrible crash. We missed practice day and though it wasn't a big deal for me, I'm almost convinced now that it is a necessity in order to be ready for the opener.
In our first and only set of practice laps I mentioned to Jim my spotter that my brakes felt soft and weren't stopping the car properly. There were only two of us on the track at the time, Jason and I. I cruised for four laps and then opened it up a little. On the second lap of higher speeds I lost it going into three but corrected okay. A lap later going into three my heart dropped when the brake pedal went to the floor. I wasn't at full speed and was able to spin the car out between three and four. Ding DeLeeuw picked up our brake pad (right rear) off the track and gave it to one of my crew members. The caliper pin wasn't put in properly allowing the pad to fall out. So we were lucky. I didn't get upset but reminded my crew to remember that one for the future so it doesn't happen again.
In 1985, during a Hobby feature, my brake pedal, that's right, PEDAL, fell off in the late stages of the race. I was running fifth and didn't want to pull off the track. I lost a few spots after slowing down much sooner than normal...(what's normal when you're racing with the brake pedal sliding around under your feet), but still finished in the top 10. Anyway I poked around the track once the feature was finished, waiting for Ray and the boys to get clear of me, and then crawled to my pits. My crew was bewildered why I slowed down so much. When I was within a few car lengths of our pit, I shut the car off and it stalled. The boys came over to see what was going on. Steffon was first and asked what happened, then I gave him the brake pedal. Paul Cornwall took one look at the pedal and said..."are you kidding me"? He continued, "if this happened once every 7 years I would be getting ready for 1992 right now". I tell that story because as bad as it is to lose a brake pad, losing the pedal is much worse.
With only one heat this year, it's totally luck where you start. We drew a bad number (11) putting us second last in the first heat. As it turned out, it was a good starting spot because we weren't ready to race. Needing as much practice as possible the decision was made to back off so we could run the consi to shake the car down a little more. We ended up 8th in the heat.
The consi wasn't much better. I was ready to race hard, the brakes were very good, but the handling was off. We finished 4th in that race putting us near the back of the 19 car feature. It would end up being 18 after David failed to start the main....that's almost as incredible as the pad falling off our car, only we were very lucky. He tried to get back out but if you don't take the green you're done...maybe David thought they would forget that rule.
It was a heads up start for the opener feature. Steve Laking #44 won the first heat and was pole with #75 TJ Marshall outside pole. TJ had an amazing run in the heat passing Mark Burbridge #27 with three laps to go. The Sweers team were quite happy with that finish, and the youngster showed great patience and poise to get by maybe a struggling Burbridge, but still made a great move going into three.
The feature would be much include different scenery for him. Scott Lyons #52 and Paul Howse #8 were right neighbors who would be no picnic for the strong hearted.
Steve got the lead and held on for the entire race to get in the winners circle early in the season. It was good to see him get that win, he has had incredible bad luck the past few seasons. Lyons and Howse followed close behind but couldn't make a move on the steady vet.
Meanwhile we were slowly making our way through the pack, but with no prowess, mostly taking advantage of situations. By lap 11 we were in 9th and Anthony Simmone #95 got by us on the inside on the back chute as I battled with #34 Jason Tremble. Anthony was very aggressive and worked his way to fourth in the feature with his new McColl Late Model.
With 6 laps to go we were 7th on a restart. Going into three the car quit. I popped the clutch and it restarted but was missing and loading up so bad I could hardly keep it running. Finally it ran smooth but I fell to the back. I stayed there and ran at the rear to finish and see if I could analyze the car for next week.
We ended up 13th, not a good start, but it could have been much worse considering the brake situation in warm ups. We'll be quiet and thankful for that break. With a bunch of drop nights in 08', this will be one on the list, assuming we have 18 better than this night.
We didn't give a bike away tonight because there was no Kids Club, actually there were not many fans. We'll give away two this week.

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Post by Gary » Fri May 09, 2008 2:06 pm

May 10th..............Flamboro Speedway

Race #2

High Lites
* David wins first feature in 2 years....or does he?
* 21 Cars
* Terrible feature...respect on the decline
* We get spun running 3rd in main (not nice)

Feature..#36....(13th)................9th (final)
#37....1st (for now).....21st (final)

#36...$185................changed to..............$225
#37...$1200 (so far)...slight correction.......$150

*body, rear bumper cover, frame
*ignition switch


It was not a night I would call fun. We struggled a little in the heat with a 5th place finish after starting pole. The track was terrible, covered with sand, speedy dry, everything but rubber. Cool air temperatures meant there was not much of an outside lane. Starting next to Scott Lyons meant there wasn't an outside chance of getting by him. David was on Scott's rear bumper so we were going to do the CN thing, get freight trained, which we did. The key for us was to make sure to qualify so we would be guaranteed our lucrative starting spot in the feature.
David got by Scott and so did Ken Forth. Scott was struggling with a slow leaking tire. He still finished 3rd with Richard Holmes right on his bumper.
In the feature we were to start 3rd, 2nd row inside. New comer, #49 Ted Horsfall was scheduled for outside pole but went scratch either by choice or by the track. That put us outside pole, which is okay if, you have a slower car beside you or slower cars behind the pole sitter so you can get down. The not so slow car on the pole was David, and right behind him the not so slower car was #82 Jason Shaw, and as the inside lane went back it was loaded with some quick cars. I was on a train track to fall unless we got a break or made one without causing mayhem.
We were strapped in our cars for what seemed weeks. The Thunder Car feature was filled with cautions. I finally woke up just before we headed on the track, but felt refreshed, although stiff from being couped up.
I knew on the start I had to be on my toes because there was zero chance of getting by David unless he spun his tires and the same for Jason. We were set for the start, on the wheel going into 3. David picked up speed and we kept with him. We got a good start and stayed with him until the end of the back straight where Jason dove in hard behind David. I expected that and it wasn't discouraging or a surprise. The key now was to get in behind Jason and we did. Wow, what a relief, throw the checker flag, let's go home.
Within two laps we had our first caution. The track was covered with speedy dry and getting worse each lap. Fast cars were close behind, but I wasn't worried, we were all within a few hundreds of each other, so unless I make a mistake (or get rammed) were okay.
On that restart I fell back a little, the leaders were sideways coming off turn four every lap, but I still had a car length on 4th Jamie Ramsay #48. Once again the caution came out and the cars behind were juggling a little. Kenny Forth was next with Paul Howse #8 fifth. There was all kinds of fluid in turn 3 & 4. The track workers put a bunch more speedy dry down and while they were doing that, more fluid was found in one and two so they had to add even more speedy dry. At the rate the this stuff was going on the track, we would soon be racing dirt. We ran through the speedy dry to get it worked in but it was slippery. It was lap 7 and I made the decision to stay close to the leaders on the restart. Going down the front chute Paul Howse made a move to get by Kenny Forth on the front chute. He dove down in front of Kenny putting him in 4th, but also putting him into my rear bumper. The track was slick, the leaders wanted to tip toe through turn one because it was slippery. I slowed down and got slammed sending our car in a wild spin with 18 cars coming. Lucky for me (imagine) no one hit me, again. The impact was so hard it jammed my tansmission. The tow truck tried pushing me but the car was dragging the wheels. The red flag was out for #3 Pee Wee hitting the wall quite hard. We were able to restart at the rear. Paul didn't make it through and was sent to the back. I didn't get upset with him, hoping he would come over after the race and say something to me, he didn't. I'm still not upset, but I wished drivers would show more respect and patience. When a team comes over and aplogizes for taking you out, wrecking your car, causing you money, an apology smooths things over...it's like getting one more free hit, we forget about it. When they don't come over it leaves the wound open. My crew never head to another pit or threaten anyone, I won't allow it and don't like to do that. But to all my competitors, when you drive stupid, make a mistake or run into another car (like I might do) go to the race team and make it right....that's the best way to move on.
As for moving on, back to the May 10th madness. There were at least three more cautions. On lap 14 I was moving through the pack and my good friend, and hard racer, Richard Holmes #42, wanting to get down from the fast lane so he wouldn't get freight trained, made the move where the old pit gate use to be, but I hit him in the rear quarter just enough to get him sideways. I had to slam on the brakes so I wouldn't hit him anymore. The cars behind came in for the long slide. Simon Wild was headed right for me but got stopped. We were done now, although still breathing.
On the next restart we moved up one spot. Coming off four and going down the front chute I noticed David in the infield. The cars were all checking up as we entered turn one with cars everywhere.
The starter had two flags in his hand, the black and the black and white. He waved the black at Jason and then threw the checker.
We left the track not real happy. Our second bad race in a row, lots of damage.
Driving through the pits I heard a roar from the pits and back stands. Then David's crew came running down the pits headed for the tech building. They looked like calves in a farm field jumping up and down. He was awarded the win based on the fact that he crossed the line to lead lap 17 and the caution was out for the wreck in turn one, not because of him. David was loose coming off four and Jake hit him, not hard but it wouldn't take a lot sending him into the infield. David's car crossed the finish line before sliding to the infield. Had he not crossed the line the race would have been given to #56 Jeff Stewart. The race is under protest right now. It's easy to understand why. The track explanation hopefully is clear. That still may not satisfy those who've protested.
David was told after that he was going to spin out anyway. That seems a long shot given the fact he made it to the start finish line before sliding in, plus he never spins out on his own.
Whatever happens won't change next weeks race line up for the feature. Jason will be on the pole, unless the track rules that David didn't get the win, then he'll be on the pole with Jason right behind again.
The most noticeable characteristic this year is not the rough driving. It was there last year. The biggest thing in 08' is how many fast cars there are. I think some racers haven't realized that yet, and are not racing with the respect they should be giving other teams.
John Casale has put a huge carrot of $2000 for the car leading the points by the end of June. That pay off will make some racers drive with more care to try to win it, and others like maniacs as they try to win it by force. One thing for sure, the closer we get to the end of June the more protesting and complaining will come from those who have a shot at that extra gold....money that should have been split evenly by all those with perfect attendance by the end of June. Right now there are 16 cars fitting that criteria, that would be $125 per team...almost a tire each. But the track feels that one car should get the equivalent of 3 sets of tires at the end of June for being on top....I don't agree.
Meanwhile to recap our night, we struggled and need to get the car right. We'll be up front again next week, with Jason and maybe David, and look to having a good finish.
There has been no kids night yet, and the track can't give me an answer when or if they are having one. We have decided to do our own draw. We'll get the announcers to call all the kids down to the starters stand at intermission and give them all a number, then we'll draw three numbers for the 3 weeks of racing.
Update on Race Protests
The track decided to run the final 18 laps of the race on May 17th. The reason given was because the race didn't reach the half way mark. That's understandable, just can't understand why they didn't know that at the time, and why they gave the win to Jeff, and then David.

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Post by Gary » Fri May 16, 2008 2:06 pm

May 17th............................Flamboro Speedway

Race #3

High Lites

* 17 cars
* May 10th feature runs 3 laps
* 4 drivers declared winners of May 10th feature
* Jeff Stewart declared winner twice
* Kenny Forth becomes official winner of May 10th feature
* We finish 9th in May 10th race
* Jeff Stewart dominates May 17th feature
* We wreck hard in heat
* Crew awesome to get us back out for feature
* Ask about bike giveaway and owner yells at me "there's no time"!!
* Leanne Ruelens debuts in our CVM finishes 4th heat...18th in feature

Heat #36.........6th (DNF)
Feature #36........12th


chassis, motor mounts, wheels, suspension, body

Jim, Jason, Perry, Troy

This was a tough night for our team. David not being there was a downer for me. Their team always has fun at the races and it was what happened to them that took that away, and why they took the night off. Scott Lyons was the only racer to ask about David.
Tonight was Leanne Ruelens debut in the CVM. She drove fairly agressive against the girls a few years ago and I felt she deserved a chance to try racing against the boys. I took the Coupe out in the first warm ups to make sure it was safe for her. I ran it hard and all systems worked fine. I really enjoyed racing the Coupe....if the fun in the Late Model keeps going south.....who knows.
In our only set of warm ups in the Late Model I tried to pace Jason Shaw #82. There was no way. He pulled further away every lap turning in the low 15:5's. We were stuck in the 15:7's and the car was loose going in. I've been trying to figure out what's wrong with the car and have not been able to put my finger on it. We found out the hard way.
My complaint about being loose was a message I should never have ignored. When our Hobby car is loose, a quick turn of the wheel and your straight. Not the same with the Late Model
The first race for us was the remaining laps of the May 10th feature. I argued at the tech garage Late Model meeting, that running this race, and ending it on the first caution, was a bad thing for fans and ridiculous for the racers. I suggested to give the race to Jeff Stewart and not run it at all. He suggested to give it to Jason Shaw, making his point that Jake shouldn't have been black flagged.
Anyway, Jeff may have been wiser to agree with me and get his racing friends to go along with it because after the silly 3 or 4 laps of racing a yellow came out followed by the checker flag. Jeff got the win, then got disqualified for being too low in post race inspection. The win eventually went to #86 Kenny Forth.
That race will go down in history as the feature with the most declared winners. Jeff, David, Jeff, and Kenny.
We lowered the track bar a little before the mock feature and the car seemed okay, but I wasn't running hard with the traffic. I was able to get by a few cars early moving us to 10th. We ended up 9th after Jeff's tough luck in tech inspection.
In the heat, starting 3rd behind Pee Wee Boshler #3, I thought, maybe he could keep Paul Howse outside, but Paul was fast enough to get in front and lead. Pee Wee did stay with Paul which was perhaps even more surprising. Frustrated with how poorly we've been racing this season I was desperately wanting to run as hard as I could to at least put on a strong performance. The car seemed good at first and I kept pace with Chris. Then going into turn 3 the car took off, literally as though I hit ice, oil or water. There was no clunk, jerk or noise of something braking only the car getting super loose and flying off into the turn. I jammed on the brakes and held on waiting for the body slam into the cement. When I hit there was a huge flash, I guess from my whole body taking the impact. My elbow, back and ribs were the first parts of me to start complaining. I could hardly move my arms to shut the car off or respond to my spotter who kept asking me if I was okay. The ambulance driver asked me if I was okay...I said yes, because I wanted to keep racing. The tow truck driver asked me if I was okay too, and I asked him if I could keep racing, and he motioned...no way.
In the pits we found lots of damage. Besides the two left side wheels we had all four motor mounts bent, the rad fan hanging down and the rear end shifted over. The crew asked me if I was okay and I thought I was. Adrenalin is amazing stuff. They began working on the car. I said I wanted to take the green in the feature. They were incredible. Jim, Jason Perry and Troy never stopped working. We were fortunate to have Marty, one of David's excellent crew members help us also. Glen Ruelens pinched in. We set the tow and ran the car over the scales. We were out to lunch on the set up but at least we would start the race.
A few other race teams came by to offer help. Bruce Bennett was first. He asked me how I was and if I needed anything to let him know. Scott Lyons and his crew Peter came by. Randy Shaw came by to check on our car, Dave Baker and a few Hobby racers. Dan Lawlor offered help or any parts. Some just come by to see how the six decade man made out with the sudden stop. To all these and any I missed, thank you very much.
We were scheduled to start outside pole, which I said to Bob Munroe and Donny Cox that it didn't make sense that I should be on the pole, I didn't qualify, I wrecked in the heat. Bob said I finished 6th, and the top 6 qualify. Naturally I asked if a driver went out, saw five cars and pulled off why would he be considered qualified? Donny agreed with me. That was the wrong call and I hope they change it because a car should have to take the checker flag to be eligible as a qualified car, even if there's only two cars in the race. I should still be scored 6th, but not be allowed to take my spot in the line up, I should be sent to the back. In this case we went to the back anyway because our car was a mess.
The feature had only two cautions. Jeff Stewart showed awesome power getting by Jason Shaw on the outside. Think about that for a minute. The only car that should have passed Jason on the outside was Shane Maginnis, and he did in the warm ups, in his 600 HP Super Late Model. Who passes Jason anywhere, even on Highway 6 coming to the races, no one passes Jason...no one...did I say no one!!! Anyway good for Jeff, because he could have had two wins. The DQ, helped Jeff in one sense, he was able to start on the pole with Jason on the inside.
Other than a poor car turn out, the race was smooth.
Leanne Ruelens raced our 33 Chev in the CVM. She needs a lot of ice time to get use to the power and running with the boys. She finished 4th in her heat and in the feature was running too slow and got the technical black to get off the track. Phil Shaw and the rest of the field caught her within a few laps. It's too hard for a person to concentrate on racing when being lapped so soon. I told her not to worry. Every week she will get better. I did ask "Leanne, why didn't you put the pedal to the floor on the straights"? "I did"!! she said. We checked the tach and it was reading 5600 RPM. We decided to use it as a gauge for her progress. She will know she's going faster when the numbers on the tach get higher.
I asked about giving away bikes, we brought three. John got mad at me and said "WE DON"T HAVE TIME"!!. I said sarcastically, " sorry John, I shouldn't have booked so many divisions tonight". He looked at me confused. I said "why are you yelling at me because you don't have time"? Then he apologized saying "it's just the way I talk". Imagine going through that when your trying to do something for fans, for the kids.
Later Frank came over and said "I hear you have some bikes to give away"? I immediately looked for a building to jump off, then I stared at him for about 20 seconds like I was in the Twilight Zone. "What"? I said. "I was just told you had bikes, I didn't know". Then I ran out of energy. He ended up taking them. We had a roll of tickets for the kids to draw and Jessica, Troy's soon to be wife, went with Frank and we ended up giving two bikes away. So, in the wackiness of it all, it was good, all good. We spoke our mind, raced hard, got wrecked bad, friends came by to offer help, we got back out, we finished the race and gave some bikes away. Not bad. Plus next week the boy will be back.
We'll have at least one of the pictures of the bike winners on our site this week. Rebecca Easton, Ron Easton's niece, won a bike.
Our team will be busy this week stripping the car. We are taking the body off, pulling the engine and then double checking to make sure there are no parts bent or cracked for this coming week.
This week end will be regular racing. We want to get to where we were in 2007, and so far, we aren't close, but we'll keep trying until we get there.

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Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Post by Gary » Fri May 23, 2008 2:06 pm

May 24th..................Flamboro Speedway

Race #4

High Lites
* David wins feature
* 18 cars
* Elliott's win all races
* we finish 2nd in feature
* pick up first heat win of season
* crew were awesome

#36....heat 1st....feature....2nd
#37....heat 1st....feature....1st



Jim, Jason, Perry, Troy, Jessica, Ron

What a night for our family and for our team. David and I finished 1st and 2nd 6 times in twenty years in the CVM, his twenty, (I ran 33 years in the CVM, 13 years where he didn't run, he was little). He won 5 of them. So far in Late Models we've done it twice now, with a win each.
The night started out a little stressful because we got to the track late and were lined up opposite the main grandstand entrance on the east side of the track. As it turned out, by the time we got to our pit, all the Late Models were already tech'd and we had no wait meeting with Donny Cox.
The car had been totally dismantled during the week. The body was removed, almost like a model car (one piece) and the engine removed.
This allowed Jason, Troy, Perry and Ron to go over the car completely and straighten the bent chassis motor mounts and replace the bent engine mounts and ball joints.
Thatcher came over Friday night, and along with our crew chief Jim, and Dave Watson we set the chassis to where it should be. My complaint all season was....too loose entering the corner. We paid the price by going in so deep last week that I spun and couldn't recover and slammed the wall quite hard. Wheels, ball joints and engine mounts were beat but the Six Decade Man was shaken but not serious. Thatcher set the chassis giving us more wedge, then showed me 4 times how to correct the car if it's tight or loose. By the 4th time I had it down pat.
After tech we made the first set of warm ups and I was sort of okay with the car but something wasn't right. We found after, the tires were set too high. So we put on our new set and went out again with the bar adjusted to the starting spot suggested by Thatcher, and the tires at the proper PSI. We were able to turn some good times, but more importantly the car wasn't loose going in, however it was loose coming off....so we gave it a little more bar...we remembered what to do.
There was a growling noise coming from the driveline and I couldn't put my finger on it. I thought it was a wheel bearing or rim, but it wasn't. After the 2nd set of warm ups I asked the boys if any body put oil in the transmission. After 15 seconds of everyone checking each others expression, and me knowing I didn't put oil in it, we decided to see how full the tranny was. After 2 quarts of full synthetic gear oil, the trans was filled. You're wondering why it didn't burn up? So was I, even more than that, I wondered if we could get away with running it in the heat. Before the heat race I asked Richard Homes #42, an excellent mechanic with Concept Ford in Georgetown, if he used oil when rebuilding my transmission over the winter. He said "I take it all apart, I wash all the parts in varsol, then I wash them in water, dry them and then soak them in the full synthetic Quaker State gear oil".....great, I was okay, the bearings in the tranny weren't dry.
We were to start inside pole in our heat. David was likewise in his,
He won his heat by 10 car lengths, but I knew mine wouldn't be so easy, or if I could even get our first win of 08'. Jason Shaw, Paul Howse and Jeff Stewart, three giants in this class were right behind me and none of them would want anything less than winning. I thought of telling them the transmission story so they would stay away from us, but I forgot about that because there were bigger worries. We got the lead in turn one and every lap my spotter let me know that Jason was right there. He was so close he could read my rear window. The car was loose a little, but other than that it was perfect and we won the heat, a great feeling considering all the hardware in that race. The boys went over the car and we decided to drop from 560's to 549 gears. Perhaps we were loose from torque, but for sure we were hitting the rev limiter every lap, a great indicator that our car is hooked up.
David and I started pole and outside pole for the feature. Jeff Stewart was right behind Dave so I told my spotters to let me know the second I could get in behind him, because Jeff would be on David like a U-Haul on an F-150. On the green David wasted no time getting on the gas and we kept pace. Going into one Jeff moved in behind David. The spotters were letting me know "get in behind Stewart"!! so I did. Jeff was very fast, especially off the corner. He got under David coming off four and they went into one side by side. They roared down the back chute side by side with David slightly ahead. I got ready to follow Jeff under but in the turn the two came together slightly but enough to send Jeff off the track. We backed out to get clear and then Mark Burbridge made a move on me but I was able to get the spot and I pull ahead. I waved out the window because Mark could have drove into me but he raced me clean....he remembered Octoberfest. The next 20 laps were little change. David started pushing with four to go and we were gaining. On lap 23 I got up to his back quarter but the yellow came out. It was turned into a red and we sat for a long time. The delay was perfect for the #37 because on the restart his car was flawless.
We crossed the line first and second and David was so excited he asked his spotter to tell Jim to have me come around and get the two cars in the picture.
We gave away 2 bikes, courtesy of Don Baker. Next week we are going to Sauble Beach for their 150 lap race...yikes...but it should be fun. I am very happy that our car ran excellent at Flamboro because we have a good basis for Sauble.
I do not like to miss a night at Flamboro but we committed to this race before the Flamboro schedule was complete, and I thought for sure we'd have this night off, like last year when we had four nights off. This year we have 6 drop nights, so we'll have one less.
PS...the transmission was fine.

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Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Post by Gary » Fri May 30, 2008 2:06 pm

May 31st.................Sauble Speedway

Race #5

High Lites
* 30 cars
* Kirk & I okay
* Steve Roblee wins
* A few bad wrecks
* Battery dying, but we finish 7th
* 150 lap marathon starts at 11:pm ends at 2:am

1st Heat.....3rd
2nd Heat....4th


* minor repairs, routine check, all fluids, gears
get ready for Grisdale 50 lapper

Jim, Jason, Perry, Troy, Jessica, Sarah

Even though we were committed to go to Sauble, it still ate at me a little knowing we were 8th in Flamboro points.
I had decided only to cancel going to Sauble if it rained...and did it ever. In fact we watched the weather chanel like never before. I warned my crew, if Sauble got cancelled we were heading to Flamboro, if it wasn't raining there. The forecast was terrible everywhere.
We were woken up Saturday morning with a huge rain storm at 6:30 am. It stopped raining by mid morning and I kept in touch with David who said it was raining in Waterdown in the early morning. By noon it was clearing at the beach and sunny skies prevailed all day...until our drivers meeting at 5:00, then the rains came and lasted for a few hours. David called us to tell us it was clearing at Flamboro and it looked like they would get it in. Now my thoughts were focused on the worst scenario possible for our team....get rained out at Sauble and Flamboro gets to race.
We knew this race was going to be a drop night for us, but with some luck could still finish high in the Flamboro points, as long as the remaining potential drop nights were not lost. Our first 3 nights at Flamboro were terrible, plus we lost a night on May 3rd to rain. Going to Sauble meant we now used up 5 drop nights including the May 3rd rain out. Our 2nd place feature finish on the 24th was naturally worth keeping, the only one. There are 14 scheduled events left, 4 of them are show up points only, leaving us 10 races to get good finishes. If we did pull off an amazing run in those 10 nights we would have a good shot at the title. It's a long ways away (but on my mind constantly), besides we came to Sauble to have fun and we did...here is what happened.
An incredible field of hot shoes were there, trying to win the $3500. Tim Ellis, Ron Sheridan, Kirk Hooker, Kevin Benish, Jonathan Urlin, Shaun McWhirter, Rob MacDonnell were some of the past champs who showed up. We ran 2 heats and a 150 lap feature, broke into 3 fifty lappers with a 4 minute competition yellow after each 50.
We finished 3rd and 4th in our heats putting us 8th on the start. The race didn't go two laps when Ron Sheridan got into Rob MacDonnell. Rob won both of his heats and started pole, but on lap two was spun around and sent to the back. We were lucky on that deal. The track got blocked in a hurry and I jammed on the brakes so I wouldn't get wrecked but had too much rear and the car spun. Holding my foot hard on the brake pedal, squeezing the steering wheel with all my might and holding my breath expecting to slam the wall, were all good things, especially when the car came to a rest a few inches from the cement. I was so happy not to crash that I gladly went to the back, however, Sauble has a rule that if you spin to avoid a wreck you get your spot back. So now I was 6th.
I dialed in some front brake and proceeded to get into a long battle with Simon Wild who was 5th. I couldn't get on the gas very well preventing us from getting by. On a re start Shaun McWhirter got by us and I tried to follow him but he was too good off. After a short bout with Simon he was in 5th to take on Johnathan Urlin. Now, there was a battle with two kids neither willing to give an inch. Kirk Hooker was leading with Kevin Benish and #81 Jason Parker close behind. Urlin ran low and McWhirter went outside. The two hit several times especially going into the turns. Shaun was upset that he was being taken high on the straights and Johnathan didn't like being run into. Meanwhile I was still trying to figure how to get by Simon without hitting him. I tried so many times that Brent Murray was closing in on the outside. The 3 of us battled while the boys up front got into it lap after lap. A caution around lap 30 forced Urlin to the pits with a flat tire. This was perfect for us in that we got a better run on Simon on the restart, meanwhile Ron Sheridan was back right behind me and being patient as I tried Simon, finally getting by. Now I was 5th. Another caution came out and Ron Sheridan got by but no one else. He proceeded to hunt down Shaun and give him all kinds of trouble. Once again McWhirter found a Delaware boy willing to fight, and not willing to give any real-estate. The battle between the black #52 and the new car of McWhirter intensified more each lap. Around lap 48 coming off turn two they came together, this time with devastating results to Shaun. McWhirter was squeezed high and hit the wall, bounced hard into the #81 Parker, knocking him to the infield. Shaun careened off Brett hard into the wall. That wreck was barely off turn two, and twenty more cars were still coming, many with no clue of what happened. Nonie yelled "car in the wall". I had my hands full with Murray and Steve Roblee. When she made the call I immediately became more aggressive than at any time by finding a hole to get through the spinning cars and track that was getting blocked. My crew chief Jim helped coach me through the melee. I was able to get down from the high lane and maneuver right in front of Roblee, and through the flying cars. Murray was in front of me but wasn't so lucky, he hit someone with his right front wheel. Right behind me was Tyler Brown who had no where to go but into the back of the stopped #31 McWhirter, wrecking both cars terribly. The race was red flagged. We were now in 5th. Parker was stuck in a puddle in the infield but when he got out they gave him his spot back.
All cars were sent to the pits for the first competition yellow. Our pit stalls were set up where we qualified. We were in spot #8 and it just happened that spot was exactly at our pit area. We were allowed 4 minutes but could do nothing until every car was off the track and at there stall. We added fuel and made a chassis adjustment taking out some front bar and adding rear stagger. Jim, our crew chief, explained to everyone prior to the race, how each stop was going to be done. Only 3 crew members were allowed to work on the car, so Jason, Perry and Troy went wild while Jim orchestrated every move from the side lines. We discovered a serious problem...our battery would not turn the car over. We were allowed to push the car and I turned everything off...but the ignition.
On the 2nd and 3rd 50 laps, the track counted cautions. We restarted 5th. By lap 70 we were 2nd and ran that way until lap 80. Rob MacDonell ran into me knocking me out of the way, opening a door for him and three others to get by. Back to 5th we battled Sheridan again as well as Urlin.
We ran the entire race from 8th to 4th, other than that 10 lap run in 2nd. Our car was very good. Some of the competitors were anxious and not giving an inch to others, but as the race got past half way the crazy stuff stopped. At the end of lap 100 we were 6th. This time we installed 2 new tires on the outside. Kirk Hooker who was leading took longer than 4 minutes and was sent to the back. Once again our car would not start, but did with a push.
On the next restart we were 4th. Rob MacDonnell was leading with Steve Roblee right behind. We got in a battle with #4 Urlin. A caution early got us outside of Johnathan. To our surprise we ran from lap 116 to 122 beside the speedy kid with Sheridan right behind us. No one hit me again or ran us rough, although the front chute walls were closer than ever. The top 7 cars were nose to tail. Finally Roblee got by MacDonnell and so did Sheridan. We stayed 4th until the final 10 laps. Another caution, lap 141, the rain started to fall and I was very happy...but it stopped and I went quickly to very sad. We had Urlin outside of us on this restart.
Jamie Ramsay was having a great run and took advantage of our car losing power form the weak or almost dead battery. Kirk Hooker was there too. Jamie dove down in front of me and I hit his rear bumper sending him sideways. I backed off letting him correct. Urlin was outside of him and Kirk outside of me. Jamie was loose and got into a pushing match with Jonathan. The two banged each other a few times with Johnathan moving into 4th behind Sheridan. Ron got by MacDonnell putting him 2nd. The final 5 laps ran non stop but our car quit each straight away from no power, the car actually quit, but restarted when I backed off the gas. If I drove half throttle I was okay. The good news was we were way ahead of the next car and held on to 7th place.
It was a good run for us. We were competitive, not the best but for sure a top five car. I felt bad for the guys who got wrecked. Steve Laking got beat up, Kevin Benish was very strong and cut a tire putting him 20 laps down.
We were very tired. The race took 3 hours. Right after the race the high light of the night for our team, for me, occurred. Before I was even out of my fire suit, and before he even talked to his crew, Kirk Hooker came over to apologize for running into me near the end. I was so happy he did that. When he left I turned to my crew and asked "when did he hit me"? Someone said...."Autumn Colors, Peterborough". No matter what, I was happy to get that deal behind us. He is too likeable.
We gave away a bike on this night, and though we were tired it was a lot of fun and yes we would do it again.
We got more good news when we heard David won the feature at Flamboro...2 in a row for him.
Our next race is the first "Grisdale Triple Crown" 50 lapper. I think that's gonna be a breeze after this marathon....can't wait.

Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Post by Gary » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:06 pm

June 7th.......................Flamboro Speedway

Grisdale Triple Crown #1

Race #6

High Lites
* 26 cars
* Paul Howse wins
* We wreck with David on lap 48
* 2 Bikes given away



Body, chassis, wheels, tires, possibly more after inspection

Jim, Nonie, Jason, Perry, Troy

"say it ain't so"!!!
The only words to describe my feelings near the end of Saturday nights feature is...shock and disbelief. Whether my spotter decided not to tell me there was a car inside of me (I had no clue David was there), or the fact I may have been slowing down a little after the final restart (Paul Howse was sideways the last two laps) is not a good reason to explain or justify what happened in the closing laps of the race.
The only person who could have prevented the terrible outcome, had to make a decision....I'm going for it regardless of the consequences...or...I'll back off since the race is almost done and not take a chance to be in a wreck. He chose the first scenario and the results unfolded just like they always do in that situation.
Backing off would have given us a 2nd and David a 3rd, a good shot at winning the Grisdale Triple Crown series, and a good pay day. Maybe the best reward would have been a top 3 finish for both cars. The negative consequences, and losses, from being aggressive are usually much greater than what's lost when the decision is made to drive to finish.
David is a hard charger, so are many others that race every night. He doesn't wreck anyone intentionally, but has warned people in the past, not to chop down or block, because he is coming through. If my spotter tells me "car low", or "car inside", I stay high. If I hear nothing I make the assumption all is clear. That's why I drove the way I did.
However, a little grace would have gone a long way. Then, after the race, confronting our spotters as to whether the driver was warned about him being inside, and protesting the lost position, may have seemed like poor sportsmanship, but also may have been very justified. At least after the race, if you want to unload on the driver or his crew for you missing a chance to finish 2nd, you can let both barrels fly. The good news is, you still get to pick up the 3rd place cheque.
Oh well, another night gone bad, now you know why we get so excited when we win a heat or have a good finish. Too many times, (like tonight) we don't get to celebrate. With four laps to go we knew Paul Howse was showing no signs of fading, so we focused on having a runner up celebration in the pits. I should have known better than to expect anything until we crossed the line, and got through tech. Here's how the night went.
Qualifying was done through draw for position. We got to start pole of the 2nd heat. David started pole of his heat and won. We also won our heat giving us our 2nd heat win in two nights at Flamboro Speedway. Jason Shaw won the first heat and was the pole sitter. He won some contingency prizes, but also had to throw the dice to see how many cars would be inverted. Jason tossed 5, putting him 5th and us 4th. David was 3rd with Paul Howse outside pole along side Steve Adams.
The race was marred with cautions. Track owner John Casale said we'd get 45 minutes to run the race. I think we used most of that up by lap 3. Howse and Adams made contact between one and two pulling the fender off Steve's car. A caution shortly after allowed the officials to tell Steve to head to the pits for repairs. That put us 2nd. For the first 15 minutes we couldn't get any momentum. A caution came out on lap 1, lap 2 and lap 3. The 3rd one got tempers up, when Jason Shaw and Scott Lyons got together. Jason was angry and that spilled into the pits after the race. We managed to get a 5 lap string and then another caution involving four or five cars. More cautions came out at lap 11 and then 18. Another long delay as we cleaned the track from oil and we got ready to chase Paul again. This time we ran 22 laps caution free. Paul stayed about 2 car lengths ahead of us but we had built a five car length lead over David. On lap 38 we were catching the speedy #8 as well as lapped cars. Our car seemed settled in and was getting better with each lap. A yellow came out on lap 40, then another on lap 46. We thought they would call it for sure. They did announce if there was one more caution, the race would be called. On that restart I stayed with Paul but the track was slick, a little greasy. Paul got lose and I checked up giving David a run on us on the front chute with two laps to go. Nonie called out "car low", going into one. She then said "clear". Going down the back chute I got no call from my spotter Jim who stands in turn four, so I dove into three hoping to get a good run off for the white flag. As I dove in I felt this hard bang and our car went flying around. I was shocked, as if the motor blew up, or something totally unexpected. I know for sure David didn't hit me intentionally, but I just don't understand how or why he couldn't back out. Two weeks ago, his first of two feature wins, I gave him lots of room when he was less than perfect. We did the same last year at Oktoberfest with Mark Burbridge. Backing out is not a bad thing, you don't lose respect by doing that, in fact you gain it, and Mark has already showed it to me in 08' by letting me go when cars bunched up and he could have driven into to me to get by.
Anyway, this was a racing accident, though not necessary. I'm not sure where the blame lies. Had I been told "car low", I could have stayed up, on the other side, diving into a turn knowing the car your trying to pass might come down should make you watch very close so you can get slowed down or even out of the way. It didn't happen that way this time, but we'll all learn from it. I like all the competitors at the track...I love my son.
This Saturday our car is on display at Flamboro Baptist church, men's breakfast. Then on Saturday night we'll be at Flamboro and Sunday Nonie and I are going to Calvary Baptist church in Oshawa for a special event for Fathers Day.

Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Post by Gary » Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:06 pm

June 14th....................Flamboro Speedway

Race #7

High Lites
* 19 Cars
* Howse wins #2
* Crashes take away fun
* Time for every race team to evaluate



front end, body, sway bar, routine

Jim, Nonie, Perry, Troy, Jessica

It may seem after this past week end that things couldn't get worse for our team...however, when considering what could have happened, we have to admit we came away on the lucky side.
We tried running one week old tires against most teams who had new, and it didn't work. I was hoping to see times in the 15.5's but we could barely get into 7's.
In our heat we started 5th in the inside lane behind #52 Scott Lyons on the pole and #82 Jason Shaw behind him. Our lane went and we were able to stay within 2 car lengths. Jason was all over Scott, but made sure he didn't hit Scott, especially after the warning in the tech garage by Donny Cox who said "if there was any retaliation on the track, it will be dealt with very severely". Those comments were directed mostly at Jason but after what happened in the pits after the races on June 7th they could have been pointed at Scott although Scott just wanted to let the stupid stuff go...probably the best idea anyway. Meanwhile Jason went high and low, up the inside, once on the outside between 3 and 4 up to Scotts rear quarter. I can't remember ever seeing that particular move on a top running car. Scott was driving hard and Jason made it look like Scott was holding him up. I'm sure if Jason got by he would have won by 10 car lengths. Even with those two racing like that, we could only stay close enough to field a good race review, but never be in contention to get under Scott even if Jason was able. We ended up 3rd and had an opportunity to put on worse tires but elected to stay with the good ones we had.
We changed gears for the feature upping the ratio to give us a little more coming off. We have yet to hit the rev limiter in 08' like we did in 07'. I don't know if it's our set up, tires, or me. It could be all three. Hitting the rev limiter is an indication your getting the right RPM from the engine. Too much gear is not good, but we are far from too much bottom end. We need the torque to help us get off the corner a little better.
We went to the tech garage before the feature to check the car. We almost caused us incredible grief, but actually learned alot. The first thing we did was check the ground clearance. It was way too low. A mouse could hardly get under the left front. We started to lift the chassis with load bolts. By the time we were done turning, the car looked like a Monster Truck, all jacked up on one side and still too low. Someone then mentioned, "did we back off the sway bar"? "Are you kidding me"?, I thought. How could we forget that? Anyway we backed it off and now we had enough ground clearance for a mouse to walk under the car with a buddy on his shoulders. It took us a long time to get where we knew we were suppose to be. Finally the numbers were good, the mice were happy and we exited the tech garage heading for the line up.
In the feature we started 5th. Again we were in a fairly good lane. I thought we could follow David who would follow Jason Tremble. Shane Gowan was outside with TJ Marshall 4th. On the start Jason got the lead and David 2nd. I bogged coming off four allowing TJ to get in front of me, just what I didn't want to happen. For the next few laps TJ worked Shane and got by and we followed. Meanwhile Jason and David were gone. Finally we got by TJ and chased David. A caution came out when Pee Wee got into the back of TJ, spinning the youngster. He must have felt bad for that deal, like David and I, they share the same garage.
We ran close to David but stayed a little back as he was doing much like Jason Shaw in the heat with Scott, being all over Jason Tremble. A few times David had him and Jason would block the attempt. The starter warned the new runner to pick a lane. After another caution on lap 10 the starter came down to talk to Jason about running in one lane. On that restart and up until lap 12 things were okay. David got into the back of the leader sending him sideways, but backed out allowing Jason to get straight. The next lap David got a run off four and appeared to be far enough up on the inside to have him. I moved to the outside anticipating David's pass and then I would follow him under going into turn one. It's always good to know your next few moves, but don't forget this is racing and things can change quickly...and they did.
Coming off four David was at Jason's door, but instead of staying high Jason came down enough for the two cars to rub. That incident gave me momentum coming off four and I went high. The contact between them was hard enough to slow the pace down a lot and hard enough to cut David's tire. I was beside David at the start finish line and saw he had a tire going down. I checked up because he wasn't slowing down, he didn't know the tire was cut. Going into one, David's car would not turn and he came right across our path and I hit him hard enough to lift and turn his car...and hard enough to brake our pan hard bar. As we went around under caution I hit the back of Jasons car because I was upset with him. It was stupid of me to do that, rarely do I, but I was frustrated.
David was done, Jason was sent to the back, and though we assumed the lead, our car would not turn in the corner and on the start I could not get on the gas the car was so loose, and within a lap we were passed by every car on the track. We ended up 12th but I was docked one spot for hitting Jason under the yellow.
After the races things got out of control between the 3 teams and things were said under the heat of the moment.
On Sunday I called Jason to apologize for hitting him. I explained there was no good excuse for hitting him. I also praised him for being a good driver and knew he just needed more time to be able to run with the very best. He thanked me for calling him and also apologized for things that were said. I invited his team to come to our pit any time they needed anything, ever.
I called my crew and told them we had a victory after Saturday night and they wondered what it was. I told them about the phone call to Jason and that we can go back to the track and concentrate on racing and having fun.
Every racer has family and fans and all racers need to know that winning comes from a number of things including luck. We need to try our best as drivers to make sure we race in a way that makes us a good ambassador for our sponsors and fans. It takes time to get to that level in a race program, but once we do we can be happier more times, and especially when others win, we need to enjoy the good fortunes of others.
If I was going to tell a new racer what to expect in racing I would tell them
"find the victories every night, even without taking the checker flag".

Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Post by Gary » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:06 pm

June 21st.....................Flamboro Speedway

Race #8

High Lites
* 16 cars
* Shane Gowan wins
* We finish 9th
* Red flag when #82 & #34 get together



routine check, body, prepare for Delaware

Jim, Jason, Perry, Troy, Marty, Dave

We arrived a little late but we're okay with that. Our goal was to avoid the air of politics and strife, far to abundant the past few weeks. One thing none of our team members can do is enjoy racing when it's not fun. We were determined to take a new approach to racing for the rest of the season and avoid getting involved with racers or management politics.
Things happen on the race track, and in almost every situation it's an accident. It could be dumb, stupid, careless and even avoidable...but rarely is it deliberate. That's when it's time to put it behind, and we're doing that, even though we've not had any serious issues with anyone.
We made 2 sets of warm ups. In both we turned mid 15's, although in the 2nd set we ran the first 4 laps at 3/4 throttle to brake in the new tires. By the time we got a good run on those the practice was over.
David took the night off for a birthday celebration with Jeannie.
The drivers meeting was different. Donny Cox stated that any fighting would not be tolerated...any fighting from now on. He said penalties for fighting would be as follows:
First offence....loss of all points that night...2 week suspension
2nd Offence....a years suspension.
I had to ask, (since a driver went into another teams pit and a scuffle/fight broke out on June 7th)..."do we all get one fight"?
Donny looked at me and said "No"!...then I asked "what about if it's a Grisdale race"?...of course I was being sarcastic after what happened a few weeks ago.
Richard Holmes asked "what a race team should do if someone comes in our pit? It won't be our fault, and they will get hurt"? Donny let it be know no fighting would be allowed or tolerated...any more.
The heat races were on the board and we were to start 4th. Ted Horsfall #49 was scheduled outside pole beside #56 Jeff Stewart. The inside lane was strong and I warned my crew that we may be taking the long slide in the heat. At the green Stewart was gone. Five cars followed Jeff and finally we were able to get down. We were 7th, the caboose of this 7 car freight train, worse, we were not qualified. Following Mark Burbridge #27 was the best we could do as he glued to the rear of Chris and TJ who battled the entire race. At the line we crossed in 7th and instead of getting our up front starting spot we qualified 14th.
We decided not to put on the new tires because we were at the back.
Sixteen cars drove on the track for the feature. Only fourteen would drive off. We tried staying up in the early going but couldn't get on the gas, the car would push slightly. That allowed #82 to get down in front of us. We followed close and for the first 8 laps all was well, other than the competition was very tight. Going into one we got a good run on #86 Kenny Forth but he came down into our door just ahead of the rear wheel. We both kept going but darkness loomed ahead as we sped down the back chute. Jason Tremble was running on the outside lane and coming off turn four got mixed up with #82. The impact sent #34 climbing the wall. We were right behind #82 and dove to the apron to avoid hitting him but got tagged by #90 Richard Bosschaert. We were okay other than the fact we could have restarted 8th. I went to the pits to make a chassis adjustment for the remaining 16 laps. Our crew were very good checking the rear stagger and taking a little air of the left rear. On returning to the track we were held while the flat bed tow truck loaded Trembles #34.
Kenny Forth also got towed off, both cars suffering severe front end damage.
On the restart we were happy to find our adjustments made the car better. With no place to go, the track needs another high lane and some good banking to make it a good facility for Late Models to race and pass safely. Since there was no chance any of that work would be done before the feature ended we stayed in our bunch with Paul Howse, Scott Lyons and at least four others, like a "school of fish". There was no passing to be done although Paul Howse was all over the back of Richard Holmes. Richard held on for an impressive 4th place finish. We ended the night in 9th but were very grateful for all the little victories we had throughout the night, especially in our crew learning to set up the car without the help of Thatcher. He taught us a lot the past three years and we made sure we paid attention last year when he said he could help during the week but not so much on week ends as he was committed to being crew chief for Anthony Simmone on his NASCAR Canadian Tire series team.
After the races both Kenny and Richard came over to apologize for hitting me. I was okay with both. Kenny didn't realize I was in so far and there was no way Richard could have avoided hitting me in the Shaw and Tremble incident.
The high light of the night was the performance by #10 Shane Gowan. What a job he did winning his first feature and keeping the ultra fast Jeff Stewart behind. Shane was extremely excited, as was his crew. We were excited for him and many racers went to congratulate him after his awesome victory.
This Friday we are planning to go to Delaware Speedway. They are having their 141 lap race. We will go as a Flamboro car and run the Flamboro set up and tires. We will also be giving a bike away at this race.
Our 40th Anniversary souvenir program should be printed by the first week of July.
They are very well done with excellent graphics by the designer and will be given away free on July 26th at Flamboro.

Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Post by Gary » Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:06 pm

June 27th......................Delaware Speedway

Race #9

High Lites
* 26 cars
* Ron Sheridan Wins
* Only 3 cautions
* Ron Van Every crashes in qualifying
* We finish 11th
* Bike given away

Time Trials....19:55



Jim, Jason, Perry, Troy, Jessica...Marty from David's crew and special guests Ken Stenhouse, Linda and Stephanie Dean

Over the past week David and I talked about going to this race at Delaware. David's concern was the weather. If he went to the track and it got rained out he would have spent $300 and lost it because he could not return the next week. He said he would wait until the weather forecast Thursday, then decide. Wednesday night it called for rain and lots of it. However, Thursday morning it dropped to only a 10% chance of rain and maybe none until late at night. David called me very excited Thursday morning saying he was going to the race because the weather had changed. Then by 3 pm Thursday the weather changed again saying there was a 70% chance of 10cm of rain in the London area, forcing David to call his crew and cancel the Delaware show. We were going anyway because Dave and Sherri Rankin had bikes for me, some they bought in the U.S. and I was picking them up. Friday the weather changed again and naturally David was a little frustrated because they made other plans, but we headed out a 3:30 with a muggy but otherwise beautiful day.
In the rush of it all, we were almost to highway #5 and #52 when I realized I did not bring my fire suit. We were lucky that one of our friends brought it out to us, as we waited at highway #52 and #403. So, even though I left work early, by the time I got gas for the RV, generator and race car, we didn't get to the track until 6:pm.
Our car was ready when we got to the track other than Tech inspection and setting the tires. We passed Tech easy this time and drew a number for qualifying, putting us about 22nd car out, almost last.
Our times were best ever for us but much slower than the regular runners. Maybe it was our tires, they take a few laps to start working, and the ones we qualified on had 6 or 7 cycles and about 80 laps. We got to 19:55 and our second lap was slower. Jim, my crew chief, asked me about the qualifying and I said "I am a little disappointed, we're not good". Just I said that there was a loud boom and crash on the track. Jim looked at me right away and said "now that's not good". After he said that we were looking towards turn one and two then saw Ron Van Emery’s #00 come to a sliding stop in turn two. The emergency crew were at the scene in seconds and lucky Ron was okay but his car was brutalized.
The track ran the other heat races and then our feature lined up. We started 15th. I was okay with starting even at the back, if I had to. It was hot, humid, I was tired and the 141 laps that were waiting for me were not recommended for anyone from Jurassic Park. But to be honest, once I'm in the car, I have no idea how old I am until my arms, wrists and lungs start screaming..."slow down...get off the track....take up lawn bowling, or bridge". My heart and brain tell them to relax.
Normally a race at Delaware would not have provoked any of those body parts to speak up, because there would be many cautions to get rest and drink water. Naturally tonight’s race would be a marathon for both driver and car.....only 3 cautions in the race, 2 in the first 65 laps and one in the final 76 laps. At the end my brain was joining the arms and wrist trying to convince my foot to let off sooner, and not push down so soon, but no one listened and we managed a decent run.
In the first 65 the racing was tight. On about lap 8 I got into the back of Doug Stewart #2 who was battling with Jamie Ramsay #48. Suddenly Doug checked up but I couldn't avoid getting into him. He spun and I felt bad. The yellow came out and as we came around to turn 2 again I moved my car down to the apron where Doug was sitting facing the on coming cars and waved to him to indicate I was sorry. He waved back and got a push from the tow truck. After the race he came over and told me it wasn't my fault, his car quit. The ignition failed causing his car to lose power.
There were no more cautions for the next 55 laps. The lead cars pulled away, but there were a bunch of us running from 7th to 14th. Kevin Benish #95 was running 10th and #33 Chad Rijnen was all over him. #27 Matt Box was also right there and like us was waiting to see if Chad could get under Kevin. On lap 65 the two came together and Kevin spun bringing out the 2nd caution of the night as well as a loud cheer from my arms and wrists. The track used that timely caution to have their mandatory "competition yellow".
During that time we were allowed to change two tires, add fuel and make whatever chassis adjustments we needed within the 5 minute time frame allowed. My crew gave me a wet towel that was cold and lots of water. We were originally going to put on 4 tires and go to the back, but only if we were competitive enough to run in the top 5 or 6 spots. Based on what we seen to this point we knew unless there were more cautions we likely were going to finish in the top 15 somewhere. A top 10 would be good and anything above that would have been real good.
We were the only car running Flamboro rules. We ran our 10" tires. Jason Shaw #82 ran the 8" tires. I think our tires may have been better at the end of the race but certainly the 8" were quicker at the start because they didn't need any laps to start working.
We restarted 13th on the outside row. I liked that because I like the outside, but also because I was a little low on RPM's and this would help me. On the green we not only ran well but passed a number of inside row cars and within 5 laps we were 10th. By lap 80 the final caution came out when #7 Dan Delisle got sideways on the front chute. It was a good call, because as Gerry Paxton pointed out, the yellow allowed everyone to slow down giving Dan a chance to get corrected. The track felt the yellow perhaps should not have been thrown and gave #7 his spot back. A few laps later #20 Scott Lindsay started smoking. He was black flagged for 3 laps or more before he reluctantly went to the pits. He is a very good runner and I'm sure the last thing he wanted to do was go to the pits. I had caught Jason Shaw and was on his rear when Scott went to the pits. Jason wasn't handling very well, but we were a little off as well. For the next 25 laps I chased him with a whole lot of company behind me. Jamie Cox #42, Jamie Ramsay #48, Duke Sawchuk #5 and Matt Box #27 were in a line behind us but we weren't holding them up. As the race continued we were only 3 tenths off the leaders but I was battling my body to keep up. My spotter kept letting me know how I was doing and encouraging me. He called 25 laps to go. At that point I heard my body scream to the starter "black flag this nut". I kept going and if there was 10 laps to go I could have found the third or 4th wind, but I was losing mental concentration through the fact of no water or rest. I decided to go high in turn 3 to allow Jamie Ramsay to get by. Even though I wrote earlier who was behind me, I didn't realize when I went high I was about to get freight trained. So instead of allowing one car to go by, 3 passed me. I let Ramsay go but when Cox pulled up I decided to fight for that spot, just what tired people should do, get into a side by side battle. For the next 3 or 4 laps we ran side by side. I was saying to myself when is this guy going to give up. He must have said to himself as he battled with me "what are old people eating today"? Anyway he got by then Sawchuk and I fell quite away behind Jason who I was nose to tail with. The good news is that during that run of getting passed I actually was able to get a second wind. Matt Box got by and all of them got by Jason. With 15 laps to go I reeled Jason in again and tried all I could to get him. With 5 to go Jason and I were regaining on at least 3 of the cars that passed us but there was no time left. Even with 60 laps of caution free racing at these high speeds the leaders never came close to catching us. I was right on Jason's bumper with 2 to go and thought how nice it would be to finish 10th. Then my body reminded me how nice it would be at this point in the race just to finish. At the line we were 11th and my crew were quite happy, and to tell the truth so was I. It was our best big race feature finish at Delaware and we learned a lot. I couldn't wait to get out of the car, it was so hot and I was beat. I'm sure many racers were tired and wore out pretty good with no cautions......someone please invent "age reversing", but make sure it's okay with God first.
We finished with no damage, no one mad at us and after about 20 minutes the boys changed the gears, engine oil and filter, did a quick nut and bolt check, making us ready for Flamboro.
I had a chance to race with my good friend Jesse Pontello. Jesse has come a long way and he raced clean bringing his racer home in good shape.
We got home at 3:am but the good results helped ignore the late night.
My body was begging to get some rest, and I did indeed have a good half nights sleep.
I must say the Delaware track is a very well run show. The promoters care for the racers as well as the fans. They do not tolerate any rough driving and do everything they can to work with racers to get them on the track. The senior promoter Mr. Wilcox came by to welcome our team to their track. That was very classy.
We gave a bike away. The little girl that won fell asleep so her brother and cousins picked it up at the front straight right after the feature.....Last nights race report from Flamboro will be done by Monday.

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