Diary Of A Season...2009

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

Post by Gary » Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:06 pm

June 26th......Delaware Speedway Parts Source 14

Race #8.....(3rd Delaware)

High Lites
* 28 cars
* 28 wins (Steve Roblee)
* We crash early and hard
* David takes 7th
* Time trial lap 19:405 (top cars in the high 18's)

Results
#9..........DNF
#37.........7th

Winnings
#9.........$200
#37........$800

Repairs
* front frame rails ahead of control arms
* rad, upper hose
* both eye bolts
* spindle, rotor
* fan

Crew
Jim, Troy, Jeff, Marty, Ken, Linda, Sean, Dave, Art

Conclusion
It would be expected that if you’ve been racing for 40 years, and you hadn’t won 25 Championships, you must have had a share of serious wrecks. The answer is yes, totally correct. We could be in the Canadian Hall of Fame for compiling the worst wrecks, although I honestly don’t think we make the top of the list on the worst wrecks, however check out this list.
• 7 roll overs
• 2 stuck gas pedals
• 5 head on’s at top speed into the wall.
• 1 fire
• Hundreds of regular wrecks
The roll over is a unique event. It happens gradually and can be a single slow roll, a single rough roll, an end over end or one that sends you for a few flips. I’ve had at least one of each. My first three were in Mini Stocks, one at Cayuga and two at Acton Speedway. They were all multi rolls with one a more violent deal as the car kicked up in the air.
In the Hobby cars, the first was a slow roll at Speedway Park. How slow? We were under caution when Wayne Keeling and Fred Poets got to jockeying for the spot in front of me and somehow I ended up riding over their wheels. The second was a nasty barrel roll also at Speedway Park. Nonie, mom and the kids were headed to the grand stand and dad and I got into the pits, unloaded and onto the track for practice before they made it to their seats. During practice on this big fast oval, I slid off turn two heading toward the infield. I must have hit a mud rut because when I did the car started flipping at least four times. The next two were at Flamboro one a slow roll, I almost had to help it over and the other a wild end over end. That was weird.
The two stuck gas pedals were much worse. The first in 1973 at Pinecrest happened in the feature when I was in 3rd place. Flying down the front chute I went in as hard as I could into turn one only to find out the throttle was stuck and the car was still climbing. That was an incredibly hard smash. I was 25 years old and could hardly breathe after that crash. It proved one thing, I could have used a little more gear because the car didn’t plateau with the RPM, it kept climbing. The next throttle deal was at the CNE in 1990 and that was ugly but it was on a short track but still enough to give me the shakes and put that poor car to sleep.
The head-on into the wall was much like the gas pedal. Some happened when others blew engines in front of us. One happened at Flamboro on June 16th 1990, the night before the stuck throttle at the CNE. Tim Martin blew his rad when we were heading in to turn one. We were fourth with a few laps to go and hit the water and soon we were part of the cement. That was a nasty whack. Another very similar crash, only much worse because it happened at Mosport at the end of the front chute, was when I got mixed up with Samantha Jansen. We ended up slamming the wall so hard we bent the frame over 15”.
The fire was from a blown engine that spewed oil and fuel on my headers. As the liquid came out the carb, it ignited from the hot exhaust. It caught fire while sitting in turn one.
Now why did I list all of these wrecks? Because the one on Friday night at Delaware, was worse. It was faster, harder and far more damage than any of the other “And He Walked Away” crashes.
Maybe what’s worse is how this happened, so here is the tale of this story.
We were, like most racers who like the big race, excited about the Parts Source 142. I’m excited about racing period, but the big races seem to create more hype even for those of us who have little chance of winning against the hot dogs at the half mile.
We got through tech for the first time without being too low or having something to change on our car. We finally fixed our rear spoiler so we were compliant totally with the rules. Our numbers looked great after we got the numbers from scaling the car and we figured we’d be as close as we ever would with the set up we had. Our only down fall was tires. We were allowed to have 13 tires in our inventory for this event. We bought 9 to this point in the season and were going to run tires that had 50 laps and a few cycles on them. We made two sets of warm ups, our best being the first set. The car felt very good and we got more than a few laps in the 19:2’s. That sounds good, but the top cars were in the high 18’s. Roblee, Sheridan, Watson and a few others were much quicker then we were.
When we go to Peterborough, Sauble or Flamboro we are almost always very competitive. The top runners at this track are some of the best in Ontario, and maybe because most of us are just learning the track they have an advantage, we have accepted the fact that a top 5 feature finish may be a dream, especially since we’re still trying to get a top 10…..I know this sounds like whining, but it’s reality and most of us know when we go to Delaware we’re going to be running for a top 10 spot, but that doesn’t stop us from trying to push as hard as we can. Maybe by the end of the year we’ll get down to a 19:1, and get a decent feature finish, when we do we’ll consider either of those a victory for 2009 at Delaware….enough side stories, now back to the news about the wreck.
Time trails put us back in the field. We had one bad time, our first was 19:788 and the second was 19:405. I wanted to get in the two’s but not this night. We made sure everything was ready. Getting the seat, padding and water all set was important, after all we were planning to take it easy and be there at the end.
Starting from 18th was okay. There were more cars in front but Delaware is a big track and does give room to race. The danger here is when the big one happens it can take out a few cars. The speed is a huge factor compared to the smaller tracks and being smart and patient is mandatory...and for your own good.
Things went smooth for the first two laps. I was behind #69 Lloyd Rawlings. Steve Adams #41 was next to me on the inside. The lanes were quite even after two but it looked like the inside was moving. Steve was edging ahead of Lloyd on the inside and as we exited turn four to complete lap three he got up beside him. Our car felt fast but it was early. Then Jim, my spotter said “go after the 41”. I interpreted that to mean the inside was open, so I immediately turned low to follow Adams. The only problem is that Jim, within a split second of telling me that, noticed Tim Ellis flying up the inside. By the time he called “car low”, I was already half in the lane and Ellis at my rear quarter panel. Tim barely touched me. Had it been at Flamboro I would have flown across the infield. Not so lucky here. My first feelings brought many thoughts…what ‘s going on?....how can this be?....didn’t he say something about chasing after 41?...I did what I thought I was suppose to....oh oh…this isn’t going to be…..CCCRRR$%AAAASSS^#$HHH@#^&&*^%. Wow what a hit. I stayed in the car hoping it was cosmetic, but knowing the chassis was junk. The tow truck backed in and the safety crew came over. Reality hadn’t sunk in because I still thought I could get it started and drive away maybe with my tow out a bit. I turned the engine over and the staff started waving and yelling “don’t start it”!!! We’re done Jim, said on the radio. I was troubled inside, I felt shock, anger, hurt, disappointment, and just couldn’t figure why it happened.
An accident like this takes time to talk about. After the heat settles and emotions calm down, the story comes to light. The bottom line, I shouldn’t have went down, I should have stayed where I was. Jim knew I was faster than the car in front of me and maybe for a split second there was a window to get down. I responded faster than Jim expected, even at that, there was no I should have made the move. We talked about it and by the end of the night we had a game plan to fix the car.
The position of spotter is very tough. Some crew members wouldn’t want to do it just because of the responsibility it carries. Jim has been my crew chief and head spotter since our start in Late Models in 05’ and has been awesome most every night with very few mistakes. We learned one thing, there’s a place where we can not ever make a mistake anymore and that’s Delaware. That was our worst crash ever.
Mike McColl came over and looked at the car, he said he'd fix it for me before the end of the week. It was beat from the control arms forward. Not a full clip...well not yet, it may be worse once he gets a closer look at it in the day light and on the jig. Our team pulled the engine out on Saturday. The Lancaster's, Jim and Marty. It is being dropped off at McColl’s today. He will have it ready for Wednesday and we’ll get it finished for the Grisdale Triple Crown race this Saturday.
I wondered what it would be like to crash hard at Delaware, now I know...........I wonder, what it would be like to win a feature at Delaware?

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

Post by Gary » Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:06 pm

June 27th............Flamboro Speedway

Race #9.....(6th Flamboro)

High Lites
* 17 cars
* Scott Lyons wins
* We get 6th
* Narrowed distance between us and 1st in points
* Fan Appreciation night
* No number 9...somebody wrecked it at Delaware...oh, it was me.

Results
Heat.........2nd
Feature.....6th

Winnings
$240

Repairs
* routine...prepare for Grisdale race

Crew
Jim, Jason, Perry, Marty

Conclusion
After the wreck we had Friday night, it was good to get back to Flamboro to gain a little confidence. It’s not that we do great every week at Flamboro but we seem to be much better and being one of the top runners is always a confidence booster.
The reason is probably the comfort of the track because it’s like home, although I love to race Sauble, and it could easily be my home track if we were closer. We’ve done well at the Beach, with a 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th in four Late Model features. We have a ton of top 3’s with four or five feature wins in the Coupe, but I like everything about Sauble. I am getting to like Delaware better, but I need a full season and a top 5 feature finish to feel like I belong there. As it is, I’m just a traveler like many of the cars that show up to compete. Regardless whether we run every race in 09’ or not, I’m certain the regular 14 racers at Delaware and the fans consider us visitors, and they’re right, we need lots of laps to feel at home on the big half mile. One thing for certain, it’s not the #9 car. I enjoy racing that car and feel it’s as good as the #36.
We had an appearance at the Millgrove United Church on Saturday morning. It was an opportunity to talk about racing and share my faith with other like-minded men. Many of the members of the church went to the races that night. Bringing their kids was a bonus because it was Fan Appreciation Night and everyone got to go down on the track and talk to their favorite drivers and get autographs.
One day last week Junior Hanley came by and I asked him a few questions about our chassis. He gave me some great tips and showed us how we were going about getting our final set up wrong on our car. We were using the bar to set the car, but putting too many turns on the bar to get our final set up. We’d been doing it this way for over a year and a half and it seemed to be working great. It’s not that we were afraid of change, it’s just that when you got a set up you understand and the results have been good, it’s tough to want to change. The other side to that thought is when Junior Hanley makes a suggestion you listen very close and more than likely, what ever he tells you will make the car even better…so do it.
Junior said we were getting our final numbers right, but we were going about it improperly and causing other problems, perhaps minor, but enough to effect our over all performance. What Junior’s set up would do is gain us slightly better lap times, keeping us more consistent. Since we were within a few hundredths of the top cars (excluding the #03) every minor adjustment could have an impact. So we did what he suggested and we were glad we did.
In our first set of warm ups the car felt okay, but the car was a little loose. We went directly to the scales and the numbers were way off those we got from pre race tech. That wasn’t a good deal, we needed accurate readings to know what changes if any had to be made, but the numbers were like I brought a different car on the scales.
We decided to put on four other tires, go back to our basis starting point (where Junior showed us) and set the bar like he suggested. In the second set of warm ups the cars was just the same, in the ball park but not faster or slower than anyone else. The white flag came out and Jim said to push harder for one more lap. Going into one I went just a car length further and the car took off coming around and I had to counter steer hard right then back again to not spin out. I radioed to my crew chief. “Wow, something happened as I turned going into the turn Jim, I almost spun out”. Jim asked what I thought it was? “I think it was the brakes, because as I went in harder I had to apply a little more brake and the car came around”!
Once in the pits we found that I had too much rear brake pressure and we corrected that. We went back to the other tires to save David’s tires for the Grisdale race. (I bought David's tires from the first Grisdale race, they had about 30 laps on them, and unfortunately David wouldn't be using them again).
We had one bit of luck, I drew #3 for the starting spot, but it wasn’t all good because Paul Howse drew better. He was inside pole and we were outside of the first heat. My crew looked at me and said “let’s finish as high as we can”. We were all on the same page with that pre race strategy. Anyone knows starting on the outside requires a much quicker car to get by the inside pole sitter. We knew two things, Paul wasn’t “much slower, or faster”, (no kidding, the term "much slower" and Paul Howse do not go together) than us, and he wasn’t about to back off no matter what we did going into one. The key was to get a good start and if Paul spun or got loose, then we’d take advantage, otherwise race hard and see what happens. The Bookies were giving 10 to 1 odds that Paul would get the lead, so anyone betting for me could win a lot of money, but knew the odds were against us…and results showed it. Paul got the lead half way down the back chute and we fell in behind. So the first predictable part of the race was over. However the Bookie could give you a chance to get your money back if he figured Paul would win by 5 or more car lengths. If you bet that we’d stay close to the #8 in the race you’d got your money back. We were running right behind the rocket for the first 8 laps and only fell back a little when I tried to run up on him coming off turn four with two to go. It was a good strong 2nd for us, just what we needed to start the night off right.
We went to Tech as is required for the top 3 of each heat. The numbers from the scales was insane. We normally run a 54% wedge set up and the readings from the computer were 58%. I showed Junior and he said their numbers were the same and blamed the scales for not being accurate. Anyway, we knew the car was very close and didn’t worry about what the numbers were from post Tech. It was high-fives and a happy team after that run.
It was also Fan Appreciation night. We went out on the track with all the other race teams from the five divisions. Thunder Cars, Mini’s, F-4’s and CVM. It's a great moment in racing when we greet all the fans and give them pictures of our cars. We can never do enough for our awesome race fans.
In the feature we were lined up 5th. That would have been a good starting spot but the #97 Jeff Cassidy went scratch, putting us 4th.
Going down the front chute to take the white I told Jim the front two cars were hitting each other as they approached turn one. The same down the back straight. “This is going to be nuts”! I figured. The two front cars were already crowding each other. I tried to figure who was causing it and it was tough, but there was lots of room outside of the #49 Ted Horsfall who was outside pole, so he could have gave room. Coming off four to take the green the #49 went sideways and the outside lane slowed up. It’s always a dangerous time to mess up because everyone is anticipating to go and if you check up someone behind will get into you. Anyway the inside lane took off but as soon as we got to turn one the yellow came out. The starter sent the inside pole car Junior Farley #72, to the back. That put us 3rd behind Horsfall with Richard Holmes #42 outside. On the start we ran hard in a pack and it looked like Richard was going to get in front but another yellow came out. Shane Maginnis #03 was beside me, and had the first lap counted he was ahead of me at the start finish line and he would have been 3rd for the restart, however it was a complete restart. This time the #49 got a better jump and I followed him. Within a few laps Horsfall was first, we were 2nd and about 3 laps in as the outside lane was getting freight trained Maginnis tried to get down from the outside lane to the low lane on the back chute but there was no room. He did what I did at Delaware, but he was lucky because when he got turned to the infield by Jason Shaw, who would have had no chance to check up, there was no retaining wall waiting for Shane. The race continued and as we came off turn two I saw a black car coming out where the pace truck exits at the start of the race. He pulled out slow as we were half way down the back straight and it was like he was either waiting for the yellow or something else, maybe the #82. Just as we caught up to him he began to speed up a little. Going into turn one Horsfall wasn’t sure which way to go because Maginnis was still not up to speed and all over the track. Once again going down the back straight Shane kept ahead but coming off turn four he dropped to the low lane, not the apron, the lane above it. Ted followed him, I couldn’t believe it, so I went high outside both of them and was beside the #49 going into one. This was quite bizarre. A rookie has a chance to go for a win and instead drops to the low lane like it’s one lap to go. Maybe what was even more weird was the 03 driving like he was lost. The fastest car in Ontario is driving to the low lane two laps after he’s put himself in the infield and the leader of the race follows him. ......Maginnis should be in form for the $2000 to win race next week.... meanwhile back to the race. What happened next was worse. I get outside of the 49 in turn one and get a good run off turn two. Maginnis is in front of us still but not racing. Horsfall sticks to the 03 and finally the 03 takes off. The kid decides to do the same and I’m jammed in the outside with two taxi cab drivers around me. Shane is slowly getting out of sight and every lap I run hard into the turn the 49 is crowding me higher in the turn. “What’s wrong with the low lane now”? I wanted to ask him, or “How about giving me a lane to race”! Anyway I slowly fell back then for the next 8 laps my spotter was saying “car low…car low…car low”. First it was Scott Lyons who I battled for three laps at least, then it was Jason Shaw and finally by lap ten I was able to get into fourth place. On lap 14 the yellow came out quickly followed by the red. I came to a stop at the start finish line and looked around but couldn’t see anything. I asked Jim what was going on and why the red came out, and he said he thought someone in the Hobby pits was hurt. We heard later it was from heat exhaustion.
We sat there for about 3 minutes when Jim came on the radio to tell me he was informed by Randy Shaw that our left front tire was going flat. Dave Franks came over and confirmed that bad news. We sat on the track for half and hour at least. That gave me a chance to realize how lucky we were that our tire didn’t go flat while we were racing. I told Jim we should do something because the front bumper was on the ground and I may not make it to our pit. Our crew had lots of time to strategize a plan when I came off. They went to the Zardo’s pad and had it set up for me to stop there. Once the yellow came out I headed right to the exit and to there pit pad. The boys did a great job…many thanks to the Zardo family and crew.
While we were in the pits the cars on the track got hot laps. We missed the warm ups but got out to restart 16th with 16 to go. We knew we would be lucky to finish in a good spot but there was nothing we could do, plus we were way luckier we didn’t wreck. On the green our car was really loose because the tires were cold. Two laps later however a huge pile up coming off turn four took out a chunk of the field. I don’t know exactly what happened but I was told that Jason got a good run on Scott to move from third to second right away. As he tried to do the same with Ted he got into him and they both spun in front of the field. It’s not certain who’s fault it was but the scoreboard official finish showed the 82 car getting a penalty. If the #49 was having similar problems when Jake arrived I think the accident may not have been Shaw’s fault, but I didn’t get a good story on what happened.
On the restart we were up to 9th and then a few more laps in and I was trying to pass the #97 of Cassidy on the outside and as we came off turn four he was spun by Paul Howse with that wreck taking them both to the infield. This race was like “Friday The 13th Part 15”. We got into 6th and put a chase on Todd Campbell who was close to Steve Lyons, who was driving for Steve Laking. Steve did an awesome job driving the #44 and would end up with a 3rd in his heat and a 4th in the feature. We finished 6th, a little disappointed, a little happy but a lot confused. What a weird race.
Scott Lyons won the race with #86 Kenny Forth taking second and Richard Holmes, the most improved racer over 2008, taking 3rd. Steve Lyons, the CVM ace, drove for Steve Laking and did an awesome job finishing 3rd in his heat and 4th in the feature.
This will tighten up the points battle between the top four. We are 6th only 16 out of first but still a long way back. We need to be within four or five points in the next couple of weeks to get a shot at the title. We’ve been having a good year, but a Championship requires a very strong consistent season. We are very consciences of what we have to do and will be on it every week.
Next week is the Grisdale Triple Crown and our goal is to continue our goal to win that title as well. We are only 2 points out of first.
……just got a call from Mike McColl that our #9 is ready. Lucky for us it’s July 1st, he’s open and I’m not working so we can go get the car now.
Jeff Lancaster will drive the #9 this Saturday in the Grisdale race and due to family issues he has decided he cannot continue racing the car. I really enjoyed Jeff as a racer but more as a friend and will miss being with him. He will help his son with their new OSS car for the remainder of the 09’ season.

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

Post by Gary » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:06 pm

July 4th.......Flamboro Speedway

Grisdale Triple Crown...2nd Round

Race #10 (7th Flamboro)

High Lites
* 22 Cars
* Howse wins
* We lead from lap 9 to lap 70 (so close)
* We get 2nd
* Close battle for GTC title
* Jeff Lancaster closes season in #9
* Shane Maginnis...no show

Results
#9
1st Heat....6th
2nd Heat...5th
Feature.....18th

#36
1st Heat....4th
2nd Heat...1st
Feature.....2nd

Winnings
#9......$360
#36....$1000

Repairs
#9......pan hard bar...get ready for Delaware
#36...none...get ready for Sauble

Crew
Jim, Jason, Marty, Brandon

Conclusion
First order of business is to congratulate Paul and his team. They not only fought a hard fight but raced us clean, maybe getting on our back bumper “once” near the end of the race on the back chute, like we were at Daytona, but never hitting or bumping in a frenzy to win this race.
Was there any pressure on either one of us in the final 20 laps? No kidding. The difference between first and second was $1000, a good reason to want to win, a good reason to do whatever it took to hold on and not lose the win. Likewise if you were in second or third place, you know the difference between first and second is a lot of money and maybe you also reason that you do whatever it takes to get by. I had never won a feature over 40 laps, another good reason for us to not only make personal history but to add a big win to our not so bad resume’. So with all this going on in the pilot seats, the spotters doing their best to keep their drivers pumped but not in lunatic mode, this was developing into a dramatic finish. Here’s how we got to this point.

There were 23 Late Models show up for qualifying. Our car was ready except I was pondering new or slightly used tires to race this event. I got up early Saturday morning and felt the sun and cool breeze. I reasoned to myself, “If it’s a cold evening new tires will be better”. If we could finish in the top 4 or 5 we’d get most of our money back plus we’d maybe have a shot at winning this title like we have tried seriously the past two seasons. I called Bill Grisdale and asked him if they could sell and install four tires and he said yes. It was early enough in the morning and he asked me to stop by.
I dropped the tires off and headed to Flamboro to catch our grand children racing their go-carts. What a day for our grand daughter Lauren, picking up her first ever feature win. We were ecstatic, Gehrig has yet to win but his turn will come soon.
I headed back to pick up my tires and since the car was already loaded the night before I was ready both with our car and now mentally knowing I did the right thing. Our spare set of tires were those David ran at the first Grisdale race, they had 40 laps on them.
We were not worried too much about drawing for position because the format had double heats. Picking #40 was typical but didn’t matter much, it put us last in the 3rd heat, and pole for the second set.
I ran the first set of warm ups on the new tires to break them in and then went to tech to check the reading only to find out the numbers were goofy again. Jim said we should be bringing our own scales and though I’ve never seen anyone do it at this level of racing, I think it’s a good idea. We put David’s tires on for the second set and I liked them better. Now I was wondering if I should run his tires or the new ones. We thought about it and in the end I went with my gut feeling on the new tires, plus in the morning that was my decision.
In the first heat starting scratch we got out of the traffic but by the time I did the leaders were gone. I gained quite a bit but ended up 4th behind Kelly Balsom, a racer from Peterborough. Paul was second and the win went to Scott Lyons.
We didn’t change much for heat #2 just made sure everything was good, added a bit of fuel not to be too light. We started the second heat on the pole beside #18 Kelly Balsom. We got the lead with Paul Howse on our tail from the beginning of the race. I didn’t like how the car felt. It was loose in the cut zone and in the middle. We were able to hold Paul off and claim our second win of 09’ but the car would need some serious attention to make it competitive for the feature. I thanked Paul for running me clean and not getting into me. He was faster and said “why wreck two cars for a heat race”! Those profound words echoed in my mind for the last 15 laps of the feature.
The fastest qualifier was #56 Jeff Stewart. He had the tough duty of throwing the dice. The numbers 3 and 6 came up….OMEN?? No! The inversion would be 9 cars and we lined up 3rd, in a good spot.
Before the feature we had to go over the fact that though we won, I was very unhappy with our car. I usually don’t critique a win, but this was a qualifier that, gave us good points for Grisdale Triple Crown standings, but left unchanged would put us out of contention. We went over the symptoms which no one could see. I asked my crew, some fans and they all said the same thing. “You won, what could be wrong”! In order to make my point I said the car was out to lunch and that got some people upset with me because we took the checker, so how could you beat Paul in a race and say the car was not good…..easy.…Paul was being very nice and I was doing all I could to hang onto the win. We finally made some head way with this attitude because those who thought the car was good started to admit “well it did look a little loose in the middle, but it seemed to push coming off”. One of those was Rob Larkin who came over and agreed that our car was a loose in the middle.
So now I was getting somewhere. Jim and I decided to raise the pan hard bar on both sides. Jason got the work done and his efforts paid off. We alsso agreed to add a little more on the bar.
After driver introduction we were ready to go. Kelly Balsom in his first race of 09’ was sitting on the pole with Todd Campbell on the outside. I was 3rd with Kenny Forth beside me and Richard Holmes behind me. We got hot laps but to no advantage. By the time we’d get going to warm up tires we were already caught up to the cars running at the back, so we barely got any speed or heat in the tires.
On the green I was first concerned how we’d all enter turn one. The good thing with being 3rd, I could hit the dirt if guys got too loose. We made it through lap one okay. I was able to get into 2nd and get on Kelly’s rear. He was fast at first and fell off a little by lap 6. I was able to get a bit of a run on him heading down the back chute and going into turn three he went high to let me go by. I’m sure for him it had to be intimidating to start pole on a track you hadn’t raced on for a while. Once I got by Kelly went back a little with Todd, Kenny and Jason all passing. The yellow came out on lap 9 and I had a chance to realize we were leading. On the restart Todd was right with me but a lap or so later he got hit by Kenny Forth and spun around. Campbell had to go scratch but there was no penalty for the #86. On the restart we ran this one for almost 20 laps. At first my spotter said Kenny was one car length behind then two then four. We were enjoying some good moments in this run. By lap 30 we caught lapped traffic but I was now only two car lengths up on Forth. Soon I could see about 8 cars ahead, we were catching them quickly. However as soon as we did another yellow came out when Jason Shaw dumped Kenny Forth. Jason was sent to the back with Kenny.
On the restart I now had Jeff Stewart on our bumper. The scoreboard showed Jeff then Paul Howse. Two of the quickest cars on the night were now traffic free and about to pounce on Jurassic Park. The only problem with anyone pouncing on us was our car was next to perfect and was still running okay….at this point we set a personal record of leading a feature past the 40 lap mark. Never had I won a race over 40 laps and now we were leading on lap 41, 42 etc.
On this restart we got another good run, not loose or too fast in to turn one. Jim my spotter kept me informed of where we were strong on the track and it was in the middle and coming off. We ran about 10 or so laps and were still maintaining a car length over the competition. Lap 50, another caution came out. On that restart Paul Howse got by Jeff Stewart. “Now what do we do, the boss man is knocking at the door”? The answer?...just keep it up. For the next five laps my spotter gave me the same good news. “you’re pulling him coming off, he’s catching you going in”. Then on lap 60 a big wreck forced us to stop on the back chute. We shut off the car and had another drink of water and hoped the curfew was up. After 20 minutes we got going and Paul’s car wouldn’t start. We went down the front chute and I looked over and he was still sitting there. Coming off turn two he was still sitting on the back chute almost to turn three and Shane Gowan tried giving him a push but couldn’t do it. Some might have thought that I was hoping he was done or would have to go to the back, but to prove that wasn't my thoughts at all, I slowed down and let the track staff push start Paul, I didn’t want to put him down a lap, I wasn’t sure if they were counting laps so I waited until he got going and finally his car started. There would be nothing better to win this with Paul on my bumper not being sent to the back because his car wouldn’t start.
The track had speedy dry between turn four and the start finish and line and I was hoping for some hot laps but time was the issue now so once everyone was in line we got the one to go. Now it would be crucial to get a good start again making sure not to spin the wheels or get loose...we didn’t the car was smooth off the corner. Smooth maybe, but not to fast because Paul pulled up on the outside of me going into turn one. I was tip toeing into the turn because of the long caution and I didn’t want to get loose or push up. But the unexpected happened because Paul went in super deep and got beside me. For the next 5 laps we ran side by side. I gave him lots of room so he wouldn’t run into us or me into him and in case I got the lead back he would remember that I ran him clean. The laps were ticking down we crossed the line with 11 to go side by side still but he was either getting a little tired or wanted to give one hard shot to get beside me. I saw his car come right up to my fender again but then drift up. Then some beautiful words from Jim, “clear high”, and I went right to the wall. My tires got hot during that scrimmage and we were back in the lead with 10 laps to go. Just a heat race left, (if you know the finish you're like me you want to throw up, but regardless it was exciting). We set personal records by leading this race for so long and just wanted to hang on and not wreck or get spun or spin myself. I thought after that last battle with Paul that maybe he used up his tires or his arms, or both, but neither was the case. We stayed in front for lap 66,67,68 and 69, but each lap the car was getting worse. It was losing grip and I had to slow up a little to make sure I didn’t get too lose because the slightest nudge from Paul, though not intentional, would send us around. Paul had only hit me once on the back chute because he was able to go in harder and get on it sooner. We lead lap 70...another record breaker....On lap 71 my car got loose as I tried to gain a good run off the corner. That run gave him the inside coming off turn four and as we entered turn one my spotter gave me the bad news of the night “inside, inside”. 'Darn it' was my first response. But that went quickly to “don’t mess up now”. Some races are not for you to win, but second could be yours if you do it right. I could have raced Paul down the back chute but had I done that, the lap times would have slowed down allowing the pack to close the gap. I had a plan and Jim was right on cue. The strategy was to slow up to let Paul go then jump in behind him but in doing so, make sure not to get tagged from Jeff Stewart. Just when I was going to do the plan on my own Jim yelled “let him go and follow him”. Within a heart beat I let off the gas and got back on it and followed Paul for one lap and the yellow came back out. There were two laps remaining and all I could do is apologize to my crew and fans for messing up. I didn’t think he was that close and should have protected the lead more but I was in offence mood not defense. The final two laps Paul showed me he was much faster as he slowly pulled away. When the white came out I made sure to race as hard as I could and not slow down or nurse it home. We crossed the line in 2nd which is very good normally, this one was different for sure and I was sort of real happy and real sad at the same time.
I was disappointed and it took me a while to feel good about this second. There were lots of worse scenarios that could have played out. We did the best we could and had an awesome car for 95% of the race….good enough for second putting us in very good contention for the Grisdale Triple Crown series title chase.
I was pleased with my crew and how they handled this entire night. They have been very good since I started Late Models, but they shone tonight, giving me a great car for this race. Jim, Jason and Marty...thanks.
I thanked Paul after the race for driving me hard and clean and he thanked me for giving him a lane when he ran outside. It was a very good night for us. We will win a big one someday. Special thanks to my wife Nonie for letting me do this for so long, to my daughter Shirley for being my best critic and number one fan and to my 80 year old mom who says to her son "Gary, I can't believe how good you run against them boys". No end in sight of this God given run.
Next week we run the number 9 at Delaware and the 36 at the Sauble Speedways MacDonnell Fuels 150 lapper. I can’t wait for either of those shows....Tony Stewart was asked "what's your favorite race"?...he said... "the next one"!!!

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

Post by Gary » Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:06 pm

July 10th............Delaware Speedway

Race #11 (4th at Delaware)

High Lites
* 24 cars
* Double Features
* Steve Roblee wins both
* David takes a 8th in both
* We lose brakes finish 12th and 18th getting better

Results
#9.......12th and 18th
#37.....8th and 8th

Winnings
#9.......$140
#37.....$290

Repairs
Brakes, bleed, replace fluid, pads...whatever!!!

Crew
Jim, Troy, Ken, Linda, Stephanie

Conclusion
Our goal to get a good feature finish at Delaware has been a frustrating journey. The speed and competition are intimidating enough, making the week hearted prefer heading north to Varney Speedway to run Mini Stox on the small quarter mile oval where the top speed is less than the bordering country highway. And if the speed didn’t cause you anxiety, or the hard nosed competitors who shove their way to the front, (some are smart and have respect), how about slamming the retaining wall at 100 mph so hard that your race car, brain, and wallet all take a major adjustment. My reaction to that crash wasn’t intimidation, it was impatient anticipation, anxious to get back to drive the car as hard and deep as I could into the turns to rid myself of any doubt that I would be discouraged because of the “crash dummy test” on June 26th.
The car was a little low in tech, so we raised the chassis and went through the scales again. The car was right on numbers wise and with some adjustments on camber and new upper control arms I felt confident we would be okay. We got one set of warm ups and I was happy with the car.
We decided to run the older tires, the ones we used the night we crashed. I wanted to save the four new ones for a night when the car was perfect and we could see the advantage of running stickers.
Time trials were dismal again with a 20 second on the first lap and then a 19:6 for the second. I was encouraged by my crew that I really improved our times on the second lap, but it wasn’t too encouraging knowing we were ½ a second away from the top runners and 3 tenths off the majority of teams. I said it would be like a driver coming to Flamboro and turn a 16:1 when the rest are turning 15:5’s. Anyway, my crew and I both knew I do much better at this track when I’m in an actual race compared to time trials. It is a little embarrassing to run that far off the pace in front of the fans. It’s one thing to be in the 2’s or 3’ so you look somewhat competitive, but the 5’s and 6’s don’t cut it. I was reminded that I haven’t been on the track very much and need more time at Delaware. Maybe so, but I was racing when most of these racers were in cribs, and some hadn’t been designated a time for life to begin, or been assigned parents.
We planned to start at the back of the feature because we were late getting to Delaware and weren’t sure how the car was going to perform, plus with a 50 lap race we had lots of time.
This was the second JBM Triple Crown race. It was a 50 lapper, but divided into two segments to help meet the NASCAR requirement for the season. Our strategy was to follow a while to see how the car was doing and be more aggressive when confidence in the car was confirmed. There was a caution on lap 3 and Jim asked me how the car felt, “it’s tight in the middle and off”. Jim asked me if I wanted to come in because it looked like we’d be a while so I came down pit lane and the crew took a ¼ turn off the bar.
On the restart we continued improving. I was following #72 Shawn Thompson and #69 Lloyd Rawlings who were in a hard battle. Coming off turn four I was right behind them and it looked like Lloyd came down as Shawn got a run beside him. Unfortunately Rawlings was turned and ended up crashing hard into the pit entrance cement block backwards. The track made Thompson wait on pit row for a penalty blaming him for the wreck. I may not have agreed with that from what I saw, although I was told the #72 nudged the #69 getting the car loose resulting in the nasty crash, I did see Lloyd get hit.
On that restart Jim asked how the car was and I told him it felt very good. The next 20 laps were strong for us moving almost to the top 10. The yellow and checker came out and we came down pit row running 12th. We decided to leave the tires on the car. “The car feels good, we don’t need to touch anything”. The crew gave me water and that was it.
On the restart I noticed the brakes were low pedal wise. I didn’t want to adjust the bias, the car was too good. On the restart we gained a spot putting us 11th in a pack of cars that were pretty well all the top runners. By lap 30 we 10th and gaining quick on Jason Shaw, David and Scott Lindsay. I pulled along side of Jason going into turn one on lap 35 and was beside him going down the back chute. Our car was very good except for the brakes. I had to back off a little because we’d end up going a little further than what the tires could take and it was causing a push. However we got another good run off turn four and raced Jason into one only to have the brakes go way down and the car head deep into the upper groove. We were in trouble so I backed off and soon dropped from 9th to 18th as we let all the cars go by over the next few laps. It was a disappointing finish, but a very encouraging run. We reasoned with good brakes and the new tires we should be able to run with the 6th place cars…maybe top five, that’s how confident our crew felt after the race.
Nonie and I prayed for a night of protection for the car, so we’d have an easy work week, and we got that, thank you Lord.
Now that the #9 is back home and the Lancaster's are no longer involved with racing or maintaining it, the extra work load of getting two cars ready, needs to be something we take into consideration from now until the end of this race season.
All and all this was a great night for us, showing the potential of both our crew and the car…..we all can’t wait for the next show.

Points Standings
1.....28...Steve Robblee.......729 points
2.....52...Ron Sheridan.........710
3.....10...Jesse Kennedy.......694
4.....02...Mark Watson..........673
5.....4.....Jonathan Urlin........648
6.....22...Jamie Ramsay........630
7.....20...Scott Lindsay.........593
8.....37...David Elliott............590
9.....3.....Chad Rijnen...........585
10....27...Mat Box.................584
11...15...Steven Matthews...577
12...72...Shawn Thompson...551
13...14...Rick Emery..............546
14...2.....Doug Stewart.........543
15...32...Matt Robblee..........528
16...8.....Marc Jacobs............516
17...9.....Gary Elliott..............507

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

Post by Gary » Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:06 pm

July 11th.......Sauble Speedway

Race #12

High Lites
* 20 cars
* Dion VerHoeven wins...Jason was in a good mood
* Jason Shaw was the quickest all day and night
* David leads 20 laps ends up 5th
* We chased a crazy car all night but get 8th
* What's with the brakes??

Results
#36........Heats 3rd and 6th
#37........Heats 3rd and 4th
Feature
#36.....8th
#37.....5th

Winnings
#36.....$650
#37.....$900 + $40 bonus

Repairs
Brakes....on this car to??

Crew
Jim, Jason, Troy, Sarah

Conclusion
It’s been awhile since we pulled off a week end like this. Running double week ends has been the norm for us since we started racing. Any combo of Flamboro and Sunset, or Sauble, Cayuga, Peterborough have been tiring but this past week end, had us at Delaware and Sauble, tiring even when you say it out loud. I would say this week end topped those, partly because of the travel, the fact we didn’t get home until 2:00am from Delaware, we left at 8:am Saturday morning and the Sauble events started at noon. This hectic pace affected Nonie, Jim, Marty, and Troy because they made both shows. Had this been a long week end where we raced Saturday and Sunday and had Monday off, or were close to home with the first race at Flamboro, it would have given some recovery time. For me it was tiring physically, the races were a 50 lapper Friday night and then a 150 lap bonanza with two 10 lap heats for Sauble. So racing is what we like and racing is what we got. We missed on our Sauble set up but did alright considering.
I had the weirdest sensation when we got home from Delaware. Ken and Linda helped us unload the #9 and roll it to the garage. What was weird? Loading the #36. I was very tired and said out loud “I have two race cars”!, like it was a surprise, but it was a first in 41 years to take one car out of the trailer and immediately load the second.
The 36 was race ready so we had nothing to do on it when we got to Sauble.
The car turn out wasn’t as good as it was last year, but the cars that showed up were there to do business. We weren’t the only team to run the double header week end. David, Tim Ellis, Jamie Ramsay, Jason Shaw, Ron Sheridan and Mark Watson also ran the night before at Delaware. They were tired as well, notwithstanding most are 20 years plus younger.
The track had planned to run time trials but a little rain set things back so the format was changed to double heats with a throw of the dice to determine the invert. The race was 150 laps with a competition yellow on lap 75.
We passed Tech easy and were ready to go out for practice but we were short two things, my fire suit and radio connector. The radio part was still on the #9, and my fire suit in the dryer, both 3 hours away. Jim arranged for Steffanie Dean to drop the fire suit off at Jason Chapman’s work, and he would bring it with him, and Jamie Ramsay loaned us a radio helmet and button kit. The track had a driving school and loaned me one of their spare suits to practice with…so all was good.
In our first few sets of warm ups we were very good, turning the same times as the fastest. Our best was a 14:90, Jason and Ron Sheridan may have reached the 8’s but not when I was timing them. Regardless we were happy with the car.
We drew #6 for time trials which also gave us outside pole in the heat. The track had set aside $500 for the fastest time, but since time trials were cancelled they gave $125 for every heat winner, a very good gesture.
We got the lead on lap one, but soon I knew we were in trouble with a car that was terrible tight. There is no way to nurse a tight car at Sauble. To do that you have to slow down too much to get through the turn and either you’ll get spun or someone will go up the inside. I ran as hard as I could but had to surrender the lead to Brandon Watson #8 and then Kirk Hooker #38. We worked on the chassis to get through the turns better but the problem now was our spare tires needed to be scuffed. We were starting last in the next heat and by lap four could open it up. The car was still off and we finished 6th.
We tried to understand what the car was doing but for some reason it was hard to tell just which way to go. It was tight at times and loose others, both in the middle. It was more loose coming off so we decided to go back to the original set up and lower the pan hard back down…mistake #1.
In the feature we started 11th. We go t 5 hot laps to warm up the tires and were set to go. On lap 3 #31 Sean McWhirter got into #8 Brandon Watson sending him across the infield. They were okay but #91 Scott McGillvary took a beating with a broken control arm after hitting the wall trying to avoid hitting Jamie Ramsay. During the yellow Jim asked me how the car was..”terrible” I said, we’re pushing real bad. I came in and the boys took a 1/2 turn out of the bar. On the restart we started on the outside lane and got shoved into the wall by McWhirter. I’m not sure what he was thinking, he was on the inside on this restart with all the cars bunched up and he decided to go high half way down the front chute. We hit the wall fairly hard and I wasn’t sure if we hurt a tire or bent a suspension part. The car seemed okay from the impact but we were still in trouble with the chassis, a bad push. Battling in a 5 car group we couldn’t go anywhere, mostly because of the handling. As the race went on trouble free we had a new problem, there would be no caution from lap 3 till lap 54. Jim was telling me that Jason was a 10 car lengths behind. It seemed to take forever for him to catch us. On lap 53 I motioned by, now we were down a lap, not good. But!!!!...Lucky for us the yellow came out a lap later, before anymore cars in front of me got lapped. The Lucky Dog rule was in effect so we got our lap back. Jim asked me if I wanted to come in but I chose to stay out knowing there was only 20 laps till the competition yellow and surely we wouldn’t be lapped in that short span. We weren’t and when we headed to the pits I decided against putting on new tires. We were struggling from the last lap of practice and were almost lost on what was wrong. The laps leading up to getting lapped Jim kept saying on the radio…“we’ll get it right at the break”! We made more chassis changes, more bar out, maybe should have raised the track bar. We had 10 minutes and did get fuel in it. Putting on new tires would have cost another $310 and might have got us another spot, maybe not. If I thought we could have won or got a top three I would have gladly put them on. I knew if we could get the car to run better we’d be okay because our issue wasn’t tires, it was clearly the chassis. So we saved our new tires for another day, we’d use them at some point this year.
The restart was double file with Jason and David up front. David restarted 2nd and they ran side by side for awhile with Jason taking the lead. Jason was strong from the third set of warm ups. However just a few laps later during a caution he had to leave the track with a flat tire. David got the lead and held it until 20 to go, leading for 30 laps and getting within a quarter track of me and five other racers. Another caution came out and when it did his car went south immediately. Meanwhile we ran much better after the pit stop, but still a long way from where we needed to be. Jamie Ramsay stayed within a car length of us while we battled with a group of cars from 6th to 11th. We still could not get off the corners but neither could most of the cars. There were 3 cars that were good at the end. Jason was the fastest but Ron Sheridan was close and Mark Watson got his car running great for the end of the race. Dion Verhoeven #77 got the lead from David and held on to take the win but he to was lucky that Jason didn’t get into him as the two diced. Jason perhaps wore his car out trying to get the lead. Our last 15 laps was a battle with Kirk Hooker and we were quickly getting a brake push on top of the chassis being tight. The pedal got worse each lap. When I tried to adjust the bias on a caution it was seized, not moving at all. The brakes were fading more each lap and I wanted to be careful not to hit Kurt but still try to pass him. We were both struggling to get around the ends. When the white came out I was happy just to survive and finish where we did.
We were disappointed that we didn’t run up front but it could have been a lot worse. David ended up 5th, a good run considering.
This was our only show at Sauble in 09’. If they do the same in 2010’ I would like to see a Triple 50 format with an overall pay out.
Our next race is this Saturday at Flamboro. Our work load isn’t heavy but we need to get the brakes working good again to be in contention for the Flamboro points title.

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

Post by Gary » Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:06 pm

July 11th.......Sauble Speedway

Race #12

High Lites
* 20 cars
* Dion VerHoeven wins...Jason was in a good mood
* Jason Shaw was the quickest all day and night
* David leads 20 laps ends up 5th
* We chased a crazy car all night but get 8th
* What's with the brakes??

Results
#36........Heats 3rd and 6th
#37........Heats 3rd and 4th
Feature
#36.....8th
#37.....5th

Winnings
#36.....$650
#37.....$900 + $40 bonus

Repairs
Brakes....on this car to??

Crew
Jim, Jason, Troy, Sarah

Conclusion
It’s been awhile since we pulled off a week end like this. Running double week ends has been the norm for us since we started racing. Any combo of Flamboro and Sunset, or Sauble, Cayuga, Peterborough have been tiring but this past week end, had us at Delaware and Sauble, tiring even when you say it out loud. I would say this week end topped those, partly because of the travel, the fact we didn’t get home until 2:00am from Delaware, we left at 8:am Saturday morning and the Sauble events started at noon. This hectic pace affected Nonie, Jim, Marty, and Troy because they made both shows. Had this been a long week end where we raced Saturday and Sunday and had Monday off, or were close to home with the first race at Flamboro, it would have given some recovery time. For me it was tiring physically, the races were a 50 lapper Friday night and then a 150 lap bonanza with two 10 lap heats for Sauble. So racing is what we like and racing is what we got. We missed on our Sauble set up but did alright considering.
I had the weirdest sensation when we got home from Delaware. Ken and Linda helped us unload the #9 and roll it to the garage. What was weird? Loading the #36. I was very tired and said out loud “I have two race cars”!, like it was a surprise, but it was a first in 41 years to take one car out of the trailer and immediately load the second.
The 36 was race ready so we had nothing to do on it when we got to Sauble.
The car turn out wasn’t as good as it was last year, but the cars that showed up were there to do business. We weren’t the only team to run the double header week end. David, Tim Ellis, Jamie Ramsay, Jason Shaw, Ron Sheridan and Mark Watson also ran the night before at Delaware. They were tired as well, notwithstanding most are 20 years plus younger.
The track had planned to run time trials but a little rain set things back so the format was changed to double heats with a throw of the dice to determine the invert. The race was 150 laps with a competition yellow on lap 75.
We passed Tech easy and were ready to go out for practice but we were short two things, my fire suit and radio connector. The radio part was still on the #9, and my fire suit in the dryer, both 3 hours away. Jim arranged for Steffanie Dean to drop the fire suit off at Jason Chapman’s work, and he would bring it with him, and Jamie Ramsay loaned us a radio helmet and button kit. The track had a driving school and loaned me one of their spare suits to practice with…so all was good.
In our first few sets of warm ups we were very good, turning the same times as the fastest. Our best was a 14:90, Jason and Ron Sheridan may have reached the 8’s but not when I was timing them. Regardless we were happy with the car.
We drew #6 for time trials which also gave us outside pole in the heat. The track had set aside $500 for the fastest time, but since time trials were cancelled they gave $125 for every heat winner, a very good gesture.
We got the lead on lap one, but soon I knew we were in trouble with a car that was terrible tight. There is no way to nurse a tight car at Sauble. To do that you have to slow down too much to get through the turn and either you’ll get spun or someone will go up the inside. I ran as hard as I could but had to surrender the lead to Brandon Watson #8 and then Kirk Hooker #38. We worked on the chassis to get through the turns better but the problem now was our spare tires needed to be scuffed. We were starting last in the next heat and by lap four could open it up. The car was still off and we finished 6th.
We tried to understand what the car was doing but for some reason it was hard to tell just which way to go. It was tight at times and loose others, both in the middle. It was more loose coming off so we decided to go back to the original set up and lower the pan hard back down…mistake #1.
In the feature we started 11th. We go t 5 hot laps to warm up the tires and were set to go. On lap 3 #31 Sean McWhirter got into #8 Brandon Watson sending him across the infield. They were okay but #91 Scott McGillvary took a beating with a broken control arm after hitting the wall trying to avoid hitting Jamie Ramsay. During the yellow Jim asked me how the car was..”terrible” I said, we’re pushing real bad. I came in and the boys took a 1/2 turn out of the bar. On the restart we started on the outside lane and got shoved into the wall by McWhirter. I’m not sure what he was thinking, he was on the inside on this restart with all the cars bunched up and he decided to go high half way down the front chute. We hit the wall fairly hard and I wasn’t sure if we hurt a tire or bent a suspension part. The car seemed okay from the impact but we were still in trouble with the chassis, a bad push. Battling in a 5 car group we couldn’t go anywhere, mostly because of the handling. As the race went on trouble free we had a new problem, there would be no caution from lap 3 till lap 54. Jim was telling me that Jason was a 10 car lengths behind. It seemed to take forever for him to catch us. On lap 53 I motioned by, now we were down a lap, not good. But!!!!...Lucky for us the yellow came out a lap later, before anymore cars in front of me got lapped. The Lucky Dog rule was in effect so we got our lap back. Jim asked me if I wanted to come in but I chose to stay out knowing there was only 20 laps till the competition yellow and surely we wouldn’t be lapped in that short span. We weren’t and when we headed to the pits I decided against putting on new tires. We were struggling from the last lap of practice and were almost lost on what was wrong. The laps leading up to getting lapped Jim kept saying on the radio…“we’ll get it right at the break”! We made more chassis changes, more bar out, maybe should have raised the track bar. We had 10 minutes and did get fuel in it. Putting on new tires would have cost another $310 and might have got us another spot, maybe not. If I thought we could have won or got a top three I would have gladly put them on. I knew if we could get the car to run better we’d be okay because our issue wasn’t tires, it was clearly the chassis. So we saved our new tires for another day, we’d use them at some point this year.
The restart was double file with Jason and David up front. David restarted 2nd and they ran side by side for awhile with Jason taking the lead. Jason was strong from the third set of warm ups. However just a few laps later during a caution he had to leave the track with a flat tire. David got the lead and held it until 20 to go, leading for 30 laps and getting within a quarter track of me and five other racers. Another caution came out and when it did his car went south immediately. Meanwhile we ran much better after the pit stop, but still a long way from where we needed to be. Jamie Ramsay stayed within a car length of us while we battled with a group of cars from 6th to 11th. We still could not get off the corners but neither could most of the cars. There were 3 cars that were good at the end. Jason was the fastest but Ron Sheridan was close and Mark Watson got his car running great for the end of the race. Dion Verhoeven #77 got the lead from David and held on to take the win but he to was lucky that Jason didn’t get into him as the two diced. Jason perhaps wore his car out trying to get the lead. Our last 15 laps was a battle with Kirk Hooker and we were quickly getting a brake push on top of the chassis being tight. The pedal got worse each lap. When I tried to adjust the bias on a caution it was seized, not moving at all. The brakes were fading more each lap and I wanted to be careful not to hit Kurt but still try to pass him. We were both struggling to get around the ends. When the white came out I was happy just to survive and finish where we did.
We were disappointed that we didn’t run up front but it could have been a lot worse. David ended up 5th, a good run considering.
This was our only show at Sauble in 09’. If they do the same in 2010’ I would like to see a Triple 50 format with an overall pay out.
Our next race is this Saturday at Flamboro. Our work load isn’t heavy but we need to get the brakes working good again to be in contention for the Flamboro points title.

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

Post by Gary » Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:06 pm

July 18th.........Flamboro Speedway

Race #13 (8th at Flamboro)

High Lites
* 12 cars (worst of the year)
* Todd Campbell wins
* six cars finish
* we go 1/2 a lap and get 8th

Results
Heat........3rd
Feature....8th

Winnings
$200

Repairs
Body, suspension

Crew
Jim, Jason, Marty, Sarah

Conclusion
This was our 13th night of racing and it was definitely one of the worst in a long time at Flamboro. How we would end up with so much damage to our frame, suspension and body…ON LAP ONE… is beyond comprehension. It was totally unnecessary and absolutely nuts given there were only 12 Late Models on the track. Before I get too worked up…I'm going to do like a motion picture that shows the end of the movie and then the next thing on the screen is…”Two Weeks Earlier”… so we’ll go to “Two Hours Earlier”
We were pumped after our run last time here. We thought we had a score to settle for ourselves. Losing the Grisdale race was not so bad, we didn’t have the best car at the end of that race, but after that run we can taste a feature win coming soon. Paul Howse was not only on top of his game, but drove me clean for twenty laps without touching me…maybe a slight nudge on the back chute once….no big deal. Paul is driving smart and gaining a ton of respect from all of his peers, he is developing the character of a true Champion….but not yet Paul, some of us, our team especially, are still fighting for that honor. Some teams pretend they have no idea where they are in the points and don’t really care. Well, to those in front of me and close behind, we do care, we know exactly where we are, where our competitors are, and what we have to do to win the title. Our goal is to win the 2009 Championship….no I didn’t forget the Grisdale Triple Crown, our best run so far in 5 years in that series, and yes that would be awesome to win…however, a track Championship has no comparison and some luck for our team would suffice right now…that’s why what happened to us is even more frustrating the more I think about it. We go to Delaware and look like “Dork Racing”…my dad would describe it this way “we’re so far back in the woods, we have to come out to hunt”. But we’re working on it, and getting better. Even though we angle parked on the front chute at just under 100 miles an hour into the cement, it didn’t discourage or scare me, the boys on our team are eager to get back and show the fans and racers there that we can race with them and we do belong there.
During our maintenance after Sauble, we found some serious brake issues, wore pads and enough air in the brake system to give us one deep dive in the Atlantic ocean. There’s nothing like a good, high long lasting brake pedal. It may be the most important aspect of a strong competitive race car. We ran out of brakes at Sauble, otherwise we should have finished in the top 6. We ran out of brakes at Delaware in the #9 car just as we were passing Jason on the outside…that’s right, Jason Shaw on the outside, need I repeat that? Anyway, we had good race cars in both of those incidents until our brakes went south.
Now back to Saturday night....Our car was quick in warm ups. We made some chassis changes to get it a little better. We thought luck was on our side when I picked #6 for the heat starting spot. Here’s how good #6 was, we would start 3rd in our heat behind Jason Shaw and Paul Howse, with Scott Lyons and Jeff Stewart behind me. “Mom, this isn’t right”!!
Anyway we ran the heat staying with Jason and Paul. The three of us were even and pulled away from 4th and 5th. I guarantee the write up says it was a two car race. Paul would win his 9th race of the year. After the run we decided to leave the car alone. It was a little loose in the middle but it was getting cold and the car should come to us, that’s how we felt, so we left it alone.
We started 4th in the feature. Junior Farley #72 was pole with Ted Horsfall #49 outside pole. Todd Campbell #07 was inside of us and Richard Holmes was inside row 3 beside Jeff Stewart. Jason and Paul were in row four. I was trying to figure which lane might go. Ted is fast but so is Junior. The last time these two started up front they were bouncing off each other going into three and coming off four Ted got sideways bringing out the yellow that resulted in Junior going to the back. However this time would be different, Farley got a good jump as did Horsfall. Going into turn one, all was okay, it would almost have to be, we were only 4 seconds into the race. However, the next three seconds would change everything including most of the rear of our chassis and body, not to mention the other cars that got wrecked. Coming off four, Jeff was about a car length or more behind me. Ted got a little loose as we hit the straight and I checked up for a milli second so I wouldn’t hit him. Todd was beside me, his rear quarter at my door. I was thinking unless Ted gets his car hooked up I could be doing the “freight train” dance and messing any plans of a feature win. Getting freight trained would have been nice option considering the ugly things that were going to take place very quickly. Here is the most approved theory of what happened. My thoughts were on what I was going to do in turn three, at the same instance Richard Holmes made his move, the results of which would make headlines on CNN. You know what was going on in my drivers compartment, the last thing I was thinking about was getting hit by a car from the inside lane. Maybe a jab by Jeff Stewart would make sense because I checked a little for Ted. Richard’s spotter may have anticipated the #49 getting a good run on #72 and with a gap between me and Jeff, the “clear high” may have been the call to the #42. If Richard went high to squeeze between Jeff and I, he must not have been worried or thinking that the outside lane would get freight trained as I had considered. What puzzles me, what I can’t understand, is why he would be headed outside, the inside lane cars were as quick as any up front, why not stay low, hey, why not wait until we’re 20 seconds into the race. It just doesn't make sense.
Jason Shaw was right behind Richard and would have rejoiced at the #42 giving him the inside lane. Jeff Stewart would be thinking “what’s going on Holmesy”? So, as soon as Richard makes his move (assuming he did, assuming he wasn't hit from behind and driven up), Ted gets sideways and I check up and that quarter of a car length, the small space between me and Jeff was now gone. “BANG”!!! Richard tags me so hard that my car gets air borne and climbs the back wall…freeze frame…can you imagine what’s going in the minds of the pilots of the cars coming off turn four at 70 miles per hour and seeing dust, sparks, a blocked lane and no place to go….then the on board computer screams “road blocked, turn left” and a millionth of a second later the same voice says “too late”. Meanwhile I’m on the wall slamming back down to the track with the front left of our car smashing into the cement wall and the car wildly turning back out into the on coming traffic I have the brakes jammed on as hard as I can….by then there were only four cars coming that had to maneuver to get by. I’m sure when this was all going down they were already heading for the infield before their spotters realized what happened. Imagine if this was during a Grisdale race with another 18 or 20 cars coming?
Our car came to rest in the low lane and I got it going, immediately heading for the pits. My crew chief was trying to get in touch with me but my ear plug for the radios came undone from the impact. I plugged it in and as soon as Jim and I made contact we had a game plan, as futile as it would be. I managed to get the car to our pit pad and the boys got busy trying to figure out where to start. Many people came over to help us out. Randy Shaw gave Jim a hand with the rear, Bill Lyons was offering advice seeing what the car may need, as well the crew of the #22 Pro Challenge helped the boys with the front end. Our good friends from the #5 Thunder Car Team of Ken and Linda were all there as was Mike Van Slingerland, asking me if I was alright. I nodded yes, but I was in deep stress worrying about getting back out. Special thanks to everyone for coming over and to any I missed. Our crew appreciated the help and were overwhelmed by the offers to get us back out.
There were four of us it the wreck. Richard, Jeff and Steve Lyons were all unable to get off on their own power. That gave us more time to try to get back out, the trouble is we needed about three days. I’m sure the boys, knew we were done, but wanted to keep at it until the adrenaline level in my body came down so they could give me the bad news. They tried hard to get the car back out but there was no way.
I finally surrendered when the race restarted and got out of my car. I wasn’t upset while we were trying to get the car back out, but once reality set in I was visibly upset. I couldn’t believe it happened, even though I know it can happen, but it was incredibly too soon to see such carnage.
Richard came over and apologized but said he was hit by Jason. I wasn’t mad at Richard or anyone for that matter, I was just upset that it happened period because I know no one does those things on purpose. When I talked to Jason after he said nothing about hitting Richard. In order for Richard to end up where he did someone would have had to see it. I started to calm down a little until I heard the announcer say the melee’ started “when Gary Elliott got loose coming off turn two”!!! WHAT! I couldn’t believe I heard that so I went to the pit tower as soon as the race was over so I could tell the announcer that I didn’t get loose. It just seems that Jason, Paul and a few others get incredibly good reviews at the track and in the news paper and the rest of us are “also ran's” that are lucky to win and are accused of holding up the fast cars. In the write up in the Flamboro Review, (my home town paper) it has my picture but the write up gives us no credit for leading 60 laps, for putting up a good fight, for racing Paul clean and for being in 2nd place in the Grisdale Triple Crown. I was mad and wanted to let the announcer know that my car was perfect like it is almost every single night we race. The tower man said “I’ll get him to come and see you”. He didn’t….just so everyone knows, this wreck wasn’t caused because we were loose.
Anyway we ended up 8th, that’s amazing considering it was one of the shortest features we’ve been in ever. Jason and Paul were dicing in a 5 car battle. Junior was leading with Todd Campbell all over the back of him and lined up behind Todd were Paul, Jason and Scott. Todd got under Junior and the rest followed. Then with about 8 laps to go Paul got dirt track loose in turn three and held on to the longest slide I’ve ever seen. Jason tried to get under and the two came together exiting turn four. Blasting down the front chute a cut tire caused Jason to slam the wall between turns one and two. He bounced hard off the wall and headed right for the turn two exit. The final five laps were awesome as Todd held on to win his first feature in over 5 seasons.
We will be racing the #9 at Delaware on Friday and be back at Flamboro next Saturday. I hope we have more Late Models, hopefully the owner calls some racers to get them out. Give them a free pit pass or something, anything to get more cars to show up.

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

Post by Gary » Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:06 pm

July 24th...............Delaware Speedway

Race #14 (5th at Delaware)

High Lites
* 20 Cars
* Double features
* Top guns get wrecked
* Sherdan wins first feature
* Matthews wins 2nd feature
* We have best finish in the first, and again in 2nd
* David gets wrecked in first

Results
Time Trials #36....did not run....#37...19:548

1st Feature...#36...11th....#37...19th
2nd Feature...#36...10th....#37...11th

Winnings
#36.....$238
#37.....$188

Repairs
None

Crew
Jim, Troy, Sean, Dave

Conclusion
Running Delaware reminds me of our first few years in the Hobby class. We struggle week after week making gain, but so slow, that it's almost insane to stay at it. The only reason I say that is because we want to be competitive and we're a long way from running in the top 10 (if all the hot shoes are in it). We benefitted huge by the top four in points all being involved in wrecks or having mechanical issues. Sheridan won the first and was wrecked in the second when he tangled with Mark Watson. Mark, running fourth in Delaware points also was wrecked in both races. Jesse Kennedy was wrecked in the first as was Rick Emery. Then Steve Roblee was side lined in the second when his rear axle broke. We were the beneficiaries by those DNF's, but I guess others have done likewise from the hundreds of times we've wrecked or blown up in 41 seasons. We'll take it and hopefully get our car better for the next time out.
Getting to the track early didn't seem to help much this time. The problem is trying to get enough help to unload our car and tools and get to tech so we can make warm ups. Nonie and I were alone and started unpacking, then Gord Nicholson came over to help. My crew would be a while but it wasn't a big deal, they were there for tech. I would sooner race a bad car than not race at all, especially here, where you can make pit stops to get the car better. Being race ready and making all the hot laps would be the best of all, and we're working on it.
We made one set of warm ups, missing the first two because I forgot to bring the proper connector for the radio set. We were fortunate to borrow one from Jamie Ramsay. His team helped us at Sauble as well. The problem with owning two cars is not having two sets of everything. I need to get another steering wheel (the one on the 9 is too big), more connectors for the radios and then we’ll be set. It’s not a lot, but it only takes one thing to keep us from getting on the track for practice, so we need to eliminate those head-aches. Anyway we did get out and the car wasn’t very good. The brakes were low again, we just put on new pads and replaced all the brake fluid. David came over and bled the brakes for me. Once that was done we checked ground clearance and again it was too low. We started jacking weight around and next thing our sway bar came loose and jammed above the lower control arm. I had never seen that before and was confused why it happened, like we needed another set back, we already had enough for the rest of the season. We had to remove the sway bar and relocate it again. That frustrating ordeal took so long we missed time trials but were allowed to start at the back for the first feature. How bad was that? It wasn't, the truth is, that’s where we need to go until we are able to keep up with over half of this field. I think we’re under geared a little, but as long as we’re struggling through the corners we’ll be low on RPM. A good lap consists of good entry and exit in the turns, when we get consistent with handling we'll be hitting the chip, and be closer to the competition.
Starting at the back was okay. Both features were 25 laps. The track announced they would invert all the cars on the lead lap for the second. This gave us a great chance to get our car in good shape for the second feature. It didn't take too long before the yellow came out for a bad wreck on the front chute. We had already made one stop for a sway bar adjustment. The wreck in turn one took out David with lots of suspension damage. His team worked hard on the car but could not get it back out to finish that race.
We continued and worked our way up to 11th and hung on to get our best feature finish at Delaware in a Late Model. Ron Sheridan won with Steve Roblee in second.
We made some changes to the car, not many. It was tight coming off so we opened up the stagger and put in a little less front bar. For the second feature I was to start 5th. While on the track I lost communication with my crew chief and spotter Jim. When he didn’t respond I thought my ear plug came out of my helmet so I headed for the pits before the race began. Once I got to my pit spot our crew started talking and I knew we were okay, but would lose the starting position. It would have been good to see if we could keep up with the leaders, but the car hasn't been right yet this season (getting much better) so it wasn’t really a bad thing to go to the rear. On lap three there was a caution. Jim asked me how the car was..."I can't turn in the corners"....so I headed back to our pit and the boys took out 3 pounds from the left rear. What a difference. The car felt very good allowing us to run hard on the outside. By lap 11 we were in the top 12 and with ten to go we were eleventh. On a restart we were able to get by Doug Stewart and move into 10th with David right on our tail. Another caution came out with five to go and the car went away developing a severe push. Maybe I overheated the right front tire. Whatever it was, it allowed David to get under me a few times. With one to go he got up to our rear again and coming off four we drag raced to the finish, beating him at the checker.
It was our best finish with a car that still isn’t right. The brakes are fading near the middle of the race, we never have issues at Flamboro with #36. The handling goes away, we’re close but just not quite there yet. Our next goal will be a top nine, then top eight etc. It’s not much fun racing with a non competitive car every week, but I have to take full responsibility for that and keep working on it until we get it more consistent. It is fun however, to leave the track with no damage and have a week or so to make it better. We are running 486 gears and have not hit the chip yet. Maybe that will be our sign…hit the chip and we’re in the ball park.
Next week we’re off.
We are almost ready for Flamboro with #36. All the damage has been repaired after our recent movie...Nightmare On Lap One. We want to thank all those who helped us get to where we are....our crew, plus Sean, Dave (from Ken & Linda's team), Marty from the #37 team, who helps us when David isn't racing, as well Jamie and Dave Watson. No racing next week will allow more time to do the final set up. Our next Flamboro show is the Grisdale Triple Crown race and we are only one point out of first in that series, our best standing in our 5th try. The goal is to be ready to battle for that prestigious title, no distractions or excuses.
Below are the points standings for the series were are competing...Flamboro has not updated their site for a while, the regular points are behind.

[u:3a9l4z2a][i:3a9l4z2a][b:3a9l4z2a]Delaware Points Current[/b:3a9l4z2a][/i:3a9l4z2a][/u:3a9l4z2a]

1...28...Steve Robblee......874
2...52...Ron Sheridan........863
3...10...Jesse Kennedy......811
4...02...Mark Watson.........806
5...4.....Jonathan Urlin.......800
6...22...Jamie Ramsay........764
7...20...Scott Lindsay.........747
8...15...Steven Matthews..734
9...27...Mat Box.................725
10..3.....Chad Rijnen..........723
11..37...David Elliott...........712
12..72...Shawn Thompson..686
13...2.....Doug Stewart........671
14..14...Rick Emery.............670
15..32...Matt Robblee.........649
16...8.....Marc Jacobs...........639
17...9.....Gary Elliott.............638


GrisdaleTriple Crown.....Points Standings
1...8.....Paul Howse........233
2...36...Gary Elliott..........232
3...82...Jason Shaw........228
4...52...Scott Lyons........225
5...07...Todd Campbell....216
6...56...Jeff Stewart........215
7...42...Richard Holmes...212
8...27...Mark Burbridge...208
9...72...Junior Farrelly.....206
10..22...Jamie Ramsay.....204

Flamboro Points (Excluding July 18th..not updated by track yet)
1...8.....Paul Howse........727
2...82...Jason Shaw........724
3...56...Jeff Stewart .......723
4...52...Scott Lyons........722
5...42...Richard Holmes..712
6...36...Gary Elliott.........711
7...49...Ted Horsfall........686
8...97...Jeff Cassidy........662
9...72...Junior Farrelly.....655
10..9.....Jeff Lancaster.....565

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

Post by Gary » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:06 pm

August 7th....Delaware Speedway

Race #15 (6th Delaware)

High Lites
* 23 cars
* Twin 25's
* Ron Sheridan wins first...Kirk Hooker wins 2nd
* David gets 14th in both
* We finish 20th in both

Results
Time Trials....#9...19:581...#37...19:434
1st Feature....#9...20th......#37....14th
2nd Feature...#9...20th......#37.....14th

Winnings
#9.......$150
#37.....$240

Repairs
Front bumper, rad, all support bars for front bumper

Crew
Troy, Dave, Allen

Conclusion
We managed to get to the track early, but were in a frenzy trying to get ready. It’s amazing how hard I struggle both on and off the track at Delaware. Nonie and I went to Lake Erie in 07’ and never had an issue at all being ready for warm ups, having a good car and being ready for every event. I dream that one day we can go to Delaware, unload the car, get through tech, run a few sets of competitive hot laps and a set of time trials that are faster than the pace car.
There is always something at this track that gets us. We either forget to bring something or are messed up on the set up. I know for sure running two cars is part of the cause.
We’ve had brake issues all year. Tonight it was a little different, getting my spotters geared up was the early problem. Spotting isn’t easy and in warm ups they can stay pit side, but still need to see most of the track. Little or no feed back is no good. I need my spotter to talk to me constantly so I know where I am on the track. The duty of the spotter isn’t to drive the car, but to let the driver know when lane changes can be made safely. Anyway with Jim not here the pressure for the others was quite high but we survived.
Time trials were disappointing again. We ran a 19:581, not good, putting us 20th. I may have went to the back anyway since the car wasn’t very good. The advantage of doing that is to see how the car runs and make changes for the next race if needed. We ran a few faster laps in the feature beating our laps in time trials, but at least ten cars were 3 to 4 tenths faster than us. In my estimation, I would say we were non competitive. It’s not the way we want to race, but we just can’t seem to get the handle on this car. The brakes are a very serious issue, contributing to the poor performance. I’m guessing master cylinders, something I’ve thought for a few weeks. The car goes in deep enough but a poor brake pedal won’t allow us to get back on the gas fast and we loose a car length a lap. Racing like that doesn’t allow me to figure out the car.
The race was non stop we must have stayed fairly consistent because no one passed us. Six or seven tenths slower would have allowed the leaders to lap us with no stops, but they didn’t. We ended up 20th, qualifying us for pole of the second race. I wasn’t interested in starting up front with our car. Had we been 2 or even 3 tenths slower than the rest, maybe, but even with the fast cars at the back, we’d been in the way in no time, plus we had brakes to fix. Troy and Dave were a big help, and we got great help from Allen Maclean who is a former Late Model driver planning on making a return to Late Models at Flamboro. Allen helped a lot. Things were going okay until we tried bleeding the brakes. We started with the front and on the first attempt the brake pedal went to the floor and would not return. David came over to help and suggested I get rid of the brake masters and get new ones. I agreed. David was confused why they were not working and got it so we had some brakes but rear only. “Go one or two laps and pull off” he said. I hated the thought of that but it was better than wrecking our car or worse, wrecking another innocent racer. David left to get ready and I jumped in the car and started pumping the brakes and the pedal came back. Nonie wasn’t going to go over to the grand stands and spot because we were only running a few laps, but when I got a good brake pedal she decided to go over. I was happy that I could be in the race and run all 25 laps but had to be careful in case something happened. It’s a dumb way to race but patience is the only hope in that one day, “some day soon” we’ll be competitive at this track. Cheering for me at Delaware has to be worse than cheering for the Leafs. I got about as much chance of winning a race at Delaware as John Casale has of stopping Ovechkin on a penalty shot.
In the second feature we started at the back. I let the field go before I got on it, to see how the car would be. Coming off turn four to take the green I was shocked to see cars flying everywhere. In the midst of the smoke David was sitting there with most of his left side beat up. Someone whacked the wall coming off four and went down into David. The car behind dove inside trying to get out of the way and ended up riding the drivers side of David’s car. It was a huge pile up. The red came out to help get cars cleared off the track and then we restarted. David got back out and I let everyone go by because we still hadn’t a lap in to test the car. Had the car been good we would have gained five or six spots but going to the back was safe and the last thing I needed to do was beat up my car after the week we had fixing #36 from the wreck at Flamboro on the 25th of July.
Anyway there were a few cautions and we did run fairly respectable. Only four cars were over 4 tenths faster and most were only 2 tenths quicker. We ran tight with a pack of cars from 10th to 20th, there was another pack from first to 9th. The car felt much better but we were on old tires that were getting quite low. The tire rule at Delaware allows for a tire a night, but with the double features we get a few extras. As of this race the tire inventory was 15 and we’d only bought 9, so we could use some new rubber. As the race closed there was a caution on lap 24 when the white came out. I thought this is good we pass one more car and go home in one piece. “Not so fast Sherlock, the track is doing a green-white-checker”. “Come on” I argue with myself, why would they do that, put this one in the books? Then I’m thinking, we’re almost home, just finish and we will have little to do tomorrow for Steve, but most of all, be well rested for one of the biggest races in 5 decades for our team
If bad luck was a tangible thing and you could document some of it’s moves it may look like this. The white flag comes out and we enter turn one. A giant cloud manoeuvres across the cornfield on the back straight and looms over the wall waiting for the unsuspecting cars to come by the next lap. One of it’s parents yell out “hey, bad luck hand, what are you doing”? The idiot yells back “I’m just waiting for the field to come around and when they get up to full speed I’m going to deal them a blow that will cause some mayhem, it should wreck a few cars and disappoint at least one racer for sure”. The parent replies in laughter “that’s awesome, I wished we could see it but your mother and I are heading to Flamboro to make sure the races get rained out and mess up any plans that promoter and racers have”. The idiot replies “great dad, after that maybe we can head to the Blue Jay game and deal them a bad hand tomorrow”? …. “Sounds good son, have fun, I’m sure you’ll make a lot of people unhappy”.
The green flag waves and we enter turn one all bunched up. Heading down the back chute the cars are naturally close and flying, Somewhere around 10th or 11th two cars get into each other, somehow they get turned, and by the time I get a clue what’s going on I’m hard into the back of one car and then another. Seconds after the crash I’m sitting there in unbelief.
The car was able to get to the pits on it’s own power and the rest is history so to speak.
I text Steve Lyons telling him what happened, he was waiting for me to let him know. Steve realized things could happen and just wanted to know how we made out. I let him know we were in a wreck but it was fixable and I was game to work on it all day to get it ready for him if he wanted. He was eager to start work early Saturday. We had lots of help from Steve and Scott Lyons and his crew Peter, as well as Steve Laking, Troy and Marty. The car was 90% done and again we had trouble with the brakes. I called Bill Grisdale and he got me the masters. The races were rained out Saturday and for me that was good. We got at it early Sunday to install and bleed the master cylinders and got it done then we heard it rained out again and that to wasn’t so bad for me.
The Grisdale race is scheduled for August 23rd, not sure why they didn’t do it next Sunday, we’re already there and plus John said he would only run Sunday races on week ends that we were already at Flamboro. I can’t say to much about it, he’s been having a lot of rain in 09’.
We race double headers again next week Friday and Saturday. Who knows maybe with good brakes we can be a little more competitive…we now rest for a few days…maybe not so much bad luck after all.

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

Post by Gary » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:06 pm

August 14th.........Delaware Speedway

Race #16 (7th Delaware)

High Lites
* 24 cars
* Kirk Hooker wins again
* Steve Robblee wins 2nd
* David finishes 5th in JBM Triple Crown Points
* We finish 15th in both races...the curse continues

Results
Time Trials
#9.......19:767
#37.....19:354
#28.....18:888

1st Feature
#9.............15th
#37...........13th

2nd Feature
#9.............15th
#37...........7th

Winnings
#9............ $300
#37...........$350

Repairs
cosmetic bumpes etc.

Crew
Troy, Dave, Ron

Conclusion
This was the final race of the JBM Triple Crown. Unlike the Grisdale Triple Crown we were no where to be found with the hot shoes, or even the lukewarm. However, racing at this track requires an awesome car and absolutely the right set up.
We did what we wanted in terms of getting there early and making practice. In the second set the car was decent, the new masters helped to make braking much better. We still have a ways to go to be competitive, but I don't see it happening this season. Perhaps if I had the #36 out it would have been better, but running on Friday nights with the same car that you intend to run on Saturdays is a very unproductive race program, unless burning the mid night candle is an option. We're not staying up late every night, but this season has produced a lot work hours to keep going. Since keeping going is important, than complaining about it seems pointless although a little luck would be appreciated.
We had good and bad moments this night. In time trials we were slightly faster than the fork-lift parked behind tech. Our lap times were almost a second off the leader putting us at the back of the first feature.
The first 25 lap feature was okay damage wise. We missed all the wrecks and ended up with an unexciting 15th. Fifteenth could be exciting if you're in a tight pack of 15. That wasn't the case, we were inching up slowly but got as far as we could with the car tight and loose...awesome, diag' that one....we did eventually. The key in that situation is to find the first handling problem. When does the car begin to mess up? Fix that problem and whatever the other concern, it will likely be fixed as well because it was created by the driver compensating for the first problem.
I kept driving with full intentions of diagnosing the car for the next race hoping to improve it. Our fastest times in this race were 19:6's about 1/2 a second off the leaders.
Between races we made some changes to the car. I was loose in so we added more front bar to get us off the corners better. We started 18th. I was pumped because, first I was on the race track (and I love that place), but even more, I thought we made the car better and couldn't wait to find out.
If this feature was a person, it was one that didn't like me. We were doomed from the start. On lap two I got hit very hard trying to pass a car on the inside. He came down into my right front wheel knocking me toward the infield. I backed off right away and reported that I thought I had a flat tire. The last thing I wanted to do was barrel into turn one and end up in the cement or Woodstock. I kept going, cautiously, falling further behind, but with no choice. Nonie said the car looked okay. Finally a yellow came out and I headed down pit lane and Troy checked it out letting me know everything seemed okay. I was certain after running on it for three or four laps we didn't have a flat, but it was good to be sure.
I said to Nonie "can you believe it, we got to restart at the back again". She said "don't worry just do the best you can". On the restart I felt confident to charge with the car, and to my surprise it handled very well. I ran in a pack for the next 10 laps. We could go in deeper, and even come off good but were unable to pass. When I did go in deep thinking I could get under a car he would come down forcing me to back out. Finally on a restart I was able to pass three of the cars in front of us. After one lap Nonie called out on the radio "you're 7 car lengths ahead". We pursued the cars in front and caught that group including David. Another caution came out and we gained a few more spots getting us slowly from 23rd to 14th. I let my crew know the car was very good and was hoping for our best finish, a top 9.
On the next restart I was right behind David on the outside. We went one lap and between 3 and 4 David was hit by the car on the inside. The impact sent him spinning and me going for the brakes. I didn't want to jam them and spin around so I used enough to squeeze by missing David by a coat of paint. Nonie yells "good job" and while I was thinking about how lucky I was to miss him..BANG" I get hit on the left front wheel knocking me off the track. I was in disbelief, not the same disbelief when someone announces on the news that a meteor is going to hit earth, the kind that says "this can't be". I hobbled down pit row and the boys ran out to look at the car and other than the steering wheel still off center from the first deal, the car was okay....but, now we go to the back again. Talk about frustrating. Once again we got back up to 14th only this time I was experiencing an attitude change, like a butterfly coming out of a cacoon. I was a little upset and drove very hard, but still not to the point of hitting anyone. Then another caution on the back chute and we got around it although it was very close. Nonie said "that's amazing, everything is happening around you". On that restart we were back to 14th. David was 13th working his way up from the rear. If the profile of this race was a toy, it would be a yo-yo. Anyway on the restart I wanted to be careful, I had calmed a bit but then coming off turn four I got body slammed by #81 who not only chopped me but almost decked the guy in front. Imagine now the Hulk driving in this situation. I was ready to explode....but...take it easy Gary, calm down, your luck will change, and it did, because it was good luck that I didn't get wrecked in that deal...however a lap later the #81 made contact with #22 Jamie Ramsay coming off four, right in front of me. They were both spinning out of control. I wanted to go up but cars were beside me, I slowed down hoping to get around #81 but he came to a stop in the middle of the front chute right in front of my new bumper. Whack...again. Nonie, in a sad confused voice said "wow, you can't get a break". No kidding. I drove around the cars sitting and stayed on the track. Troy asked me if I was going to come down pit road and I said "no, I'm staying out"....maybe I should be going home!!!
There were only 5 laps left but it was enough time for me to move up to 11th again, get hit again and then get nailed on the last lap in turn one sending us back to 15th.
When I got out of my car in the pits I was almost out of breath and bewildered. "Tough race", the crew said. "No kidding, this is nuts I can't go anywhere without getting in trouble on this track". Even for David, although he gained a lot of spots on the final wreck bringing his car home in 7th.
We have two more nights at Delaware, and as crazy as this one was, we had one of our best cars. We turned a few laps in the 19:4's only 3 tenths off the leaders, so we improved. I wonder if those times were because I went a little psycho (very briefly). Anyway we will try again next week.
Steve Robblee won the JBM Triple Crown, and Kirk Hooker won the first 25 lapper his second of the season.

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