Diary Of A Season...2010

Gary
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Post by Gary » Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:06 pm

September 12th.......Sunset Speedway

Race #21

High Lites
* 21 cars
* Brandon Watson wins
* Awesome track, awesome race
* We finish 5th...not sure I'd been happier if I won
* Would have fainted if we won
* 4 Flamboro cars
* Slight advantage in handicapping for Limited Lates

Results

1st Heat.......9th
2nd Heat......9th
Feature........5th

Winnings

$700

Repairs
ready?...none...wait, 2 decals

Crew
Jason, Marty, Perry and Amy

Conclusion
When I heard this race was planned I did everything I could to help make it happen. Others did as well, but for me, I really wanted to race Sunset with cars of my own speed. I enjoyed running with OSCAAR, but it was like playing baseball with a sponge bat, no hope of being competitive. One of the reasons I ran with OSCAAR was to try the track and I really liked it a lot.
Mark said he wanted to have this show and see how many Late Models from other tracks would come. He wanted every Late Model to be allowed to run and needed to come up with a set of rules that was fair for all the different types of Late Models in this area, from London to Sauble to Peterborough.
I sent Mark the Sauble rules for their specials, and he considered them with others he was implementing from Kawartha. The one concern I had was over penalizing the Flamboro cars, and not being able to run our 4 barrel carb. David and I went to Sunset on Tuesday August 24th to talk to Mark about the show and give him a copy of Sauble’s handicapping. I told Mark of my concerns re handicapping and he said not to worry, he wanted to keep home track rules, but wanted to bring parity with the cars. He asked if we would bring our cars to practice the following Tuesday night, August 31st, we agreed.
I crashed on August 28th and was not able to make it but David brought his car and so did Mike Bentley. Unfortunately the practice session was a disaster with Mike breaking a part and David crashing hard into the wall just 4 laps in. Not only was testing done, but so was David for 2010.
In spite of that failed attempt, Mark was able to develop a set of rules that allowed his Limited Lates to race, I think he went too far in favour for them. They were allowed 57% left side compared to our 56, and a huge weight break of 150 pounds. For us it was not too bad, we didn't have to change much accept add a few pounds. I had to weigh 2890 after the race, Jason Shaw, Mike Bentley and Todd Campbell had to weigh 2925, fill the gas tank would likely be enough. It was the first attempt at doing this race and we all wanted to make it work.
Jason and I left Waterdown at 8:30, stopped for gas and a bite to eat and got to the track by 10:15. There were half a dozen Hobby’s there, and that was it.
We set up shortly after. We had little to do once we got through tech and that process was no problem. The staff and management at Sunset are very good, friendly and willing to work with us.
The most amazing thing for us, aside from the feature, was that I drew #1, the first time this year. That meant I would start pole in the first race. That all changed once I got on the track. We were tight the night before, but much worse this day. We made 3 sets of hot laps, the last for only two laps and pulled off with the car incredibly tight.
We thought about changes and decided to raise the track bar half an inch on both sides and open up the stagger to 3 and a quarter.
In the first heat I decided to take scratch because of the handling issues. It was a good decision, I could hardly keep up. We finished 9th of 11 cars, and still way too tight. We were checking ride heights and toe when Mike McColl came by and I asked him for any suggestion to help loosen our car up. I told him what we did to the track bar, our stagger and what our chassis weights were. He asked me what my spring rate was on the right rear and I told him around 300. He asked me if I had another spring and I did, a 300. However, the spring in the car was 300 with rubbers and this was 300 without, so we changed it and put the rubbers in the new spring to make it stiffer. He also suggested to increase our rear stagger to 3 and a half, and helped us set the pre load on the bar. His way was much different than how we did it, but we appreciated his wisdom and help.
In this heat I was at the back again, but I would have been anyway because it was a double heat qualifying system with reverse start in the second heat. Almost immediately I knew the changes we made worked, but now the car was very loose. It was loose in the middle and off. The more I drove it the more I concentrated on what to do to improve it. At least this time I could stay close to the pack, but still finished 9th.
After the race we made two changes. We went back to 3 and a quarter on the stagger and I told Jason to set the bar the way we’ve always set it the past three years. We filled the gas, added a piece of led, dropped the jets in the carb, it was loading up, double checked the toe and were ready to go.
There was a driver’s introduction. Many of the driver’s were new to me, I had never raced with them before, so I had no way to know some of their styles. There were racers from Sunset, Flamboro, Peterborough, Sauble, Delaware and Kawartha, it was a great field of drivers.
We started 14th. Jason was spotting in the turn one grandstand with Amy, she was working the stop watch. Marty went to the pits with Perry and we pitted next to the Shaw team in case we needed some help or equipment.
The race was very fast and close. Our car was awesome from the first lap. I could run outside or inside. Starting on the outside row I was able to get by some cars. The thing with this track is that cars can run side by side for a long time. You think you have someone, but they show up the next lap under you again. I knew it was going to be a race of immense patience. I soon got by Mark Watson and followed Chris Morrow, another regular at the track. We ran about 10 laps or so before the first caution. I told Jason that my early report after those few laps was thumbs up, the car turned very good in the corners, but I was in traffic and it may be too soon to tell, but at least it wasn’t out to lunch.
On that restart we got a decent run and began our long journey of following and picking off cars every few laps. We had a long green run and our car did not fall off, it was very good. I was up to 9th when another caution came out about lap 40. Jason and Brandon were in a heated battle up front. Tom Walters was 5th, Mike Bentley was in 3rd, with Sean Mcquirter in 4th. I was behind Mark Watson from Delaware. On this start I got on the gas a little slow and Mark came down a little on the front chute. I was going to check up but he moved back up going into one. I got my nose under him and was ready to get on the gas but he came down into me and I had to check up hard but still hit him with my right front. He got a little side ways coming off two. We ran hard for the next 10 laps or so until the next caution on lap 52. Our car was great, we were now in 7th. Jason asked me how I felt and I was good, “I can go another 50 laps easy”, was my reply. I did notice that my brake pedal was getting a little spongy and I told Jason that I may have to let the brakes cool a bit.
On this restart I was unable to get a good run and Mat Box got by me. I battled back a few laps later and caught him but Mark was now 6 or 7 car lengths ahead, running in 6th. Going into one Mat pushed up and I was able to get under him and raced hard to catch Mark who was in a battle with Mike and Sean. I caught them and the four of us ran hard together. We got under Mike and could see that Sean was struggling as well. With about 10 laps to go Mark got a good run on Sean’s car and got under him in turn one. I was able to glue my car to his rear bumper and get under the 83 as well. We ran hard down the back chute, still side by side, but Mark was now in 4th. Coming off turn four Sean got into me as I passed getting my car slightly side ways half way down the front chute. Soon after I heard the beautiful words from Jason, “clear high”. We got into 5th and then chased Mark Watson. Brandon was leading with Tom second and Jason third. I caught back up to Mark Watson but could not get a good enough run inside or out to make the pass. That didn’t matter because Jason was letting me know I had 8 car lengths on the 6th place car. As the race wound down I knew being in 5th was awesome and though I stayed right on the 78’s tail, there was no need to shove or push. Mark and I both had endured a long hard race, and if we could finish 5th it would be a great accomplishment for our team, especially with the issues we had earlier. When the white flag came out all I could do was concentrate on not messing up, and it was a joyous occasion to take the checker in 5th.
My crew and I were ecstatic, I was yelling with joy over the mike, you’d think we won, it was truly a great run for us. Jason was amazing at spotting, filling in for Jim who was working this day. What a pressure cooker for him. I was in heavy traffic for the first 68 laps and he never stopped talking to me. Marty had a fairly easy day on pit lane, although he earned his keep working on the car with Jason and I trying to make it better, and we did. The car was very good all race.
Perry got some great shots, and we’ll get one of them up as soon as they’re available.
It was also great to finish clean and be in good shape for next weeks double header at Flamboro. Thanks to my team, Jason, Marty, Perry and Amy for a memorable day and to all the management and staff of Sunset for giving us a great facility and well run program.
Next week could be a first for me, a record of sorts. It’s possible I could drive in 5 or 6 races. That depends on whether or not the track wants us to run double heats for qualifying. If we have double heats, plus two Late Model features, one CVM heat and feature, that would be 6 races, but it will be 5 for sure and 5 would be a high. Hope we get good weather and both cars are competitive.

Gary
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Post by Gary » Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:06 pm

September 18th..................Flamboro Speedway

Race #22

High Lites
* 11 cars
* Shawn Chenoweth wins championship
* Paul Howse wins both features & heats
* We get top 5 in both features car very good in second feature
* Ran past 3 nights on used tires

CVM
* 18 cars
* Jason Keen wins feature and Championship
* Wild night from every aspect
* We finish 3rd in feature

Results
[u:2ytnsafk][i:2ytnsafk][b:2ytnsafk]Late Model[/b:2ytnsafk][/i:2ytnsafk][/u:2ytnsafk]
Feature (rain out September 11th)........5th
Heat........4th
Feature....4th

CVM
Heat.......2nd
Feature...3rd

Winnings
Late Model.....$600
CVM...............$200

Repairs
Late Model......none, get ready for Octoberfest and buy new tires
CVM...............season over...fix steering

Crew
Jim, Jason, Rob, Marty, Perry, Gordon

Conclusion
This was a great night for us in a lot of ways. We raced two cars, had decent finishes and didn’t damage either car. Next week our maintenance will be easy for us, as we go over our Late Model for the next race, the biggest at Flamboro, and one of the biggest of the year for me, Octoberfest.
I made two decisions the past week that could have caused some grief for us. One was tires for the Late Model. The rain out last week added another night of racing for Late Models at Flamboro, we weren’t scheduled to race on September 18th. I knew the top cars would be buying new tires. I really didn’t have the money, I just finished paying off all my bills for recent repairs and parts at McColl’s and Grisdale’s. The reason not to run new tires was simple. All I had to do was start the feature and I would be guaranteed 4th in the points. I was almost 50 points ahead of 5th. As far as catching Jason Shaw, that was doable if he didn’t start the rained out feature. Once he took the green, the most I could gain on him was 9 points. There would only be 11 cars starting the first feature, and it was fairly certain that Jeff Stewart and Mike Bentley were not coming. Used tires for the rained out feature would save us money, plus I had some used tires that would do the job. The only problem with that idea was the condition of our inventory. Most of our outside tires had 5 plus heat cycles, and were less than 5 on the depth gauge. Regardless, I decided to gather the best group of spares I had and go with it.
The second decision was running the CVM. Anytime I run the Coupe it puts extra stress on my crew, but they know how much I love racing with that class and for the most part extend me the grace to make it work. I let them all know that I would be doing double duty this night, and they actually were looking forward to it.
We arrived early, making one set of hot laps. After warm ups, we turned a 15:47 on the older tires, Jim made the call to park the car until the first feature. I agreed, it felt good.
During the week after Sunset we left the stiffer right rear spring and added a stiffer left front spring. Those changes and the set up Jim and Jason did during the week produce the 15:47 and that was all we needed. The car turned in the corner, something a driver wants, and I was very happy with the car.
Hot laps in the Coupe revealed some serious handling problems. The car was terribly loose, and the steering effort was very hard, like a big truck, plus it was binding up like it was seized. Dave Stephens suggested maybe I was so use to power steering and racing without it was the issue. I said no, because I remember racing this car before and it never ran like it did the past three or four times I took it out. I ran only three laps, it was so loose I pulled off before I wrecked it. We took it over the scales and numbers showed the wedge was only 47%. I use to run it in the 53% range so we made some spring changes to all four corners. Once that was done we re-scaled it and found the percents much closer, and made some final adjustments before our heat race.
The Late Model feature was the first race out. Because we took scratch in our heat on September 11th meant we were scratch in the main. Only 9 cars started the race…equivalent of a heat race, terrible from all aspects, but the reality of Late Model racing at Flamboro over the past few seasons. We’ve lost so many drivers it’s a shame we can’t get them back. I know the owner is trying to make things better and hopefully he makes an extra effort to get the drivers who left to return in 2011.
I thought they might only run 20 laps but the track confirmed it would be a 30 lap feature. I got into a battle with my friend and foe Dave Baker. He ran high until I caught him then he drove low and smart, making me go outside. I guess he didn’t get the memo that we were running old tires and going outside was not an alternative, though I tried many times. We were with the lead pack for the first 5 laps then as I pursued Dave his dropping low slowed our times down because I couldn’t get by. With about 7 or 8 laps to go I finally got him coming off turn four putting me in 5th. Paul Howse won the race with Shawn, Jason and Brad completing the top four.
The championship was now officially over. Shawn won the title by a ton. He had an amazing season, I just wished the tech would have tore down or checked the top 5 engines, or at least checked to see if any of us were messing with the Crate. I would volunteer my car first. The fact they didn’t doesn’t mean any of the cars in the top 5 were illegal, but it would have taken away any doubt, and made sure no one was tampering with the Crate engine. We still have Octoberfest to check all cars, I hope they do.
Shawn had an amazing season, unlike any I’ve seen in many years, including the CVM. He finished high in all his races, won the Grisdale Triple Crown and will no doubt want to cap his season with Octoberfest. He was very lucky as well. Maybe his visits to a few of us, who hit him during the season, to warn us that he would make our lives miserable if we hit him again was a good move because most guys didn’t race him very hard once he was beside them. I’m glad for Shawn, he earned the title, I encouraged him throughout the season to focus on not getting mad. He apologized to me for getting upset when I crowded him in a feature race in July, but even then I couldn’t stay upset with him, he’s a great racer and deserved to win the Championship.
The next race out was our Late Model heat. We started 5th in a stacked heat with Paul, Jason and Shawn. We finished fourth, the tires were showing their status, but we’d make changes for the next heat and feature.
Meanwhile it was time to race the coupe. We started last at my request. If I asked to go scratch in Late Models, we’d have to go scratch all night. In the CVM, they line you up by your dollars average, and if you request to go to the back it doesn’t affect your next race.
There were three heats. Only 6 were in our heat, the second. On the green flag something happened between three and four. One of the cars hit Jeff Shaw and slammed him into wall busting the right front wheel right off the car. That was a hard hit. I tried to avoid hitting him again and stayed low and was hit by the car beside me. We were lucky not to have any damage. Steve Lyons won that race and we took 2nd. The steering was hard and most awful to try and turn the car, but it wasn't loose like in the warm ups. We got into 2nd but couldn’t run down the leader.
Our next event was the second Late Model heat. After the first race Jim decided to make some changes to the chassis. He felt we needed to free up the car, and he was right, the car was tight in spite of the condition of the tires. We also decided to change our front shocks, we had two new ones in the trailer and it was time they got in the game. We also put on our best tires, the second set, they were better than the ones we ran in the first feature and heat race. Jim also suggested raising the track bar a half an inch and the right rear trailing arm a degree to help us get through the corners better. These changes were important for us as a test for Octoberfest. By then we'd have new tires, so if we got the car close now, it would be better by the fall classic.
Unfortunately, while changing the shocks we got snagged with the right front. We lost a lot of time and ended up missing the heat. It was no big deal really, other than we’d have to go scratch for missing the race. That was okay. Jason kept working on the shock spacer until he finally got it to fit in the bottom shock mount.
Rob filled the CVM with gas and worked with Jason and Perry on the toe. It was likely bent in the wreck on lap one in the heat. I also took a half turn off the rack n' pinion adjuster. We felt some drag when turning the wheels while jacked up and by backing off the big adjusting nut we hoped it would make the steering easier.
The rains came delaying the show a little, but not enough to cause cancellation. It was still fairly warm out and what little fell, once it stopped, was soon dried up by the cars on the track.
I went scratch in our feature. There were 11 cars in this one. Steve Laking and Mark Burbridge came out, and it’s good they did. Eleven cars is still a terrible field, but better than nine.
On the green I got by a few cars but almost immediately could feel a push. At first I thought it was because the tires needed to get some heat in them, but the longer I raced the worse it got. I tried to think what we did that could make it push so bad…nothing, every thing we did would make it loose. Soon the cars I just passed were passing me back and I knew I was in trouble. We were at lap 5 and I thought for sure I was going to get lapped. Cars that I usually pass were pulling away from me. Lucky for us the yellow came out from an incident involving Jason Shaw. As soon as it did I headed for the pits. Jason, our car chief, said he thought we might have a tire going down. Once at the pit pad it was confirmed our right front tire was almost flat. The boys did an amazing quick tire change and got me back out. That caution was causes by an a mishap up front that resulted in Jason going to the pits. He's had a season similar to us, up and down, either running good or in trouble. We went around a few more laps. Jim said the #82 was still in the pits. I had no idea what happened to Jake but he was done and soon the white flag came out and we were under green again.
The next 18 laps went trouble free. Once I got going it was obvious the car was very good. I was hitting the chip on both chutes very hard. I got into 6th then got by #05 of Brad Corcoran and chased #49 Mark Burbridge. Mark was a long way ahead. By lap 22 I was within a car length and the second caution came out. I restarted 5th behind Steve Laking. Paul was leading with Shawn second. On the green I followed Steve and got into 4th. That would be as far as we could get, Steve was fast enough to hold us back but not quite fast enough to run with the leaders. Fourth was a good finish and I was very happy with that, especially on older tires. Paul Howse won that feature as well, plus he won both heats giving him a perfect night with wins in every race he was in. Nice way to close the regular season.
We didn’t have much time to celebrate between the Late Mode and CVM feature, but enough to high five each other for getting our car to run the best it had all night. The changes Jim made were perfect. In spite of older tires, during the long run in the feature we turned a 15:38 I can't wait to come back for Octoberfest and ruin it for a few teams who feel they have it won already. Shawn and Paul have had incredible nights in 2010, but our team is planning to have one good night at Flamboro....Octoberfest.
The F-4’s went out before the Hobby feature giving me time to rest a little. I was starting outside pole and just hoped the car would work for me with the changes we made.

CVM Feature
We started outside pole in the feature. At first I thought maybe I would go scratch, because I wasn’t real happy with the car especially in the middle of the turn. We made some changes to help it get around, but with the V8 still an experiment of sorts, and most of my attention on the Late Model, I needed more ice time to really get a feel for where the problems were. In 2007 I won the feature in the Coupe and the car was perfect. Something happened along the way, renting it out, whatever, to make it steer so hard in the corners. Anyway, there was no sense in whining about, this was the last race, and all my crew and I wanted to do was be competitive.
Jeremy Riopelle, driving the #00 for Ron Easton, was inside pole. He has a lot of experience and I knew the car was a winner. It was exciting for me to be in the feature race with my CVM friends, but I knew most of them were hard chargers and I’d need to keep up or get out of the way.
On the start my car pushed up coming off four, like I figured it might. That gave Jeremy the lead going into one. I tried to keep up but pushed again. Then the #7 got inside and soon a train was lined up to pass me as we shot down the back chute. Going into three I stayed high and raced off four but Steve Lyons got me and more cars were behind him to take advantage of my car not handling. We raced into one, I was still in fourth but Chris Milwain dove under and shortly after he did the yellow came out. I wasn’t exactly sure where I was but I figured in 4th. We started to line up single file and some discrepancies showed when I tried to get into fourth. Chris felt he was fourth so I backed out and got in behind. A lap later the score board showed me fourth. For some reason I couldn’t get in my spot and the main starter and both corner men kept motioning me into fourth. What happened after was crazy, but I have no idea why it had to get that far offside. Anyway Chris ended up getting the black and I pulled over to the corner man in turn one. He said go to fourth, I told him I was going scratch. That whole deal was upsetting to me. I felt bad for Chris, not because he got the black flag, but because he let things get out of hand. He’s a hard runner, and seeing him head to the pits was something that didn't have to happen.
I decided to head to the back on my own. I almost lost my desire even to race at one point, but at least going to the back would let me settle down and then race or just follow. Whatever my reason was for going to the back, it would turn out to be the move of the race for our team.
On the green I raced hard into one and got by the #95. Going down the back chute I stayed high and just as I was going into turn three, cars were sliding and wrecking everywhere. It reminded me of the blown engine days when someone up front lost an inline and everyone behind spun in the oil.
I tried not to jam on the brakes, but was carrying a lot of speed into the corner. The Hobby cars don’t take long to get up to speed, and the V8 is even quicker off the corner. These Modifieds with big brakes and light chassis’s are easy to manoeuvre, but just as easy to get out of control. Cars were still bouncing off each other and soon all lanes were completely blocked. There was no where to go for any cars who were going into the turn ahead of me. Cars in the high lane slammed into parked cars, even the inside lane was quickly blocked as cars got caught up in the mega wreck, they had no place to go either. I kept braking and turning to the infield. I was worried about spinning and backing into the pack, the car got a little loose so I let off the brake. Steve Lyons was stopped on the apron, I got slowed down just enough to squeeze by Steve on the grass and not hit him. It was so close my car stalled just as I cleared him. I restarted and pulled away with Steve Trendell, the only other car that made it through the sixteen-car pile up. Steve was running third at the time and once the leaders started to spin he got out of the way fast, but everyone behind him wasn’t so lucky, except me, good thing I went scratch or I was in the middle of this mess. Some cars were wrecked quite badly; others were able to continue.
Incredibly I was now in second, after one lap of restarting last. The next restart was single file for the first three then doubled up. I remembered how bad the car handled on the original green and felt if I could figure out how to get through the corners maybe I could get a decent finish.
On the restart Steve got an incredible jump, he was four car lengths ahead going into one. I ran second for a few laps then #18 Jason Keen and #9 Steve Lyons got me on the inside. A lap later and #0 Phil Shaw was inside of me. Everyone gained by getting me low. The car was awful to drive, but I still had time to try a different line or maybe not go in so far, or go in farther and brake harder. I stayed in 5th until lap 12, but I also stayed with the cars that past me. I watched the line Phil took and tried to duplicate it.
On lap 11 while we were going down the back chute, Brian Atkinson blew up in turn one. We came off turn four and there was no yellow. We were also lapping cars. Suddenly the leader veered high. I was far enough back to see the shimmer of an oil slick. I knew what it was, I have lots of memories of those slicks. I was able to get low enough to stay clear of the oil. Steve Trendell wasn’t so lucky. He slid up in the oil and came to a stop almost t-boning the #92 of Atkinson. We went around for a long time as they put speedy dry down. Steve was sent to the back as an accident car, not a fair move by the track. He was clearly affected by a track condition, and had the yellow came out sooner he may have got slowed up and not slid at all. I’ve seen races on TV where tracks gave the driver his spot back if the reason he spun was because of something on the track, Steve should have been given that call.
On the restart we raced hard into three. Jason was leading and he didn’t seem to be worried at all about what might be waiting. With hundreds of restarts like this, because of blown inline engines, under my belt, I wasn’t in any real hurry to spin or wreck. Jason hit the minefield and slid up, Steve slid sideways, as did Phil and all three cars came off two out of control but holding their spots. We raced back around again and with half the field missing, and not able to dry up the track, the surface was still slick and the leaders once again got crazy loose. Phil got totally side ways and I checked up trying not to hit him and my long time battle warrior Ray Hughes nailed me in the back bumper. It was okay it kept me straight. Phil was holding on trying not to spin completely, but lost enough time that I was able to pass him coming off two. Back in third was nice, but I knew he would be right there. He was all over me. The final 10 laps were very tight. I closed to within a car length of Steve and he was doing everything he could to get under Jason. The five of us ran that way until the checker. I was almost exhausted, not from running back to back features, but from trying to steer the tow motor I was in. In the pits my crew were elated. Jokingly I said whatever car finished the best was the one I was driving in 2011. They didn’t go for it, but I had a lot of fun in spite of some of the things that went on, and that was a great finish in the Coupe.
We’re off next week, but right now I’m trying to get a ride in a Thunder Car. More on that as the week goes on.
Thanks to my crew for doing a great job with both cars tonight. After wrecking three weeks in a row, our Late Model ran the past four features in the top five, and now a third in the Coupe. We can’t wait for Octoberfest.

Gary
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Post by Gary » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:06 pm

September 25th..................Flamboro Speedway

Race #23

Racing Dave Osbornes Thunder Car

High Lites
* 15 cars
* Dennis Cybalksii #10 wins
* Randy Rusnell #72 wins Championship...4 in a row!!!!
* We finish 7th...thank you Mr. Osborne

Results
Heat.......6th
Feature...7th

Winnings
$70
Went to Dave Osborne

Repairs
None

Crew
Dave, Rob, Gehrig and Gordon

Conclusion
This week end we were off, no Late Model or CVM races. Two of my crew members went to Kawartha Speedway, one working the other watching the race.
Jim, my crew chief, was asked by Trevor Monaghan to spot for him. Once at the track, Jim, with his experience and knowledge was asked to function as the crew chief for this event. The move was a great opportunity for Jim and he didn’t let them down making some great calls to get Trevor’s car better. Starting 24th, Trevor was able to bring his car to 12th place, his best finish in a NASCAR event.
Jason, our car chief, was also at Kawartha, but he had a little easier day than Jim, participating as a fan and enjoying the 250 lap race.
Congrats to Pete Shepherd for winning the race. I considered going to Kawartha and watch the race with Jason, but something else came up last week, an opportunity to race a Thunder Car. It took me just milli seconds to decide.
Since I was going to Flamboro, I took my Late Model, wanting to break in a set of tires. The rain messed it up for me because time became the issue and the track wanted to get the show moving. I was only able to get six laps, not near enough for any testing or scuffing in tires. If I had been given an earlier set of hot laps, made changes, and went back out for just six, that would have worked. I needed 8 to 10 laps and though six wasn’t much help it did reveal some things that need attention. I can rectify those issues this week as we prepare for our final race at Flamboro Speedway’s Octoberfest.
I must first thank Dave Osborne for not only giving me a good car to run my first legitimate Thunder Car race, but also having it prepared so it was race ready for me.
Thunder Cars are totally different than Late Models, and both are totally different than our Coupe. The CVM ride last week was great, except for the terrible binding in the steering every turn. The Late Model ride last week was even better, because I could steer the car. We turned some times in the high 15:3’s during the Late Model feature.
This was the first time in my 42 years racing that I drove three different cars in three consecutive races. Rob Twitchett, Gordon Nicholson and my grand son Gehrig, helped me with the Late Model, they helped as well with the Thunder Car.
The Thunder Car reminds me of early Hobby days. The cars are slower than the CVM by a second and two seconds off the Late Model times. The racing is different as well. Rubbing is racing in this class, and though the drivers do respect each other to a degree, they don’t give you any grace when it comes to racing into the corners, you better be where they can see you or they're coming down.
I made two sets of hot laps. Dave tried a few changes with stagger. We decided to increase it a little for the heat. I started last because I was a new car, and I would have anyway. I wanted to have fun, run hard, but not get in the way of drivers racing for points.
Our heat was won by #13 Brad Collison. I raced hard but was still feeling the car out. It was going to take a few times in the car to get use to looking out the front windshield. In the CVM you can see everything, you’re on top of the car. The Late Model is bigger, but with the hood lying flat on the cowl, there’s no visibility issues. I’m sure after a couple more rides it wouldn’t be an issue with the Thunder Car either, and though it was different, I adapted to it as quick as I could.
I should have left the set up to Dave, he knows his car very well. My idea of making the car looser back fired because I was quite loose coming off every corner. I ran with a pack from 2nd to 6th, finishing at the tail of that group. Brad checked out. The final two laps I needed to gather as much info as possible to determine how to drive the car into the corner. No doubt the combination of speed, weight and 7" tires hindered the car from gripping better as it entered the turn. Not wanting to slide into anyone, I didn’t go in as hard as I should have. These cars race in first gear, when you let off the gas, the engine becomes a brake. I realized by the end of the heat, had I drove in a little deeper and let the car coast, then get on the gas, it may have been better, but nothing beats experience, and every lap was an info session helping me prepare for the feature.
After the heat Dave asked me what I thought, or what I needed. I felt the car was too loose now, so maybe decreasing the rear stagger would help. Dave made the change and we were set to go.
I started 11th in the feature. It was exciting, racing against the stars of the Thunder Car class. It was my first time racing with Linda Dean as well. Her beautiful #5 had been having trouble with various problems this season, now that it was much better, I felt we may do some dicing.
The key to racing this class is to stay on the gas and keep the momentum, more so than the other two classes. If you go in easy, or hesitate to get on the gas for any reason, the spot will be taken. Dave dealt with the issue of being aggressive, prior to the feature. He said, “drive it like you stole it”, in other words, race the car hard. I decided to do just that, although there were times when I backed out, or worried about sliding up into the car on the outside. I had a great battle with Billy Zardo. We raced hard. I tried going outside on the back chute and he gave me lots of room. However once in the upper groove I couldn’t make it stick. That cost me a spot to #2 Rick Burbridge who got under me. On a caution with 9 to go I was able to get by Rick and Billy. The race saw the top two cars in points, Randy Rusnell and Kevin Albers have problems. Randy had a flat and went a lap down, Kevin spun out and went a lap down. The field was very tight with five to go. Race leader Dennis Cybalksi #10 had his hands full with #13 Brad Collison and #41 Gary Slama. We were running in 7th, bumper to bumper back to 10th. Both Albers and Rusnell were coming at the end, though they were out of it. Kevin got by with two to go, I wasn’t going to race him hard anyway, he was in a battle for the points championship with Randy. Coming off four we got the two flags indicating the next flag would be the white. I went hard into one and the field checked up so quick I nailed Bobby Mercer, that’s when Kevin passed. The next lap coming off four the yellow flag was out…at least that’s what I thought. I slowed down just past the starters stand and Randy went flying by on the outside. Next thing I got hit hard by Billy Zardo. “What’s going on, why do these guys race like that when the caution is out”, I said to my delusional self. As I entered the turn I saw the back starter standing on the wall not showing any flag, soon I saw the light and it was green. I had a few words for me “go, go, go”. Lucky the only spot I lost was to Randy but he was chasing the only car he could gain on and that was Kevin, so I didn’t lose a spot. We ended up 7th and I was smiling when I got to my pit. I told Dave, “I need one more race”. It was fun, different for sure, but a lot of fun. Steve Perry chopped me pretty good early in the race and after he was laughing and said “Gary, I had to do that, sorry”. It was okay, I backed out anyway, but I guess Steve felt some might not, it was close. Billy and I talked after going over our run, it to was fun and close.
Once again, from my team and family, thanks to Dave for letting me try the excitement of the Thunder Car class, it was a lot of fun for me…..Frost Fest? Also to those of my crew who came out to help make it easier for me, Rob, Gordon and Gehrig.
Next week will be our last show at Flamboro for 2010. We sure could use some redeeming, and winning the Octoberfest Classic would be a good way to finish this somewhat disappointing season for us. We won it in 2007 with two seconds in the Twin 50’s and hopefully we can win it again. The rest of my crew will be back and we'll give it our best shot.
I just realized how terrible the payout is for this class. It was a real fight to finish in the top 7, and winning $70 was a shock. I guess it's the same proportion with the Late Model. You get $200 but the night is in the red for sure. The only Late Model drivers making any money are the ones from 8th or 9th back who race on old tires. You won't keep up with tires that are four or five nights old, but you'll save money and maybe see yourself in the black most nights, if you stay out of trouble. The Crate engine makes that possible. Buy a set of used tires for $200 (one night) run them four more nights, that's $50 per night, plus gas $40 and two pit passes another $50 costing you $140 per race night. Truck fuel is relative, depending where you live, or whether you would have come to watch if you weren't racing. Running this system as a beginner is the way to go until you're ready to take a run at either a top 5 in points or a feature win. In both cases, you'll need to up your expenses per night.
The only Late Models that made money this year may have been the #8 of Howse or #89 of Chenoweth. We know that Shawn made money this season, something not too many Late Model racers can claim. It was a dream season, and Howse was close behind. Shane Gowan said it was a good car and that proved to be accurate from the opening green flag.

Gary
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Post by Gary » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:06 pm

October 3rd.........Flamboro Speedway

Octoberfest Postponed

This week ends Octoberfest Classic was rained out both days. The complete show will run on October 16th and 17th.

Meanwhile we're ready for Autumn Colors next week end at Peterborough.

Gary
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Post by Gary » Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:06 pm

October 8, 9 10.......................Peterborough Speedway

Autumn Colors

Race #24

High Lites
* 26 cars
* Shawn Chenoweth wins
* We qualify 7th...finish 12th
* Race takes longer than NASCAR Cup Race
* We run 200 laps including cautions...almost out of gas
* Requires longer Conclusion below
* So many cautions I wasn't tired

Results
Heat #1.......3rd
Heat #2.......3rd
Feature.......12th

Winnings
$290

Repairs
Cosmetic chaos...complete going over...all fluids changed

Crew
Jim, Jason, Rob, Ken, Linda, Steffanie and Lauren

Conclusion
Quite long...I know...but the race was much longer.
If a couple left the grand stands at the start of our feature, went to Peterborough to catch an afternoon matinee’ at the theatre, returned after the movie was over, they would still have had time to see the final laps of the Late Model marathon.
This race may have been one for the record books, both in the time it took to complete and the number of laps turned. This crazy race had everything, and in spite of our bad luck, we had a great weekend.
We left Waterdown on Thursday before noon, heading to the track to get a decent parking spot and spend some relaxation at Dave Morgan’s camp. Jim, Jason, Rob, Shirley and our two grand children made the trek together planning to have some fun at the cottage on beautiful Buckhorn Lake.
This was our 6th consecutive season running Autumn Colors, and we hoped it would be our best. Last year we finished 13th, the year before 8th and 7th in 2007. Our first two starts were terrible finishing out of the top 15. We felt we had a good car and wanted to finish 2010 off on a positive. The cottage and campsite was awesome, leaves turning beautiful colors, blue sky, not a cloud anywhere. In the morning the mist on the small islands in the distance would have been a painters dream, and the fact it was Thanksgiving, we couldn’t help but be thankful for what we had, and what we were seeing.
At the track was another story, not so much in the thankful column, unless you live by the conclusion that “it could have been worse”. We decided to run the car on old tires for warm ups, and the first heat. Like most every other Late Model we were tight in the middle and loose off. We had some time to work on it, but getting this set up perfect was not going to happen. The hot days made it almost impossible to get on the gas hard forcing all of us to pedal the car off the corners so we didn’t get sideways. There were some laps that we were sideways off four almost to the start finish line. I realize that’s a short distance compared to the back chute, but not when you’re smoking a tire.
Jim worked on the car’s set up getting it very close on Friday. Then I decided to use the hockey pucks we had for spares to run the heat. We had new tires but I wanted to save them. If we had to run the tires we qualified on, it would have been a different story, but the only rule on tires was, you had to run the ones you started the feature with, and could not change them at the competition yellow on lap 40. So having new tires at the start would be an advantage, so I reasoned.
We started 3rd in our heat race. It was only 8 laps, and at 14:4 seconds per lap it didn’t take long to run. We finished 3rd and my only complaint was how tight the car was.
We headed back to the cottage, got a good nights sleep and came back on Saturday with intentions of not running the older tires. We put the new tires on for hot laps and ended up getting at least 30 practice laps. Our best time was a 14:37, not bad but not the fastest either. After running quite a few laps we lined up for the heat race and this time started 5th. I got in the slow lane for this one and by the time everyone passed me I was last with 6 laps to go. A big wreck near the end of the heat allowed me to move up 3 spots and with 2 to go we finished 3rd again, only at the end of this race my complaint was loose off.
Two thirds was 7th best of 26 Late Models. The best overall was two seconds, by Brandon “meets Shawn Chenoweth” Watson.
We headed back to the cottage and we’re scratching our heads on what to do. It was easy really, but we wanted so bad to be competitive and knew the set up was crucial, and with no practice we had to get it right before the race.
Jim and I were surrounded by some knowledgeable players, Dan Lawler on our left and Jeff Hanley on the right. Each offered help and we compared what they were saying with our own notes and experience and agreed to make some the changes knowing or hoping each adjustment would help us turn in the middle and not be loose off. So we thought.
The pole winner, Brandon Watson, threw a 6 for the invert putting Shawn Chenoweth on the pole. Shawn was heard saying, after he seen he would be up front with his F-15 Eagle, [i:2vjml5ts][b:2vjml5ts]“man I just can’t have any bad luck this year”. [/b:2vjml5ts][/i:2vjml5ts]
We started 7th and liked where we were, in a group of very fast but very good racers. I sprang for 3 new tires. Our 4 new ones had 4 heat cycles and 50 laps on them before the feature, too much I figured. It was a tactical move that turned out to be very stupid, financially.
There was a long driver introduction that revealed at least three things I didn’t know. 1) Jason Shaw was running his last race 2) I was a Delaware racer and 3) I was a future inductee into the Hall of Fame. Someone asked Brandon Watson “do you know that Gary Elliott could one day be in the Hall of Fame”? He said [i:2vjml5ts][b:2vjml5ts]“who”?[/b:2vjml5ts][/i:2vjml5ts]
After a lengthy intro we finally got down to business. My tires still had the stickers on them and we figured we must have given ourselves the best shot at winning or getting at least a podium in this race. What we didn’t figure was lap two, and lap two wasn’t good to us.
The green came out with the pack of 26 cars flying into turn one jammed like sardines. At the start finish line, on completion of lap two I was nailed hard by #71 Dan MacHattie. Dan usually runs me clean, only this time he was determined to get ahead of me when a) there was no where to go and b) we were side by side. The impact was so hard it knocked me to the infield but I held on. Almost right away the yellow came out from a spin behind us. I was glad because I lost 5 spots. I pulled up beside Dan and as I did I wasn’t so glad anymore when Jim told me my right front fender was pealed back to the door and I had to come in. As I drove by #71 he waved his hand out the window, I think to imply he was sorry. It didn’t matter much because now our day would be totally different than when it started. Instead of running up front we were now 26th, 19 cars behind where we were running.
The boys worked real hard to fix the car so I wouldn’t get black flagged from the fender coming loose.
The race restarted again and I was determined to race hard to get back up where I was, but more importantly I didn’t want to get lapped, like what happened last year. Being at the back and trying to pass can be nerve wracking with cars a little slower doubled up in front and no place to go. We got up to 16th and Jim asked me how the car was and I said real loose, too loose to race, I couldn’t make any ground, but was up to 15th. As we went around under caution cars headed to the pits for changes. Jim suggested I come back in, I did and Jason made a wedge adjustment. The car was better for the next run where we got back up to the top 13. I wasn’t happy with the car because it was still loose off. Jim asked me if I wanted to come in, but I just passed a bunch of cars for the second straight run and didn’t want to give up the track position. However I came in and we added a little air to the left rear and made another chassis change.
I restarted at the back again and saw the same 10 cars in front of me that I had passed twice already. After a short run the car was tight, too tight. I dialed in more rear brake. Heading down the back chute in the blazing sunlight I had to check up when Mat Box did likewise so he wouldn’t hit the car in front. Our car took off sideways loose almost coming around from too much rear brake. I have to thank Marcello Pontello for getting my brakes fixed two months ago. Our pedal geometry was out and no matter what I did we always had too much rear brake. When I had an emergency stop like this one, I almost always went around, but in this instance the car went side ways but I was able to catch it and get straightened out, then dial in more front. The race continued and we were able to get back up into the top 12 or so when I lost it coming off turn four. The car was tight and I used the brakes to help me around, but in doing so I made the car loose coming off and when I hit the gas hard I spun on my own. I had to wait until most of the 15 cars behind me got by and I saw the leaders coming and wanted to get out so I wouldn’t go down a lap. As I came out of the front straight infield the yellow came out. I saw Brandon Watson on the outside of Shawn and sideways. Apparently he got spun by Shawn who told his spotter that Brandon checked up and that’s why he hit him. In the pits Shawn told us a little different version, that Brandon was beating on him and he let the #9 have it when he got by. I guess no one told Brandon that Shawn has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to getting hit, he is probably the last guy you want to be pushing around if you want to finish the race.
Jim sent me to the pits again for more adjustments but we were at the point of not knowing how to read the car anymore. The track was slick, we couldn’t see off two or all the way down the back chute because of the sun, plus most all the cars were a little loose, and some a lot loose. We came out of the pits again for the third time going to the back, and we were not even at lap 35 yet. As the race went on there were numerous cautions. I was very lucky to miss some crazy wrecks right in front of me.
This is part of the problem with going to the back or being forced to the rear, you have a lot of weeding out to do to get back up with the pack. Most of the problems were from mid pack but not all.
We finally got the competition yellow and I felt by lap 45 we were in fairly good shape. We came in running about 15th and made a few chassis changes. We had 5 minutes.
They brought us back out and we restarted 14th. We ran hard and chased cars but ours seemed to be so inconsistent. I was still loose off, and so bad that I tried to feather the car so it wouldn’t get too sideways but in doing so I was hitting the wall with my right rear wheel. Once I hit the wall so hard I drove up it a good foot and knew this wasn’t anything like what we planned for today. Jim was watching from the main grandstands and could see what was going on but was quickly running out of ideas. As well I was finding the track almost impossible to run and could not give good feed back. I managed to get back up to 12th on about lap 60 when #46 Chris Martin nailed me very hard after he tagged the wall and came down into my side. The contact from Chris sent me flying through the back chute infield. That was considered my caution and was the second for us. One of the officials went to Jason and told him if we caused one more caution we were done for the day. Great, we’re barely half way and I’ve lost two lives…not good.
The race went this way almost all day, and into the early evening. It was a marathon event that will surely find it’s way into the Guinness Book of Records for being the longest race, time wise, and for turning a 110 lap race into a 250 lapper. At one point while going down the back chute under caution I took my right hand and put it above my head to put my sun visor down. I couldn’t believe I did that, and didn’t realize I did it until later in the race when the track threw a red flag so we could all tape our windshields to help fight the incredible glare on the back chute. I don't remember ever seeing that, or hearing of a track doing that to help the race teams. Each team was allowed one crew member to put tape on the windshield. Jason came out and put two strips of black tape. It helped a lot.
I knew race conditions were bad today, but over the years getting in a race was so important to me that whatever conditions were on the track were equal for everyone. As long as they were not directly related to my car (like handling or power) I just took it as part of the journey of a race. For example in 1985 we were running Checker Flag Speedway in Windsor Ontario and there was a trail of water running down the track from an underground spring. It was just small enough not to cause too much grief, but worse than that, at the same track was cars parked on the back chute exit, imagine. They were like a barrier that stopped cars from coming on the track, but close enough that we could have hit them. We raced on no problem, just like this race. Blinded by the light we charged off turn two headed in a blizzard of glare and most of us sideways half way down the back chute. I wasn’t totally sideways because I let my car drift up…right into the wall a few times, until I figured how to feather it enough not to get air borne’. The tape helped, but most of us must have figured it would soon be dark and we wouldn’t need it.
Shawn led every lap, though many tried to jump, dump or thump him. He wasn’t budging. How he never fell asleep or went nuts with all the cautions is beyond me. There was a run after we started counting cautions, that they stopped counting them or there wouldn’t be any green lap racing left. Lap 97 lasted forever. It was a break for some drivers. Both Watson’s, Brandon and Mark had fairly bad wrecks at that time, Jason Shaw’s car quit, and Mat Box ran out of gas. Everyone of these DNF cars beat me. Go figure, we had enough trouble all day and to make things worse, got beat by cars that were wrecked worse than us.
In the closing laps we were running 8th. By this time we passed 77 cars, enough to win 8 features, but now we were hoping to maybe finish where we started. The car was doing all kinds of stuff. The tires were beat, two spin outs will do that. With two to go I hoped to at least finish in the top 10, but 7th would have been nice. There was a good chance we’d still have another 7 yellow flags in the final two laps, and maybe a top five could grace our stats.
The race restarted and we lost a spot right off the bat. Going into four on the final lap I got a run on 8th. Coming off two mayhem struck when two cars spun in front of me. I went high but the cars slid up in front of me and I spun to avoid hitting them. We managed to get across the finish line but in a disappointing 12th place. I would compare this race to Bristol, our car was a cosmetic mess.
Congrats to Shawn and his team for staying awake and adding to their incredible season. Glad to see one of our boys win it.
I talked to the management after and suggested to run our show in the later part of the day, at night or dusk when the track isn’t so slick. I’ll tell JP when I see him this weekend for Octoberfest. After the terrible show by the Late Models Peterborough may decide to run us after the fans leave, like at midnight.
Hey, we still have a chance to win a feature in 2010, in fact this week end we have two shots at it with the Twin 50's.
I want to say a special thanks to my crew for working so hard and not giving up. I appreciate their hard work and feel they deserved a better finish than we got. In fact this has been a hard year for them with so many bad nights. A win would be a great way to end this season, one of my toughest for sure.

Gary
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Post by Gary » Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:06 pm

October 16th & 17th......Flamboro Speedway

Race #25

Octoberfest

High Lites
* 21 cars
* Tie for win with Jason Shaw and Shawn Chenoweth
* Tie braker goes to time trials...Shawn is quickest
* Shawn Chenoweth wins Octoberfest..no trophy!!!!
* We get 5th overall...amazing with the damage
* Bill Catania from Erie Pennsylvannia came to race with us
* Hydro goes out

Results

Time Trials
7th fastest....16:06

1st Feature.......4th
2nd Feature......7th

5th Overall

Winnings
$800

Repairs
Rebuild time

Crew
Jim, Jason, Marty, Rob, Perry, Gordon and Gehrig

Conclusion
You may want a large coffee for this one...just saying.
This day had everything. Beautiful weather, decent car count and a racer coming from Erie Pennsylvania. While we were setting up one of my crew told me there was a Late Model from the United States. My first reaction was…awesome, another car. I went to his trailer, wanting to welcome him to Flamboro but didn’t see him. Bill Catania was in the tech garage when I first met him. He and his crew were working feverishly on their car adding weight and getting the car close to compete with us. I welcomed him and his wife and let him know if he needed anything just ask. He was very friendly and was glad to be here. I just wished I got a chance to say good bye to him, but we’ll meet again, I’m sure.
Flamboro may have wanted to have this on Halloween, October 31st. Most of the cars looked very scary after the Twin 50’s finished. Some looked bad after the first, like our car. The turn out was good, 20 cars, the attrition wasn’t so good, well actually it was good in terms of being high, but that’s never good. What is good for me is that it was the final race of the year and for everyone but Shawn Chenoweth, it’s a blessing.
Poor Shawn can only hope his next six months are even remotely as good as the past six. This kid was amazing beyond belief. His car was never off once, not even close. How he did that is a mystery to most of us. He’s a great driver, always was. His car was well prepared, but so were many contenders. The one area he smoked us all was in consistency and luck. You have to be good to be lucky, and he is and was in 2010, very good…and lucky.
Before I do the write up about Octoberfest, or as it should be called on this particular night, Wreck-toberfest, I want to say something about Shawn Chenoweth. I know, I already did, but there’s a ton more to say. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the #89 in 2011, he may look at the stats from 2010 and realize it was a season from Heaven. He might want to move on to a bigger challenge, OSCAAR, or maybe try to dethrone 4 time Thunder Car champ Randy Rusnell. I’m not certain what he’ll do and he didn’t give any clues. He did complain and ramble on about not having any money every week. I told him “Shawn…shut up”!! (I was nice) He knows he won everything, the $5000 points fund, the $2000 Grisdale Triple Crown, the $2500 from Autumn Colors, the $2500 from Octoberfest…not to mention 19 nights of top 3 finishes…but he deserved it all, he worked hard for it. There were a few nights when he got it given to him, but you have be ready to strike to take advantage of an opportunity.
I think Shawn proved many things to all of us. He’s a great racer and can keep his cool when he’s under a lot of pressure. He set the benchmark this year for preparation. No race team in the Late Model field was as ready to win, on a consistent basis, like Shawn. Paul Howse, Jason Shaw, Shane Maginnis and Jeff Stewart all had great runs, and great nights. Paul cleaned house in September, but Shawn was right there every inch of the way.
The one thing I enjoyed was watching this young man mature as the season went along. He got wound up a few times, but never to the degree of letting it affect his racing. I became more attached to him every weekend, growing to like him more and more. He did something not many people have done, maybe ever, and that’s win it all. Congratulations to Shawn and his team for an incredible, outstanding season.
When new people come to watch, or racers want to join up or consider racing at your facility, it’s good to put your best show on the line. Man, we terrified even ourselves on this savage Sunday. Hopefully the new comers sense we don’t always do this. Now about Oct-Wrecker-feast.
If you remember our racing in 2010, the one thing most noticeable was my determination to smash down the back chute wall. After the fourth attempt, I surrender to the idea. Not only was I physically wore out, my mental health was adjusted to a simple state, and our retirement fund?…just kidding Nonie…she keeps that hidden…I did spend most all of my budget for racing until 2014…(maybe Shawn will adopt a family of old people)..but seriously, this year was very hard on me, like no other. My crew worked very hard, I drove very hard, and crashed very hard, it wasn’t nice, but we came every night, knowing we might grab a win, but mostly that we’d be doing what we love…racing, and having fun.
It wasn’t only me that was tired and tortured, so was our #36 Impala. For this race Shawn pulled up to the line with his #89 prancing, excited and ready to go. Our car hobbled to the line covered in bandages and still bleeding from wounds that wouldn’t heal, not without Doctor McColl’s help. We had no stock car medical insurance left to visit Dr. Mike, so we convinced us to keep fighting and not give up. That’s the only way I’ve been able to continue this journey. Crash hard and by Sunday turn the page and start fixing and getting ready for the next race. When that fire goes out, the four decade run will end, but no worry now, Ironman still has lots of fire, fueled from a loving family and great caring friends.
Time trials were finally accurate. Jeff Stewart didn’t turn a 15:35 followed by a 15:66 like he did in the summer. The fastest Late Model was Shawn, but he said on the front chute just before he tossed the dice that he thought Jason Shaw was the fastest. Jason sure was in hot laps, and his fastest in time trials was a 15:77. You got to love Shawn, he wins pole and tells the people who timed him they were wrong “Jason was faster than me, he should be tossing the dice”. He said in front of the fans as well. He tossed an eight, meaning he would start fourth row outside and we would start front row outside.
I wasn’t thrilled. I was actually disappointed that I was outside pole. Why? I knew I wouldn’t last. I didn’t have confidence in my car, it just wasn’t the same car it was three months ago. “no kidding, slam the back chute wall enough times and nothing will be the same”. Here’s a tale of two stock car drivers. While Shawn was driving to the winners circle, I was bashing cement, and in doing so had a very sick car….but it would be much sicker before this day and season would end.
Our 7th place in time trials was discouraging, but not when you consider the condition of the car, it was set up as good as it could be (and my crew were awesome) but it was hurting bad. How bad? On Sunday an hour before hot laps I noticed the right rear wheel was pointing in more than normal. I checked out the driver’s side and it looked okay. I decided to string the car. Jim was working, and would be a little late, and Jason was not at the track yet. Marty, Rob, Gehrig and I went over the car. We had no string or thread so I went to #03 and asked Terry Maginnis if he had some string and he asked me why and I told him. Terry was thinking like most of my crew were “why he is worried about stringing his car when he was turning decent fast times in practice yesterday”. He was right we were fast in hot laps, like in the 15:3’s after six or seven laps. I would not have said anything except the wheel looked real goofy to me. Terry comes over and here was the diagnosis…your right side wheel base is over an inch shorter than the left side. “How can that be”? I stupidly asked. But maybe it wasn’t so stupid, because “we were fast yesterday and a one inch wheel base difference would be anything but fast…wouldn’t it…Terry”? Then we started taking more measurements and soon found a host of issues. So many problems, maybe they were all bent just enough in different directions that it made the car work. That would explain why Jim and I had problems trying to dial in our car, but the fast times on the stop watch fooled us…although we should have left it bent and fast instead of trying to make it straight and worse.
The rear tubes were bent, both rear bridge tie rods were bowed, must have happened when I tried taking down the back chute wall at Peterborough a few times in the Autumn Colors 200 lapper last week. I’ll never forget those extra 100 caution lap’s.
We worked on the car until we got it close wheel base wise but after warm ups the car was not as fast as it was on Saturday. There’s an old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. There’s a new saying just in from our race team “If it’s fast and bent, don’t fix it”…at least not until it’s going to Dr. Mike.
We did our best to get pumped up for this race. We were excited like we are most every week, we love to race and always want to do good, but we knew we were behind the eight ball for this one, we’d also get behind the first seven cars in short order.
Brad Corcoran #05 was on the pole. I may have beaten him if it was earlier in the season when our car was very fast, or if I just left it after yesterday’s practice. But this was going to be a “seniors night mare”. Shane Maginnis was inside row two with Paul Howse on my tail, and the line up was very tough in the first five rows.
Things went a little worse before the green when the #03 of Shane Maginnis left the track with carb issues. That moved everyone around. The race was Twin 50’s with the $3000 winner being the team that had the best combined finish in both races. Our goal was a top five in the first. It was a long race and Jim, as gracious and loving as he is, said “do your best with what we have, I’ll get you down when I can”. Jim knew we were a sitting duck, so did the six cars right behind me.
Shane made it out before the start of the race but had to go to the back. On the green I tried staying with Brad and got a good start but he pulled a little. We were still side by side down the back chute. Howse was moving up to Brads back bumper and was now hounding him. Soon Jason, then Jeff, then Shawn were lined up to pass and then the yellow came out. Paul Howse got spun on the back chute when he was hit by Jeff Stewart. Paul went to the back, as did Jeff. After a few laps we were back to 6th. Our car was okay, not slow, but not a rocket like a few of the usual fast cars. On that restart Jason tried Brad but couldn’t do it and soon Shawn got by Jake. Another yellow came out and now we were in 4th. I restarted behind Shawn and beside Jason. Brad was racing with everyone. He had me, Paul, Jason and now Shawn on his outside for restarts. On the green they ran hard, Brad not giving an inch. I was stuck outside and cars were lined up again on the inside. Coming off four the leaders got sideways. Jason headed low, I tried to but was tagged and next thing I know I’m being shoved across the infield. When my car stopped I saw what I thought was my left door rolled up to my window net. I was wrong it wasn’t my door it was Mark Burbridge front bumper. He was right into my window next and though I was cool, I just thought how hard luck this deal was. Shawn gets into Brad and I get wrecked…what? “Shawn do you not see a pattern here, I get what you were suppose to"…I love him, anyway it doesn’t matter, but it is frustrating for our team and the boys want us to get a break, but the only break we get is parts”.
Anyway, I digress. They got us apart and I went to the pits to make sure everything was good to race. It sure wasn’t good for a car show, the rear quarter had a huge piece missing and the rear interior panel was buckled and jammed against the back of the seat. My crew took one look, gave a thumbs up and sent me back out.
Brad was hard luck in this one, in fact in both. Jason roughed him up to get by because Paul had worked his way back to the front, but it was Paul who got the lead not Jason. Brad was upset for being hit by Jason that he hit him back going into the next turn. Immediately the starter black flagged Brad. He said at the meeting “If you spin someone out you’re going to the back. If you retaliate you’re getting the black flag”. Now I don’t know what happened to Brad if he pulled off or slowed down, because you only had to pull down. But when fast cars are whacking people to pass, they should go to the back. It’s frustrating for racers to get disrespected in a race, that usually brings out retaliation. In fairness to Jason, I’m not sure if Brad was blocking him. If he was the starter should have warned him and if he did and didn’t pick a lane, then I understand how the bumper can be used. Anyway we need to keep every driver we have. When someone does retaliate, the starter shouldn’t do anything just warn him, if he continue keeps it up, different deal. JR Fitzpatrick got into the back of the car that passed him real hard and nothing happened to him and that was after he was warned. Politics is evil and for the tracks sake, for it’s future, making examples of sheep instead of wolves is wrong, and they need to revisit that deal for 2011…don’t quit Brad.
The rest of this race was uneventful for me until the dying laps. I worked up to fourth and had Jason for third place but he came down so hard on me in turn one with two to go that had I not backed out he was going around. That was disappointing, but I’m sure all the guys I race against know the #36 will back out, so chop him. The race was over the next lap and Paul took the win with Shawn 2nd and Jason 3rd. Amazingly we got 4th and had a shot at winning the big prize.
We prepared the car, fuel, battery charged and talked about changes. We would be starting 5th. Only 8 cars were on the lead lap and those were the cars that were inverted. In the early going the top 3 of the first race were bashing and shoving their way through the pack. I said to Shawn after “man you were doing a lot of hitting in the 2nd feature”. He said “ya, I know”. He wasn’t the only one.
We fell back in this race right off the bat from getting in the wrong lane. Aggressive driving was in high gear for the last feature of 2010. The top 3 knew they had to beat each other to have a shot at winning the $3000. The only trouble is, they were beating everyone else on the way.
Mark Watson #78 from Delaware was leading the race. Paul caught up to him and restarted on the outside. Paul was the car to beat, no doubt. They had their car dialled in. However even he was having trouble running on the outside. Mark finished 5th in the first race and knew he had a shot at winning the gold if the hot shoes wrecked or fell back. He was leading and wasn’t going to move over or give in. However mid way in the race another caution came out and this would be the final restart, the final lap, for at least four cars, some strong runners. I was 8th on the restart, outside naturally. Our car was okay, but it was about to get some serious chassis remodeling. Coming off four Paul and Mark got together and the chain reaction from Hades followed. I tried to get down but cars were everywhere. Jim was yelling to go low. Cars were sideways, smoke was coming up from tires and cement dust. I tried going low but got shoved up. Still trying to get through I felt like a big diesel snow plow in Barrie during a severe storm. I wasn’t going anywhere and I could feel the body coming off the car form being hit from behind and trying to manouvre my way through. Next thing I’m into the back of Mark who had blocked the track almost completely. Paul was jammed in beside him, Dave Baker was facing the wrong way. Mark Burbridge was jammed into Dave and Shane had his front end sucked into the pack of cars. In the lower lane were 4 or 5 other cars spinning and wrecking. As soon as the screaming tires stopped I jammed it into reverse and headed for the pits. The right front was flat but I wanted to get in and see if we could fix the car, just like I have for 42 years. I knew this would be a long caution. I got to my pit and within seconds I was told “we’re done”. I got out and looked at the front end. The tire was flat, but much worse the right front spindle was bent, twisted hard to the drivers side. “Let’s put on a shorter tie rod”. I said. Then Shirley came over and said “dad, the red is out, they’re going to be a while”. My crew did the best they could under the duress of this madness. I tried to encourage them because I wanted to get back out. We had to hustle. We got the tie rod switched but I could not steer the car to the left, the steering arm on the spindle was bent 90 degrees and hitting the lower control arm. Now, maybe I was done. Then Shirley came over again and said “dad all the lights have gone out on the track”. I ran to the fence to look and it was dark with every utility vehicle putting their head lights on in the center of the infield. I went nuts with joy, because now we had more time to get ready. I grabbed the spare spindle and we began the process of removing the bent spindle and preparing the spare with the hub, rotor etc etc. I was thinking “what would Shawn Chenoweth do”? Then I remember, nothing, he misses all the wrecks.
Shane Maginnis was a big help as our crew kept busy. The track got the lights working and they were slowly coming back to full light. During the chaos in our pit the right front brake line broke. We got a spare. Shane put it on and we bled the brakes. Finally the spindle was reassembled, but a few of my crew were not happy with the hectic pace in trying to get the car back out. It was a fanatical situation, one a fanatic can work under, not all my crew are fanatics, but their driver is. Certainly it was an option to call it a season, but not for me, I don’t do that, and that’s why I was trying to keep us moving and motivated so we could get back out.
Finally the front end was together but the toe was way out. We could hear the Late Models warming up their tires as they were preparing to restart after the long delay. Then while Shane was setting the toe by eye, we heard the roar of the engines as the race restarted. But once again was got our 3rd break. The first was getting off the track before the red came out, the second was the track lights failing and now another yellow. I said to Jim “just send me out I don’t care about the toe, I’ll come in later”. They stayed at it but with no time on the clock, I went on the track toed in a mile, but I was very happy to be back in te show, toed in or not. Toes in was okay, I just didn’t want to be towed off.
We entered the track with no hood, two bent ball joints, alignment nuts and who knows what else.
The last 23 laps were crazy. I could not turn the car very easy, and it was bouncing all over. Jim asked me how it was and I said “no good”. After 6 or so laps, I was lapped by Jeff and Shawn. Then Jason got by and I was on my own. I drove the car as hard as I could. I was starting to get use to it and making some ground. I knew they had a Lucky Dog and most cars being lapped were already down a few. The yellow came out and I asked Jim to find out if I was the Lucky Dog. We couldn’t get an answer from the tower. I stopped and asked Mike DeLeeuw but he said “no one knows”. I stopped in turn four and asked Doug and he gave me basically the same response. Jim asked me if I wanted to come in but I wanted to stay out because I knew I was the L D.
“Do you want us to fix the car”? Jim asked. “No, I can figure out how to drive it, and I want to keep track position”. The rest of the race went non stop and I passed everyone up to the 6th place car. I was worried the right front tire might go flat or blow but I didn’t really care, I knew it didn’t matter the car was pretty well beat before the first race and I wasn’t planning on giving up now. The better we finished in this race, the better we’d do overall. At the checker we crossed in 7th, at least that's what I thought. I had to wait for the official finish to know. Jeff Stewart won the race with Shawn second and Jason third.
I went to Donny Cox and told him the deal about the Lucky Dog and that no one we asked knew what we were talking about. He said, “wait and see how they score you”. I agreed. About 20 minutes after the race the scored finish was posted. They had me 11th and 6th overall. I knew that wasn’t right, and with all we did to get out in the race I wasn’t about to quit now. I filled a protest form stating that I was the Lucky Dog and should be 7th not 11th. Brenda said they did give the L D when I enquired on the track, but they gave it to #00 Jim Gillis. I said “Jim was lapped a bunch of times”. Brenda said “yes he was, but he was the car the leaders passed when the yellow came out and he gets the Lucky Dog”. I responded “no he doesn’t, it’s the Lucky Dog, it goes to the car one lap down not six laps down, it means nothing to him…you get Lucky to get it back”. Brenda’s great, I appreciate what she does and goes through. She was frustrated but kept inquiring for me. Anyway Gerry Paxton explained it to her and after 15 minutes they announced we finished 7th which gave our team 5th overall. Nice!!!!
What a night, what a year. Everything that went good for Shawn went south for us, but in the end we got a big victory and looking at our car and what we went through to finish this night was amazing. We had a bad year luck wise, and a ton of bad luck in this race, but when we consider getting into the pits and missing the red flag, the track lights going out giving us time to fix the car and then a quick yellow once the race restarted, we know someone was looking over us. Thank you Lord.
Thanks to my crew for a great season. Racing has ups and downs and we had our share of both, mostly downs. Next year we’ll bounce back and take a run at the Championship again.
We were thrilled that one of our sponsors from Quaker State was here for the first race when we finished 4th. She loved it in spite of us having a bad wreck.
We hope Quaker State is back again in 2011. Next year will be 38 seasons with the big Q and my 43rd year racing.
Maybe in the off season a little on line racing to pass the time, but more importantly, getting the CVM history updated on our web site would be a priority…anyone want to help me scan in some scrap books?

Gary
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Post by Gary » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:06 pm

October 30th.......Flamboro Speedway

Frost Fest
Mini Stock Ride through Tim Tolton

Race #26

High Lites
* 34 cars
* Mike Taylor wins overall
* Protested first feature finish and won decision
* We finish 8th overall
* 5th different class we ran in 2010

Results
Heat.............5th
1st Feature...14th
2nd Feature...5th

Winnings

$80...........................What?

Repairs
cosmetic

Crew
Tim, Bob, Jim, Marty, Gehrig

Conclusion
The Octoberfest Late Model race was ironically a recap of our racing season. We ran great in early practice, not so great in qualifying, and up and down in the Twin 50’s. On it’s own, the final night of racing had our season covered, even to the point of protesting the scoring to get our earned position. In short it was a hard fought season for our team, more so for, because every aspect of what could go wrong did.
The Impala was a mess at the final lap of the Octoberfest classic, beat up on every corner. Physically, I was just as hurt and beat up. My shoulder, wrists, and overall frame were in need of some rest, therapy and a regrouping.
So why would there be any interest in running one more race? Because it was there, and someone gave me the opportunity. Even that Frost Fest was in doubt of happening, it wasn’t easy making it work. I asked a friend if I could race their Mini, and was told I could if the regular driver wasn’t coming. After a few attempts of contacting them and no response, I was fairly certain I wouldn’t be racing the Frost Fest. One more attempt on the Flamboro Fan Forum, where I mentioned I would like to drive specifically a Mini Stock, is when the opportunity was finalized. I got a private message asking if I wanted to drive his car. The name on the message was Black Magic. I had no idea who that was, so I responded that I didn’t want to drive a car that wasn’t competitive. Black Magic responded with some stats. “The car finished 2nd in Varney points, set the track record for Mini’s, and most recently finished 3rd in Flamboro’s Octoberfest. I think the car is fast enough”. Yes, that resume looked fine to me. We soon left phone numbers and I was able to talk to Black Magic in person, who is Tim Tolton.
Tim and I came to an agreement and I was excited knowing I would be running Frost Fest with the Mini Stock class.
This would be a record for me, my 5th different class in one year. The most I ran in one year was three in 2008, running the Late Model, CVM and Jamie Watson’s Mini at Sauble. I ran my fourth earlier in the year when Dave Osborne let me drive his #0 Thunder Car. It was certain I would run two, the Late Model and Coupe. Then OSCAAR allowed us to run with them for a trial race and we converted our car to a Super Late Model. It wasn’t much of a conversion, some lead was removed.
Our best Late Model finish was 2nd, and we had a handful of runner up spots in features this year. We finished 12th at the OSCAAR show, through attrition. The only cars I passed in that race was those being towed off, or heading to the pits. We ran well in the CVM, getting a 3rd in the feature on September 18th. Dave’s Thunder Car gave us a 7th and now the season would close racing a Nissan.
Gehrig and I picked the car up on Friday night. Tim and his wife run a printing business. She made some Quaker State decals for the car, very thoughtful. I asked as many questions as I could about the car because Tim was unable to make the race, at least that’s what he thought originally, but as it turned out he was going to be there and would help with any set up or repairs we needed. Gehrig and I brought some oil and a filter to change that night, but we decided to do it Saturday at the track.
We went through tech no problem. Glen said if anything we were on the heavy side, so not to worry. I went to the tower to sign in and draw my starting spot and it was the highest number I drew all year…40. I made one set of hot laps and very much enjoyed driving the car.
Tim set the tires the way he would for himself and everything else was good to go. My normal crew chief Jim showed up and was ready to add spring rubbers, or change shocks, springs or whatever, but we calmed him down and soon he got into a Mini Stock rhythm.
We finished 5th in our heat. It was fairly uneventful other than the unfortunate contact with #38 Rodney Rutherford. Matt Dean got under Rodney and I followed. Rodney must have been watching the Late Model racing all year where no one rarely gave me a lane knowing or hoping I would back out. Most we chop me forcing me to jam on the brakes. In the Late Model we have awesome brakes so I could stop. This Mini had standard brakes, tons of pedal, but very slow stopping power. When Rodney pinched me in the middle I couldn’t get out of the way and hit him hard enough to spin him out. I felt bad. Maybe I should have done that a lot more the past five years in Late Models. Most of my fans think I should have, but I really don’t like to race that way, plus I’m the one that has to pay for and fix the car, and that extra work load for my crew isn’t a welcome sight.
With a heads up start that meant we would be 15th of 34 cars.
The first few laps were an adjustment period. Rodney was apparently doing what most do. Almost every car chopped or pinched in the corners. The faster cars were able to stay outside, but if they passed low they were bouncing off the cars chopping. I tried getting under a car for a few laps. We were three wide and I couldn’t get out of the low lane. Thirty four cars was a huge field, I hadn’t raced with that many cars since my Enduro racing days. The Nissan was fast, and handled very well. The one thing it didn’t like was getting on the gas hard on the inside. Coming off two I got on the gas in an attempt to get a good run off the corner and spun out on my own. By the time the car stopped and I got it restarted and back on the track, the first and second place cars got by, there was no caution. I got up to speed right away. It was crazy, I was disappointed that I did that, my hopes of winning the day was gone now, but with so many cars on the track I didn’t have time to do anything but just race as hard as I could…no time to sulk.
I stayed with the #50 Rabbit and Dave Bailey in his #31 Nissan for the next five or six laps. I had a sense that maybe I could get my lap back, but could only stay with them. We were catching traffic but not enough to cause a back up. However, the unexpected happened when the Rabbit started to overheat, shooting water from his over flow hose. I slowed up a bit, maybe from my Hobby day experience. Rising smoke or steam usually meant an inline was expiring and more than likely me and half a dozen racers would be angle parking in the cement at high speed. The Rabbit blew something and spun to the infield. I drove in just as Bailey started to spin as well. I knew it was water or oil. I decided to ease up right away and not brake too hard. However the car began shooting straight up to the turn four entrance. I got slowed up enough to avoid the wall and got back on the gas. I knew now I just got my lap back. I thought for sure the yellow would come out but it didn’t. Now I had the leader, Matt Dean #15 about 5 or 6 car lengths back. I raced as hard as I could to stay in front of him, and was pulling away. The laps were winding down and I saw on the score board #02 had the lead. We were catching some heavy traffic. The starter knew I was fast enough to stay in front but my problem was the pack of cars we were catching. They were getting the move over but some were side by side. I wanted a caution, but as the traffic got heavier I slowed more and Mike Taylor was within striking distance. We crossed the line on lap 22 and he was behind me and I tried to go under a car on the front chute but he came down hard and I had to back out. Mike got by but as soon as he did the yellow came out on the back chute, saving us from going a lap down. The only problem is, I had no idea where I was, and as it turned out neither did the track staff. I went to the rear, but should have been ahead of all the lapped cars, only I didn’t know who was on the lead lap. Now is when I needed my spotter for sure.
On the restart with 8 to go I was able to race hard and battled with 31X and #92 Eric Van Wyngaarden. In the closing laps the 31X was driving hard into the turns and we raced side by side for the final four or five laps. He got me at the line putting us 14th.
The crew were very happy, me to, sort of. I wanted so bad to finish in the top 3 or 4 to give us a shot at winning the title, but that would now be almost impossible, so our goal was to get the best finish we could from the second race. Tim set the car up for the feature. Jim gave him some ideas, I told Tim not to worry about the spin out, it wasn’t the car it was me, because once I ran a good groove the car was fine.
I went to see what our official finish was and they had me scored 24th. I went to the tower and told Bob Monroe the scored finish wasn’t right. I wrote out a protest. He said there would be no time to fight it now, do it at the end. I then asked about the invert. He said it was 10, so I knew I wasn’t losing a good starting spot, because we felt I finished 14th and with a 10 invert I’d still be starting 14th, but I wasn’t happy about the 24th scored finish. With so much going on and Brenda trying to get the line up for the first Thunder Car show done, Bob said he doubted she would have time to change or even check. Just as I was about to leave the tower he called over for me and told Brenda “the #35 said he finished better than 24th”. The answer from the other side was that I was down two laps. “No way”, I said. Bob answered them back; “he says there’s no way”. They said “ok he’s down one lap”. Bob moved me to 19th and said “we’ll settle if after the races are done”. I agreed, because it was a two race format with a combined finish of both features giving each racer their final overall finish.
The second feature was fun, maybe not quite as much as the tons of excitement in the first. We had two complete restarts, and by lap 5 we had three cautions. I was slowly moving up restarting 9th on lap 5. Over the next run I was able to get into 5th and fought hard to hold onto 5th. The only car that passed me on the straightaway the #37 Rabbit driven by Rob Hoskins. He was much faster on the straight and through the corners. As the race ran down we were catching a large group of cars. I caught up to Eric Van Wyngaarden and tried several times to go under him but he was quick on the straights. Each time I tried going under he would come down and I’d have to dive to the apron so I wouldn’t hit him. Finally I got beside him going into one only he stayed with me through the turn and was able to get slightly in front coming off two. Had to headed to the wall coming off, or even to the middle of the back chute he would’ve still been on the track, but he pinched me down exiting the turn and as I got on the gas I caught his rear quarter and spun him to the infield. There were only two laps left and we were catching some other cars racing side by side. With one to go we raced hard into one and I figured there was no need to pass these cars because and take a chance of getting wrecked. We were in 5th and it was a good run. Going into three #86 Dave Haggedorn and #34 (visitor) were side by side. I backed off a little with only one more turn to go…then my heart jumped when Dave Bailey #31 went flying into turn three past me and outside #34. I jammed the throttle as hard as I could and knew it would be close. I went inside Dave #86 with Bailey making it four wide coming off four. I tried to leave as much room as I could and crossed the line just ahead of track champ Dave Bailey. Now that was a good feeling finishing in the top five.
After the race our crew and family were very happy. Tim was glad the car ran very well and was happy with the results, as was his family.
I went to the tower and put in a protest for the first race. They had us 11th overall once the second race was posted. Brenda read my protest as Bob was paying the drivers. She said “we got you down a lap when you spun out, not when #02 passed you on lap 22, you didn’t go down a lap then”. I said “yes but the #50 and #31 both spun out and I passed them putting me back on the lead lap”. Brenda then turned to her sheets and said “he’s right”. Then she turned to one of her assistants and asked “did I not say he was back on the lead lap”? The answer was simple and honest “yes, I think I might have missed that”. Brenda then turned to Bob Monroe and said “don’t pay out anymore Mini Stock drivers”. She redid the finish and said we were moved from 19th to 14th in the first feature and that moved us from 11th to 8th overall. Thank you Brenda for taking the time to make it right.
It was a fun night and I think the Mini Stock is the closest to a Late Model in terms of sitting and feel. Naturally they’re the slowest of all cars I raced, but I really didn’t notice. I’m sure if a Mini driver went to a Hobby or Late Model the difference would be huge, but for me it was good, I had fun and we raced with a great group of drivers.
I talked to Eric after the race and explained that he was very fast on the straightaway and needed to try to stay up more coming off the corners. Eric has only raced 7 times in his career, he will do fine, and the good news is he listened to me and wasn’t mad for getting hit. He’s already improved just by the experience.
Special thanks to Tim and Donna Tolton and their family for allowing me to race their car, it was great.
That’s it for 2010. Now my body can get some rest and heal over the winter. I need to work out this off season and get in shape for our 43rd season.
We’ll keep you updated as events occur and sponsors come aboard. There is much news already but we’ll save that for another time

Gary
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Diary Of A Season...2010

Post by Gary » Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:19 pm

Postby Gary » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:03 am

We are very proud to announce that Quaker State will be back again in 2010. This will be our 37th season together, a world, no, a universe record.

We want to make the Delaware show on July 7th when Kyle Busch comes to the track with other NASCAR stars, David Ruiterman and David Ragan. Right now, that will be the high light of 2010 for any single event.

Things are moving along fairly well on the race cars. Here's an update:
1. the #9 will be #37 driven by David Elliott
2. the #9 (now #37) was sent to McColls for a strut conversion & repair
3. David will run Delaware full time and a few specials (not Flamboro)
4. The #36 had the frame repaired at McColls (it was way out)
5. The #36 just had the quick changed repaired at Junior's
6. Flamboro machine shop is repairing spindles for #36
7. The CVM is at Oakville Trailers fitted for the V8 and chassis repairs
8. The #37 of David will go to Junior Hamleys in early February for repair

Nothing is set for Flamboro schedule wise, though all other tracks do have their schedule out. John told me on January 24th that he may not run the Late Models the first three weeks of the season or the last three. However once the season starts there will be no nights off. I don't think that will go over very good with many of the racers who like nights off during the season, but we'll see. Based on Flamboro's unofficial schedule, we will be starting our 2010 season at Delaware Speedway on May 7th and most likely the 14th. If John starts the Late Models on the 15th or 22nd of May, we may not run Delaware on the 14th. I think the resistance by some of the Late Model drivers with us missing the first 3 nights, but more for running 18 in a row, will force him to rethink his plan. I suggested he go back to the 2007 where he had 4 nights off spread out throughout the season. I also asked him if he wasn't booking the Late Models on the first three and last three nights to save money because of low fan count, but he said that wasn't the reason.

I will update this page with information as it comes. The track drivers meeting is on February 1st.
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 pm

Postby 98nascartruck » Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:25 pm

Gary....Sounds like making good progress on the cars and can't wait for the race season to start!!!


ALSO.....went to double check on Delaware site for that special night and its Regan Smith Ky Busch & Reutimann and not David Ragan!! Me personally I wish it was David Ragan!!!
98nascartruck Posts: 79Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:50 pmLocation: Dundas, Ontario

Postby Gary » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:54 pm

Thanks Gordon, my mistake....thanks for the correction
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 pm

Postby 98nascartruck » Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:58 pm

Your Welcome and hopefully see you soon!!!
98nascartruck Posts: 79Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:50 pmLocation: Dundas, Ontario

Postby Gary » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:58 pm

Today we met our newest crew member. Rob Twitchett from Dundas came to the garage helping us reassemble the rear suspension and clean all the hubs and bearings.
Our new spindles were finished by Flamoro Machine Shop and they will be installed next week. Once the front end is done we'll put the engine in.
The interior was removed and will be painted. It was powder coated last year but turned out terrible. The aluminum color just didn't go with the rest of the car, also, when the interior was powder coated the thinner material warped. The process for powder coating includes total sand blast of the parts being coated and then treated at 400 degrees. We're thinking of doing the interior same as the green exterior.
The engine had motor mounts and headers installed and is ready to be dropped in the chassis.
It was a great day for us and we very much appreciated the work done by Rob and what he can offer our team.
Hopefully next week we have the chassis and driveline in and the car running.
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 pm

Postby 98nascartruck » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:50 pm

That's great Rob is a crew member for and he is a great addition to your crew!!!!!
98nascartruck Posts: 79Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:50 pmLocation: Dundas, Ontario

Postby Gary » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:08 pm

We have some very good news to report for our team in the way of sponsors for 2010. Many of our sponsors have confirmed they will return this coming season, Auto Spa, Freedom Village, Golfi Concrete & Drain Kettle Creek Wedding and Magriff Construction Limited.

We are also proud to announce two new sponsors for 2010.
Uptown Sports Managemnet joined our team in late 2009. You can click on their logo to see the business they are in...very ineresting.
Carlisle Customz Collision also agreed to be part of our sponsor team in 2010 and will paint the Late Model and the CVM.
They recently painted the interior panels for the Late Model. Located just north of Warterdown on the 6th concession they have a huge place that repairs and paints any vehicle, any size (cars light trucks, big trucks and equipment).
We thank all our sponsors for being part of this coming season that should be one of the most exciting.

Things have been moving on fairly smoothly this winter on our race team. The Late Model has the engine and drive line in. We're ready for the interior and some final engine installs like the wires and coil.

The CVM is being prepared by Ron Easton at Oakville Trailers. Ron is the one of the best builders in the CVM with all of his cars coming to the track with the best workmanship possible.

We'll keep you posted with other news as it happens.
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 pm

Postby 98nascartruck » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:44 am

Gary...that's good to hear about making greta progress on the LM and CVM!!!
Also great to hear about the sponsors that you stayed with you and 2 new ones!!
98nascartruck Posts: 79Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:50 pmLocation: Dundas, Ontario

Postby Gary » Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:38 pm

We're closing in on getting #36 painted. The body will be completed by March 8th then we'll make arrangements for paint and lettering.

The CVM is in good hands at Ron Easton, one of the best builders of CVM cars. He's installing our Crate engine and finishing off the body. It should be ready by the end of March. We'll get some pictures of it soon.
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 p

Postby Gary » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:06 pm

We sent the Late Model for paint on Monday. It's going to take until the end of next week to get it completed. That will give more time for our contest entries to get in. Right now we are looking fairly good to start the season with a good car.
As long as the track makes sure there is no one cheating with engines or anything else, racing should be fun at Flamboro.
The Hobby car is slowly getting done. Ron Easton will likely have it ready by the end of March....A Coupe with a V8....that sounds awesome.
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 pm

Postby Gary » Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:55 pm

Wiith a few irons in the fire (relating to getting ready for racing) it looks like were fairly well organized and on schedule for our 42nd season.
The #36 Late Model is currently getting painted at Carisle Customz Collision. It should be coming home by wednesday. That's okay because it gives us time to finish our other Late Model.
Once #36 gets back we'll finish the cosmetics, rear spoiler, windows and get it running. Then we'll scale it for practice day, basically the way we have the past few years. Once we have the weight distribution completed we'll head to Mike McColl's to have his staff go over the car again making changes and suggestions to give us the best car possible for opening night. We anticipate the visit to McColl's to be very valuable for our goal to win the Championship in 2010. The car will head to Creative Edge for Steve Lyons to complete the lettering and make the car look awesome.

The CVM is very close to completion. Ron Easton and his staff have installed the Crate engine. They have a few small things left including set up and scaling. Once that's done the Coupe will head to Carisle Customz Collision for paint, then to Steve Lyons for lettering. I will test the car first at Flamboro on April 17th. Then Chris Brading from MacMaster Pontiac Buick in Orangeville, who supplied the 602 V8, will take the car and store and maintain it for Darryl Melanbacher to drive the first half of the season. I get it back in July and will support the rest of the CVM season by racing the car myself or having other drivers in it. I really want to race the Coupe with the V8, but it will be a while.

The Pennzoil #37, (David is driving the #9 at Delaware), has had the quick change repaired and the rear frame. The car will be a good candidate for a Limited Late Model. We hope to have it ready before Easter and get it painted one color. The car is currently for sale on the Sunset Speedway web site. $4995.00. If we don't sell it, or get a sponsor for the 4 race Limited Late Model mini series, we will keep the car. It ran well in 2009, but is really not competetive for the Delaware Late Models, it would be fine at Flamboro, but the 602 V8 is a less expensive way to go, plus I would love to run Sunset this year and if the opportunity arose, I would be there.

More on our sponsors and crew soon.
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 pm

Postby Gary » Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:03 pm

We're getting closer to having the car done. Next week will be huge for us as we do something never done before by our team...getting it set up by one of the best. We hope to learn a lot more about our car by this set up session, even asking questions about some of the things we've been doing that were common place in the past. Mike knows our goal for a Flamboro title, and with the many small things we've done already to the chassis hoping to shave hundreds of seconds, we're looking at doing enough of them to get us eventually in the 15:3's. We know a few will be there, Jason, Paul, Shane and Jeff and for us to hope to win a Championship we will need to be quick, but even more than that, consistant every race.
We've gone out of the box this year, maybe because of the time we'll have since we won't be running the ragged schedule of two Late Models. One thing is certain, our crew and sponsor are commited to see us take a serious run at dethroning Paul Howse, and we know others mentioned here we'll be doing the same.
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 pm

Postby Gary » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:49 am

2010 race Schedule is up...check the left side of our front page and click on "Schedule".
Gary Posts: 940Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:20 pm

Vintage Dates

Postby Wes Stafford » Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:49 pm

Gary.
Do you know the dates that you will be driving the vintage modified? Any dates that you will be running both? Like to get some video, maybe even in-car, with your permission. Sorry to hear about Gordon. Suffered a minor stroke myself last year. It can be a bit scary. All is fine, now. Wes
Wes Stafford Posts: 32Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 9:09 pm

Postby elp441 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:01 am

Best of luck this year to both you & David, Gary. I'll be looking forward to the weekly race reports as I won't get any racing in this year due to certain work commitments that will have me far from any track.


Cheers!
Ernie

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