Diary Of A Season...2010

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

Post by Gary » Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:06 pm

July 17th......Flamboro Speedway

Race #11

High Lites
* 13 cars
* Paul Howse wins
* Shaw gets blacked for dumping Stewart, going for hat trick
* We get 4th
* Rain in early afternoon chased fans away

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

Winnings
$350

Repairs
None

Crew
Jim, Jason, Rob, Marty, Gord, Marcello

Conclusion
It was a quiet night overall, with nothing too serious developing, unless your Jeff Stewart or Jason Shaw. Jeff was going for the feature win and Jason was going for the hat trick, and neither one made it.
The Mini’s put on another great race and the Thunder Car class saw die hard racer Bobby Mercer grab his first feature win in many moons, in fact ever...congrats Bobby.
Our night was a series of ups and downs, but mostly ups. Here’s how things went for our team.
It rained very hard mid afternoon leading us to consider we’d be watching the Nationwide race in the evening, instead of racing with the Grisdale Late Models. During that down pour we did get to see Trevor Monaghan run in the NASCAR Canadian Tire series at the Toronto Indy. The race was short, only 35 laps, and unfortunately for our friend, he would be sidelined with engine problems.
We headed to the track for 4 PM. Our routine is simple enough, but important in that we make sure we do all the basic steps while setting up our pit area and getting the car ready for tech inspection.
I was hoping to see 17 cars but it was another dismal turn out of 13. Three cars from the week before did not come out. Bill Lassaline, Mike Bentley and the new car #17 Tim Gordon. I raced with Tim’s grandpa George Gordon in the early 70’s in the Hobby club. George always had a beautiful looking car, his last being a Coach #6.
Those 3 being absent would have been disastrous if Bruce Bennett’s cars didn’t show, or Allen MacLean. We’re on the verge of having a 6 car night and when that happens we’re all but done. The track will say “no one has any money to race in this class”. Hope I’m wrong, but too many cars get upset and don’t come back or just can’t make it every week. Maybe a few nights off, like we had in 2007 would be a better schedule. The owners will say “that doesn’t work either”, that’s been their response in the past.
Many of us are very concerned about car count, and I do my best to encourage cars to come out, but it appears to be a losing battle.
If #03 Maginnis, 07 Campbell, 4 Zubrig, 5 Woodside, 17 Gordon, 22 Lassaline, 29 Bentley, 75 TJ Marshall, 86 Forth, 97 Cassidy, all racers who’ve been here this year, came out we’d had 22 cars. Some of the boys absent had issues with their cars and tried to come out but couldn’t make it. Thane Woodside is on holidays in Nova Scotia, so there are valid reasons why some were away. There are a few who have yet to come out, and we have a car sitting on our property that just needs a driveline. So a 24 car field is possible, maybe for the next Grisdale Triple Crown. Meanwhile we have fans to entertain and I’m sure low car counts don’t go over very well with spectators wanting to see good size fields, not to mention the owner who must cringe with poor turnouts in both the pits and stands. Maybe they need to do more to get racers out, give some breaks, offer teams with bad luck a team night free, 5 or 6 back gate passes. Anyway, we had the bakers dozen playing for the crowd.
Jason Shaw won both of his heats, moving him closer to Shawn Chenoweth for the point lead. Paul had a first and fourth, Shawn a 2nd and 3rd and we had a 2nd and 3rd.
Our car was dialled in the week before, I thought it would be a good starting spot for this week. We made some changes trying to get the car better. At the end of our 2nd hot laps the car was pushing very bad, maybe the worst in many years. We made some changes and it was better in the first heat. We finished 2nd behind Paul Howse. After the first race we went over the car and the battery was put on charge. Getting ready for the second heat the car wouldn’t start. Our crew pushed it and it got going. I wasn’t sure, but guessed we had a battery going south. I turned off all the switches. Half way through the second heat the car started missing real bad. It sounded like I was on the chip all the way down the track. I pulled down because Paul was behind me and it was better to give him the higher lane. The harder I pushed the car the sooner it started cutting out. Incredibly we held on to 3rd, but there were only two laps left when the trouble started.
We replaced the battery for the feature.
We lined up 9th for the feature, but #77 Matt Balog and #00 Jim Gillis decided to go scratch. In their heats they took their positions and I let them know I was glad they did. They’re learning to race with the faster cars and going to the back all the time isn’t always a good thing for them. However, it was smart to go scratch in the feature, until they can keep pace with most of the cars. They’re getting closer.
The feature was trouble for us. We started on the inside lane, the bus lane. By the time the outside lane got by we were back to 11th. The cars were doubled up except for Jeff Stewart who got the lead and was a little in front, not a lot because with a small field, it’s not possible to get too far ahead. The race was into lap 7 and I was battling a car for 2 to 3 laps. Dave Baker was racing hard and was the last car in the second pack. Being faster is not the point, you need to be patient, and not get into the car because for whatever reason you’re quicker. Dave was fast on the straight away, I tried to set him up in the turns but could not. Finally I was able to get a good run off turn two and clear him. When I checked out the lead cars they were a full straight ahead, worse than that was lap counter showing 12 gone. Wow, I was almost half the race trying to get back to where I started.
For the next dozen laps, the car was amazing, we got by the #05 of Brad Corcoran. Now in 6th place my focus was on #3 Chris Boschler about 5 car lengths ahead. The leaders were in a pack. Jeff, Jason, Paul, Shawn and Chris. We were gaining, but slowly running out of time. Then on lap 26, coming off two the yellow came out as the #56 spun off turn two. Jason, trying for the hat trick was doing everything he could to get by the speed Stewart. No way Jason would have spun him intentionally, he wants to win the points. We heard after from Jason that Jeff’s spotter said “five to go” and Jeff thought he said “yell—ow” and slowed up causing Shaw to get into the back of the Kubota car, sending it around. That was the unofficial story, sort of hard to believe that Jeff would check up that quick knowing the toughest and fastest cars at Flamboro were almost in his trunk, plus usually you slow down gradually so not to get hit. The official story came from the starter who gave Jason the black flag send the hat-trick bound ace to the rear with 4 to go.
That put us outside of Chris as we doubled up for the restart. Our car wasn’t as good as last week, and on the green I could not stay with #3 on the restart outside. I got in behind and followed him hoping to get by on the inside, but, the last time I did that it cost me huge, but maybe it wouldn’t happen again. Our car was very tight in the middle, not allowing me to get on the gas. I tried to get a good run with two to go but could not. On the last lap going into 3 another line was used to get a better run off four and it worked. Pulling along side Chris on the front chute was exciting but he got the last laugh because it was also the end of the race. Paul Hjowse took the win, his second in a row, so we can stop feeling sorry for him, as well Shawn got second to continue his amazing season. Jason had to work his way back through the pack finishing 7th.
We ended up 4th and though it was a good run, it was another week end gone by without a win in any race. We are the most winless team in the top 4, and developing a feature drought that extends back to July 26th 2008, our 40th Anniversary night.
It’s not for trying, and our luck hasn’t been the best, but overall we’ve had a good car most nights, not so much tonight.
Consistency builds a championship and hopefully we get back to where we were and stay there for a while to give us a shot a winning a few…okay…one, race.
Next week is regular racing and I hope we have more cars out, like 17 to 20 would be good.

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

Post by Gary » Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:06 pm

July 24th......Flamboro Speedway

Race #12

High Lites
* 15 cars
* Heavy rains most of the day, John holds on, starts late, we get it in
* Shawn Chenoweth wins
* We finish 2nd
* Shane Maginnis returns, takes 3rd
* Todd Campbell gets blacked for bad restart
* Good points night for us

Results
1st Heat.......4th
2nd Heat.......2nd
Feature........ 2nd

Winnings
$600

Repairs
Routine check, cosmetic, go over chassis numbers, prepare for Sauble

Crew
Jim, Jason, Rob, Marty, Gordon, Marcello and Jessie

Conclusion
After the races Saturday my crew helped me unload the car, equipment and tires as well as put the car on jack stands. They’ve been doing that all year, a huge appreciation. Last year I’d leave everything in the trailer and do it Sunday, but the boys coming back to unpack has been a blessing for me.
What wasn’t such a blessing was what I found under the car tonight. Besides being covered with mud, and that’s okay because we got to race, I found some minor oil leaks. They were minor in the sense there wasn’t much oil on the garage floor, but it took some time to first find, then fix the culprit.
I did my usual taste test to see if it was engine oil, trans gear oil, or brake fluid…I know, how stupid is that? But, with the oil on the starter, the bottom of the transmission, the top of the bell housing and plug wires I was perplexed, and couldn’t find the source. By tasting it, I could eliminate fluids. This was weird, there were two distinct flavours. The brake fluid was easy, it feels and tastes funny, the other took a bit of searching but I found it to.
With oil dripping from the plug wires, I thought it might be engine oil, but there was no oil leaking from the top. So, maybe the oil was thrown up from the flywheel. I looked closer, and found oil on the bottom of the transmission, and traced it to the extension housing bottom bolt, it wasn’t loose but was leaking. One down, and one more to go.
The transmission leak wasn’t the oil coating the plug wires or starter. That was the funny tasting brake fluid, and adding things up, this detective soon figured it must be the release bearing. The transmission had to come out, and once out I would have a good view inside the bell housing and if it was the release bearing, I’d be able to cap this leak in no time.
I don’t remember the last time I pulled my transmission out of my car. I use to do in the CVM all the time, but I was younger then, in my late 50’s. Oh well, I felt I needed to put my old joints to work.
I did get it out myself, slowly letting it crash to my stomach when I pushed it back on the sub frame cross member, getting it back up would be a different story.
Once out I removed the bearing and sure enough it was leaking at the seal. We had a new part in the trailer. Meanwhile the rear bottom bolt on the back of the transmission was leaking, so all the fluid was drained out, the bolt removed and resealed.
Now the fun part, putting this 200 pound monster back in the car. Maybe they're not quite 200, I think 75, but it seemed like 200. I pushed and grunted, making sounds like an Ardvark in distress, but finally got the transmission slowly up on my stomach, then with more rackett bench pressed it back on the cross member, man what a job. Rob was doing some of the other maintenance and he yelled down “what’s all the noise”? I thought he was going to call Green Peace or something, but now that I had his attention, I needed him to keep the release bearing in place by holding on to the two lines while I put the transmission in place.
Soon we were ready. “Okay, you hold the lines, and I’ll slide the transmission in”. Are you sure? he questioned. “I’m ok” was my reluctant reply. I had done this 100 times, maybe 200 times before. We use to run 25 to 30 nights with the Hobbies, different tracks, requiring us to be changing gears and or transmissions. Back then I was in shape and young, well younger. Now I’m bordering on Jurasic Park and my boys do the work for me, the heavy stuff. But I wanted to do it again, not so much to say I could still do it, but to….okay, so I could say I could still do it.
Lifting the tranny on your back, and sliding it in so the spline of the transmission lines up with the clutch spline, is an operation that demands a one time shot. Sometimes, almost always in my case, the splines don’t quite line up, and you have to turn the end of the transmission to get the input shaft into the clutch. The longer it takes you to make the quick connect, the faster your body deteriorates. If your 30, it’s a minute or so, if your double that, you’re done in 5 seconds.
I lifted it up and Rob held the release bearing like I asked him and while I was holding the trans I was twisting the back of it to line it up. It was amazing that I was into about 30 seconds and still holding the transmission, what wasn’t so amazing was my progress, not good. I had to back out and try again. After my second try, I was done and started to whine a little. David and his boys were working on the #37 when he asked “what are you doing dad”? “Trying to get this stupid transmission in, but it won’t go”. David wanted to help so he asked “did you put the trans in gear”? “What”? “Put it in gear, so once it connects it will slide in”. So I was holding that thing for what seemed like 10 minutes and….”ya you weren’t going anywhere”. David forced me over and he got under and within a few seconds had the transmission in. “I could of got it”. I said.
The rest was a piece of cake, the shifters, drive shaft went together easy.
The rest of the work on the car will be completed on Wednesday night. We finished tonight by hosing down the chassis from all the mud on it, and that was from racing Saturday night….and here is how Saturday went.
First we were lucky to be racing at all. If it was any other promoter but John Casale, they would have cancelled. It rained all day, hard in the mid afternoon. I thought for sure we were done. The last thing on my mind at 4:30 was racing. I called the track to confirm my thoughts and was shocked to hear “Flamboro Speedway, tonight’s races are on. The pit gates will open at 5, and races will start at 7:30”.
Right away we had to get into high gear. We weren’t finished on the car and nothing was loaded, but the good news was we were racing.
We made one set of warm ups and the car was very good.
After hot laps, the rain came, but didn’t last long, but long enough to force the Mini’s and tow vehicles to go on the track and dry it.
Our heats were first. There were 15 Late Models, not bad for a rainy crazy day, and much better than 12 cars. I picked #10 and it put me 5th in my heat. The track was 90% good, but they gave us some hot laps to make sure. I ended up 4th in that race. Shane Maginnis won. It was good to see him and Terry back. Paul got 2nd and Jason 3rd.
Our second heat was better for us. We started 3rd and followed Junior Farley #55 for the entire race. He was strong on the chutes but a little tight in the middle. I didn’t have enough to get him, and Paul was on me but couldn’t get under. That heat went to Junior his first win of a very bad and frustrating season for their team. I was glad for him.
The feature saw all 15 cars start. Todd Campbell was on the pole and led for the first few laps. I noticed our car was struggling with a push in the middle. I could not get on the gas. It took me forever to get by anyone, but the quicker cars were passing me. The first caution I told Jim “I can’t drive this car”. He said “do the best with what you have”. So I adjusted my brake bias to give me more rear and hoped that would get me through the middle better.
The restart was crazy as Todd took off right after the pace track left the track. He was flying off turn four and most of us were not expecting that kind of start.
The next run was a long one. I kept dialing in rear brakes to help us get around. It seemed to be helping, I was also trying different lines to make up for our set up.
Soon another yellow came out. “Wow what a start” said Jim. “No kidding, I’m surprised they didn’t restart it again”. We were referring to Todd’s fast starts entering turn three on the previous caution. If this was last year it would be okay. The first three cars would be single file and the rest doubled up. However, racing or restarting hard, entering three means building a lot of speed to come off turn four, and more than likely a push will develop, and that’s not good for side by side double file restarts. The leader has to maintain his lane coming off the corner. There were 6 laps left. I was in 7th, and not sure if I could pass anymore cars. We went down the back chute, Todd on the inside and Jason Shaw beside him. Once the pace truck left Todd was on the throttle. I thought “wow, here we go again”. Okay, but maybe they never said anything to him, because he did the same thing on the restart. Oh well, I had to concentrate on my own racing and stay with the pack. Coming off four I was determined to not let anyone get down in front of me, but all of those thoughts left immediately as mayhem struck as we exited turn four. Jason was in the wall and coming down into #3 Chris Boschler. Cars were ducking and diving everywhere. I dove to the apron on the front chute and somehow avoided getting hit. The damage to the #3 was extensive, and other cars were damaged as well. Jason was very upset. The red flag came out, and just a second before it did, Jason was headed to turn four aiming at Todd Campbell, but then pulled to infield and stopped for the red.
I assumed either Todd got into Jake or just crowded him so bad that Jason hit the wall. The flag man must have seen it similar because he black flagged Todd, sending him to the back.
That mess moved us from 7th to 2nd. Jim was excited, and normally I would have been to, but our car was not good. Jim thought we had a chance to win. I said we’d be lucky to finish in the top 3. I could not see us passing Howse on a good night on the outside, unless he was asleep, and tonight’s car was no match for Paul, or Shawn Chenoweth who would be starting right behind Paul on the inside.
My goal was to try and bring this “patient” to a top three and then get it into sick bay and fix it for next week. I had plenty of rear brake, so I thought maybe I could get around turn one and two okay and maybe have something for Shawn. Going down the back chute I stayed with Paul and he did a great start not getting on the gas until we were in the middle. We raced hard into turn one and suddenly my car went nuts sideways. I let off the brake thinking it was too much rears and managed to hang on losing a spot to Shawn but able to hold off Brad Corcoran from passing. Flying down the back chute I had Brad on my left and my right hand on the bias quickly turning in more front brake. Coming off turn four we got by Brad and were third and raced into turn one with 5 to go. Then, maybe the shocker of the month, Paul goes spinning around. How could that be? Easy, there was something on the track. Now I knew why I got so crazy loose. It wasn’t my brakes it was the track, something must have been on the track to cause me to get loose and Paul to spin out.
Well now I was outside again, only this time with Shawn. He got a good run off four and I got in behind him. For the first two laps I stayed with him but he slowly pulled ahead, I was losing a lot in the turns.
Finally the race ended and I should have been happy for lucking out a 2nd, but I was a little upset because the car was terrible.
Jim reminded me a few times that though the car was off, we managed to get a good night of points, and he was right.
This week is double points and we need a good strong run. We also need a one piece finish so we can head to Sauble for their 150 Lap “Summer Heat” invitational.
I listened to Shawn after the race and he to admitted the race belonged to either Shaw or Howse and that he to struggled with his car.
This will be a light week, although Monday nights work load was a little high. I’d sooner find the oil leaks now than at the track.
We have a great crew, and for the most part have ran awesome this season. We just need to get back to where we need to be to have a good strong car in our heats and for the feature. I know the boys were happy Saturday and considering we could have lost the night to rain, but ended the night as runner up, I’m very happy as well.
Next week end will be big for us and we’re looking forward to it.

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

Post by Gary » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:06 pm

July 31at.......Flamboro Speedway

Race #13

High Lites
* 16 cars
* Paul Howse Wins
* We get 2nd
* Scary steering issue
* Jason and Shawn mix it up
* Thunder Car count low

Results
Heat.......3rd
Feature...2nd

Winnings
$600

Repairs
Power steering, gears for Sauble, routine check

Crew
Jim, Jason, Rob, Marty, Dave, Gordon

Conclusion
It seems, no matter what the weather is like early in the week, odds are we’re going to have rain by Saturday. That was the scenario this week. The weather Saturday was calling for a great day for most of the week, and then the rains came to mess it up. The good news is that we got to run the races, heats and the ones that paid the drivers.
My night was unexpected to say the least. I planned to run both the CVM and Late Model. Chris Brading from MacMaster Pontiac, who supplied the Crate for our Coupe, had his nephew scheduled to race the car. However he didn’t make it out. I told Chris if I had to change the gears on the Hobby car I was racing it, he agreed. On Friday night I had the diff fluid draining and the axles on the floater pulled out. Saturday morning I was not planning on pulling the 9” set, but time was running out and if I was going to race the 33 Chev, I had to get it done.
I honestly don’t remember the last time I changed the gears on the Coupe, I’m guessing it was 2004, when I was younger. Getting it ready to come out was easy, I remembered that part. Once the gear set was pried loose, I got under the car on my back and slowly lowered it down. The problem with the gears over the transmission is that the gears require you to lower in down full weight, where as the tranny can come down slowly on your body and then be dragged out over your chest and on the ground, that's because it's much longer. I guess I could have tried lifting the gears from the top and lowering it down, but it wasn’t coming out too easy, so I slid under the car like I use to do when I was 35, when I was 45, even 55. For some stupid reason, the gears are heavier now than they use to be. Anyway I got them on the floor without crushing any fingers. Putting the new set in was easier. I got on my back, rolled the gears up on to my chest and then slowly pushed them up in place. The rest was easy after that. Sure is a breeze changing gears in the Late Model.
We got to the track early and I was excited to be racing both cars again.
I told Sharon Yost that possibly someone from Chris Brading’s crew may be racing the car (if Todd or Derrick showed up, I would have let them race it)but more than likely it was going to be me. She said “ we’d love to have you”. After signing in my Late Model, I waited for a while, no one came, then decided to sign in at the CVM trailer, so now I was racing both and my crew were okay with that, making it easier for me by agreeing.
In the first set of Late Model hot laps the car was tight. We were in the ball park but Jim had to make a small change to help us get through the corners better.
Shortly after that set, Sarah came over in her race uniform but looking somewhat dejected. She talked to Jim and told him her engine blew up in the Mini Stock. After my Late Model practice Jim told me. My immediate reaction was “why is she still in her uniform”? But I didn’t say that out loud.
While they worked on the car I got in the Coupe. I ran one set of hot laps and the car felt better than the last time I drove it. I still don’t like the steering at all, but since I’m not running it every week, I find it necessary to just race it the way it is, I don't have time to make it better. If there were no Late Model races, I could do it, but running 2 cars, and the Late Model being priority, meant the Coupe had to run as is. Having said that, the car was fairly quick. We got down to a 16:52, fastest for me ever in that car. Once back in the pits Jim was smiling with the performance of our CVM.
The Late Model was just about ready for another set of hot laps and I was beginning to struggle with a huge dilemma. I felt bad for Sarah. Seeing her standing around in her fire suit and no race car made me sad. The other issue was the me wanting to run my Coupe. The CVM were running their Mid Season Championship and the car was fairly quick. I thought to myself “should I offer her the car”? Of course. However, maybe she wouldn’t be allowed because I already signed it in. I was tore between her situation, no car, and me wanting to race the Mid Season.
Lined up and sitting in the Late Model waiting to go out for practice again I talked to Jim. “hey buddy I got a problem”. “What is it”? he asked. “I really want to race the CVM, but I think I should offer it to Sarah”. “It’s up to you”, he replied.
After the Late Model second set of hot laps (the car was good), I asked Sarah if she would like to drive the Coupe tonight. She said “yes”, not “maybe, or I’m not sure”, because had I heard either one of those answers I would have said “maybe next time”. So, we went to Sharon Yost, told her the deal, she said talk to Dave Trendell. I explained things to Dave and he said yes, noting that it was okay because the procedure was in the rule book and I had not qualified the car yet. It was a done deal, Sarah was happy, and in some weird way, in spite of passing up a chance to race two cars, I was to.
She started to fit herself in the car and I went out for my final hot laps in the Late Model. When we were done, my crew had me in the high 15:4’s and the car felt very good.
The last set of CVM hot laps were cancelled. As soon as Sarah got in the car it started to rain.
It didn't rain very hard, and then it stopped. They sent out the first Late Model heat and we knew it wasn't going to work. The track was wet and our cars would be spinning instantly. While cars were slowly going around Jeff Stewart spun out, so they sent the LM's off. It rained more, enough to cause a long delay, and enough to cancel not only the rest of the hot laps but also one of the Late Model heats. The track was wet, and would need at least 45 minutes to dry it off.
Sarah had only raced a CVM in the Ladies Powder Puff. I told her to get in the car and go out to get some seat time by helping dry off the track.
It was a great opportunity for her to run 30 to 40 laps. The more she ran the more she improved. By the end she was getting into the low 17's, she pushed the car to point of spinning it out going into three. No harm done, she didn't hit the wall, but her heart must have been pounding. Once the track was dried she came off fairly happy, she liked the car.
The Late Models had 16 cars, not a bad turnout. Delaware had 15 the night before, also struggling to get cars out. We had a drivers meeting and Donny said that next week is the final Grisdale race and depending on the turn out for that race, would depend on what happens to the Late Models in 2011 at Flamboro. He went to his next topic but I asked him to clarify what he just said because it was upsetting to me, and I'm sure others heard it as well. I asked "did you say that depending on the car count for next weeks Grisdale race, that those results will determine if we're running here or not next year"? It caused a stir for a while, finally a few other drivers realized what was said and also spoke up. Some weren't paying attention and thought it was a waste of time to ask about it. Donny said it was up to John what goes on next year, but closed by saying that he personally wanted to see Late Models come out. After the meeting I told Donny it wasn't a good thing to say to one of our better turn outs. Threatening drivers like that is a bad deal. Later I went to John and asked him the same question. I also asked him if he was going to call drivers to get them out, and that if he is going to cancel Late Models to let us know soon so we can decide. There was way more to this anyway and thoughts kept coming to me. How many cars is good for next week, 28, 20, 30, what do you need? What happens if the week after we only have 12 or 13? I told John it wasn't a good thing to tell drivers something like that when those who did come should have been thanked.
I went back to Donny and told him the same. Then Donny said he didn't mean to say it like that because he wanted Late Models back in 2011. I suggested he should call the drivers back in again and tell them that.
Sure enough the drivers were called back into the tech garage and Donny told us all that he wanted to make sure we did not take what he said the wrong way. He thanked the drivers for coming out and reassured us there would be Late Models in 2011. During that second meeting the Bennett team wanted to know if Late Models were still running tonight with the track being wet. Jeff spun when the heat went out and must have thought the track should have cancelled the program. Donny shook his head indicating we would be.
Our heats finally got out. I was in a heat with Chenoweth and Bentley. Shawn won it and Mike took second. I could follow close but that was it. Jason Shaw won the other heat.
During the heat I noticed my steering wheel was shaking and I asked my team to check all the steering components right after the race. My wheel was developing a considerable amount of play and I was concerned.
We checked the car over and found the servo was loose at one end. Randy Shaw, Junior and Bruce all looked at it and said it was in the servo itself, but no one had one with them. Bruce said he had one at home.
The wheel moved about 3" before moving the wheels, way too much even for me, but I had two choices, watch the race or drive it the way it was. We went with #2.
The track gave us pre race hot laps. My steering wheel was shaking very bad, only at certain intervals, from low to top speed, about half way down the track. It would start shaking slightly and by half way it was quite wild and then go away at the end and through the corners. I guessed I could work with it, plus we needed to be in this race it was double points.
After the warm up laps I told Jim I was going scratch. "This is very bad and I just need to make sure I can race it like this". He said "no problem, do your best.
The car was good as far as handling was concerned, the shaking was a huge distraction, but otherwise the car ran perfect. We followed the pack staying a little away at the beginning and going faster as the race went on. By lap 9 we were in 6th and a lap later got into 5th place. A fierce battle was going on up front with Shawn and Jason, as well, Paul was trying for many laps to get by Mark Burbridge but was having no success. I was slowly gaining on 3rd and 4th but time was running out.
A caution came out on lap 16. On that restart Shawn and Jason got together going into one. Shawn said Jason drove into him, Jason said Shawn pinched him down. Either way they both had to go to the rear and Jason was in more trouble because he had a flat tire and had to leave the track.
On the restart Paul was inside of Mark, and we were third. I was able to get by Mark and run with Paul. A lap later Jason came on the track and we lapped him, passing him on the front chute. Paul and I ran nose to tail for the final 14 laps. I could stay with him but his car was too smooth to make any attempt to pass.
The night was good for us points wise, we are now only 6 points from second with Paul in second, Jason third and us fourth. Shawn has a 33 point lead on me, and there is no way any of us will catch him if he just runs clean and stays out of trouble. However, it seems he may be coming undone. He went to Jason's pit and yelled at Jake for running into him. There is no way we can gain 33 points by picking up one or two here and there, but if Shawn decides to go crazy, he'll lose it on his own, and that may be the only way he'll lose the championship. Someone on his team needs to calm him down. Apparently the car is legal, he is one of the fastest, seeming tobe quicker than the rest at key times. The championship is his to lose. Shawn is 27 points ahead of 2nd, that's a huge lead. There is one more double points night, and if he had trouble in that show it could hurt him, otherwise he should be home free...except for getting distracted by off track battles with too many teams. Here's some advice..."Shawn, you've had a great year, keep focused on running the way you are, don't let anything take you off your game plan and you will win the title".
Meanwhile the three of us Paul, Jason and I are close together and if anything does happen to the #89, all three of us will pounce on him together. We're not giving up on winning the championship in spite of the fact it seems out of reach.
Sarah meanwhile brought the CVM home in 13th place. She was racing against the best and did a great job. She may get another shot at racing the Coupe later in the year, if not, I'm certain she will get a ride in 2011.

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

Post by Gary » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:06 pm

August 1st.......Sauble Speedway

Race #14

High Lites

* 24 cars, some Limited Lates
* Andrew Gresel wins
* David wins pole as top qulaifier with 2 wins
* We get outside pole with a win and a 3rd
* Invert 9 cars
* We DNF, battery dies
* David DNF broken distributor cap

Results
Heat 1
#36...1st
#37...1st
Heat #2
#36...3rd
#37...1st
Feature
#36...17th DNF
#37...22nd DNF

Winnings
#36....$400
#37....$400

Repairs
Battery, get ready for Grisdale Triple Crown

Crew
Jim, Rob, Troy, Ron, Ken, Linda, Dave, Sean. CJ, Stephanie

Conclusion
Nonie, Shirley, Gehrig and Lauren left for Sauble on Thursday to stay at Tom and Cathy’s cottage. The plan was for the race car to survive Flamboro and then head up after we did some quick maintenance, gears, tires and battery on charge, and drop the CVM back to our house.
Marty, Rob and I were hoping to get away around 11 putting us there around 2 in the morning. We did more than survive, picking up a 2nd in the feature, but the delay from the rain, and wanting to watch Sarah race the CVM put us back further than we expected.
Unfortunately we didn’t leave our place until 12:40 am. Nonie called me about 12:45 asking me how long we’d be because she had a lunch ready for us. When I said we were just leaving, she said that’s okay, because Tom and Cathy hadn’t arrived yet. Man, we still had to go to Bruce Bennett’s to get the steering part, and lunch was ready. Cathy always made us a big lunch after the Sauble races when we ran the CVM or Late Model, Nonie had planned to have a nice snack for all of us. My biggest concern was whether or not we’d be eating before day light.
I think next year, if the car survives like tonight, we head up immediately and do the work the next day.
Anyway we got to Bruce’s by 1:45. He had a servo on the shelf but it was a Sweet not the same as ours. He said to remove the one from his spare Late Model. All of us really appreciated what Bruce did, he went out of his way to help us try to get ready. He said as we left “just get out there and race”. We left about 2:30 with lots of spares, but if we had to use them we’d also have lots of work.
Marty drove up. We were a few miles from Bruce’s and I put on Sirius radio, the NASCAR channel. I just it on and the Nationwide race was starting. I lasted until Mount Forest and fell asleep, Rob was asleep in the back, and as far as we know, Marty never fell asleep.
He got us to the cottage at 4:25, and we still had a some time before day light.
The food was awesome, we hit the sack at about 5:15.
I promised to make breakfast but a tag team effort helped feed 15.
We left for the track at 1pm. The only work we had was in play in the steering. After checking it over again, we could see better in the day light, we decided to pull the servo out. Once out we took it apart, all of us heading into uncharted waters, no one ever took one of these apart, not even Randy Shaw, and he knows most everything there is to know about race car parts. David came over to give us a hand. Rob and I removed the servo, no easy or quick deal. Once out we removed the red caps and found set screws in both ends. It turned out one was loose. We removed the set screw, put some red Loctite on it, tightened it up and the problem was fixed. Wait till Bruce finds out. It was the best way to go so we didn’t have to totally dismantle all of Bruce’s hoses and lines. Once fixed we were ready for hot laps.
We made two sets on older tires getting us into the low 15’s, our best being a 15:08. David, Jason, Dion, Jamie and many others were close to that.
There were 4 drivers from Flamboro. Our team, Jason, Mike Bentley and Dave Baker.
After hot laps we were fairly satisfied with the car and needed a few more laps to tweak it a bit.
The qualifying was done through heats and an invert.
David won both of his heats. We won our first heat and took third in the second.
After the win in our heat we went to tech. Jason Shaw was there ahead of us. I pulled up and stopped and suddenly Jason backed up right into my front left corner. The he sped off and we heard he was disqualified for being too low. We rolled on the pad and the tech man started checking our ride height but we stopped him because I was still in the car. He said “don’t you guys check drivers in the car”. No, we don’t, that’s a Delaware rule. So he took off towards Jason, I was assuming to tell him he was okay. We had to find a level spot and the man kept hitting the weld under the left front corner. Finally we passed, but barely, and that bothered us because we had tons of room at Flamboro, and the tires were about the same size.
We missed tech in the second race, only the top two went through.
After qualifying David was the pole winner and we were outside pole. The invert was nine, but the track determined the number, not David, he didn’t throw the dice, I think he should have, not sure why they didn’t have him determine the invert. That put us 9th and 8th in the field. Also, for a 150 lap race, there doesn’t need to be an invert, but it was okay. Our cars were fast and we were looking forward to having a battle to the end.
Prior to going out in the feature we decided to double check our ground clearances. Rob told us the bad news, we were only 3 3/8th on the left front. “WHAT”, Jim and I said in unison. Even the left rear was too low.
We started doing what we didn’t want to do, jack bolts around, but we had no choice. The car was very close, this was a very frustrating turn of events for our team. The Late Model’s headed on the track for driver introduction. We turned every load bolt, had to, to try to get our ride heights close. It was crazy that sometimes we put a turn in and there was no change to the left front. We wanted about 4 and 3/8th of an inch, like we have a Flamboro. We only needed 4, but I felt we had a top 5 or even top 3 car.
The driver intro was over when we finally pulled out to take scratch for the race.
We had no idea where our car was numbers wise, the ride heights were close now, but whether or not the weight distribution was close or not was a mystery.
The mystery was soon over once the car ran well the first four or five laps. We moved to the top 14 by the first caution. Jason spun coming off four, but then I saw David topped on the track. His rotor in the distributor cap broke finishing for the night.
We ran fairly strong for the first 60 laps avoiding some close calls and getting on both Mike Bentley and Kevin Benish bumpers, following them for a few laps. We were now in the top 10 and the car was tight in the middle. I left the track on lap 19 to have two turns in the right rear to try to help it turn better, maybe a pound out of the left rear would have helped as well.
On lap 65 I noticed the car was hitting the chip hard on the straight away, or at least I thought it was. By lap 69, I knew it wasn’t hitting the chip when we lost all power and ended up coasting to the infield, what a disappointment. The battery was dead, totally, and we just bought this a week ago. The competition yellow came out on lap 75, we were 5 laps down. There was no lucky dog, the pay off for 17th was $400 and I would have gained another $25 to $50 to finish 12th, but would burn off more than that in gas, so we parked it.
It was a good week end in spite of the bad luck. David finally had a good night, but not without bad luck as well.
We had a commitment for a golf tournament on Tuesday in Uxbridge, so making that in one piece, and not having a lot of work to do was a good thing for us, we were happy.
Andrew Gresel won the race hands down in his Ford powered car. He was much faster than the rest, and hopefully any other tracks that allow the Ford crate or modified crates, make them add 100 pounds or more, it’s too much of a difference in power.
Thanks to Tom and Cathy for allowing us all to stay at their very warm and comforting home, it was fun. Also to Bruce for loaning us the parts and trying to help us get ready for Sauble, and of course to my crew who worked hard all night, just to have a new battery take us out. We’ll find out why the battery went dead and if there is a draw taking away the juice we’ll fix it for this week end.

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

Post by Gary » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:06 pm

August 7th.................Flamboro Speedway

Final Race Grisdale Triple Crown

Race #15


High Lites
* 19 cars
* Paul Howse wins
* David gets pole
* We get wrecked
* We finish 5th in G3 mini series
* Shawn Cheoweth wins Grisdale Triple Crown
* Jason and I...no issue

Results
David wins pole…invert 5
We qualify 9th

Feature
#37…..4th
#36…..13th (DNF)

Winnings
#36…..$410
#37…..$600 not enough for 4th in a 75 lap race

Repairs
Front clip, rad, lots of suspension parts

Crew
Jim, Jason, Rob, Troy, Perry, Sarah, Gehrig and Ron

Conclusion
In 42 seasons, the wreck in the feature Saturday night may have been my worst ever. Though slightly stiff and sore, I’m thankful to be okay. That type of crash could have hurt my joints, hands and wrists, but other than some swollen knuckles, my thumb especially, I’m okay. I let go of the steering wheel at just about impact so I would eliminate any chance of hurting my hands or wrist. It was a quick slam for sure, and the fastest I’ve been in the cement ever. To really get an idea of how hard the car hit the wall, a video on face book shows the wreck and once off the wall the car is drastically slowed down, it didn't go far after impact because of how much speed was reduced by the contact with the wall.
Our car definitely wasn’t okay, it’s a mess, but like my thumb it will be better again. Unlike my thumb, it won’t heal itself, plus my thumb will heal for free, the chassis won’t respond to “just take it easy and rest for a few days”, no, the chassis needs serious medical help right away if we’re to have it ready for next week end.
It was a crazy night in many ways but also very good.
Before I do the race report, I want to thank everyone who came over to our car, there were so many who were very gracious, kind and caring towards me and our team. I want to try to remember everyone that made the night a lot easier for us.
First to my crew, Jim, Jason, Rob, Troy, Ron, Gehrig and Sarah for supporting me the way you did and working hard on getting our car fit for the trailer. You worked hard and I appreciate it very much.
There were so many others that came over to help our team. Ken Stenhouse and Linda Dean and their crew were helping us, Dave, Sean, Bill and Matt, all doing something or saying something positive. Allen MacLean was helping us as he always does, as was Dave Watson and others.
I had two nurses, Tara Howse came to me twice, once to make sure I was okay, and the second time to bring me med’s. She was great, even giving me more stuff on the way out of the pits. Oh ya, congrats on the win Paul. Kevin Crowhurst brought me some medicine as well, I thought he should talk to Tara, but he assured me what he was giving me was okay and wouldn’t make me nuts. I wanted to make sure what I was getting wouldn’t make me sleepy, but after getting a good look at my car, sleep might have been a good idea.
Many drivers came to me to offer me their cars for next week. My son David, Kenny Forth, Craig Zubrig, Allen MacLean, Bruce Bennett for Junior Farley and Shawn Chenoweth (just kidding).
It was great that so many drivers came up to me and our team. It was good to know they cared, I always suspected they did, but they proved it more on this night, the night of my worst crash ever.
Jason Shaw came to look at the car and when he saw he was thrown back. “Holy ^%$#” or something like that. I asked Jason “what happened”? “I slowed down, my fault”. That was it, after that I would never stay mad at him, he knew it was a racing deal, but one that shouldn’t have happened. I hit Mark Burbridge in the last Grisdale race and took out half the field. It was a mistake on my part. Though it’s not 100% certain why Jason slowed down on the back chute, what is certain is when you slow down on the outside lane coming off a corner, mayhem is about to brake loose, and it did, for me, for our team. If you get a chance, go on to someone’s face book and see the wreck, it’s a dandy for sure, and the splash of sparks is a spectacle to see. Freeze frame it if possible and see the light show at impact, it looks almost like an explosion.
Here’s what led up to the destiny with the cement wall.
We arrived early, got some good hot laps and were happy to be turning in the 15:4’s. We drew 33 for position on time trials putting us 4th last.
David won the contest with Mark Burbridge, Shawn Chenoweth and Jason Shaw taking the first four spots and the contingency prizes. Everyone including David was wondering what system they were using to keep track of our times. Most of us in the pits had different times, but we were told in the first Grisdale race that only the officials in the tower or front grandstand booth would be timing the cars and their finding were final. No one said anything although we’d like to see a more accurate system, like maybe using the go-kart equipment with transponders on the cars. I know when we won the pole on the first G3, I was shocked, but even on this set of time trials many cars were very close, like within hundreds.
David through the dice landing a 5, good for him, but not for me because I would start 9th.
We had 19 cars, and the track ran a consi. The top 12 in qualifying were locked in, the rest had to run the consi race to determine where they would start. Shane Maginnis was to start pole but elected not to run and take scratch in the feature. He was the 13th fastest qualifier…go figure, he sure wasn’t slow in the feature.
The consi was a tight race with Dave Baker leading from the green right up until the last lap, in fact, up until the final turn. Coming off four he got tagged by Craig Zubrig who was right on his tail. Dave spun wildly and then got slightly hit by Thane Woodside. After the race Dave slightly hit Craig on the helmet, and that cost him his starting spot. Instead of starting 18th in the feature (because he was spun out) he had to go to 19th. The bonus was he was on the inside row. I saw him and Craig talking after the race so I’m guessing they worked things out. Dave asked “hey, what’s your helmet made of”? Craig said “Carbon fiber molly cast, why”. Dave shrugged and I think he said “wow, no wonder that hurt”. Okay, not funny…Dave, no more hitting people that spin you, Craig is a nice guy, from a nice family, like you.
We did a driver out of car introduction. After that we were set to go. Jeff Stewart was on the pole…like does he have a monopoly on the pole or WHAT! He was fastest qualifier and Dave through a 5 putting the Kubota car on the point with Jason outside.
We heard that Jeff made a bet with someone that Jason would spin him out by lap 4, but it never happened and the two ran hard for most of the first half of the race.
We started 9th and had a decent car, a little tight in the middle making it hard to get on the gas. A caution on lap 23 was an opportunity to come in and make one small adjustment, take out air from the left rear.
The car was better but the car that was way better than any other show this season was Todd Campbell. Todd and I passed each other a lot of times, and every time clean. It was amazing. We battled for 6th spot from lap 35 to 55.
Shane was working his way through traffic and my rear quarter panel as he bullied his way to the front. I like Shane, but he was doing some shoving early and during a run where the lap cars must have thought there was a Lucky Dog, he wedged his car between me and Baker as we were lapping him. I’m sure he must have thought I was taking too long to get by, and I was, because I didn’t want to get into anyone…Shane.
Anyhow, he must have done something to his car to make it way better because he was very fast and totally hooked up in the corners, and that’s what makes a car fast, and that he was.
The race was quick and competitive. The top 7 were close with Stewart still leading on lap 54. On the next lap a big full of smoke came out from his car. We heard or thought he blew up, but it was his front hub. Bruce was trying a new style hub with oil in it and a seal let go taking Jeff out of the race. The top dogs were all there. Paul, Shane Jason, Shawn, David, me and Todd made the first seven cars. On the restart Paul took the lead and Shane got into 2nd. Jason was 3rd but was struggling badly. I tried going in deep on the outside and pushed way up, I think I may have hit some oil, maybe from Jeff. I fell to 7th when Todd, my nemesis, got by. Meanwhile Jason was fighting to hold on to 3rd. For the next 3 laps he was on the edge of ‘out of control’. He bounced off the front wall, we saw sparks at the finish line, and a bit of smoke. From where I was it was hard to tell, I only know now from watching the video. Soon Shawn got under him with David right on his tail. We ran down the front chute and Todd had Jason set up to pass inside. I was right on Todd and coming off two did what anyone would do, go outside and get behind the car being passed and at the end of the chute jump in behind the car (Todd) who was passing. I jumped out, and got behind Jason and we started down the back chute for about 3 thousands of a second. Next thing I know I’m on top of him way too soon. He slowed down for some reason. It wasn’t a good deal at this point. I tried diving low but I got into his left rear tire. It was all happening very quick. We we’re bouncing off each other, sort of side ways and my car starts to go up (what’s with all the air this year). I came down, but as soon as I got off Jake our car made a hard fast right towards the wall. I knew I was done. The car was going way too fast to stop, and there was no rabbit in the hat to pull off another wall ride. Just before the car hit the cement, and it hit hard, I let go of the wheel. Once the car hit the wall, it climbed and flew in the air (here we go again) I grabbed the wheel but could hardly hold on. The car slammed back on the track, not going too far and sat there exhausted, me to.
It was a wild ride and not one I care to do ever again.
We were done, and the tough part was I think we possibly had a top 3 in the G3 standings.
I was okay. Once in the pits I didn’t look at the car, I wanted to watch the rest of the race. Nonie gave me a kiss and asked me if I was okay. I said yes, she knew I was lying. I was okay physically, but mentally I was damaged because of the impending costs to fix the car, and I did not want to miss any nights. There were 15 laps left in the race, not enough to totally calm me down or produce full therapy, however my friends would do that later.
The battle up front was fierce with Maginnis all over Paul. Then suddenly the 03 died coming off turn two. David was third and caught up and went outside to pass but Shane got going again and now David was trapped outside and Shawn got in behind Shane and passed David. That’s the way it would end with Todd finishing 5th. Not sure what happened to Shane, did he hit a switch or something, or the wrong one, it was weird for sure. I’ve accidentally shut my car off, but usually under yellow when I have one hand off the wheel and relaxing.
Anyway Paul won the race, good for him, that’s 12 feature wins in a row…almost. Shawn won the G3, congrats to him and his team, he raced hard and got the job done. I thought for sure he may go postal, but he kept it cool, winning this very prestigious event. We ended up 5th in the series. Brad Corcoran took 2nd, Chris Boschler 3rd and Todd Campbell 4th.
Troy, Rob and I worked on the car Sunday, stripping it down. We removed the engine and body panels. The car is now at McColls, the car hospital and will be back by Wednesday. We should be ready for Saturday it’s just the $$$$$$$$$$$$ that will hurt now.
I must get in my car next Saturday and drive it as hard as I ever have, maybe harder. I can’t allow this wreck to play on my mind, if it does, I’m finished racing. There’s always a time when racers meet their match, it can be a lot of things including a hard slam into the wall. I don’t think this was bad enough for me to lose my nerve, but to make sure I know what I have to do.
Thanks again to everyone for helping me and our team, for offering rides and helping me feel better, and of course for giving me medication…love you all.

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

Post by Gary » Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:06 pm

August 14th..............Flamboro Speedway

Race #16

High Lites
*16 cars
*Jeff Stewart wins
*We get wrecked
*Steve Laking debuts new car
*We're out of sight to win the title, and dropping fast for a top 3

Results
*Heat #1…….5th
*Heat #2…….4th
*Feature…….13th (DNF)

Winnings
$180

Repairs
Left front tie rod, toe, wheel, routine check over

Crew
Jim, Jason, Perry, Rob, Marty

Conclusion
A bad crash can change a lot of things. Your pocket book, your points chase hope, your enthusiasm for the sport, but maybe the biggest is your willingness to be aggressive. The lack of aggression usually shows up the very next race. A driver may lose his warrior attitude because he’s afraid of getting in another bad crash for two reasons…a) he’s puck shy…b) the next one will shut him down for the season financially.
It’s so easy after suffering a hard crash to call it a season, or even a career. The money is a big concern for all of us, we don’t make enough for a win to break even on a night when you buy new tires. Most of us live with that and try to budget accordingly. A wreck like the one we had last week was catastrophic, financial being our biggest concern. Being puck shy or losing my nerve was not going to be part of the equation because I’ve been in this position many times. There were times after a roll over or bad crash, I would find myself backing off much sooner, and it had nothing to do with saving money. I wasn’t too interested in pushing my car to the limit and blow an engine and head into the cement a full speed, forwards or backwards. I needed to go at least another car length and for a spell, I just couldn’t do it.
It took a while to realize I was doing that, I attributed it to the car not being right, but really it was me. Finally I faced it and was able to convince myself I am safe in the car and if I’m going to continue racing, I need to get over the fear of high speed crashing, and stop wasting time for my crew, family and myself. The best way to do that is at the next race event. I had to drive the car like nothing happened, once I could do that, my fear was gone. Don’t think for a second, that crashing at high speed is not scary to the driver. It is, but we race again because that’s what we want to do, and the best way to get over any fear is to not think about it. Sometimes easier said than done, but it’s a hurdle a racer has to get over.
We had a very hectic and expensive week, perhaps why I was so upset with what happened in the feature. Here’s the details of our 2nd DNF in as many weeks.
In the morning I asked John Casale if we could get some hot laps alone on the track. He knew how bad the car was and agreed to let us go out around three, as soon as the go-kart club was finished.
We arrived before three and many of our peers were surprised to see us here, with the same car. We got ready for the solo practice session by first double checking the key areas of failure. Throttle, rad hoses, and brakes. During the week we emphasized on making sure all suspension parts were secure, doing a final nut and bolt on Thursday.
My first few laps were to test the throttle especially to make sure it wasn’t binding anywhere. I jammed the pedal to the floor and let off mid way to see the response. As well the brakes were tested each circuit as well as getting a feel for the steering system. After taking about 5 or 6 laps around at low speed I picked it up and was soon back to normal. The car felt good and I was okay, no worry about racing hard.
Once satisfied I left the track and going through the pits saw Tara Howse and stopped opposite the food building and shut the car off. I wanted to thank her for what she did the week before. I returned to my pit and within seconds Tara was there telling us she saw a puddle of something on the ground when I stopped. We opened the hood and it didn’t take long to find the source, the rad was spraying out at the top. We may have found it on our own, but it was a good heads up on Tara’s part to tell us.
We changed the rad and the car was good to go.
I drew #2 for the heats, my best this season. Maybe our luck was changing. After 2 sets of hot laps we were okay with the car, but it did not feel fast. The engine seemed sluggish, and the overall performance wasn’t like I expected.
We were to start outside pole in the first, beside Brad Corcoran. I knew that would be a challenge in itself. I thought picking 2 was good, but really it put us in a more vulnerable spot. I would soon find out that my starting spot would be a non issue. While sitting in the line up the car quit. It restarted again and I said to Jim, “the car just quit, I think I may be out of gas”. We had checked the fuel after warm ups and there was lots of gas, four gallons. Soon after the first stall, it did it again, only this time it would not restart at all. “I’m out of gas guys”. My crew came running with a gas can. Randy Shaw came over and asked if we checked the fuel pick up, and I said yes. In fact two of my crew did it that morning. While they were getting fuel in our heat went out. I tried to start the car but it wouldn’t fire. Randy put fuel in the carb and it started. The track official, Doug stood by us and let the starter know we were coming. Just as I got to the gate the green came out. I got on the track but was a straightaway behind. I finished last other than Mike Bentley did not take a cool down lap and I did get by one car. Steve Laking was out with his new car and won the heat, what a start for him, and we were all glad for him.
Right after the heat the boys checked the fuel level and told me “hey there’s 7 gallons in the tank, it couldn’t have run out of gas”. I asked them to double check the pick up because it must be higher than the fuel in the tank. We put 5 gallons in the tank, used maybe 2 in the race. The four that was in it when we ran out was below the pick up, the fuel line was not at the bottom. Jason took it apart and found it that was the case and fixed it. Jim asked me how the car was and I couldn’t read it proper. I felt it was a little loose in, that’s the only time I don’t go in deep, a loose car on entry is bad, a real loose car on entry is the end. We both agreed the car was flat, so I lowered the jets, especially because of how heavy the air. It seemed to me that our engine was struggling, and the carb was my best guess, plus the water temperature was 185, fairly low for a humid stuffy night.
In the second heat we started last and finished fourth. Jim asked me again how the was and I felt it was a little unstable. We decided to go back to the springs we had on the car a few weeks ago as well, lower the front end a little because it was way too high. We like to run it higher because of our low compression shocks, but we agreed we were too high.
Tonight was memorial night. A great tribute was presented to the many racers who passed on. Ken McIlroy came to our pits and was glad in one sense that tonight would be a recognition for his son, but there was no way that would ever ease his pain. Ken was incredibly strong and drove the Zubrig #4 behind the pace truck for the Thunder Car feature. It was moving for all of us to see, and I can only imagine how difficult for Ken and his family. The Larkin’s had a Mini Stock painted just like the #4 black and orange.
Others were there, the Roper family, Wendy, Jeannie, AJ and Alicia, in remembrance of Doc who passed away this past year. I raced with him for 10 years and he was always one of my favourite competitors. He put back tremendously into this sport that he loved so much. This night is a great honour to all the racers who have died, and I was proud to be part of it, and maybe selfishly wanted to win the feature, because of how important and prestigious it was to all of us.
We started 7th in the feature. There were 16 cars, but Shane Maginnis had fuel cell foam in his carb so he parked it after his heat. The turn out was good and 07, 22, 28, 37,55,75 and 97, cars that have run this year were not out. Flamboro could easily have 20 plus cars per night.
Anyhow, we were on the inside but were not sure how the car was going to handle after the chassis and spring changes. I just wanted it to do something so I could read it. The fact I couldn’t put my finger on it made me think it was loose. A loose car for me is danger and I don’t drive in as hard, but I’m not talking about sideways loose on entry, that’s easy to correct, it’s the subtle loose that only shows up when you go too far, then it’s too late and your around and in the wall. I guessed my car was that kind of loose and we made the changes accordingly.
The good news was our car was fast. It was good on entry and in the middle, just a little loose off on the inside.
Jeff Stewart was on the pole. We were all thinking like Jeff, that he would win. His handicapping is such that he gets to start up front every other week. You go to the back when you win the feature, but with some of the low handicap cars not taking their spots and going to the back, it moves the rest of us up.
The race was quick. We got up to 5th in a hurry. Jeff was leading with Mark Burbridge 2nd, Brad third and Steve Laking 4th. We ran close for a 5 or 6 laps and I got under Steve coming off four. However, just as I did the yellow came out for Paul Howse. He was towed off with what turned out to be a flat tire. Unfortunately for me he got back out…points wise unfortunate.
On the restart I got by Steve and chased the 05 of Corcoran. I got by him on about lap 14 but another yellow came out. The track didn’t see it the way we did and moved the 05 in front of us putting me 4th and outside on the restart. Everyone was going back wards on the outside, and I was included in the category of everyone. Shawn Chenoweth was outside of Jeff but couldn’t get him on the starts, a fair or unfair start. Jeff slowed us down a lot. I was in second gear going into three to stop my car from loading up. The Crate needs momentum and bogs down on a restart if it’s too slow. Jeff did his research and knows that, so he could slow up just enough to make it hard on the 14 Crate motors behind him. I did some research on Jeff and he sells farm equipment, and when the green dropped I thought I was driving a Kubota lawn mower for the first few seconds at least.
On this start I could not pull the 05, he did a great job anticipating the start. I ran in hard but could only stay by him. Soon Laking got by me and coming off four my spotter said car inside, I knew it was Paul and just past the starters stand he came up into my left front wheel. I didn’t come down, it was way too soon to be coming down, maybe we both came together, but I don’t think so. Some racers turn up, or keep coming up when they race down a straightaway, and I think that’s what happened. My left front wheel got hit hard and caused my car to go into a spin and slide towards the turn one wall. I jammed the brakes on as hard as I could and almost had it stopped but the dirt and speedy dry at the top 2 feet of the track allowed the left front wheel to keep going into the wall. It broke the tie rod (I thought it was a flat tire) and my spirit. I was so mad, like madder than I’ve been in a long time. I figured there was no way that should have happened. Both Corcoran and Laking got by me without incident and there was no need for me being hit. Even if I did come down a little, Paul had 20’ of track he could have used to give me room. Anyway he didn’t and I tried to move my car off the wall but it wouldn’t turn. In anger and frustration I decided to try and push the wall down and smoked the tires for a few seconds, hitting the chip in low gear, kinda dumb, but a product of a poor season with no wins and falling out of the points chase.
Once I got the car off the wall I drove down the front chute towards the starter stand and aimed my car at the #8 so he would know that I knew it was him that hit me. I’m sure his team feels he did nothing wrong and it was my fault totally. I understand that, and because almost no one ever owns up to anything they do intentionally or carelessly, once I did that I wanted to get into the pits to change the flat tire. I was over the accident, now I had to get it fixed.
I drove to the pits, and told Jason on his radio, that I needed a left front tire, but if it isn’t flat, we’re done. When I got to the pits Jason motioned the tire wasn’t flat and quickly seen it was a broken tie rod. Now all my crew were upset. All the work this week, a good a car in the feature, our 6th season in Late Models, and we can’t seem to get any brakes. Jim was furious and walked away from all of us for about 30 minutes. It took a few to fix the tie rod, then we loaded and headed home. Jim asked me if I was still mad. “No, I was over it once I got to the pits”. I can’t hold on to that stuff very long, it’s unproductive and if anything sends you backwards.
We were all disappointed. We worked hard over the winter trying to give ourselves a chance at winning a feature and the title. We’ve had 4 seconds, but no wins. Paul has 3, Shawn, Shane and Jeff have 2 and Jason has one. We always back off, don’t slam into others in the corners, give tons of room to racers and miss out on the win. I’m not changing my driving style, but I must admit it’s very frustrating.
Next week is regular racing. We’re running our CVM on Friday night at Delaware. That will be a challenge but I’m looking forward to it.
Flamboro Speedway’s drivers and fans are doing a drive for the local Food Banks. On August 28th we will be giving what we collect to the Flamboro Food Bank and to the Salvation Army. If you want to help let me know here or bring food on the 28th.

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

Post by Gary » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:06 pm

August 20th..................Delaware Speedway

Race #17
CVM
High Lites
* 17 cars
* Steve Lyons wins
* Clutch woes takes us out of being competitive
* Steve Trendell wrecks bad in hot laps

Results
Heat.........DNS
Feature.....8th

Winnings
$180

Repairs
Clutch, collector, change gears, check over

Crew
Marty, Dave and Sherri

Conclusion
I was looking forward to this race for a long time, since it was put on the CVM schedule. As the race grew closer it became more apparent that I could be making the trek on my own. Nonie was heading to Ohio, to Cedar Point, with Shirley and our grand kids, Rob was racing, Marty was booked, Jason was tied up at the ranch, Troy was busy and Jim had family commitments.
I think it may have been the first time in 42 years that I went to the track by myself, alone, single, I was the uniracer. Actually, it wasn’t too bad because I knew once I got to the track I had a lot of friends who would help me if I needed any…and I did, and they did.
I arrived at about 5:15 and all the Hobby cars that were coming, 17, were already there. So, most were either out of work, left work early, on holidays, or just so excited to get in another race, they couldn’t wait to get to the track. After all, the CVM boys have only ran 5 times in 2010, (yes 5 times) and this was my 17th race.
Five races by now upsets me a little, but I really can’t go there. One of the reasons most members were glad I left the CVM was because I wanted to race too many nights. I wanted to compete in a minimum of 20 races, they wanted only 16 (so they said). I always booked 24 so I would be guaranteed to get my 20 races. A 24 race schedule was certain to lose a few races due to attrition through rain outs, giving me 20. They booked 17, then 15, and this year 12, and with rain outs, they’d be lucky to get 10. I don’t get the math, but apparently a 12 race schedule is enough for the majority of drivers in the CVM to be satisfied. Just a warning to guys who like to race. After your final event is over in 2010, you will not race again until May or June of 2011….that’s 6 to 8 months. I think they should have 12 at Flamboro alone, and another 8 on the road, but I would like to see 10 at Flamboro and 8 Gold Cup. I guess I can’t say too much because I don’t race every week with them, but at 5 races in late August, I think I would forget how to race. Anyway, I love the cars, and the club, they just don’t race NEAR enough for me…but I digress.

When I got to the track, Daryl and Eddie came over to give me a hand unloading. I made 2 sets of warm up and in both the car was okay except for the clutch slipping….“except for the clutch slipping”?….that’s a big deal!! I know, but it meant taking the transmission out and I didn’t have any help. I had to race with the handicap from hell, it was however better than watching. Imagine every time hitting the throttle, the car shook and slipped and then finally took off when the clutch made contact. Many would have parked it if they couldn't fix it...normal people, but I chose to wash the clutch with brake clean and hope that would fix it. There was one tragedy in hot laps. Steve Trendell spun coming off four and backed into the inside retaining wall putting him out for the night with severe chassis and suspension damage. Tough brake for him because he's a charger and watching wasn't what he came for either.
After Late Model time trials and Thunder Car heats, our two qualifiers were next to run. I was to line up 3rd behind Ray, like the old days. I was getting ready when Marty came in the pits with Dave and Sherri. What a surprise, I thought I was alone tonight but some troops came and as it worked out, just in time.
I got in the car and as I was doing up my belts Sherri points to the left front wheel and says “something is leaking”. I right away told them I sprayed down the bell and clutch and it was probably residue from that. Marty took a look and said it was brake fluid. No way I thought. The brake pedal on my Coupe has always been better than my Late Model for firm and little travel. I hit the pedal in the car and noted that it was hard and should be okay. Seconds later I pushed on the pedal and it went to the floor. My thoughts at that moment “are you kidding me”!!! Are those brake lines out of my stupid in line engine? “I’m done” was my thoughts. The clutch was suppose to take me out, but in my stubbornness, deciding to run the car with the bad clutch, lady luck thought she’d mess me up another way. “He can’t possibly be stupid enough to race with no brakes…can he”? Before, but not so much now. At first I thought of it as bad luck, but really it was good luck. If Sherri hadn’t seen the fluid leak I would have went on the track and maybe lost my brakes during the race, so it didn’t take me lone to agree…”we got lucky, and Sherri was my angel”.
It took forever to fix the leak. I bought a line from Mike McColl and we put it in but it kept leaking, yet it was tight. It was getting dark, the heats were over and the feature line up was on the board. About that time Dave Stephens came over and asked what the trouble was. Marty and Dave were doing their best to help me get it fixed but I had to get in there myself because time was running out and we needed to improvise immediately. Dave jumped in because he routed the lines when the car was gone over at Ron Eastons in the spring before the season started, and knew the set up. I decided to pull it back apart, remove the new line and then the small brake adapter that allows a steel line on one end and a #4 flex line on the other. I went back to Mikes and got a #3 and #4, but I was sure it was a #4 from when I use to run it, and it was. My Late Model is a #3 and I knew it was different than our Coupe, but I got both just in case someone else changed it since 2004. Ron Easton came by as well but seen we had it under control and warned us to hurry because we were out next. We got the adapter in and once tight it was okay, no more leaks. Marty jumped in the car and Dave bled the brakes. Soon we were ready to go.
I stared last in the feature, although the #27 owned by Rob Clarke and driven by Kevin Janzen wanted to go scratch. There were 16 cars on the grid.
The first few laps were a little dicey. I wanted to go outside but the clutch was slipping too much and when I did I lost everything I gained going in because the car would not go for the first half of the straight. A caution came out when the #00 quit on the back chute. Mitch was pushed off.
On the restart I lost again and fell pretty well to the back. I ran there for at least 10 laps trying to figure how to make the slipping situation work for me. I was 13th with 27 behind, and #00 in the pits. Then on about lap 11 or 12 I was able to run in hard coast, get on the gas easy and jam it coming off the turns. The engine would rev up and about half way down it would catch and go like a rocket. I did that for 8 or so laps and started passing a group of cars, and then caught 2 more cars and passed them. The next car was too far ahead. Soon after I heard this loud droning noise. It was the exhaust. I knew my header collector came off and normally that affects power. I didn’t need any further power handicaps, but still I wanted to race on. I saw the starter put his hand up indicating 5 to go. I was content to finish where I was, but had no clue where because I couldn’t see the leaders.
Bad news struck a few hundred feet, and a few seconds after I saw 5 to go, when the yellow came out, just what I didn’t want. A momentum system was working for me, but now with the cars bunched up, a power loss from the collector falling off, and the clutch slipping I was a sitting duck for the restart. Coming off four I saw #7 Mike Williams outside of me get a good run. I matted the pedal and the slipping was so bad I was hitting the chip just as we were coming off the corner. When the clutch stopped slipping and caught I was able to catch Mike in one, but lost again coming off two. We raced down the back chute, actually I just revved for the first hundred feet, and caught #5 Ian McIntyre half way down. Mike went outside of #5 but as he did Ian went a little high hitting the left front wheel of the #7 and sending Mike bouncing off the back chute wall and then high in turn one. Unlike Late Models, the CVM have no spotter so you always have to be careful when passing high or low. As the #7 slid up I was able to get under him coming off four and stayed there for the next two laps. On the last lap I tried to go outside Ian going into 3 but could not hold on to the car, it pushed up from going in too hard, and he pulled away. As we came off four I was surprised to see Phil Shaw coasting along the inside of the front chute just before the start finish line. We drove around once more and Steve Lyons pulled up to the start finish line to get the checker flag. Phil was hard luck for sure leading until the final corner when something happened to his car. He managed to coast across the line taking a 5th. Jason Keen took 2nd, Daryl Henwood 3rd, John Karley 4th (in a Crate), Shane Stickel #39 was 6th and Ian McIntyre was 7th.
It was a fun night, I still made the best of it, but would have loved to be competitive, maybe next time. After the race Mike Williams came over and asked me if I was shifting in the corners, or coming off the corner. His crew heard the car rev and once it caught it would sound like I shifted. I explained the whole story to Mike.
It wasn't until Saturday that I realized what exactly happened to my clutch. During the week Rob and I pulled the transmission to make sure it was a 168, it wasn’t marked. I use to have my tranny’s colour coded. Once verified, it was reinstalled....t[i:1xub7q8a][b:1xub7q8a]hese cars should have quick change rear ends, especially with the travelling, I bet it would be cheaper given the cost of 9" gears set up[/b:1xub7q8a][/i:1xub7q8a].....We thought it was the same set up as our Late Model, but it’s different. It’s the same transmission, but my release bearing on the Late Model sits on a stud and slides on the trans collar. The CVM transmission has two long studs coming off the nose and the release bearing has to line up with those studs, and it wasn’t. The release bearing was jammed against the clutch face. Had I not had the brake problem, and a few more bodies, I may have at least looked at it, and found the problem. I knew what was wrong when I posted the picture on the front page on our site on Saturday morning, it suddenly came to me as I was writing about the clutch and I knew what happened, or was fairly certain.
It rained most of Saturday so we pulled the transmission out and sure enough, the bearing was jammed. It was an easy fix. Now we’re good, except I don’t get to race again for 2 weeks…can’t wait.
The Flamboro races were rained out. That show is rescheduled for Monday September 6th, a 2:pm start.

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

Post by Gary » Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:06 pm

August 28.................Flamboro Speedway

Race #18

High Lites
*16 cars
*Shawn Chenoweth wins
*We wreck again (13th)
*David finishes 5th

Results
Heat #36…1st
Heat #37…5th

Winnings
#36…$200
#37…$300

Repairs
Everything

Crew
Jim, Jason, Rob, Gordon

Conclusion

August 29th...can't write yet, need a day to get it right

August 30th...still can't just yet...

The 2 old Muppet dudes speak out.

Waldorf...."hey this Gary guy is something else!"

Statler...."you mean he’s almost as old as us"?

Waldorf...." :lol: ….no, no, with slamming the back chute wall".

Statler...."maybe he’s trying to give the owner a hint to widen the track" :lol: .

Waldorf.... :lol: " that’s too funny… ya but in the meantime he’s shortening his race car".

Statler..... :lol: "ah ha ha ha…no kidding. Hey I got a new sponsor idea for him".

Waldorf...."who? A local hospital? :lol:

Statler....." ha ha, no Lepages!!!!…Contact Cement" :lol:

Waldorf...."ha ha ha, that’s perfet…hey is that him coming now? Let’s get behind the wall". :roll:

Statler...."are you crazy, it’s not safe there" :o

Waldorf......:"no kidding. ah ha aha ha ha...let's head to the winners circle......he won't be there" :lol:

I love those guys, just had to do that for relief!!!

Someone asked me if I was having fun. I said wrecking like I have in the past few weeks hasn’t been fun at all, very disappointing. The next response was “if you’re not having fun, maybe it’s time to quit”. That caused a reaction from me. How much truth is in what that person said? A lot. In fact, David has had a terrible season with some very serious wrecks, like me, and spent a lot of money. The difference for him is that he wasn’t running good, his performance was way sub par for his potential, and that was the reason he wasn’t having fun. When you’re not competitive, out of money, and wrecking, there becomes a time when enough is enough. Last night at Sunset David was testing his car for the Open Late Model show on September 12th. He worked hard on his car to get it ready to test, and the track owner was looking forward to seeing the results, which through the tests, he would determine handicapping for the Flamboro cars for his show.
We towed for an hour and a half, talked a little on strategy, unloaded the car, set the tires, David went on the track and crashed on lap 4. The damage to the car was catastrophic in racing terms, severe frame and suspension carnage. A little pretend guy comes out on the track with a parts wagon, a huge cash register and a smile. David is totally disgruntled. Words come from the little man “hey I can fix that for you, Visa, MC, I take it all.”…David responds “no you can’t, I’m done for the year, this isn’t fun anymore”. David’s car is now parked for 2010. I’m sad, I’m sure he is. It’s tough to see a warrior like that not racing, but he can’t do it anymore, and so he has put his car in storage and when the time is right he’ll start working on it for 2011.
That was the 3rd or 4th time that David said he wasn’t having fun in 2010. I’ve never said that. It kinda goes without saying, that wrecking 3 weeks in a row would be anything but fun, but I’ve never said it wasn’t fun…I don’t have to, everyone can see it's not.
I’m also not done, and though disappointed and broke, and frustrated, I’m having fun. Maybe because our car has been very competitive all season is why I hang in there. Maybe it’s just the person I am. I never give up, I don’t quit and showing up week after week is how I got the handle Ironman. I don’t race every week so people will call me Ironman. I try to make every possible race I can, the heat if I crash in warm ups, the feature if I crash in the heat, and next weeks races if we wreck in the feature...that’s why I am the Ironman. Don’t want to come across like that’s a big deal, though in 42 years our team has had 34 seasons with perfect attendance and we've only missed 15 nights since 1969. We’ll make this week end, at least Saturday, but if the wrecking steak continues, like has happened the past 3 Saturdays, we may not be ready for Monday. I could drive different, but you can wreck just as easy whether you’re going for 8th or 1st. The wreck this past Saturday was in a battle for first, here’s how it went down.
After one set of warm ups our car was fast. We started outside pole in our heat beside #49 Mark Burbridge. Mark got the lead and held it for 4 or 5 laps. I was right with him but just couldn’t quite get a run off the turn. Mark has had some rough luck this year and won’t over drive his car. He knows also that I’m not going to run into him (in spite of the one time I did in the second Grisdale race…my mistake). We raced together and finally coming off four I got inside but wasn’t far enough in to claim the lane but going into 3 he didn't come down and I was able to make the pass. It was our second heat win at Flamboro, and third of the year. The car was very fast and we knew we should be strong in the feature.
Between races our crew went over the car and Jim asked me, after filling our gas tank, if we should reset the front bar. Another team said they never reset the bar. They leave it alone, knowing the car will come to them later in the race. I suggested we do what we always do but I was comfortable trying something different knowing it wouldn’t be a big deal. We ended up resetting the bar, like we always do, after the fuel was topped up.
We started 5th in the feature. There’s no doubt it would be a tough race. We were lucky to have the inside lane. Kenny Forth and Mike Bentley got into an early battle and I was able to advance to 3rd. Mike finally made the pass to take the lead. A caution on lap 6 put us inside again. I thought for sure Kenny would drop back on the start but he was amazing outside staying with Mike for a few laps. Coming off two I must have got high and crowded Kenny as we hit slightly on the back chute. Going into three he was right behind me but got hit and slammed hard into the turn four wall. He was furious when he got out of his car. I thought he was mad at me, but I didn’t put him in the wall. He got out of his car and walked down the track and pointed behind me at the #44 of Steve Laking.
The restart was on lap 12. On the green Mike pulled me by a ton and Jim said clear low so I got in behind him. We only went one lap and another yellow came out. This time I made sure I got a good start with him. We did, and coming off four we ran side by side and did that for the next five laps.
Mike and I were having a great run, but for some reason he took me high on the back chute to the point where I had to back out as I was getting into the cement again. I hit the brake easy because of the cars behind me. I didn’t want anyone to get into me. As Mike continued coming up I thought, “Mike what are you doing”? Next thing I’m out of track, can’t go any higher, and now he’s into my left front fender. I checked up, he started to turn in towards the wall but corrected before his car was too far gone. That took a minute to write but less than a second to happen. Mike finally came to his senses, but in the meantime Steve Laking seen the opening as the two cars in front (that’d be Mike and I) slowed enough to allow him to make a move inside. However, we didn’t slow much and were back at it in a second. As Steve flew into turn three, some say he got in the grass, others say he just got on the flat fast and sideways. Mike followed and had to check up quickly or run into the back of the #44. Because Steve was out of control it allowed me to go outside both cars and gain the lead coming off four.
Waldorf.....“don’t forget to tell them what happens next”.
Statler.......“no kidding, this kid's gonna need to install an air bag soon”. :lol:

Though I had the lead, it was not under the best circumstances. I knew cars behind me were out of control in 3 and 4, and we all needed another lap to get back in rhythm. Going into one Jim told me “car inside”. Usually I see the car inside if he’s right up to me, and when I do, I know I’m likely going to get passed. I didn’t see Steve, he was at my rear quarter. I knew if he came barrelling in, I didn’t want to be in his way, so I stayed high. I’ve watched guys race over the years and the excitement gets so intense at the potential of winning a race, all common sense goes out the window. I knew if I could get off turn two and be in front I would get back in a groove in a hurry and maybe hold on to the lead. There were still 8 laps left, this wasn’t the last lap.
Once between turns one and two I got too high, left way too much room, because I didn’t want to get hit or not leave Steve room or a lane. The problem was I got into the speedy dry and got loose. The car was spinning and would need most of the turn to get under control. Unfortunately Steve couldn’t hold his car down, if he did I may have had room to correct. He hit me hard on the left front door and fender area and we immediately locked and headed right for the turn two wall about 70 feet from the entrance. It was over for me. A second later more cars came into the turn and Mark Burbridge slammed my right rear frame banging the fuel cell container in almost 4 inches. The car had to be removed again with a flat bed, the second time in three weeks. This time however, the car almost fell off the truck, I think I was lucky we didn’t get more damage getting it to the pits.
I wasn’t upset with anyone in particular, although I did gesture to Mike that he didn’t leave me any room the lap before, but even then I wasn’t mad.
Our crew, David's team, the Stenhouse crew and others, including our gandson Gehrig, came over to help us get the car fixed so it could be loaded. Jim was furious with what happened and let Steve know when he drove by. I didn’t want to deal with it that way and my crew chief and I got into a disagreement over how it was handled. I understand how crew members can be upset, they just witnessed their car getting wrecked again. I never bad mouth any team, or go through the pits yelling and screaming or threatening anyone. I may not be happy about what happened, and I wasn’t last week, but I can’t get into a big deal with any other team over an accident. Shortly after, a lady from Steve’s team wanted to know who threatened Steve, who told him that next week he’d be getting wrecked. I asked her what’s the difference, who cares, I drive the car, if I say it then worry, otherwise let it go.
The problem at Flamboro is there are too many fast cars in a small tight corral. If there were only a few fast cars, like two, then everyone would spread out and the racing would be totally boring, but it’s far from that. It’s great racing for the fans. They don’t want to see the wrecks, and we can’t have then either, but this coming from a driver who’s wrecked a lot the past month, the racing is very fast and the best it’s been in many many years. We need a wider race track to do what we need to do, run side by side and put on a good show.
The owner told me today that I’ve been running a lot harder in 2010, more aggressive. I agree, I am. My crew has consistently provided me with a great car over the past three seasons, but this year we are faster than ever, and I want to be in the hunt, the same as the other 8 or 9 fast cars. I told John that Flamboro has the best Late Model show in Ontario because of the tight competition. I will continue running and being competitive but not to the point of wrecking anyone. I also will never give a pay back, that’s not me or my team.
After 30 minutes I went and talked to Steve Laking. He was going to come to me but knew things were tense. We didn't talk about the wreck, I just wanted to assure him there was no issue with me. I told him it's too bad but we'll be back next week and this deal won't even be on my mind. Steve thanked me and we shook hands.
I may also be running the CVM this week end. My body is still sore from the super wreck on August 7th and it’s starting to talk to me about taking it easy. It seems about 3 days after these latest episodes I really feel the bones, joints and muscles aching. I guess the answer is to take it easy, but I’m not sure how to be aggressive and take it easy. You either race or you don’t and we come to race. If we win, it’s a bonus, and we’ll enjoy it until the next race. Rob, Marty, Gehrig, Dave and Brian done a lot of work this week and we’ll be ready for Saturday.

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

Post by Gary » Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:06 pm

September 4th.............Flamboro Speedway

Race #19

High Lites
*14 cars
*Chenoweth wins...great race with Jason
*We don’t wreck get 3rd
*Bentley gets DQ for retaliation

Results
Heat 1…….7th
Heat 2…….4th
Feature……3rd

Winnings
$400

Repairs
Body, routines, fix the push

Crew
Jason. Rob, Troy, Ron and Gordon
Jim had to work...guided us through texting...

Conclusion
The rain out on Saturday didn’t help us in the points race, but really, the past few weeks hurt way more, so forget the rain excuse. Getting the show in on Monday was great for me, I needed to get back out on the track as soon as possible. It wasn’t my kind of night, I don’t remember having a push that bad since 1974. The good news is we didn’t wreck, and even pulled off a good finish.
There was some things worth mentioning. The final 7 laps were perhaps the most exciting I’ve witnessed in the past few seasons, and I had a good seat. Shawn and Jason put on a thrilling battle running side by side and giving the (surprisingly decent size) crowd a photo finish. Shawn was declared the winner, and I thought he had it but it was too close to tell. There were at least 4 people scoring and watching that had a better view than I did and they agreed it was the 89. It didn’t matter, except for the $200. Shawn won this points race a month ago and just has to be cool and count the money. It’s funny how much Shawn’s complained about having no money, yet he’s won more than all the rest. He has one more night to go to make the Flamboro Late Model Championship official. It’s been an incredible season. If he’s an NFL football team he went 16 and 0 and won the Super Bowl. Just one more night Shawn, maybe go to church Saturday morning and make sure nothing can possibly distract you. I think most of them are closed…call me.
Another surprise, maybe just as incredible, was how Shawn got the win in the first place. He’s won other races this year when the leader or leaders messed up and he was there to take advantage. This is one of those nights when Shawn had no acceptance speech prepared, because the race winner was going to be Mike Bentley, or Paul Howse. Paul I think could have picked up the win, but only if he had exercised more patience with the young Bentley boy, or waited until lap 29 to rough him up. Paul was quicker. In case everyone has forgotten, most racers that go to the track are not like me. Most of the hot shoes go to win and don’t like finishing out of first. I like first, but with the competition we have, I’m good with a top 3 or on some nights a top 5. We still try to win, but not to the point of spinning or wrecking the car in front. In fact I have a zero tolerance for running into anyone to try and pass. When I do it I usually let them have their spot back, there are times when we're very tight and I try to stay down, and both cars rub, but it's not planned. I hit people in traffic or when things happen, like cars checking up, but not to pass, not to move, nudge, bump, shove, rub, body check or whatever form some use to get by. Paul was all over Mike, all over him. Mike was trying to win his first feature race this year, no doubt taking up some room to do it, but time would have cured that. Paul was trying for the hat-trick, he won both of his qualifying heats earlier in the day. Mike’s had a tough season, and if you know him, he’s a good kid, he’s also potential trouble if you mess with him. If this was the NHL and Paul was chasing a player with the puck, he would need to know how the player will react under certain attempts to stop him, like hooking, slashing or whatever to slow him down. If it's Paul Henderson, you might be okay, if it's Tie Domi your not going to be okay.
Paul had the car to win, he just needed me to coach him for a few laps. “Not yet Paul, keep hounding him, his spotter will be driving him nuts telling him your inside, on his bumper, don’t worry, just stay on him”. That’s what I would have told Paul if I was in the car with him. I think for sure, I would have tapped him on the shoulder and said “stop hitting him, no rubbing or shoving, sure he's taking up too much track, but you don't need to get into him, plus he might get mad...think Tie Domi”. But Paul got into a battle he couldn’t win. I may have tried once more. “Paul, inside his helmet will be like downtown Baghdad, with his spotter yelling and freaking out, and you hitting him every lap. He will be fairly over the edge, wound up, quite nuts, so wait until your coming off four on the last lap, do your hit and run then, take the win and if he hits you going into one after the checker, it don’t matter…you won the race, or finish second and let the track officials know he was not being fair and chopping or blocking, but at least get 2nd place...maybe he wins this one because you couldn't get by”. Second isn't the first loser, it's at times the smartest guy that didn't win.
Unfortunately for both these drivers it ended in a mess. Paul got into Mike getting him sideways coming off two. Everyone in the stands and the space station knew what was going to happen next. Mike drove hard into three and rammed the back of the 8 intentionally. Anyone that didn’t know that was going to happen didn’t know kids were going back to school on Tuesday. It was just so predictable. Paul spun and got hit by Thane Woodside, ending Thane’s night with a broken brake line. Paul got beat up but was able to leave and return in time to finish 7th. Mike? He was disqualified for rough driving, which was true, he rammed Paul in retaliation, and took out an innocent racer #5. But, sometimes I think the track should give some lenience for drivers who are provoked or roughed up and retaliate, send him to the back, not off the track. Anyway, there was more yelling and screaming in the pits. All this with 7 laps to go.
Shawn took over the lead. If I was in his car I’d say “Jason is outside, he’s very fast, you can win, you don’t need no distractions…turn off your radio”. But, to the credit of Shawn and his spotters they raced an amazing side by side dual with Jason that would have had fans on their feet. Jason ran hard outside for the final 7 laps and Shawn gave him lots of room. They never touched each other showing great respect every turn.
Meanwhile we did okay, well, finish wise. Our car is the worst it’s been in 5 season, and I don’t remember having a push like that since the 70’s, in my Hobby days. I almost always take scratch when I’m not sure how my car will be, but in the heat I decided to take my spot, (wrong call) outside pole. The car was so bad I ended up (in 2 laps) where I had planned to start…last. In our 2nd heat the car was a little better but still way off the pace, we took 4th.
To get ready for the feature we used every bit of history and knowledge we had about our car and the situation. Jim was driving truck and adding ideas to help us. We got the numbers where we thought they should be, but I decided to take scratch just in case the car wasn’t right. It would have been so good to have the car we had last week, but that set up was stuck in the cement off turn two.
In the feature I was able to get through traffic and slowly get up to 7th and on the back chute, on about lap 17 Brad Corcoran cut a tire and was slowing in the fast lane. Thane came on him fast and was lapping Jim Gillis at the same time…plus I was on his bumper. Seconds later Thane had to check up for Brad and I was into his rear bumper lifting him high but not wrecking him or anyone else. It was close. The yellow came out and on the restart we found ourselves in 5th. It was lap 18 or 19. On the restart I tried staying with Shawn but couldn’t. The car just pushed too much, not as bad as in the heats, but way too much to be competitive. On lap 23 Mike got into Paul after Paul got into Mike and that put us in 3rd. I was able to hang on to 3rd and have a front row seat of the awesome battle between Shawn and Jason. We were terrible all day but real glad to get the podium finish.
Next week is the last night of points for Flamboro. It looks like Paul Howse will take 2nd in the points, an incredible feat when you consider how much bad luck he had at the beginning of the season. Jason should finish 3rd, but we are mathematically within reach if something happens to Jake. We will hold 4th if we start the feature and Brad Corcoran will take 5th.
If we survive Flamboro, we’re going to Sunset Speedway for a Late Model 75 lapper. That race starts at 3pm on Sunday the 12th.
Just a note of thanks to my crew for working hard to get the car as good as it was. We’ll go over it this week to find out what’s wrong and scale it and hopefully find the set up we had on August 28th.

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

Post by Gary » Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:06 pm

September 11th................Flamboro Speedway

Race #20

High Lites
* 11 cars
* Heats were run'
* Feature this week
* Plus a full show

Results
Heat #1.....3rd
Heat #2.....3rd
Feature......TBA

Winnings

Repairs
??????

Crew
Jason, Rob, Marty and Gordon

Conclusion
I guess you can only wreck a car so many times and eventually it will stop being fast, at least that was the prognosis after Saturday qualifying.'
We ran terrible in the warm ups, but only got one set. I started 6th in the heat and fought a bad push all race. We made some changes to get it right and it was better in the second heat. We picked up another 3rd, and though the car was still tight, it was better than the first heat.
It started to rain during the Mini Stock feature and wouldn't stop. Track management called a meeting to ask our opinion on what we wanted to do. Hey, if you don't like to race too much, don't ask my opinion because I wait all freezing winter to race, and when there's an opportunity I will vote yes.
I suggested to Donny when he asked me, that we should run our feature next week, and then give us a full show after, but make it a non points race, because tonight was the last scheduled points race. After some whinning about racing and threats they wouldn't race the second show, it was agreed by most to run next week and John agreed to give us a second show. A total win-win for us.
Thanks John
After this we were in great shape to head to Sunset for the Sunday show.

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