Diary Of A Season 2012

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

Post by Gary » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:38 pm

Congratulations to both you and David on your fine runs over the weekend. David on his first win at Delaware and you for the third-place finish in the feature at Sunset. Dee and I wish you both good luck in the third leg of the Grisdale series this weekend.

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

Post by Gary » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:06 pm

August 12th..........Flamboro Speedway

Race #16

High Lites
* 22 cars
* Mark Watson wins
* Jason Shaw wins Grisdale Triple Crown
* David gets second....also got spun by Jason in the heat, that was the difference...no penalty for Shaw
* We show up with a limited Limited Late, get 11th

Results
Heat #1.........10th
Heat #2.........10th
Feature.........11th

Winnings
$430

Repairs
none...routine, get ready for Sunset MRE 75 lapper on Wednesday night

Crew
Bob, Jason, Gehrig

Conclusion
We made up our mind that we were going to race the Flamboro race a few weeks ago. I could have run the Coupe at Sunset, which I really wanted to do, but when Adam Lockwood asked me if I would come out. At first I explained that I would have no chance of being competitive, or even keeping up. He asked why, and I told him we had no chance at Sunset either because our car was outdated, we wouldn’t be able to buy tires, and the rule package would kill us. I also told Adam that my commitment to Sunset didn’t allow me to run Flamboro on a weekly basis. When he again said “we’d really like to have you there”, I knew they needed car count and I was prepared to give up the race at Sunset in the CVM and race with the Flamboro Late Models. There was no deal, no promise from Adam, and I didn’t expect one, it was a simple request that I decided to honor.

As it turned out, the CVM got rained out, like every track in Ontario that Saturday. The G3 race already had Sunday as a rain date. The weather was good for Sunday and we got to race…..not sure that’s what you call what I did, but we were there, and here’s what went down.

To explain our dilemma, my reasoning for being a non factor in this race, and also the Flamboro race coming up on August 20th, is simply because of the amount of work it would take to make us competitive, coupled with the amount of time and help we’d have. The work load alone wasn’t over the top, but after we raced at Sunset on August 4th we had only Monday the 6th to prepare the car for the following Saturday Triple Crown. We would also be running our car at the Sunset MRE race on the 15th, so again, we would be limited time and help wise to make major changes to get the car ready for the Wednesday race after racing Sunday. The bottom line isn’t the parts or the work, it’s having enough help to get it done. I had the 604 and could have put it in on the long weekend Monday. Jason Green offered to help, and that motor would have helped. But then we’d need new tires, and the money wasn’t there. Then if we did run the 604, it would have to be removed to race on Wednesday at Sunset, although we could have run it then, but would have had to pull it out on the Thursday or Friday, depending how tired we were, to get ready for regular racing back at Sunset on the 18th.
It’s been mostly Bob and I this season to prepare the car for each weekend. Steve was able to help for a while. Bob was on holidays for the first week of August leaving me and Jason to do the work for Flamboro. That would have been fine if we weren’t committed to the Teen camp just past Brighton from the Tuesday 7th until Friday the 10th, but we were, and that event was a priority.

After camp we did do the maintenance, change the clutch, change the carb and scale the car. But we only had old tires to put on it. Also a 5” ride height, because we would have had to lower our car, and raise the rocker panels or they would be at 3”. We also didn’t really want to mess the car up after having such a good run the week before at Sunset, finishing 3rd. Bob kept reminding me that Flamboro was a non factor for us, and to remember that we were just going to show up and stay out of the way. Once that was clear in my mind, (although I don’t think I still accepted it) we were set to race at the G3. All we’d have to do for Sunset would be to change the tires, the little clutch and carb could stay on the car.

Finances have been very difficult for Nonie and I this year, more so than any other in the past 25 seasons. Some of our early years were also tough, but our overhead wasn’t near as high, partly because we didn’t own a home. The decision to go to Flamboro as a 1994 Late Model was a tough one, but circumstances gave us two decisions, go with a car that would be easy win the Thunder Car feature, or stay home. Since we promised Adam we’d be there, and I would have went regardless to watch David try to win his second Grisdale Triple Crown race, the decision to go became easier as the race got closer and all the circumstances were clear in my mind.

Even understanding what we were going to do wasn’t that easy to go to Flamboro knowing we’d be a “field filler”. We had finished in the top three in the G3 series a few times in the past seven seasons, and consistency was one of our traits. In 2008 we almost won it, and the past two seasons finished 3rd overall. We went this time knowing we had zero chance to be competitive, and we were right, but at the end of the race we made out okay.

Hot laps proved we were off with lap times of 15:98 and 16:01 our best. Those were about 1 second off the fastest cars, meaning in 15 laps we’d be down a lap.

We ran two heat races. I asked to go scratch in both. I wasn’t planning on trying to run a car that was clearly out of its league. Going scratch let me race free and hard as I could and not be in the way or worry about getting wrecked. We finished last in both races and qualified 19th of the 20 cars that started. There were 22 cars, some didn’t make the feature. TJ Marshall crashed in hot laps ending his night, Brennan DiDero blew up and Paul Howse had clutch issues after his second heat.

David meanwhile had a 10 point lead going into the final race event, 11 points over 3rd and 12 over 4th. Brennan DiDero was out of the picture with his engine blown in warm ups. Paul Howse lost a clutch in the second heat putting him in jeopardy, but won the first heat. David started the feature only 3 points up on Jason Shaw. Shaw won the first heat and had a 3rd in the second, David finished 8th in the first and 4th in the second. The controversy came in the first heat, a controversy only to those who are David fans, and he has lots. He was leading his first heat up until lap seven. Coming off turn two Jason got into David, from David blocking or chopping as the track called it (they love making calls against David). Had that been true, and it could have been, David could have blocked coming off two, Jason was much faster, but it still makes you wonder why he couldn’t back out. I think I’ve backed out of situations where I could have spun someone out hundreds of times at Flamboro. I get chopped every race going into three especially, as though the car I’m chasing has no spotter. I back out, try another line to get by without hitting the car in front, and if I can’t I stay behind. If I’m upset because I’m that much faster I can hit on the straightaway to let him know what he did wasn’t cool. If a racer is blocking the starter will give a warning, and if a driver gets the warning from the starter he gives up the right to complain if he gets dumped. Jason dumped David coming off two. David went to the back and Shaw headed their as well, letting the cars behind him go ahead. Jason knew he should have backed out, maybe his fans didn’t, they wouldn’t see it that way, plus it was David and most of them would sooner never see David in a race. Jason, for his credit at least expected to get sent to the back but the track decided to let him keep his spot, calling the accident on David because he blocked Jason…. Unbelievable, but not really for Flamboro.

I like Jason, he is a great racer, but he needs to leave David alone. That’s the third time he’s dumped David for the win, just totally not cool, and at the end of the night he won the series by 3 points, accumulated by the heat infraction, otherwise if he wins that heat clean, and David gets second, David wins the Grisdale Triple Crown.

The feature was not too bad I don’t think in terms of carnage. Jim Sweers blew an engine, so did Trevor Monaghan in Al Bowman’s car. David started 13th and through accidents and attrition got up to second. His car was struggling, lacking power and he would fall back to 8th.

Jason had the lead for much of the early part of the race but got moved back only to work his way back up to 3rd. The real mover of the race was Paul Howse who drove the #39 of Shane Gowan. That was nice of Shane to loan his car to Paul, and what Paul did was amazing. He started 2nd last and got up to 2nd but got caught in a late race wreck when he got squeezed by the leader and then hit by David as the pack checked up. That deal ended the night for Paul.

Mark Watson was tough as always and went on the win the race. Mike Bentley started near the back and made his way up to 2nd in his new car. Both front runners are new McColl cars and they are incredible handling machines. Jason would finish 3rd in this race.
Scott Lyons had a good night winning one of the heat races and finishing 5th in the Grisdale sponsored #52. Scott got into Jamie Cox going into turn three. The lap before he got chopped huge by Paul Howse and he had to brake so hard that he got out of control allowing a few cars to pass him. He was still trying to get the car settled a lap later and got into Jamie, although that could have been a racing deal where Scott could not back out. The two cars slid up the track and Scott slid up on the hood of Jamie’s car, finishing them for the night. Lyons got back out and came back to 5th although there were only 12 cars left by then, and 10 on the lead lap.
We stayed out of trouble all night. Our goal was 14th because it paid $400, and we’d actually make money as long as we didn’t have any trouble. Coming off turn four on lap 40, our car spun wildly about three or four complete 360 spins down the back chute. I said to Bob “who hit me”, because the lap before Bob told me I was 2 car lengths ahead of the car behind us. He answered “no one, something must have broke”. I went in the pits and they checked the rear suspension but everything was in tact. I asked Bob to watch the rear wheels as I pulled away and sure enough we had a broken axle. He said “we’re done”. So I got out of the car and undressed.
By the time I got up to watch the race it was a few laps before Scott slid up on the hood of the #22 APC car. As soon as that wreck happened I ran down to my car wanting to see what was broke on the rear end. I started pulling the rear axle cover off and Bob said “I was just thinking of the same thing”. As soon as the cover came off a one inch piece of the axle fell out, sheared off.

Bob ran through the pits and found that Al Bowman’s car had the same axles and we borrowed it, quickly put it in the car, in fact before I got dressed again. We got back out just after the two cars were separated. We started at the back and at the end of the race finished 11th.

It was okay in the end for us, and now we just need to order an axle (done) and prepare for Sunset. Not much to do, just tires, maintenance and scale the car (that was all done Monday).

David finished 2nd in the G3 and was very disappointed but his issues were his car as well. He need to get it figured out before he returns to Delaware where he’s second in the points in both the regular and Triple Crown series.

We head to Sunset tomorrow afternoon, hoping to be more competitive than we were the last time out. Over the winter we will upgrade our car by a retro-fit by McColl or another car. Not being competitive is driving me nuts, but we’ll chalk 2012 as a learning experience. We all love the track, and still are focused on trying to finish in the top five in the points.

Special thanks to all of our crew, fans and sponsors for their excellent support and encouragement.

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

Post by Gary » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:06 pm

August 15th............Sunset Speedway

Race # 17

High Lites
* 22 cars
* Bentley wins
* Much better race for fans
* We finish 10th
* Qualifying speeds lower than previous race
* Promoter happy with show

Results
Time Trials
#36.......14.635
#37.......14.819

Feature
#36.......10th
#37.......17th

Winnings
#36.......$400
#37.......$275

Repairs
routine, get car back to Saturday night legal, carb, lead etc

Crew
Bob, Ryan, Matt and Paul

Conclusion
We decided this week that we’d do as much as we could to our car to make it better than our previous outing, not the Flamboro race, but the previous MRE show. We took extra time to replace the clutch, add the carb, move led around and get on 10” rims. Our goal was to bring the best piece of racing equipment we could, and that included trying to get as close as we could to 57% left side.
Running the Sunday show at Flamboro, the final Grisdale Triple Crown turned out to be a good thing because our axle broke while we were at the back of the feature on lap 40. Had that happened at Sunset where the racing is very fast and close, we could have been in big trouble. Al Bowman loaned us his axle, so we were able to finish the G3 race, and have his axle for Sunset. We ordered a new one, but would not have it for the Wednesday race.

We bought 3 new tires, and I decided on only one set of hot laps. Perhaps more would have been better, but I only had one set of rims with the offset we wanted, and get this, they were black. The other set would have changed the car too much. I reasoned that since we’d be running good at Sunset the past 5 or 6 weeks, that one set of hot laps would be sufficient, but I think two was needed.
After warm ups were over we prepared the car for time trials. Matt and Ryan worked on tire stagger and Bob taped up the nose. Ryan came with me to the infield. We were the third last car to go out and hoped we’d have a good lap time. I told my crew if I could get in the 14:6’s I would be happy. Last time we were here we turned a discouraging 14:883.

I put a higher chip in our car as well. It’s really impossible to believe anyone at the track. The real proof is how the car runs on the track. Some say they’re hitting 6600 hundred but only have a 583 final. The track does not mandate a chip, not yet anyhow. Then Mike Bentley turns a 14:4 and apparently only turned 5200 RPM, so Mike qualified 2nd fastest 600 RPM below GM’s posting that the car makes max horsepower at 5800 RPM. Maybe it does make more horsepower at 5800, maybe the higher RPM allows the car to carry much more speed, and get off the corner better. It really doesn’t matter what anyone says, because unless the cars are exactly the same, transmission, quick change, etc, every driver has to do whatever it takes to make his car competitive. If the car isn’t tight or loose, running great, but he’s still slow coming off the corners, the natural thing to do would be put in more gear. You can do that at Flamboro because everyone has to run a 6400 chip. Some of the cars hit the chip for three car lengths or more, and if they could go to 6700, they would add more gear, get off the corner better and go in deeper. It would be impossible to say to one driver that he should run a certain gear when there is not chip rule, unless the cars are identical, or at least close.

Sometimes older cars work better with the technology they were built with, even if it is 5 or ten years old, because the parts work together. The springs, shocks, control arms and spindles, the main parts contributing to the steering geometry, make that car work with the rebounds, rates and angles it had when it was fast. Replacing one part may mess that car up completely. The top cars at Sunset in my opinion are the best built cars in Ontario, and sooner or later we do need to update our car, but I really love driving this one, it just needs a major face lift. Or be put out to stud as a show car in 2013.

As I sit on pit row watching the fast cars hitting 14:3’s and 4’s I was hoping our work would put us not far off these cars. Time trials are weird because once the car is set to race trim, most of the lap speeds slow down. My goal was to get a decent lap time, but be able to maintain it throughout the race.

Tom Walters went out before me and turned a 14:5, slower than his last time out. A few months ago he said he could not believe how fast his car was when he had all the weight out of it compared to his Saturday night set up. Maybe the 14:5 was a real time because of the added weight. Tom always runs as hard as he can and would have taken the pole if it was possible. Imagine him winning the pole with all that extra weight, he would have loved it, but it didn’t happen.

It was our turn now and I drove as hard and smooth as I could. Our first lap was a 14:898 and the second was much better hitting a 14:635, putting us 9th fastest. I was real happy with that, as was our crew.

We prepared the car for the feature, getting it fueled and tires staggered. Ryan, Matt and Jason went to the infield with tires and some extra tools. They set up with David’s crew to work with Eddie and the boys.

I was excited about this race. My car felt good in practice and we had a good time trial. There were some very good racers here, and though I have not liked running against the Pro Late Models with the 602, I think we worked very hard to get our car close.
Bob was on the radio as head spotter so we were ready to go. On the green I heard “outside” , and that continued for the first 5 laps. I could not get out from the inside lane. The first yellow came out on lap five.
We lined up on the inside again, 11th, losing 2 spots in that five lap run.

On the green we were bunched and stayed that way for a while. I raced hard with the #09 of Kent Nuhn and #10 Gord Shepherd. I finally got by only to lose the spot a few laps later. Then Jason Parker and I got racing when we caught him as he was having trouble getting off the corner. Bob was awesome letting me know that our car was strong going into the turn. We caught Jason and ran hard in behind him, running like that for a few laps. Then Jason moved up going into three and Bob said “he’s giving you the spot, go by”. Well I tried, but I couldn’t. Every time I hit the gas to come off four or two the car got so loose I could hardly hold on. Then I tried going outside but it was much the same. Soon David caught us and now Jason’s spotter was being tested. I went high, David went low and Jason just kept driving like he had been because we could not get by. Finally after what seemed like 15 laps I started driving in harder on the outside and made the pass and then pulled away. I also caught the #09 of Kent and got by him. I think we were 11th by now.
I checked the score board and seen 46 laps down and was hoping to see some of the front runners to indicate I was catching up but that wasn’t the case. I could see the starter getting out the move over flag but looking behind me every time I went by. Then on lap 50 he was pointing it behind me and I guessed the leaders were coming.

On lap 54 we had our second caution. It was a nice break and an opportunity to have a drink of water.
We restarted 10th beside #27 Mat Box. Mat and I ran side by side for quite awhile, at least 5 laps. Right behind me was #21 Matt Pritko and #10 Gord Shepherd. I raced hard on the outside and going into one the back end came around. I thought I was going to spin out. Bob yelled “hang on to her”. I got the car under control but lost 2 spots to the #21 and #10, putting me 12th again.
Then another yellow came out when #15 Jamie Cox spun out. Jamie had to go scratch and that moved us to 11th.

In the final 15 laps I got by a struggling Jason Shaw and we ended up 10th, but it was a good run and we were turning consistent times in the 14:6’s.

David had a rough run, but most importantly to him was his power. He lost power at Flamboro on Sunday and did some troubleshooting that resulted in him replacing his MSD box. It didn’t take long for him to know he had his power back and he was happy about that, just not his 17th place finish. At least now he can get ready for Delaware Friday where he sits 2nd in the points. We wish him good luck for the rest of the season.

The third round of this MRE mini series was a huge success entertainment wise, compared the first two 75 lap races. The weight penalties put on by Mark Dilley may have been key ingredient to make this show a much more pleasing race for the fans, and most all of the drivers.

The good finish will help us in the MRE points race, and now we prepare for Saturday night regular racing back at Sunset.
We bought a VDL carb for this Saturday and I had it checked by tech before installing it. Turns out it is illegal by the rules so now we have to send it back to Alabama, what a drag that is. Oh well when we get it back hopefully it will help bring us closer to the top runners, we all think HP is hurting us, but there is a lot of truth to the steering ability of the new McColl cars and handling has always out done HP since the beginning.

All in all it was a great night and we had a blast. Special thanks to my crew, Bob, Ryan, Matt and hard working Paul Johnson who torqued wheels and treated us just awesome tonight. Paul is the CEO of Open Doors and loves God and racing........and us.

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

Post by Gary » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:06 pm

August 18th.......Sunset Speedway

Race #18

High Lites
* 16 cars
* Sean Grosman wins
* We get messed up, but car was awesome
* Bad points night for us
* Gehrig has incredible night, very smooth...takes 5th in feature

Results
Late Model
Heat #1.......6th
Heat #2.......DNS
Feature.......12th

Mini Stock
Heat #1.......3rd
Heat #2.......3rd
Feature.......5th

Winnings
$110

Repairs
Prepare for Flamboro Gold Rush

Crew
Bob, Ryan, Matt, Justin, Eric

Conclusion
Great Run Grandson
I would like to start this report off by saying how proud I was of our grandson Gehrig. He had an amazing night of racing smooth, smart and patient. His heat races produced two thirds, but he had the lead in both races. The feature was a different story for Gehrig. He was running 7th or 8th on the high side coming off turn two when some cars got tangled in front of him. He slowed up turned left to get around them and then kept on the gas avoiding a t-bone that would have taken him out of the race for sure. It was a serious crash, the second in just two laps of this race, and both red flags. The two Mustangs of #95 Mike Robinson Jr. and the #78 of Wendy Adams were heavily damaged but both drivers were okay after taking hard front end impacts with the wall.

On the restart Gehrig was able to get the lead for a while and soon the faster cars caught up. He held onto 3rd until mid way then ran fourth, but the entire time running very smooth. At the end of the run he was caught by two more of the faster more experienced drivers but only one got by and he held off a hard battle to get his first top five in a stock car race feature. Great job, it won’t be long before he gets his first heat win, and if he wins a feature look out.

The same could be said for our Late Model team as we have progressed every night out for the past six weeks. We just received our new carb from VDL and I sent it through tech to make sure it was okay and they gave us the thumbs up.

We ran 2 sets of hot laps using our older tires to get an idea of how are car was handling. We were happy with what we had and got ready for the Fan Appreciation autograph session.

We went out on the track with every race team there and had a great time with fans and our crew signing autograph cards and getting to know fans better.

In our first of two heats we started at the back, 8th. It was a tight race like most of the heat races are. It’s very hard to pass on Sunset unless you have a lot more power than the rest. Most cars pull good on the straights, but a higher HP car that handles is going to make those moves. Our hope was that our new carb would help us in the HP department because we had been improving handling wise immensely the past month, understanding our car better and making the right adjustments for the feature races.

We finished 6th in the first heat. The car was a little tight so we made a few minor adjustments to get it better.
During the break between the first and second heat I was asked if I would be able to come over to the stands to sign autographs for the Special Olympic kids who were there and of course I said yes.

In the second heat we were to start pole. We are in a battle with both #03 and #19 for 7th and 6th and needed a good night to close the gap on Dario and Jason. I thought we had a chance in this race to maybe get our 4th win but all of our plans ended as we headed down the back chute to take the white flag when the power steering line broke sending white smoke everywhere and making our car impossible to steer. We haven't had many DNF's from maintenance, but a failed part is going to be tough to see ahead of time. I'm glad we had a spare to fix this potential night ending scenario. As for the race, now instead of getting a chance to win, we were a DNF, just the opposite to what we wanted. The DNF would mean not qualifying, but worse, falling behind in the points chase.

After the second heat Bob, Ryan, Matt and Justin worked on the car, changing the line and getting the car ready for the feature. I went to the grandstands and had a blast signing cards for the Special Olympic kids. Matt came with me and a one point I was so busy the media wanted a picture and Matt took my place, and he loved it.

We started last in the feature, 16 cars were out. Still a decent field, tying the lowest we’ve had all year. Our car was awesome from the start. We were running older tires, but the best of what we had. Our left front tire has over 275 laps on it and yet it still gets us by.

We were making our way through the pack and got up to 9th running hard and side by side with #84 Sean Cronan. We ran that way for quite a few laps. I gave Sean lots of room, I know what it’s like on the outside and don’t want to be crowded myself, so I always try to give lots of room. Doing so means you have to pinch your own car down a little but the respect usually pays dividends.

A yellow came out when Mike Bentley and Tom Walters got together coming off four. The result was Bentley braking a suspension part that ended his night. No love lost their between Mike and Tom.

On this restart we started outside of Sean in 8th spot. Our car was awesome tonight. I told our crew it was great in handling, power and braking. I was very happy with how well our car was performing and excited about our chances of grabbing another top five.

We ran hard into turn one staying right with Sean for the next two laps. I thought we could get him on the outside. We were hitting the chip just barely at the end of the back straight but not on the front. Every time we dove hard into one our car would stick as we battled the tough #84 of Cronan.

Coming off turn two on about lap 22 we were outside and still fighting with a big group of cars when Sean got loose and took us up the back chute. I moved up but he kept coming up forcing me to quickly check up. I thought for sure we were going to get into the wall. As I slowed up Sean wasn’t giving me room and I turned left into his right rear quarter to buy us some space and his car got out of control slightly, all of this heading down the middle of the back chute. Just as we juggled again I got tagged from behind by Taylor Holdaway who was right there but could not check up in time. Our car went flying sides ways into turn three and lucky no one t-boned us.

I was very disappointed because now we had to go to the back again and we just made it up to 7th and looked like we could be in the top 5 or 6 for sure.

We went to the back and Bob, who had been doing a great job spotting, he has all year, let me know that the #84 spotter came over and told him that Sean was sorry for crowding me and apologized. I told Bob to tell him it was okay and that I appreciated him saying that.

With only a few laps left in the feature I tried as hard as I could to get by cars but once the cars at the back started racing side by side we were done. We ended up a disappointing 12th, but can’t wait to get back to Sunset next week.

It is very important for the next four points races for me and our crew to make sure we do everything right, not to make any miscues or forget anything. We still have a chance at a top six in the points, but after our poor run on Saturday 9th and 10th are closing in on us.

After tonight’s run I am convinced of two things, that we can set up our own car to make it competitive, and I think can win a feature as well. That would be incredible for us to win a feature in this hard charging tight field of competitors.

Our next race is the August 20th Gold Rush Shootout at Flamboro. We will be underdogs at that show but it will be a good pay day, hopefully we can have a strong and safe run.

Special thanks to my crew. All but Bob are rookies and they are doing a fantastic job learning our car. Their attitude is what makes the difference and together we will take our car to the winners circle.

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

Post by Gary » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:06 pm

August 20th.............Flamboro Speedway...Gold Rush

Race #19

High Lites
* 28 cars
* Marc Jacobs takes pole but keeps it
* Paul Howse 2nd fastest but keeps it
* Jason Shaw 3rd fastest, goes to rear to try to win $10K
* We improve over G3 race, but still lack power
* We finish 16th ($25 more than if we ran one lap...but we came to race)
* David gets 7th, after 4 pit stops to correct toe

Results
TIme Trials
#36.......20th....16.150
#37.......15th....15.757
Feature
#36......16th
#37......7th

Winnings
$525

Repairs
Cosmetic....6 hours of transfermation to get ready for Barrie...routine maintenance

Crew
Bob, Ryan, Matt, Jason, Paul, Eric, Urban

Conclusion
After our poor performance in the final Grisdale Triple Crown race, we tried to improve in the areas we could. We ran old hard tires in the G3, but thanks to our sponsors we had four new tires. We had 54% left side in the triple crown race, this time we made adjustments to get us to 56.4%. Two big improvements, hopefully getting us to the 15:5’s, so we hoped. However once we got on the track the sad news was the reality that being down at least 50 HP would be something we could not overcome, so as underdogs we had to fight hard mostly just to keep up, although we surely didn’t get any respect from some of the racers or staff.

After warm ups where we turned a lot of 15:7’s we knew we’d be at least half a second off the leaders, meaning that we could be lapped fairly quickly because of starting at the rear. We had to hope we could do well in time trials and get a decent starting spot, but good times were produced usually with good power and handling, we had half covered.

Before the time trials started we had a drivers meeting and while in the tech garage Dave Franks told me to go shake hands with Kenny Wallace. Kenny was standing there and looked at me and said “nice looking fire suit”. Then I headed over to him and Dave took a picture, I think Derek Smith got one as well.

After the meeting I asked Kenny if he would come over and get a picture of him with our crew and he said of course he would. He was incredibly friendly, down to earth and seemed to feel at home with those helping him. He was driving Shane Gowan’s car with his crew chief Kelly Hallett helping and the greatest of all Junior Hanley.

Kenny came over and we had a great chance to meet him and he stayed for a few photo’s and he really liked our team, said we were very professional. It sure would have been good to run as good as we looked. Although when running against all the Pro Late cars, with a real Limited is very tough, and we were the only Limited Late Model in attendance.

Time trials were as expected though we were a long ways from the slowest. We qualified 20th out of 28 cars, putting us 4th in the consi. The format was 16 cars qualified through time trials and 8 would be taken out f the consi and two promoter choice cars.

We started 4th in the consi and soon found ourselves heading back as the faster engines were beating us on the straights. Add to that the fact that no one car run on the outside and we were a sitting duck. I was getting so stressed out not being able to race my car. It was hard for me to get it through my head that I was under powered, far too high, lacking in the most important areas to be competitive at Flamboro. It’s tough as well when I ran nose to nose with all of the hot dogs at Flamboro just two years ago, but clearly not with the car we brought with us this day.

A yellow came out and I was still whining about performance and Bob had to ask me to stop it and focus on trying to qualify. It was incredibly tough for me to do that. I don’t have to win to be happy but I always want to have a chance to win, and in this event having a chance for us was about the same as John Casale being in net for the Leafs and expecting to stop Matt Sundin on a breakaway.

I had to focus no doubt or maybe miss the show. On the restart we were on the inside lane and ran as hard as we could. We made a move coming off two to get under the #98 going down the back chute. For some reason he lost control of his car banged us twice and spinning us out. Unbelievable, now we were last with nine laps to go. I was upset of course, but more so that the 98 did not have to go to the back. One of the corner men told the starter, Chip, that I was hit by the 98 and the answer was that the 98 would get a warning…..WHAT!!!!....a warning for spinning a car out. You get a warning for crowding, take up 2 lanes or for rough driving, not for spinning a car out. For that you get sent to the back. Anyway our troubles were not over as we would soon find out when we caught and tried for several laps to pass Jay Christie from Delaware. Every time I tried to go under him he chopped me and I backed out. Nothing from the starter, not even a warning, like he should have given. Two laps later I finally got under Jay coming off two and by the end of the back chute was side by side going into three. I thought for sure I had him but he dove down forcing me into the grass. Nothing from the starter again. I caught him again and for the 75 or 100 people watching this I got under the #5 and was going to spin him in turn two and backed out when he started coming around. When the checker fell we crossed in 10th spot, not qualified.

Neither the #98 or #5 came over to say a word. No respect at all for our team. Finally a track official came over and let us know that what happened out on the track was wrong and something should have been done but it was over for me. Someone suggested that we protest, but I didn’t want to do that, that’s the starters job not something we should have to do. Maybe he missed the 98 spin, but he has 2 corner men and one of them told him what happened but he didn’t do anything. Surely he must have seen Christie chop me several times in the final few laps but again did nothing.

Bob our crew chief went up to let the track officials know of our discontent and no one seen it, not the tower man, the track manager or the owner. All were busy doing something, no one seen anything.

It was really the point of the deal that upset all of our crew and supporters. One of my crew said “it is clear this track really doesn’t like you or David, they won’t even call the obvious”. But, that’s why we don’t want to come back to Flamboro, no one ever sees anything on the track and when a staff member does, he is silenced or not listened to. The track is too narrow and too dark, and can’t seem to make the right calls consistently. No track is perfect, but at this one we don’t get the respect we should.

We were the second “Promoters Choice”. They picked Jay Christie first, and then us. We started 26th in the feature. The feature was very tough for our team. We raced hard and by lap 43 were down a lap. I was going to park the car because our Sunset set up was in jeopardy but decided to stay out. On lap 65 I asked how many cars were down a lap and there were seven of us, so those were the cars we could gain on. There were 22 cars left on lap 65 and we ran close but with caution. The race had far too many little cautions, mostly single car stuff.

We got spun on lap 75 or so by #33. Bob called clear and 4 seconds later we were hit and spun out in the middle of turn three and four. Drivers and fans who don’t understand or who need to pay more attention should realize that it is easy to run into a car going into the corner. When he is in front of you and you are behind, slow down, don’t bonsai into the corner and use him for a brake. We could have hit Christie 5 times in the heat and we were inside his back quarter when he came down on us. In this incident we were ahead of the #33 and he drove in hard spinning us out. He did have to go scratch for that move. I let him go and fell to the back, doing that dance every caution just to keep out of the way of some high power poor handling cars in front of us.

With 10 laps to go we were running 18th and the leaders came around to lap us again. I moved over and noticed the two cars I was battling with the final two laps had moved down to let the leaders go but stayed down. Once Bob told me to follow the #72 of Jamie Cox who just lapped me I was then able to pass both the #8 and #33 to move and stay in 16th. A small victory but we’d take it considering the tough night it was.

Congrats to Paul Howse and his team for winning the race. To Jason Shaw for going to the rear to try and win the bonus money but falling short by finishing 2nd. Also to the #39 team as Kenny Wallace did an amazing job finishing 3rd.
Perhaps the biggest thumbs up goes to the Pennzoil team who got beat up early in the race and pitted four times to get their car better each time out. It was toed in 3” at one point and they managed to get it close and bring the car home in 7th place.

Special thanks to my crew, sponsors and supporters for coming to this race. I need to rethink the shows I enter for racing sake and try to put us in better races where our smaller engine has a better fighting chance. All in all it was a good night with Kenny Wallace coming by and getting a picture with our team.

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

Post by Gary » Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:06 pm

August 23rd...........Barrie Speedway

Race #20

High Lites
* 20 cars
* Bentley Wins
* 2 Cautions
* We get 7th
* Lots of side by side racing
* Great weather, good crowd

Results
Heat #1.......7th
Heat #2.......3rd
Feature.......7th

Winnings
$500

Repairs
none....go over car for Sunset...routine maintenance

Crew
Ryan, Matt, Paul

Conclusion
This was our 5th race in 11 nights, and with the double header coming up on the 25th and 26th, the Barrie show made for 7 races in less than 2 weeks. Just awesome, but withdrawal will be tough next week.

The last time we came to Barrie was in 2004 in the Coupe. We won the feature that night, and had not been back since. Of all the races we had scheduled in this wild two week span, the Sunset and Barrie race included 5 with two others at Flamboro. Sunset is by far my favourite track, but after last night, I must say I was totally thrilled and pumped with everything about running the Gary Reynolds Memorial.

I left home around 12:30. My crew chief Bob was unable to make this race due to a work commitment. I was still able to have Ryan, Matt and Paul with me, three great men who love racing and me. I picked Paul up in Milton and then we met Ryan at the MacDonald’s at highway 89 and 400. We arrived around 3:45.

Matt got there just before us and we settled in to a parking spot right beside Scott Steckly who was driving the #88 in this race. There were three Canadian Tire NASCAR drivers, Scott, Kerry Micks and Mark Dilley.

We unloaded the car, but not before we got hung up on one of the wires coming down from the trailer door. It was jammed pretty good, but lucky with some help and patience we were able to get it untangled and off the trailer. Amazingly, that would be our worst wreck of the night.

We prepared the car for hot laps, we were good to go from our set up at home. My main goal was to get laps on the track and try to figure out the new design. There were a few firsts for us tonight:
1) Our first time here in a Late Model
2) Our first time on the new track design
3) Our first Limited Late Model Invitational (lots of Pro Late Speicals)
4) My first special race with a rookie spotter, Ryan's first official race to spot
5) The first visit to this track for my crew

Hot laps were much needed because the two corners of this track are so different, to try and run it without some idea would be a disaster. After three good sets of hot laps I was getting the line figured out. Some tips from drivers watching included not going to hard into turn one, and go in as hard as you can in turn three.

I thought we maybe didn’t have enough gear, we ran a 621. I asked the crew to pull the gear out and put in the 648. While they were doing that I went around the pits to various teams asking for 633 gears. I was told not to run the 6:33 because they would be far too high. I had forgot that I was practicing on old tires and my times would be better on new tires, plus I hadn’t made one change on the car from our Sunset Speedway set up.

I decided the 648’s were too much so headed back to the car to find out my speedy crew already had the gears changed. I explained that I may have jumped the gun on gearing and they had no problem changing them back to the 621. Also, Sunset does not mandate a chip, but I wanted to make sure we had one so I put the 6400 chip in to help know if and when we got that high, and if we did, it would be only possible on a good run off two down the back chute. Hitting the chip on the front would mean too much gear.

The only change we made on the car was to raise the track bar a half inch, and that was in anticipation for our heat races. We got ready for the heats, and it was agreed that Matt would look after lap times, he is very good at that, and Ryan would be my head spotter, and Paul would call cautions or comment under the yellow.
Matt also had a scanner, but could not talk.

In the first heat we started last. We barely went a lap when Ernie Fumerton #10 from Sunset spun #10 Gord Shepherd a top Barrie runner. They both went to the back and on the next restart we were on the bottom and Gord got a good run on the outside. We followed but on the inside and going into three two laps later I had Gord set up and dove low, but he came down hard hitting our right front and forcing me to brake hard. I checked up too hard for Ernie who was behind us and got into me sending our car around. I think the starter warned Ernie, like maybe strike three and you’re out, but I really didn’t think that was his fault because I had to brake hard when Gord came down. It happened in the hair-pin turn four, and maybe I needed more ice time with that turn before going in too hard, but it was okay. I’ve raced Gord lots and we never had any issues in the past few years. We did get by one or two cars finishing 7th but that was it.

After that race I had a talk with my spotter Ryan, teaching him the ropes on spotting and what I like to hear and the type of feedback he could give me. He was all set for the second heat to do just that. While I was sitting on pit Ryan and I communicated and he said my mic was distorted. I moved a cable around and then he could hear me. We agreed that I would give him a wave out the window indicating I could hear him okay, but a new problem occurred right off the bat messing up our well planned idea.

Coming off four to take the green I got slammed hard, maybe I came up a little, by Kerry Micks. He hit me so hard it knocked my hand off the steering wheel. By the time I got organized he was in front and we were in second but still not set. I wanted my spotter to tell me all was clear, but he said nothing, at least I could hear nothing. Two laps later going into one I pushed up a bit and Al Inglis #69 got under me. Then I remembered what Mark Dilley said “don’t go into turn one too hard, you’ll push up”, and he was right. Al was beside me and I was wondering why my spotter wasn’t talking to me. We raced down the back chute into three and for a split second I wondered if my ear plug came out. I took my right hand off the steering wheel and felt the connector with my right hand as we closed in on turn three and sure enough the plug was dangling in front of me.

Well two things were certain, I wouldn’t know what was going on behind me, and that would be the last and last time I would drive in that race with one hand. As Al and I entered turn three I stayed high and got a good run off four. We were side by side going into one. It was then I remembered Marks words, “don’t go in too hard”. I didn’t and the car was incredibly hooked up, turning so smooth through the turn. We came off two side by side and again the same deal through four. This turned out to be the most exciting heat race of the night, but would have been a classic if it was for the win. At one point Al was starting to pull away but I drove in extra hard in three, you can do it there, and got a great run off and by turn one I was beside him again. Al was getting tired trying to keep his car down, he gave me tons of room. He wanted his spotter to say clear high, but kept hearing “outside, outside”. Me? I couldn’t hear anything, but as long as we were side by side no one could get by us, and Mark Dilley did catch up but set back and waited to see how long it would take for one of us to fall off so he could gain a spot or two. The trouble for Mark was we wouldn’t be falling off, in fact we ran side by side for 9 laps much to the surprise and joy of our crew and the fans. It was a great race no doubt and gave us a ton of confidence that we had a good car for the feature. As soon as I came off the track I plugged in my ear plug and said “hello”, and Ryan said “there you are, did you hear me, you didn’t wave out the window”. I laughed and said “my ear plug came out”. I headed to the tech garage and went through okay.

We were all excited after that run and decided to do nothing to the car just leave it alone. We were very grateful that the team of Robin Jongel would help us in the infield. Ryan would stay outside the track and spot, and both Matt and Paul would go inside to do any needed repairs and add gas at lap 50, the competition yellow.

We qualified 10th with our 7th and 3rd. After driver introduction we got rolling. The top 8 cars signed and threw frisbee’s into the stands. There were lots of fans in attendance. It was a great day, very hot, making it a nice warm night for the fans, real hot in the car, but a great day overall and a field of 21 cars.

Barrie Speedway is very nostalgic to me. The covered main grand stand, back straight grand stands, and seating all around as well as signs behind the grandstands gave a very pleasing atmosphere to race in. The track is well lit and just beaming with excitement just by it’s appeal. I really liked being in this race.

We started beside one of the top Barrie runners Keith McLeod #19. He has won 7 features this year already. Keith told me on their regular nights at Barrie they do not run heats but two 30 lap features. The finish of the feature will be the line up (reversed) for next week’s feature. Different but a good deal for sure.

On the green we ran side by side for quite a few laps. There was one caution early, and another around lap 12. On the second one #28 Robin Jongen got sent around. We were able to clear that no problem.

On the restart we were in 8th and within a few laps started a long battle with #03 from Sunset Dario Capirchio. Dario and I ran side by side forever it seemed. We never touched and eventually we made the pass. Then it was Scott Steckly #88, him and I battled for a while, but racing battles were going on all over the track.

Near the end of the first 50 Ryan made a few calls that I didn’t understand and I missed an opportunity to get low. The result was us dropping from 7th to 11th. As soon as the yellow came out we discussed it and prepared for the second half of the 100 lap race.

Paul and Matt added gas to the car and gave me a much appreciated bottle of water. Once they were done we were ready to go. The car in front of us, #49 Frank Davey had three guys working on his car, but they were not allowed to have three so once the pit stop was done, the officials sent Frank scratch putting us back in 10th, where we started in the beginning.

The final 50 laps went non stop and it was a gem for us. We fought hard again with some very classy racers gaining a few spots moving us to 7th. We were closing in on both #14 Thayne Hallyburton and #28 Robin, but needed more time to make a move. Thayne was real loose off four especially but was fast on the back chute. The three of us bunched up with about 12 laps to go as we tried to lap #03 Capirchio. Robin got by, but Thayne just couldn’t get him. We were right there as well but couldn’t do anything because they were side by side for at least four or five laps.

With three laps to go, Ryan, who had been doing a great job spotting in the second half, let me know the leaders were coming. If there is one thing I hate, it’s been lapped, and worse, in a good car. So I decided to drop low and give the leaders room outside, but I knew they weren’t going anywhere because Dario and Thayne were still fighting it out. The starter was frantically waving them to move over. I backed off to let Thayne down, but he was still trying to make the pass. With one to go Bentley was on his tail and Baker right behind. What a mess this would have been if there was 5 or 6 to go. The next lap we got the white and incredibly when the checker fell everyone was okay.

I was dejected because we got lapped, although we had a great run. I didn’t dissect properly until half hour after the race. The leaders were in open track and we were in traffic, so eventually they would catch us. Once I rationalized that I was okay, but one thing is certain, all racers need to get new cars to keep up with Bentley. He is untouchable with his chassis, engine, add-on’s and set up. Mike has dominated everything this year, just having an amazing season. Dwayne Baker took second and he has won 12 features in 2012, so his year has been awesome as well.

The Quaker State team did a great job together this night. No damage, not even a decal was torn. We have little to do on our car to prepare for the double header at Sunset and that is a good thing because getting home at almost 3:am meant starting to work on the car would be later rather than early.

Special thanks to my crew Ryan, Matt and Paul, they did a great job putting a fast car on the track. Also, hats off to all the drivers for racing each other clean and with respect. The Gary Reynolds Memorial was a classic event with some very classy racers, crew, staff and fans making it a memorable night for us.

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

Post by Gary » Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:06 pm

August 25th............Sunset Speedway

Race #21

High Lites
* 18 cars
* Taylor Holdway wins
* We have rough night, 9th in feature
* Gehrig has strong run again

Results
Late Model
Heat #1.......5th
Heat #2.......DNF
Feature.......9th

Mini Stock
Heat #1......6th
Heat #2......5th
Feature......6th

Winnings
$175

Repairs
Front bumper, nose, body, prepare for MRE race

Crew
Bob, Matt, Jason and Big Jim

Conclusion
Bob and I headed for Sunset around 1pm. We had a smooth drive, talked about tons of stuff and both agreed, though the drive is longer, time really goes by fast when you talk to each other about different things.

The plan was to run our Barrie tires because they only had 100 laps on them and I felt the faster turn entries at Sunset would bring them back to life.

It didn’t really work out that way. We struggled through 2 sets of hot laps and now had to figure what our game plan would be for the heat races.

In the first heat we were starting 3rd. It was very important for us to get a good run in this race because we were falling further away from 7th and 6th in points (Dario Capirchio and Jason Witty).

Our car was terrible in the first race with a huge push, making it hard for me to be competitive. Perhaps had we been outside we could have done better, but being on the inside made things worse. By the time I did get out we were back to 5th where we finished.

Jim Hulzinga came to give us a hand; he would also take Bob back to Waterdown because Bob wasn’t staying over for the Sunday MRE race.

Jim suggested some changes that we agreed on, however we felt the tires may not be any good, but the situation for me didn’t allow the purchase of tires. We had enough coupons, just not enough funds, at least not to buy three.
We decided to run status quo for the second race where we would be at the back. The car was still not right. Bentley was moving through traffic but I could not stay with him. The car was pushing still. Perhaps now, more than in the first race, the tires were a factor.

Heading into turn one I caught Billy Zardo and tried going under him but he cut down hard slamming our right front bumper and tire. The impact drove the bumper over 8 inches and cut the right front tire. Now we were a DNF, not very helpful for trying to qualify good, and certainly no good for making up points. Last week we finished 12th in the feature and that hurt us, and now our heat races produced little of anything points wise.

We got the tire changed and made it back to the pits. The tow truck brought us just outside the track where Matt and Jason changed the tire.

We checked the car over to see if there was any suspension damage but all was good. While we were setting the toe, Billy came over and apologized. That was good and it was over, though for me it was over once I got out of my car and relaxed a minute. Billy usually drives hard when he has to and I know he didn’t mean to hit us that hard, or even at all.

We had to mess with the hood to make it fit, got all the other stuff done, pre race checks, and then Jim asked me about tires. I made a quick decision at the last second to get tires because we just lost a right front, and our bench strength was depleted, almost as bad as the Blue Jays.
New tires were installed and we tried sizing them to get the stagger we needed.

We started 18th and I was somewhat happy about that, but was still concerned about the handling. Hopefully tires would help us.

As the race progressed we were doing not too bad. That’s not good English, it may be a double negative, I don’t know, but my spotter Bob and Jim could both see the car was still tight.

A caution came out on lap 5 and I talked to my team. I headed into the pits, there were only a few cars behind me, and I asked for the tire pressure to be checked on the left rear. I was told it was 20 pounds and I knew we went out with less than 15. We agreed to lower the left rear tire to help the car turn better.

I got back on the track and right away noticed a difference. The racing tonight was very tight, close and fast. A lot of dicing was going on. We were gaining a little each lap but not enough to get where I wanted. I was hoping for a top 5 feature finish.

A huge wreck on the front chute brought out the red as cars got mixed up. Most everybody got through it not too bad except for Mike Bentley who was beat up. So was Sean Grosman and a few others.
On the restart we were still close and fighting for spots but it was so bunched up we really couldn’t do much. When the checker fell we crossed in 9th place.

After the race the boys asked me how the car was and I let them know it was still tight, a little, but too much for me to be competitive. We knew starting at the back in this field is very tough and next week we would need to make sure we qualify where we’re supposed to.

Bob and Jim stayed around after the races were over helping Matt, Jason and I get the body fixed. We removed the front nose and porta-powered the bumper back in place. Some supports bars cracked so we knew we’d have to get them welded on Sunday.

Fans came over for autographs after the races so though we were busy, it was still a fun night.

Matt and I worked on the front bumper getting it riveted back on and the hood fitted. We were lucky to have one of the Zardo crew members help us. Wayne was a big help to Matt and I and at 1:30am we called it a night, or a morning. We knew Sunday morning we would have to do the other work needed to get the car set up for the MRE 75 lap race. Matt and Cheryl and their family were staying out in the camping area and I was going to sleep again in my trailer.

The night didn’t go all that well for me. The wind was blowing hard. I could hear weird noises all night. I left the back door of the trailer down so I could see my car, and it was covered with the car cover. I would have been better off sleeping inside the car. The wind kept blowing the trailing, making spooky creaking noises, the fans flapping were driving me nuts and then at about 2:15 am, some wild crazy dog started to make blood curling screams that reminded me of horror movies I watched as a kid. I wasn’t doing very good and knew I needed a good night sleep for the big race on Sunday.

I finally got snoozing about 2:30 when I heard voices. I would have been better off going back to Waterdown and coming up in the morning. The voices got louder as the people came closer. Then they started to swear and fight among themselves. I thought about the Vancouver riots and thought if these nut jobs were drunk they may want to come into my open trailer. I was freezing, uncomfortable on the air mattress that was about 3’ wide and a foot tall. It was like trying to sleep on a beach ball. If I moved I would almost tip over. Wow, Gary the camper was not doing very good. Finally around 3:am the voices diminished and I fell asleep but woke on my own for good at about 8:30am. I was actually glad I was up. Now I wasn’t cold, nervous or shaking. Surely the MRE race was going to be easier than this ordeal.

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

Post by Gary » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:06 pm

August 26th ..........[u:]Sunset Speedway[/u]

Race #22

Final MRE Race

High Lites
*24 cars
* Brandon Watson wins
* Tom Walters wins series
* We are 6th fastest
* We DNF...but had a great run
* Controversy with Walters and Bentley...does not make any sense
* Gehrig has another smooth run

Results
Times Trials...6th....14:734
Feature................21st

Mini Stock
Heat #1.......6th
Heat #2.......8th
Feature......9th

Winnings
$275

[Repairs
Complete going over, routine maintenance, fix cutting out

Crew
Ryan, Matt, Jason

Conclusion
Stayed overnight at Sunset, in my trailer, back door open. I don’t think I will do that again. There are far too many goofy and scary noises at night, plus I was cold and might as well have been sleeping on a padded 45 gallon drum, it just didn’t work.

Got up and started on my car around 10:30, getting some small things done before Ryan and Matt came to help. Jason Green helped me and so did J.J. I borrowed a carb spacer from Brandon Watson. I had ordered one from Grisdale but didn’t have time to pick it up. The carb went on okay, lots of room for the hood to fit. Then we worked on the led, removing what I thought was needed to lighten the car and get as close as we could to the left side percent. Once all the led was bolted in and the carb on, we still had some welding to do on the car. We borrowed the Zardo’s welder, but couldn’t get it to work properly. I wanted to head to the tech garage to see our numbers. It was mandatory for us to go in any case, so we were accomplishing a few things, like stopping and getting a few bars welded that were cracked the night before.

Ryan and Matt arrived just before we headed to tech. We still needed to size our tires, and they looked after that. Once that was done, we headed for the welder and then tech.

The car was under weight, but over on left side percent. We decided to go back to our pit and reposition the lead. It was out only by a few percent .3, so I calculated what would have to be moved to make it legal.

They announced final warm ups for Late Models and so we got ready for practice. The car was okay, consistently in the 14:9’s. It was very hot out and most cars were that or slower, not many were much faster plus it was our first set on the new tires.

We sized the tires for time trials and I decided also to drop the gears to 5:88. I had drawn number 1 for time trial position but we still had lots of time because we were going out after 2 Mini and 2 Thunder Stock heats.
[u:8c9ixdsx][i:8c9ixdsx][b:8c9ixdsx]Near Disaster[/b:8c9ixdsx][/i:8c9ixdsx][/u:8c9ixdsx]
When the final TS heat was going out they asked us to line up in the pits near the track exit, and once the TS heat was done we could head out. A few cars were already lined up when I headed down the pits. I wasn’t buckled up and started to pass the cars that were sitting in line. I looked to my left, towards the track just for a second, trying to find the line up girl, who usually tells us where to park. Before I looked back there was a tremendous crash, that took my hands off the steering wheel. I was shocked to see that I just drove into the side of #10 Gord Shepherd. I could not believe what happened. I stopped my car immediately and got out of my car and went to look to see what happened. I expected to see the right front wheel bent, or the fender drove in or something like that, it was a fairly heavy jolt.

As I was looking at my car, Gord yelled from inside his car that he was sorry, he didn’t see me coming. I didn’t know where I hit him, I thought wheel to wheel, but it was on his driver’s door, and it was caved in to the support bar. His crew chief came over and looked at my car, apologizing as well. My crew was there, Jason and Matt. Ryan was heading up to the stands. Jason Shaw got out of his car and was shaking his head expecting to see my car beat up a little. Gord’s crew member offered to check the toe and I agreed. Meanwhile Gord was really feeling bad about the whole deal but I assured him it was cool with me. Gord’s crew member got the tools and checked the toe with Jason on the infield line up grid and it was fine. I was amazed that our car wasn't damaged.

As I was getting ready to go out, Jason said to me “Gord really feels bad about this deal”. I said “go over now and tell him I’m okay with it, not to worry”. So Jason headed to Gord’s car and let him know not to worry. Gord is a great guy, strong runner but like most of the people we compete against wouldn't want to cause any damage or injury to anyone ever. I did appreciate him caring about what happened.

We were the first car out and turned a 14:734 on our 2nd lap. We stayed on the board for the longest time. There were many cars including Jason Shaw, Jamie Cox, Mike Bentley, Gord Shepherd, Jason Parker, Kent Nuhn and many others that may have beat us earlier. We surprised a lot of teams with our run. We got knocked off the top 5 board when the last car, Dwayne Baker turned a few hundred’s quicker. I was okay with that because we got 6th our best in the four races, and our car was fast. Tom Walters was the quickest with a 14:550. Mike Bentley was leaking fluid and got disqualified, but both his times were slower than our regardless.

We headed back to the pits and I asked for the gears to be lowered again. In that 2 lap run we hit the chip, 6400, and I knew the car would be much faster by race time because of a better set up and it was getting colder. We also worked on the stagger, filled the gas tank and put the battery on charge. We were ready for the race, and good that we were because Tom threw an 8 with the dice and that meant we would start 3rd on the invert.

Ryan would be head spotter, his second time doing this job. It's not easy being a spotter, not easy for the driver or the one doing it. Communication between the driver and spotter are crucial, and when running in heavy traffic, what I expected would happen, makes things even more intense. Ryan's debut was Barrie Speedway and that also was intense, so he did get a huge learning lesson from that show.

Matt and Jason went to the infield as did Gehirg, with spare tires, some extra tools just in case we needed any adjustments.

We were sitting in the line up area for at least 25 to 30 minutes waiting for the Thunder Stock feature to end. There was a huge red in that race as well as many yellows. I had sun glasses with me, but by the time we were ready to pull out on the track it was dusk, the sun was behind the trees and I wouldn't need them. There isn't usually a place to put the sun glasses but I tucked in behind the window net and the door. There was a ledge that would hold them and hopefully not scratch them, for sure they wouldn't gret out or fall down.

Jamie Cox #22 Delaware car was pole with Jason Shaw outside. Dwayne Baker was beside me and Steve Laking, Chris Morrow, Brandon Watons and Tom Walters making up the next 2 rows. The field of competitors was amazing, a real all-star line up from many tracks.

On the green Jason tried to pull away but Jamie stayed right with him. We ran beside Dwayne for the first few laps until lap two when the first yellow came out. On this restart we were 4th on the outside of Steve Laking. Incredibly for the next 22 laps we ran side by side, our car was perfect. We were right on the tail of the leaders and slowly the front four pulled ahead. Chris Morrow was surprised at how well our car ran, as were many other racers we battled with. I wasn't suprised to be running this good becuase we'd done it many times at Flamboro and at Sunset over the past two seasons. Our car was very smooth off each corner, and because of lowering the gears we weren't loose off, and could go in fairly deep.

At some points during this run I thought we may get by the #22 of Jamie, as we pulled up to his right side a few times. Another caution came out on lap 24 and now we were on the inside. Things started getting tough for us over the next ten laps because of being on the inside, our car was loose off, and side ways far too long. I was forced to slow up getting on the throttle so hard, but doing that allowed cars to get a better run on the outside.

By lap 37 we were 5th, losoing a few spots to cars on the outside. By lap 45 we were 7th and finally got to the outside to stop the bleeding (cars pinching us down & getting by). I needed to settle in now, but there were still some very fast cars behind and getting into a steady routines was important. Unfortunately it would end a few laps later when our car lost power coming off turn four. I slowed down on the front chute, staying down out of the way. As I was moving along slowly the yellow came out for a spun car in turn two. I quickly headed to pit lane trying to think what it could be. I asked my crew "did you fill the tank"? Yes we did was the response. "Okay, take off the hood and check all the plug wires". They did and gave me the thumbs up that all plug wires were attached properly.

I headed back out again hoping whatever it was would go away....I know, that usually doesn't happen. I last one lap and came back off conceding we were done for the day, but congratulated my crew on a an excellent effort. While on pit row another yellow came out and we jacked up the left side, removed the left rear wheel and checked the battery hoping it was loose, but not the case. Finally we pulled off the breather to see if there was anything out of place but all looked fine. The car was running, but under load it would cut out. That's why I was thinking battery. I was just hoping we could get back out, but it wasn't to be. We would end up 21st and 14th in the points series instead of 8th like we could have, had we finished in the 10 in the feature.

We left the car and watched the final 20 laps. On lap 71 things on the track went crazy when Bentley hit and spun Walters on that restart. It was a wild scene for sure. Some fans cheering and clapping, others booing. The starter brought out the black flag and waved it at Bentley, putting him out of the race. When Tom spun after being hit in the left rear quarter, at least two cars hit his rear and right side. It was mayhem for a few moments. The rear bumper was loose but not hanging, at least not hanging where Walters would have to pit, so in that sense he was lucky. With Mike getting the black it looked like Tom would win the series, although with him going to the back maybe Steve Laking had a chance to catchup, but none of us had the points at hand to see how close it was.

Mike pulled up to the starters stand and stopped. Most thought he was protesting the black flag. He talked to Mark Dilley, we found out later, explaining to Mark that his throttle jammed, or was sticking. A tow truck pulled up behind Mike and some may have thought Mike refused to leave the track, but we could see clearly he was calm, but stressed as the tow truck pushed him to the pits. There were lots of boos for Mike as he went by the Walters camp in turn one.

The score board showed Brandonw Watson leading and Jason Parker 2nd. Tom was second when he got spun, but now his number was not in the top five. Cars went around undre yellow, and it wasn't certain why it was taking so long to get the race going again, there was some confusion or disagreement from the staff, starter and scorers. Suddenly we heard the loudest boos of all when Tom Walters was given his spot back. The fans were booing, some were cheering, but most were not happy with that decision.

The race continued and Walters got second in the race and won the championship. After the race, Bentley's team put a protest in becuase of some pushing and shoving that occured in their pit in the infield with Walters crew. They were sure nothing would come of it.

Meanwhile we headed back to the pit and prepared to load up. Some fans came over and I was able to do some autographs and get pictures taken with them, including a racer from Ottawa, Serge Leclerc.

We unloaded the car at home and the first thing I did was take the battery to Canadian Tire to have it tested. It passed with flying colors. There were three things I was going to check, the battery, distributor and then the engine. Once the battery passed Bob came over and we started doing our maintenance. I told him the battery was good, and as we worked away I took the distributor cap off and in a second we found a broken rotor, and badly damaged distributor cap. That was good news for us, knowing it wasn't an internal engine problem.

Now I rested easy, and speaking of that, we had just finished our 8th race in 22 nights, a record for me, so rest in many fronts was good. We race a double header this coming weekend giving us 10 races in less than a month, August 4th to September 2nd.

Special thanks to my crew who worked hard both days, getting the car ready for Sunday after it was beat up on Saturday. We have three points races left and absolutely need to get a few good nights in if we hope to move up in the points, and we do want to move up, hpoefully to 6th.

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

Post by Gary » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:06 pm

September 1st..............Sunset Speedway

Race #23

High Lites
* 18 cars
* Mike Bentley Wins
* We finish 6th...lead 12...getting closer
* Gehrig has good run, learning patience

Results

Late Model
Heat #1.......6th
Heat #2.......4th
Feature.......6th

Mini Stock
Heat #1......7th
Heat #2......2nd
Feature......7th

Winnings
$300

Repairs
None, prepare for Special on Sunday

Crew
Bob and Matt

Conclusion
Bob and I headed to Sunset Speedway around one o’clock. We got to Sunset in plenty of time to set up and not be rushed. Staff welcomed us, as they always do, telling us they are glad to see us. It’s not that they need car count, that makes them glad to see us, I just feel it’s the nature of the staff in general, and pretty well all of them.

I think the leadership by Mark Dilley, and the support of Steve Slaughter and his team who do tons behind the scenes, make this track a very well run and professional venue. We have been coming here all season, our 19th trip, and we look forward to it every week. We were told we’d get sick of the travel, and not be able to afford it, and that is true the costs are higher, but the feeling we get when we arrive more than makes up for any other issues that arise, like traveling, costs and not being as competitive as we want.

Racing at Sunset is as close to the old days in the Hobby club as I can remember. Most everyone is friendly and no visible clicks, a cancer in any racing club or facility. After each race there is hardly any gossip, or yapping about another team. Tom Walters dominates the headlines every week, either from winning or some controversy, but even he is willing to talk to most drivers though he and Mike Bentley have developed quite a rivalry. Overall we love Sunset, but are we wore out, or financially strapped because of racing there, no, because in spite of the costs, we will surpass the most race nights since 1995, and we are planning to run Sunset next year. I would be a fool not to, stress is a killer and nothing about Sunset is stressful, other than the pressure I put on myself to do better. Once I get that under control, and I’m working on being less hard on myself, and more understanding to the race car we have compared to the cars we’re racing against, and soon I will have healed from the constant bashing of “me”, and put fun back in this sport that all of us love so much.

Speaking of fun, we had a great night, but the evening had its moments. Tires seemed to be my issue right now. Monitoring tires is something we’ve been doing regularly but not to the point where we have it mastered yet. I believe when you stop learning, you come to a point where what you’re doing is no longer a challenge, or fun or important. We’re not even close to that part of our racing and learning has been the most critical aspect of 2012.

Learning our car, our competition, our maintenance and many other aspects will keep us busy over the winter making templates to keep proper stats and notes. Our success in 2012 has been from experience, but we have gone on our own laurels too many times, with an outdated car, a rookie crew and a huge monster of competition and challenge.

All of our team, crew and sponsors, are working on improving how we approach weekly racing, and how we best prepare for it. It’s not that the way we do things is incorrect, we just know we can do much better. Coming to Sunset wasn’t as easy as I first thought and our team have a gone through a ton of rough luck. However bad luck can be prevented, and though we didn’t do as well as desired, we were paying attention in school and plans are in place to accomplish our goals in 2013. One of the areas to improve is our financial situation, something we are working on now. Sunset has an awesome race track, I absolutely love it. The competition is the toughest since the 1989 Hobby club, that produced many stout racers and producing 16 feature winners. Sunset hasn’t had many different feature winners, but the battles from 4th through 10th have been extremely competitive. Flamboro always had 5 or 6 fast cars, but the same cars finished in the top 5 every week, and those 5 shared the feature wins. At Sunset there are 10 fast cars, making the top five finishes unpredictable, outside the top two. Walters, Cornelious and Bentley dominate the winners circle, but from third back is a ten car field.

We almost made it into the winners circle this week. I loved cautions when I was one of the top runners in the CVM and would start 20th. We needed the yellows to make it up to a top five or three because the competition was fairly equal. After managing to qualify in the top 12 this week, through a 6th and 4th in the heat races, we were able to take our handicap spot of pole position.

We worked on the car trying to get it to turn. I’m convinced handling is the key everywhere, but it’s paramount at Sunset. If you’re off you’re out. Our car was tight in both heat races and so we did what we thought, what we knew would help us.

The feature saw 18 cars take the green. Bob was spotting and was having a great night keeping me in line and pumped up. Matt was on the infield in case we had to come in. Matt has now the 2nd highest nights attended by any crew member since his start with us. He originally was going to try to make a few shows, but has turned into a very pleasant surprise with Bob as crew chief, and Ryan our other steady crew member. I must thank Matt for his dedication, but also Cheryl for letting him help us as much as he does. Ryan is next, but has a DJ business that ties up some of his weekends, otherwise he is there to help us and does a great job.

We have had the pleasure of getting help as well from Justin, Eric, Paul our sponsor and help at the garage during the week. Paul, from Open Doors is a great encouragement and digs in to make sure we get done what we have to so we can be ready. He has never pitted before, nor has Ryan, Matt or Justin, yet all work great when they can make it to the races and sure makes the day a true blessing. Jason Green helps us as well when he can, though he is a regular on our Mini Stock team. We also have another sponsor getting involved. Urban, owner of Drew Mac Security Systems loves racing. He is also one of our sponsors. He will more than likely concentrate on taking videos, especially for 2013.

Mini Stock
Gehrig is improving each time out and I talked to him tonight about going in a little deeper. He listened to me and was great driving in deeper, but now I have to talk to him about hitting the car in front of him, and worse, not to spin them out.

Gehrig finished 7th and 2nd in both of his heats, but would have had a 3rd and 2nd had he not spun out the #41 in the first heat. The good news is he and JJ went down to the # 41’s pit pad and Gehrig apologized to Dan, who is 4th in the points, and Dan was gracious enough to accept the apology.

In his feature Gehrig drove a hard race, clearly driving into the turns harder. He was 4th and going hard into turn one caught and hit #21 Ken Townsend. The impact sent Ken spinning and Gehrig to the back. He was able to come back up to 7th but needs to work on driving in to cars in front of him. He is only 14, and had just started racing a faster car, but running into competitors will only get him a bad rep unless he stops it now, and we are all working on it with him. I don’t know if he has the car to win a feature but if the right starting spot comes and he gets a non stop feature I think he could pull it off. Overall we are very happy with how is improving.

Late Model Featrue
I told Bob before the race that I had butterflies, a sign of a young racer . As we cruised around under yellow I was hoping we’d get the lead, and have a strong finish. We fell back in the points chase last week to 45 behind Dario Capirchio, and 50 behind Jason Witty. Both of them qualified as well, with Dario starting outside pole and Jason right behind me.

On the start I was worried we’d get pinched down, the outside lane is faster and if Dario got a good run we could be side by side for a while. However our car hooked up right away and we were ahead within one lap, allowing me to jump to the outside lane.

For the next 12 laps we were pulling ahead each lap until we had a full straight lead. On lap 11 I was hoping this paradise would keep up, but on lap 12 the yellow came out and our huge lead, (almost to Bradford) soon dwindled, so was the handling.

On the restart I broke loose badly and lost the outside spot, but the yellow came out again right away and we got our spot back. On the next green I got a better run off, but could not get up. Jason was outside and he got a huge run going into three, followed by Bentley and Morrow. When I wanted to get out Bob was telling me outside, finally I got clear and was in 4th but clearly not able to reclaim the spots we lost.

A few laps later Mike got by Jason and in 2 laps he was in Bradford, well, put it this way, he was gone. Chris Morrow put the heat on Witty and also got by and when I tried to get under Jason my car was ridiculous loose off. I was having a Ohsweken Speedway experience. Soon another yellow came out, and we lined up 4th beside Jason. I thought we might be able to gain 3rd back.

Tom Walters was behind Jason, but I wasn’t too worried because what could he do? Well, I found out what he could do on the back straight as we raced side by side with the #19 of Witty into three. Half way down the back chute Tom started to move under Jason and I could see him. Bob let me know “Walters is making it three wide going in, be careful”. What a jerk, is basically all I could think of, although to be honest, when my mind is thinking a 1000 things a second, I was concentrating on what was waiting as we entered turn three. Would Walters back out? No he wouldn’t, because if he did, he wouldn’t be a jerk. Would Witty body check him to the grass? No he wouldn’t because he isn’t a jerk. I knew what was coming and as we entered three Jason came up abruptly. He said after he didn’t know Tom was there, and that kind of surprised me, I thought his spotter would tell him, but, regardless he had to whack Waters, or go high. I was prepared but it cost us as two cars got by on the inside of me. When Jason came high, both Scott Beatty and Taylor Holdaway saw an opportunity and jumped in behind Witty leaving me to wave at the people in the VIP lounge area. It was nerving coming off four being three wide, but I checked up enough to let the car beside my get clear of us.

A lap later the yellow came out and to be perfectly honest (I never say perfectly honest) I was upset. Usually I am cool when things happen, but I hate disrespect on the race track, especially when it’s deliberate, and this was totally deliberate. Tom had 15 laps to catch Bentley, and more than enough time to do it, so doing what he did was upsetting to me. Bob came on when the yellow was out and said “wow, I can’t believe Walters did that”. At that I drove past the cars in front of me caught up to Walters and hit the back of his car then pulled around beside him and pointed at him. I’m sure he didn’t care, he was sitting in third now. I’m just speaking as a frustrated, disrespected racer (in that race), but since he never said anything to me after, I’m guessing he is totally cool with making it three wide by diving to the inside. It is a dirty deal anytime. Doing it coming off two is a little different, everyone has more time and the car on the top can dive in hard to try and get ahead of the car in the middle, but doing it going into three or one, is not nice........ok enough!!!

On the restart we started 6th and stayed there for the rest of the race. It was a decent finish but not what we wanted, however with Jason Witty not finishing and Dario Capirchio finishing 13th we gained on both 7th and 6th in the points.

I stayed with Matt tonight in his tent trailer and had an awesome sleep, even with the country music going until 4 in the morning. It was nice, I was warm and not sleeping on a 45 gallon drum, aka air mattress.

Sunday was the 75 lap Limited Late Model special, and I was really looking forward to that race because we do not have to change one thing on our car…how awesome is that, and we were damage free. An easy night to rest.

Matt and I spent some quality time with Urban, his wife Diane and daughter Macey after the races in the camping area, a peaceful time before heading to sleep.

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

Post by Gary » Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:06 pm

September 2nd..........Sunset Speedway

Limitaed Late Model Invitational

Race #24

High Lites
* 20 cars
* Tom Walters wins
* 75 laps
* We finish 7th
* Great show

Results
Heat #1.......7th
Heat #2.......2nd
Feature.......7th

Winnings
$375

Repairs
Routine...get push fixed

Crew
Ryan, Matt and Urban

Conclusion
This was our 2nd Limited Late Model invitational, the first being the Gary Reynolds Memorial at Barrie. I got a great sleep in Matt’s trailer, in fact I think I woke up when all the music and talking stopped about 4 in the morning. Still, it was better than the last two times I slept in the trailer. Matt and Urban provided awesome hospitality for me and I very much needed and appreciated it.

There was little to do on the car. We stayed around Saturday night signing some autographs and cleaning up our pit area. By the time we closed the trailer door the radio batteries were all charged, leaving just the car battery to re-energize.

I had picked out the tires I would use for this race, the Barrie tires. They were a little hard, had 140 laps on them and not really the way to go, but we were short on our track inventory, and really couldn’t afford tires.

After two sets of hot laps we were set to go. Our car was close, a little tight, but about as close as we could get with what we had. Our fastest times were in the high 15:2’s. We made some minor adjustments on the car after Mike McColl came over and heard my concerns.

On Saturday night I decided to take the bump stop shims out of the left front, thinking it would allow the car to drop more going into the corner. Bob and I talked about it and we felt if the left front dropped more, we might be able to handle better. Mike took one look at it and said that what we did was make the car tighter because now the right front would be on bump stops first and mess us up. Mike adjusted the bump stops and told me to try it. He liked the tire temps we were getting, but recommended we bring the right side of the pan hard bar down some, he felt there was too much split.

After hot laps were over, someone very generously offered us two new tires. At first I said no, but he insisted and I ran to the tire trailer. I decided to buy one more, though I was dipping into my last money. We got three tires and I sure felt better.

In the first race we started 9th of ten cars in our heat. That was good actually, allowing us a few laps to cycle the new tires. We finished 7th in that heat, still with a push in the middle.

We made an adjustment for the second heat, dropping the gears and sizing the tires. We would be outside pole in this race and wanted to be ready in hopes of maybe taking a checker.

Starting inside pole we only lead the race for about three laps, until the much stronger #29 car of Sean Grosman took the lead from us. Sean’s car was handling very well, getting him through the corners much faster than us, especially with the push that we could not seem to get rid of. Sean won that heat giving him two good runs.

After the second heat we made another adjustment for the feature. The changes included raising the track bar again, or pan hard, same thing, in hopes of getting our car to turn.

Matt was going to be in the infield and would make an adjustment to the chassis if needed. We removed the right rear tire in the pits and marked the pan hard bar mount. I asked Matt to raise it to that point if I came to pit row. He had the tools, knew what to do, but was concerned about trying to make that adjustment by himself. He was right, it would need to be done quick, and only if there was a yellow that was more than a spin out.

We pitted beside the Zardo’s, they offered to help us and if we needed to change tires etc.

There was an in-car drivers intro. Our starting spot was 9th, of 21 cars. I was ready to go, but was concerned with the chassis. I wouldn’t know for sure if it was good or not until a few laps into the race. This feature would be a challenge for sure. Ryan would be our head spotter, his third start at that position, and third in a 75 lap race. There were many cars from other tracks, Barrie, Sauble and Peterborough had some tough runners, but made for an exciting line up of drivers.

In the early going we ran with the pack and got clear on the outside. We were 8th by lap 3 and got into a hard race with Jason Parker #8 from Sauble Beach. Jason is a great racer and very respectful. After chasing him for a bunch of laps I finally caught up. Incredibly, we ran side by side for at least 20 laps. I tried inside and he gave me tons of room, but I could not get on the gas, the car was tight in the middle and loose off. It was crazy.

Jason got ahead of me again, although he never really lost in that run. I tried going outside and got beside again but struggled trying to make the pass, because I could not get on the throttle. We gave each other lots of room, meaning it would take longer to settle the duel. We raced hard and I was about ready to give up, but Jason’s car was worse than mine. I inched past him to grab 7th and then, once by, pulled away.

I watched the score board as I came off turn two and seen “lap 26”. We had run a long time side by side with Jason and now I could see Al Inglis #69.

Al also runs hard and clean, and he and I had a few good battles at Barrie for their invitational. Al and I also got into a long battle for 6th. It was the same issue for him, struggling to get his car to turn. Since I wasn’t much better, although slightly getting on the gas sooner, we ran together for quite a few laps.

I finally got by Al but was being followed closely by #89 Cory Horner from Peterborough. He was fast, but his biggest advantage over us wasn’t his speed, but his handling. It seems like that’s all I’ve talked about but at this track, if you’re tight, you’re done. Cory got by and we fell back to 7th.

A yellow came out and I had to decide whether or not to come in and fix the car, or at least do what we said. I did not want to give up 6th. My crew asked me about the car and I complained that it was not very good. Matt asked if I was going to come in, but I couldn’t make up my mind. Ryan asked me as well and I admitted, though the car was bad, I didn’t want to give up the track position. By the time I thought maybe I should come in, it was too late.

On the next restart, we barely went three laps, and the yellow was waving. A car was in the front chute wall, it looked like Thane Woodside #5, and I could see Billy Zardo sitting up in turn two with issues. This looked bad enough that it might give us some time.

I said to Matt, “ok, I’m coming in”. I was willing to give up the spot to try and make the car better. There were still over 30 laps left. As I left the line to head to the pits on the back chute, Matt called out “don’t come in yet”! It was too late I was already committed. “I’m already on pit row”. Matt was concerned that the Zardo crew could not help us because of their need to help Billy. Anyway I pulled in and asked Ryan to keep an eye on the car on the front chute, and let us know when he was being towed off. I didn’t want Matt or the Zardo boys to be in a panic if it wasn’t necessary.

Glen and Billy Sr. helped get the car up and the wheel off. Matt had the tools and we already had the spot marked to raise the pan hard. My thought is that it would help us turn, but we weren’t struggling going in, we were messed up in the middle, just as I tried to get on the gas. Anyway, the boys did a fantastic job of making that change and getting me back out long before the race restarted.

The other bit of good news was that we only lost two spots, because everyone behind me was down a lap, except those who pitted after us. Now we were back in 8th.

The rest of the race was painful, the car was good enough to gain one more spot, but still not good. A late race yellow brought us behind the first three rows. I thought now I would be able to get #89 back, he also drove me very clean, in fact everyone was awesome.

In the dying laps the #37 Marvin Freiburger and #41 Taylor Holdaway were getting into each other. I couldn’t really tell what was going on, both cars were doing well, but now they were in a serious battle for position.

On the restart, lap 71, I thought I could get under Marvin and tried but had to back out. Taylor and Marvin got into it going into three with two to go. Meanwhile Cory was running on the outside, all of us I think really wanting to finish in our spots after battling so hard for over 70 laps. Going into three with two to go both the #37 and #41 got together and Marvin ended up huge sideways. I thought he was going around and had to check up. Taylor ran him hard the final lap but all ended sane. We ended up 7th, not bad considering. We felt we could do better, but with the field we were against, and the condition of our car, we came ahead on this one.

Ryan and Matt both did excellent jobs. Ryan completed his 3rd head spotting job and this was his best outing yet. Our team all thanked the Zardo team for their help.

It was especially good for me to have this accident free run because we had to have the car at the Milton Christian School on Tuesday at 7:30 am, so no damage was a good thing, making Monday an easy day for me to clean the car and repair the small body areas that needed fixing.

This was our second Limited Late Invitational and our second consecutive 7th. We hope to be better next Saturday as we work on getting the car to turn. It sure will make a difference, because I think once we get the handling down, we could close in on the top runners.

Congrats to Tom Walters and his team for another big win.

Our next race is Saturday September 8th at Sunset Speedway, hope to see you there.

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