Diary Of A Season 2014

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:25 pm

Postby Gary » Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:38 am

June 29th.........Sunset Speedway

Race #13

700th Consecutive Night!!!!!

High Lites\
*18 cars
* Cayden Lapcevich wins
* Terry Davey leads up to 2 to go
* We DNF with bound up steering
* 574 final

Results
1st Heat.......6th
2nd Heat......6th
Feature........18th (DNF)

Winnings
$200

Repairs
steering

Crew
Bob, Jim, Marty, Glenn, Brian, Jason and Paul

Conclusion
I left Sunset Saturday night with a fear I have quite often when we have issues we can’t figure out. Our steering was really bad and my bigger concern was how serious the engine issue was. During the week my David, my son, replace valve seals on both the Late Model and Modified. To help speed up the process I had both cars on stands and removed the spark plugs and rocker covers.

Of the 16 plugs taken out, one was bothering me. #3 on the driver’s side it was covered in what looked rusty, from water obviously. I had seen this before, back in my Hobby days when cracked heads, cylinders and head gaskets were normal problems.

I mentioned it to David and we agreed to add some stop leak or block weld in the rad before I went to Sunset by I forgot to do it.

The water issue showed up after our hot laps but was ignored, because of the steering issue being so bad. However after I spun out Saturday in our first heat race, and blamed it on the steering, which was a big part of it, we noticed again water on our pad and I asked Brian where that came from. On further checking we found the over flow bottle full and had sprayed down the side of the car and I soon believed that I spun on water.

We frantically tried to get the car fixed for the next heat race but could not get any stop leak. When we did the second heat was out and we missed it, not a good thing for a points chasing team.
We made 5 laps before the feature to see how the steering would be and the water leak and though only 5 laps, we were content (but not happy) to race what we had. I decided to start scratch to stay out of other drivers way if the car was not able to be raced.

I posted the conclusion from Saturday already on here, but wanted my friends to know what was going through my mind as I left. I was really concerned about the engine now, even though the steering was a mess and just knew that our 700th night was going to be a big milestone and a big disappointment.

On Sunday we got there early, Marty, Brian and I. Soon my good friend Jim Bunting was on hand to help wherever he could, he has always been a great supporter of our team. Jim headed to town to get us water and ice.

We decided to run the tires from the night before. Marty changed the oil and filter and we set the tires for today. We had 3 new tires to run to give us a good shot at winning. But with the steering the way it was, we might as well have run 3 snow tires because nothing was going to help the steering.

David suggested that I put the other servo back on because the new one didn’t make a difference and the old one was less resistant and might help turn easier. I agreed and looked for the one we removed but couldn’t find it. I asked Bob to get it out of my garage before he came up and he said he would, but he couldn’t find it. I checked the trailer and couldn’t find it either.

We ran our car through tech and double checked the wedge to make sure it was okay, same as last time we were here and it was.

Bob and Glenn Ruelens arrived around 1:30 and we began a strategy for the day. Brian and Marty had the car pretty well ready for hot laps and the tires were staggered as well. The new tires were sitting in the trailer out of the hot sun and eager to get into the game for the feature.

Soon after Jason and Paul Douglas arrived giving us 7 crew as well as me, perfect to get all the stuff done we had to do.

While we were discussing the steering issues Bob went into our trailer and within 10 minutes came out with the old servo. I wondered how he found it, but he did under some other parts in our cabinets. Wow was all I could say but the boys were eager to put it on so I decided to get under the car and do some of the grunt work because it was hot and my crew should have been able to come and have a fun day not be over worked on this special occasion day, and in the heat…..which I didn’t really mind.

We got the servo changed and went out for hot laps but the car was worse. I couldn’t steer it at all. It was so jammed up it was impossible to steer.

Ron Easton was there racing with the CVM so we asked for his help and he came up and spent a good hour or more relocating the servo because it was jamming the rack, but that’s where it was mounted originally.

Before the heats started some of us took us the bikes and the sign to hang up as well as the boys and girls raffle tickets I bought so kids could get a chance to win a bike. Don and Kim from Knightworks looked after the draw. They also lettered the bikes for us and did an awesome job.

In the first heat we took scratch again. The car was only able to be driven, not raced. I could stay with the pack for the first few laps but then spun out on my own. The steering was jamming on me. We finished last in our heat. In the pits the boys noticed the water leaking again and it was so dam discouraging for them to go through this. Someone suggested a rad cap and once the Super Late’s came into the pits Marty got a brand new cap from Shane Gowan and we put it on.

Meanwhile Glenn pulled the valve off the new servo and suggested we try it to help the steering and since we were out of ideas we decided to do that.

In the next race with a new rad cap for the overheating and the power steering pump valve replaced we hoped for some improvement. The car was basically the same, still very stiff. I tried to stay with the pack but fell back and then noticed white smoke coming from under the hood. I wasn’t positive I saw it so I went into the next turn and it didn’t happen so I didn’t think of it anymore until on the back chute when it came out hard and I asked Bob if he could see it but he couldn’t. A lap later it got worse and I pulled off. I wanted to run the entire 10 laps to see if the engine blew out water again but something was leaking and getting on the headers and I didn’t want to take a chance.

In the pits we found the new valve we put in the power steering pump was leaking. David came by and right away said to me “Dad, you showed me last week that gasket was damaged”. Yes I did, I forgot just too much on my mind with the car and the 700th presentation of bikes etc.

So we put in the old valve and it looked like the water issue was okay but only 6 laps to tell was not quite enough. We also decided to take some caster out of the car by moving the upper control arms forward to ease the turning effort. All this because I couldn’t steer the car and my crew, who worked so hard this day, just wanted me to have a good running car when it was race time. They were awesome, all of them.

It was closing in on intermission and we needed to get ready for our on track ceremony.

We headed to the track for the presentation. Earlier my crew and I took bikes to the front grandstand to where Knightworks Design was located. They had decorated two bikes and gave me stickers to do the other two.
We put our sign up and prior to the heat races and had tickets for girls and boys up to 5 and another group up to 12. Bob got 2 popcorn boxes to put the tickets in and Don and Kim and their daughter looked after handing out tickets to the kids.

On the track our crew was wearing Quaker State uniforms. Quaker State was with us for the full duration of this streak, even longer because they became our sponsor 14 years earlier.

After the interview with Spencer Lewis we did the bike draw and my crew handed and threw Frisbees to the fans. The parents and grandparents of the kids were very excited not to mention the children themselves.

Once the festivities were over we headed back to the pits. It was a frustrating moment because we knew we were done. Our car had serious issues with the steering and had been like that all weekend, getting worse since our feature at Barrie Speedway. We had worked hard on it all week changing parts and fixing lots of stuff, but nothing worked, nothing we did made it any better.

We naturally took scratch for this race and wondered how long I would last. I hoped for all of the race to gain as many points as possible. But by lap 11 we were given the move over flag as the leaders were quickly approaching our wounded chariot.

Once all the cars got by I decided to pit. Not that I wanted to, but this was almost dangerous to drive and surely I would wreck someone else or get wrecked.

Conceding defeat was a tough moment for all of us. I knew we would take a huge hit in the points for this weekend so I was quite discouraged. I felt bad for my family, crew and fans who wanted us to do so good, and I know without a doubt they felt the same for me.

Once the races were over and the dust of agony settled my thoughts were on Monday morning to get the car fixed before next weekend.
Ron Easton said he would call Larry Jackson to see if he had a rack slave because the slave was the only part not replaced. Ron would contact me in the morning and though it would be a late night and was a long tiring weekend, I was prepared to do whatever it took to get the car ready for next week.

Once again I want to thank all my crew for their hard work in trying so much to fix the car. To the track promoters for allowing us to celebrate our special milestone the way we did. To all those who sponsored bikes…Marvin Frieburger, Gord Coates, Denny Snider and Quaker State. I would also like to thank Knightworks Design for their help in making this day a success.

This milestone would not have been possible if it were not for the encouragement and support of my family, my crew who at times stayed up all night so we could make the next race. To my sponsors, especially Quaker State who is the only sponsor to have been with us since the streak started. I am very grateful to all my parts suppliers, repair shops and engine builders who at times in the past 27 years let me go without paying so I could be in the next race. If they wanted to be paid before I took my car I may have missed a few nights. I appreciate their trust and loyalty to me and our team.

Next week we race at Capital City Speedway in Ottawa. It will be my first time there and Capital City will be our 38th different track raced at. My crew and I are looking forward to the trip and having some success on the track. The races start at 2pm on Saturday, first time I ever remember racing on a Saturday that early….Sunday’s and some long weekend Monday’s, but never on a Saturday. Can’t wait no matter what time it is and I can steer my car :)

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:26 pm

Postby Gary » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:42 am

July 5th.........Capital City Speedway

Race #14

High Lites
* 11 cars
* Twin 25's
* Time trials no heat races
* Gary McLean and Max Beyore win features
* We finish 3rd overall
* It was a great day in many ways
* Much bigger than Flamboro, long straights
* Final gear 549
* Lap times around 17:8 were good


Results
1st Feature..................3rd
2nd Feature.................6th
Official Feature Finish....3rd

Winnings
$425

Repairs
fix overheating, prepare for Kawartha, routine check over

Crew
Bob, Matt, Marty and Jim

Conclusion
Our team was looking forward to this long but interesting trip. It would be a first time at Capital City for me and our 38th different track.

Bob, Matt, Marty and I left Waterdown around 1:30 Friday afternoon, wanting to beat the Toronto and east end traffic that gets very heavy around Ajax all the way to Oshawa. We took the 407 to Brock Road and then south to the 401 and did beat much of the crazy traffic but still ran into some.

We arrived in Bells Corners, a sub division of Ottawa around 8:30, got our rooms and then went out to play some darts. Matt wanted to rest, so Bob, Marty and I found a legion not far away that had a karaoke night. The dart boards were not available in that room because of the music, but the manager let us go to the large hall upstairs where there were 8 dart boards. We played a game called “Cricket” and Marty emerged the victor with some very close games.

We left our hotel around 8:30 and headed for the track. They opened at 9:am. We found a place to park and set up.

There were a total of 11 OSCAAR Modifieds. Not good for sure, but better than 8, I can’t believe I said that.

We normally run double heats and a feature, but instead we ran time trials and double 25 lap features. The best combined finish of the two races would be the winner for the pay out. Not sure how they would figure out the points, but I think it should be 2 feature points and one overall pay out. Gary McLean who wins 95% of the features said he only cared about the money and I guess since he wins most of them and gets to see how poor the payout is, and for the most part, it’s not very good, he would be the one to complain.

Time trials were explained 5 times but many drivers did not go through the gates like they were suppose to yet their lap times counted. Dustin Jackson was tops, with Gary McLean 2nd and we were 3rd.

We made it out for practice with one car at a time for the first few rounds. Our car was good, but not as good as Gary McLean. We were close but I felt we needed more gear. The boys changed the gears from 5:28 to 5:49. an increase of about 200 RPM. As soon as I got on the track I felt a severe vibration, but only got 4 laps anyhow. We changed the gears back to 528, and in the hot sun. While Marty and Bob changed the gears I checked the drive shaft to feel for any vibration but all was good. Once the gears were out we checked the bolts inside the quick change, where the small gears go, just in case anything was loose, but that was good as well. Though a challenge to be doing this again, the boys were eager to get it done.

Time trials were fun. We were second out. I messed up on both laps going too hard into turn 3. The car was okay, I just simply overdrove. However, we were fastest until Dustin Jackson and Gary McLean bumped us to 3rd.

We were set to go and just needed gas and stagger set. In the first feature I started 3rd behind Dustin Jackson who was inside pole beside Gary McLean. It took Gary a lap or so to get by but he did.

I went outside Dustin to try and pass but could not get it done and settled in behind. The race ran nonstop with Gary grabbing the win and Dustin taking 2nd. We finished 3rd, staying with the front two for most of the race but falling back near the end.

After the race we made 2 small changes, more gear and more rear stagger. This time we would be starting at the back, with Dustin and Gary behind me. The lineup of the second feature was a reverse of the finish of the first. We decided not to put our 549 gears in and borrowed a set from Brent McLean. I was really testing my crew with yet a third gear change. We would have been fine had our set been okay. I just knew we were down on RPM because in the 15 laps I ran with Dustin and Gary we never hit the chip once.

The race was kind of crazy in many ways for our team. We had a decent car, but with a driver who is always willing to back out and not give the bumper to cars that constantly chop lap after lap, it is near impossible to get through traffic.

We ran in a pack for the first few laps, Max Beyore was on the pole and leading with some fast cars around him. We had new tires so no excuse there. The gear change did help and so did the stagger, but with being chopped so much and backing out, the race was an ever ending battle of catch up.

I tried moving past Ryan Dick in 7th who was all over Tommy Rob in 6th. They were slowing up and the pack was pulling away from us. I went outside going into one and Ryan slammed me knocking me out of the groove and allowing Dustin to get in. A few laps later Tommy spun on water on the track and that put us into 7th. On the restart I could not make a move on Ryan who was having issues with Dustin.

A green white checker situation came out and heading down the back chute Ryan and Dustin were rubbing and the RF tire of the blue 88 got cut down as we headed into 3 and 4. The pack got by him and we raced into the final lap in 6th place.

Going down the back chute Bob, who was spotting, warmed me that Ryan was stopped on the front chute at the start finish line. As we came off 4, the leaders were side by side and wow, it was so close that Gary McLean almost got into the stopped #88.

Anyway he didn’t and Max took the win, his first in the Mod’s and will take a stronger grip on 2nd in the points and the rookie status. Dustin had a great day as well finishing 2nd overall.

We had the great pleasure to meet a French family from Quebec racing open wheel Spring 4 cylinders cars. Josieanne and Max Plante both won their heats and finished in the top 5 in the feature.

Our next race is this Saturday but I have an issue with that night. We will be on display all day at the Canadian Tire in Vaughan. We thought we were racing at Sunset Speedway but it’s the Sauble Sunset home and home race. I would go to Sauble but the problem is we are racing the Mod the next day at Kawartha Speedway. So I can run Barrie or Flamboro Speedway and then head to Kawartha Speedway early the next morning or late Saturday night and stay over.

My easiest would be to run Flamboro this Saturday , come home after the races and then head right to Kawartha the next morning or that night. Gates open very early at Kawartha so I think I would like to go there the night before. I will post my decision on the front of our web site later this week.

All in all, we had a great trip to Ottawa. We had fun, ran decent, met some new people, the weather was perfect and the car count was better than expected.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:27 pm

Postby Gary » Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:17 am

July 12th.....................Flamboro Speedway

Race #15

High Lites
* 10 cars
* Chenoweth wins in all classes
* We go with a true Limited Late
* 560 final

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

Winnings
$190

Repairs
None, get ready for next week at Sunset

Crew
Marty, Paul, Jason, Jim....Doug MacFarlane chipped in like old times :)

Conclusion
We had originally planned on running Sunset Speedway every Saturday night they were running Late Models that did not conflict with the OSCAAR Mod schedule.

Things got a little scrambled when I was making arrangements last week to get some door prizes for a show I doing in Vaughan for the local Food Bank. I called Sunset and both Mark and Steve agreed to give me some things to give to the customers of the Canadian Tire store on highway 7 and for the Food Bank drive donators and staff, who volunteer their time and effort.

I explained to Mark that I would be coming to Sunset right after the display, but then he reminded me the Late Models would not be at Sunset, they would be at Sauble Speedway for the first of the Home and Home series.

So now I was in a dilemma. We were going to be heading to Kawartha early Sunday morning and I really didn’t want to get home at 3am and then head out at 6am, so I decided to run Flamboro on Saturday, then be home by 11pm and still enough time to load the Mod and get a good night sleep.

I had 8” American Racer tires to use, the ones from David’s APC win, and though they were used up, they would get me on the track with no extra expense. I also got 4 used ones from Grisdale, which Adam got from the pile of tires thrown out by other teams.

I knew we wouldn’t be a factor at Flamboro because we are a true Limited Late compared to the better chassis, suspension and engine facilitated Pro Late’s, but by running here we would keep our streak going and besides, with missing a few nights already at Sunset Speedway due to schedule conflict with the OSCAAR Modifieds, missing a race with them didn’t make any difference.

During the display in Vaughan, I got a text from a friend, Danny Huff letting me know that the races at Kawartha Speedway on Sunday were cancelled because of the 90% chance of rain. I was kind of stunned that any race would be cancelled 24 hours before the event, but I understood with so many cars making the long trek, knowing it was cancelled would be much better than driving all the way out there and absorbing high fuel and maybe hotel costs would be a tough hit for the majority of teams.

I thought for a moment to maybe head to Sauble, but there were a few people wanting to see us at Flamboro and I didn’t want to let them down, although I warned them we would not be a factor at all, not even close. They didn’t really care, because they watched me at Sunset and knew I wasn’t a factor there either. That’s mostly because the Sunset Late Models are really Pro Limited Late’s and for this year we are no match for the 15 plus new cars with much more HP.

So I decided to stick with the game plan although to be honest, I hate going anywhere knowing we are outgunned terribly, and I knew we would be at Flamboro.

The food Bank show was awesome. Director Peter Wixom was very glad to have us there for the day. We handed out autograph cards and our Quaker State souvenir books to the Canadian Tire customers, as well as getting many kids in our car for pictures.

Marty was a huge help and once done in Vaughan we headed to my place, to get my fire suit I forgot, then to Flamboro.

Once at Flamboro we met up with Paul Douglas and his dad Jason. They came down from Fergus to give us a hand. Paul joined up with our team when we started running Varney and he has been so excited just to be part of our team. His dad is awesome and the two of them are a big help to us. Jim Hulzinga showed up later and Marty agreed to let Jim spot for the night, like old times.

There were 10 cars and we decided to take scratch for all the races.

If there was a “ticker tape” on our car compared to the Pro Late’s, here is what it would look like.

Class……HP……Left %…..Carb……Cltuch….....Tires…….Height
Pro.......410.......57.......650.......5.5”.......30 laps.......4”
Us........340.......55.8.....600.......10”.......130 laps.......5”

We were outgunned in every category as well as total weight. We were allowed to be 2700 after the feature, but we were 2850 when we arrived and wondered about taking out weight.

We started last in the first heat, 4 cars, and finished 3rd. I couldn’t see the race leader, or 2nd place. We were hitting the chip before the start finish line so we decided to miss the next heat and change the gears. I also decided to take out 100 pounds from the RR corner for the feature. I think now it was a waste of time, but it was a way to make our car a little better.

In the feature we took scratch again. Our tires were done. We just wanted to finish and not get wrecked. The crowd was low, the car count was poor but fans needed to see a race and though we would not be a factor at all, we had to complete the race and do the best we could.

There was one caution by lap 7 or 8, but after that the race went green. I was expecting Jim to tell me to move over because the leaders would be coming but to my surprise we did not get lapped. In fact we were between one and two when the checker came out. I reasoned that taking the weight out and putting in the right gear gave us a few tenths and prevented us from going down a lap.

Shawn Chenoweth won every race he was in and I guess he was the points for the first half. We ended up 8th and actually made money considering our only cost was our way in and fuel for the car and truck. The tow vehicle would be minimal, and the car was about $40.

Many friends and fans came over after the race letting me know they were glad we came. They knew our car was way off but yet hoped we’d come back again. We will, for Octoberfest, but with a Pro Late set up in all categories.

Our next race is this Friday night, Triple 20’s at Full Throttle Speedway and then we race the Late Model at Sunset Speedway next Saturday. We will fair better there than we did at Flamboro although we likely won’t get as good a finish, but we’ll try our best and maybe surprise everyone.

Special thanks to wonderful people at the Food Bank, we had a great day with Peter and Ana. Marty, Paul, Jason and Jim were great in our crew making our return to Flamboro not so disappointing, even though we did not have the right car, hopefully next time.

We want to say happy birthday to our crew chief Bob Pereira who was off this weekend. Bob wants to stick with the OSCAAR series, and will be glad he didn’t miss the Modified race because it was cancelled.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:28 pm

Postby Gary » Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:56 am

July 18th....................Full Throttle Speedway

Race #16

High Lites
* 11 Mods
* Andy Jankovic wins both
* We run better in 2nd feature
* 621 gears
* still overheating
* Make history for us...drove 4 features tonight....Drive #40 for Dave Hodgkinson
* Also first time ever driving a car with no roof!!!!! :)


Results
1st Feature................5th
2nd Feature...............7th
Outlaw Feature #1.......4th
Outlaw Feature #2.......5th

Winnings
$260 (Mod)

Repairs
over heating, side bars, sheet metal minor....complete prep for Rick Woolner Memorial

Crew
Marty, Paul

Conclusion
I have enjoyed racing at Full Throttle Speedway this year. The drive up is relaxing, the atmosphere at the track is not stressful and though I don’t run like I would like to, most of that is by choice.

Sometimes a racer needs to back off a little to make commitments to fans and sponsors, and support racing. It’s clearly not what I want to do, but some things have put me in this place right now and getting to the track and surviving is my only hope of getting through 2014.

Some of our sponsors have cut back what they originally promised, others have not paid at all and I do understand that businesses can get in to tough times as well and the first thing to cut is unnecessary spending and advertising could be the one that takes the hit.

The purpose of racing conservative is to avoid getting in trouble. A teams that wins a feature, not only collects the money, but usually has the least amount of trouble, making their night prosperous. I many times take scratch knowing I don’t have the tires, or the car to compete. It’s not a fun way to race, but it’s what I have to do now to survive.

I changed my Pro Late Model to a Limited Late to go to Sunset Speedway. I sold my 604 and bought a 602. The bigger engine was not allowed at Sunset. I didn’t realize teams were rebuilding 602’s to gain 20 HP, and I also didn’t realize the built engines at Sunset were producing as much or more HP than a 604 and with only a 50 pound weight penalty.

We went to Flamboro with our same car we had back when we raced there, but a stock 602, and found we were not competitive there either. I didn’t have the little clutch that would have made a difference and I didn’t have new tires, in fact the tires I used had over 100 laps on them, and new tires would have made a big difference. I don’t think the tires were the issue, we were out gunned period, no different than Sunset.

Our Late Model is in no-man’s land right now, almost obsolete at both Sunset and Flamboro. I can try Barrie Speedway, or Sauble, but with our budget spent, and not enough monies coming in to improve our car, I am stuck racing the way I am just to get through. We are no doubt a fill in everywhere we go and it’s not fun.

As for the Modified, the scenario is much the same. Our focus this year is on the Modified for OSCAAR races, and 100% attendance. I buy new tires for it to give us half a chance, but only for the OSCAAR scheduled events.

Every time we raced at Full Throttle this year we have tried running used tires. I ran American Racers the first 3 nights, buying 5 brand new tires from David. I found they would not compete with the much softer Hoosier. We were sponsored a set of American Racers with a softer compound and they were also not competitive. So I decided to run a set of our used OSCAAR inventory tires to see if they would be better, and they were. But Mod trouble has still stalked me all season.

We have had many issues with this car so far. Brakes low and soft pedal, suspension, chassis, a broken 3rd link, slave cylinder on the rack and for most of the season, overheating, that is getting worse every week. I spent over $300 at MacMaster Buick to make sure the engine was okay and it showed there was no leaks, no loss of compression from the pistons, gaskets and valves, all good. But every weekend we are overheating, spewing water out of the over flow after the feature, while coming into the pits, it has happened several times, and is frustrating. I increased the jets, double checked and moved the timing, thanks to Gary McLean’s crew on Friday night at Full Throttle and added 2 bottles of Water Wetter, before we went to the track.

None of it helped, the car boiled over again after the 2nd feature. The engine has an electric fan, I have never liked an electric fan, and took it off my Late Model and no longer have heating issues with it. So this week we will add a mechanical fan on the engine of our Mod in hopes it will run cooler. I know the bigger plastic fan will decrease the temperature by 20 degrees. We need to get it done by next weekend for the Rick Woolner Memorial. It’s not only a great pay day, but it’s at one of my all time favorite short tracks, Sauble Speedway.

So about tonight’s race. We got to Full Throttle in lots of time to set up and get the car ready. Marty and Paul came and we had a good time. Marty and I even had time to throw the football around.

We had installed new pads during the week because I was trying to do what I could to get the brake pedal better. I found out on the first set of hot laps that the brakes were no better. Still a soft and low pedal.

Marvin Freiburger came by and checked my brakes and made 2 suggestions. Our LF rotor was slightly warped so we replaced it, and the RF caliper was sticking and that was also replaced. After another set of hot laps, there was still no difference, maybe slight but still the same symptoms. The problem with a soft low pedal is that it forces you to check up sooner, and not go in as deep, basically hindering driving hard.

Before the races started, twin 20’s, Dave Hodgkinson came by and asked me if I would drive one of his cars for their triple 25’s. They only had 8 cars and needed a driver. I asked which car it was and how good it was. The answers were not appealing but I said yes.

I was never even in the car let alone practice with it. The Outlaw Pro 4’s were going on the track when I ran to their pits and got in. They had driver introduction and I let the announcer know it was the first time I had ever driven a car with no roof. There were other issues with the car that made me feel uncomfortable as well. There was no side bracket on the seat, so nothing to support my head or neck. The engine had no power, none for most of the field, and it was very hard to steer, not so bad once it got going but really hard to turn. The good thing was the brake pedal, it was awesome.

The feature race of the night was in this class, triple 25's. The car was non competitive. I was lapped in 15 laps and within 2 laps of the green and one restart, the first 3 were long gone. Only 7 cars started, we finished 4th in the first. The second feature of three was no better, finishing 5th and again lapped, only this time twice. The race was not even close for any of the cars and totally not fun for me. Last year I drove the #36 Mod and won the heat and feature, which supports my belief and common knowledge that if a racer doesn’t have a good car he cannot compete. If the car has tons of power but is off on handling, he can be close by trying different lines, and if the car is close in power and handles awesome, it can be competitive. But being way down in power, like we were in this car, and like we are at Sunset with our Late Model, there is no chance of doing anything but getting out of the way.

After the 2nd of 3 features I drove the car back to the Outlaw pits and told Dave I couldn’t drive it anymore. He appreciated me driving it because as a field filler it helped him get cars on the track, but I couldn’t do it anymore, the car was not competitive. Dave reminded me that neither my Late Model or Modified were competitive either, and he laughed when he said it, but he was being honest and I couldn’t argue with him on it, I can read my results like everyone else. Actually I get to feel them before I write about them :).

Our Modified was ready to go. We started last of 11 cars in the first 20 lapper. The race went nonstop and by the time I got out of traffic the leaders were a full straight ahead. There was a car from the US racing, an SST Modified and he outclassed most all of us for the race. He beat Gary McLean who usually smokes the field weekly. We were no competition for him or any of the top 3 cars, although starting at the back didn’t help because it is a tough track to pass on.

After the feature we had one of Gary McLean’s crew members set our timing. He said it was 37 degrees and lowered it a little. I think it should have been 32 degrees with 92 octane fuel, we don’t use race fuel in either the Late Model or Mod because of the cost. Perhaps I should be, it’s just an economical decision.

In the first feature the car was bottoming out and I asked John Harper for some advice and he not only told me but helped get it done. My crew were watching King of the Hill and I was okay with that. I made the decision to raise the chassis, they didn’t know about it, and it gave me time to think about the car.

In the second feature, I was late getting out and had to go scratch again. I should have started pole, and though the top 3 cars would have got by, we may have been able to finish 4th.

It took a few laps to get by the slower cars and by lap 8 I was 8th and could only see the 6th and 7th place cars on our straightaway, the field was gone. I followed John Harper and we caught up to Bobby Tolton. John got under Bobby on the front chute and I followed. They made contact coming off two and Bobby lost control and came down hard into our side bar, t-boning me and putting himself out of the race. There was no caution. Lucky for me the damage was mostly to our side bar on the passenger side, but nothing to the wheels or rear end.

By now I was 7 car lengths behind John Harper and three quarters of a straightaway behind the 5th place car, but I was in open air and able to drive hard into the turns.

The chassis raising was perfect and was not bottoming out, in fact the car was running very good. John was fast and caught the 5th place car and I was soon on his bumper.

With 5 laps to go we caught the 4th place car and we’re in a fierce battle for 4th. I know our car was better than where we finished, and was pleased that we could catch the cars in front as fast as we did. This track is not easy to pass so going to the back is not a good deal, and I will learn that for next time.

After the race the engine boiled over again. Marty and I talked about our strategy for this week and will get a mechanical fan on it and hope that corrects the problem. We will need to extend our hood, move the power steering bottle and possibly rad hose as well, to make room for the fan.

I will also make sure the timing marks are correct and David will reset the timing this week. I confirmed it should be 32 with 91-91 Octane.

We have new tires for this coming weekend and if our car is decent I am hoping we can win this big race Saturday night at Sauble. I think we can if all our systems are working, we have all week to make sure they are. I love the Mod, Sauble and racing....period. A great ingredient for success if the car is good and we hope to make sure it is.

Special thanks to Marty and Paul, to the crew of the #8 and John Harper for helping out. Even to Dave Hodgkinson for letting me make personal history by racing 4 features in one night, 2 in his Mod, and 2 in my own, plus driving a car with no roof….a first in my career.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:28 pm

Postby miklin » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:35 pm

Gary: just a correction-the track butchered Andy Jankowiak's name. He is from North Tonawanda NY and is the ultimate budget racer. He stunned the ROC tour modified crowd by winning a 100 lapper at Holland NY two weeks ago over Matt Hirschman and Chuck Hossfeld in a 23 car field. His late father was a Whelen Nascar mod tour driver (Tony J) who was killed in an accident at Stafford Springs Ct when Andy was a toddler. To add insult to injury, his uncle Tom Druar was killed in a mod wreck at Lancaster NY. This was back in the era where the cars were standing up in wrecks and the drivers were suffering the injuries. Their deaths were not in vain as it led Troyer to build a much more collapsible front clip.
If you were at Flamboro's Frostfest last year, Andy also showed up with his dirt sportsman car to run on the pavement. His cars don't have much chrome but he loves to race.
I remember when he was in street stocks he towed all the way to Wall Stadium NJ for the SS part of the Turkey Derby and won the darn thing. I think it paid just about what he paid in tolls from Buffalo to NJ. :D

Mike Lindsay
-in 2013, Ransomville NY, Merrittville, Ohsweken, Humberstone, Rolling Wheels NY, Flamboro

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:29 pm

Postby Gary » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:57 am

Thanks Mike.
I knew a little of his back ground, he borrowed something from us on Friday night. He came to win and he did, but his car was no contest for any of us, it's an SST Mod and we are no match for them.
Most top runners don't like chrome, to them its a waste of money and they would sooner have a car that looks a little tough but takes the checker flag most of the time, something I don't ever do much anymore.
I don't condemn drivers who do that, but I'm not fooled that they don't have all the right stuff either. HP is much more important now a days than anyone gives credit.
An excellent to fair handling car with lots of HP is a better set up than a good car and driver with low HP. You can't make up for low HP.
Anyway it was a pleasure racing with him. Nice guy.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:30 pm

Postby Gary » Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:01 am

July 26th..............Flamboro Speedway

Race #17

High Lites
* 17 Cars
* Dale Shaw wins
* David had a shot, some bad luck
* We blow the engine....WOW
* Mod rained out...rain date Sunday the 27th

Results
Time Trials....16:641 (2nd last)
Feature.........17th (DNF)

Winnings
$300

Repairs
replace engine

Crew
Marty

Conclusion
Our OSCAAR Modified race was rained out on Saturday night so I asked Marty if he wanted to go play some darts, but he said he was going to Flamboro to watch the races. I thought about it for a second and said “I’m not going to watch, if I pay $30 to get in, I’m taking my car”. Marty laughed and said “why don’t we take it over”?

There were lots of reasons not to take it over. We were already for the shows we were doing at Sauble on Tuesday right on the Beach to promote the Dash for Cash on Wednesday night at Sauble Speedway, and then Wednesday morning we were to be on display at the Quaker State Quik Lube in Owen Sound. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to take a chance of hurting the car, although it wasn’t a hard decision to stay out of the way because the car is no match for any of the Flamboro cars the way it is. I called David and he suggested I come over because it was the APC 100 and it was $300 to start the feature.

So without hesitation my mind and game plan were complete.

We had old tires to put on the car that were legal and useless, but good enough to get us in the show if there were not enough cars, and so far this season, car count was low.

We unloaded the Mod and loaded the Late Model. We got to the track around 4:30, gates opened at 2. I didn’t care about hot laps because they didn’t make any difference. All we wanted to do was start and finish the feature. I had no plans of doing a start and park, I wanted to support the track with car count, knowing we were not going to be a factor at all. I was okay with that.

When I signed in I drew #1 for time trials. It was okay because I was guaranteed at one point to be the car sitting on pole….that is until the next car came out for time trials.

We qualified 2nd last. There were no heats and that was good because there would be less chance of any trouble, and as it turned out, I was blessed that heat races didn’t happen.

David was 3rd fastest and started 7th with the invert. I was planning to watch him more than anything. After the driver introduction we got started and everything seemed fine. I only passed one car, but was slowly falling back from the pack in front. Old tires can do that. Old tires and not enough HP will make that happen as well, and old tires, no HP and being way over weight are ingredients for being lapped, a few times, but lucky for us we never did get lapped. Unlucky for us, the reason why was a killer.

On lap 10 just at the start finish line I heard a noise I hadn’t heard since the days of running the Hobby car, a sound like someone shaking a pail with a dozen big bolts in it. I thought the transmission let go, I couldn’t really tell but the shaking and commotion lasted a few seconds until I got to turn 1 and then I felt my tires slide a little. I didn’t brake hard, trying to prevent a spin out and heading into the cement.

I was able to carry on right off the track and into the pits. What surprised me was that I was able to drive the car back to the pits. I was worried a little because those transmissions are around $1500. Smoke was pouring out the passenger side as I drove to my pits where I pulled in and shut the car off.

Marty came running over and with the help of some fans got the hood off. I asked Marty if it was the transmission and he let me know the transmission was good, but one of the pistons had made its way through the block, I guess trying to escape.

Well, that was a huge bit of bad news. Wow, my mind was going nuts trying to think what we would do because we had no spare, and no budget left to afford an engine.

I text Jason Legge letting him know what happened and that I needed help. Within an hour he got back to me and had an engine at his shop in Spring Mount that I could pick up on Sunday.

That was great news for me, and Spring Mount is on the way to Sauble, in fact it’s about 20 minutes from Sauble Speedway.

I watched the rest of the Late Model race while our Late Model bled oil all over the pad.

David was putting on a great show running 3rd but seemed like he was struggling. Then he pulled off on lap 30 and his crew, Eddie, bled the brakes. What an awesome deal. They got both front brakes bled and back on the track in short order.

David then proceeded to work his way back up to 3rd and then on a restart with 9 laps to go moved into 2nd. Another caution with 7 to go put him outside and on that restart he got by Dale Shaw by a car length, but went in so hard he pushed up allowing Dale to get by again.

On the next restart he tried again to pass but couldn’t but managed each restart to hold on to 2nd. With 3 laps to go, things went terribly wrong for David when his hood flew up. He tried driving it regardless, but a yellow came out forcing him to pit.

He returned to the track but would end up 10th. He was a second place car for sure.

I went to the tech pad after the race and got some speedy dry, and used the full bag to clean up all the oil that had drained from the engine, but I knew it would still be draining as we pushed it in the trailer.

Marty and I headed back to my house, unloaded the Late Model, cleaned out the oil slick in the trailer and then loaded the Mod, we were heading out at 8am in the morning for Sauble Speedway and the Rick Woolner Memorial.

We collected $300 for the night at Flamboro and though it was a rough deal, I was glad it blew up there rather than at Sauble. I must admit I am baffled why it blew but it looks like #8 rod let go. Lots of oil and no other failures seem apparent.

Thanks to Marty for helping tonight and to Jason Legge for offering us the engine. Congrats to Dale Shaw and his family and team on winning this big race.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:30 pm

Postby Gary » Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am

July 27th..................Sauble Speedway

Race #18

High Lites
* 17 cars
* Gary McLean wins
* We finish 2nd
* Top Qualifier
* Top Rookie
* Heat win #2
* Great day for us

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

Winnings
$756

Repairs
Routine check over.....Prepare for Peterborough


Crew
Bob, Matt, Marty, Paul and Jason

Conclusion
Marty and I left our home early, around 8:15 to get Bob and then head to Sauble Speedway. On the way we picked up the Chev Crate 602 he offered and he loaded it into our truck with a back-hoe. That was so awesome of Jason to do that for me and I appreciated it very much.

We got to the track in good time. It was overcast, but the ceiling was high so we weren't sure what to expect, it was a funny, cloudy, humid day, but we were at Sauble and I love this place, so I was good just being there.

I signed in, and drew #9, which would put us 5th car out in time trials. This race was the billed the biggest of the season for a few reasons. It was the Rick Woolner Memorial. Rick a former Mod racer was a Champion and a very hard charger. His family wanted to keep his memory alive and well by having the OSCAAR Mods run the memorial race in Rick's memory. I was honored to be part of it, and I remember watching Rick when he came to Flamboro with the Mod.

The event offered teams to sell laps and the lap money went into the purse, but more than that, if you bought a lap, you got 2 pit passes, so I bought one and we also got One Promo to buy a lap.

Our team were pumped this day, Bob, Matt, Marty, Paul and Jason. Me more than anything because I love this short track and felt we could possibly win it, and that was before we got the car out of the trailer. The boys were happy and everyone was anticipating a good day.

Once unloaded our crew set the stagger and got other things prepared before warm ups. Our thoughts of being competitive this day were soon supported by our first and only set of hot laps. Our car was fast from the trailer.

Time trials were first and we were the fastest car until Gary McLean did his thing and knocked us off the pole back into 2nd. However, our time would stand as the 2nd best of the day and we were high fiving each other over that. I was a little disappointed because I want so bad to do good for our team. My guys need to feel a win, a victory soon because our drought has carried on for too long.

The time trials determined where we would start in the heat races. The winner of the time trials would start pole of the first heat, 2nd fastest in time trials would start pole in the 2nd heat and the 3rd fastest would start pole in the 3rd. Then all the cars in order would fill up the outside poles, then the inside rows etc.

The heat races would determine where we would start in the feature. The car who gained the most passing points in the heat races would be declared top qualifier and start 7th. So the car with the 7th highest passing point total would start pole, 6th highest outside pole etc.
The rest of the cars would start behind 7th in the order of the points they accumulated.

Our team decided to start the heat with our practice tire, older tires, but not wore out. Our strategy was to save the new tires for the feature if possible. We started pole in the 2nd heat and had a hard battle with #88 Ryan Dick. Ryan and I ran side by side at the beginning of this race and then going down the back chute on the first lap he dropped low just before turn 3. I battled back getting him coming off turn four and we ran side by side between one and two and down the back chute. Bob was spotting and was doing an awesome job for me.

Coming off four to complete lap two Bob called out "Clear", and we slowly gained from there, pulling away by 6 car lengths, going on to win our 2nd Modified race of 2014. We were all very excited with another checker. The other heat winners were Davey Terry #14 and #77 Chad Strawn.

In the second set of heats we started at the back because it was a reverse of the start of the first. I was thinking of putting on the new tires but my crew suggested otherwise, wanting to save the new rubber for the 50 lap feature.

This race we started last and the car was good. Max Beyore got the lead and we caught him by about lap 4. It looked like we could run with Max and maybe even get by although he was quick. On lap 6 I got under him between 3 and 4 and got on the gas too soon and almost spun out. I think if we were running 8" tires I was going around, but somehow the car didn't spin out and though we lost a lot of ground to the leader, we were able to hold on to 2nd place. The other heat winners were #61 Dustin Jackson and #99 Drew Steiler.

When the results were in, we were given the Top Qualifier award and we were very happy, because the last time we won top qualifier was in 2011.

Our car was awesome. The overheating issue seemed to be fixed with the addition of mechanical fan as well as better shroud work. The brakes were also good and though I thought we could use more gear, I decided against it thinking the new tires would give us another 100 RPM.

There was a serious threat of rain coming and coming soon so driver introduction was scratched to help get the race in. The boys put on the new tires and made sure we had enough gas. We were allowed a 30 pound weight break and so we gassed up accordingly.

We started 6th because one of the qualifies ahead of me decided to go scratch. On the green I followed Gary McLean who started 4th. By lap 3 we were first and 2nd with Chad Strawn one car length behind me. There was one yellow on about lap 12 but I had nothing for Gary's fast built engine machine. He wasn't a lot faster but would gain just a little every lap and drove so smooth. I learned a lot watching him but knew that Chad was only a split second from getting by us if I made any mistakes, and so smooth was in my driving as well. It is so easy to burn off the tires if you over drive, start pushing or get loose.

Over the next 15 laps Chad stayed with us and then slowly fell back. I was doing the same with Gary, slowly falling back and trying not to burn up our tires.

With 10 laps to go Bob let me know that rookie sensation Dustin Jackson was closing in. He was gaining huge and with 5 to go was right on our bumper. I knew if I made one mistake he was going to get by, and hearing that he was 10 car lengths back, then 6 and then on my bumper within a very short time, I honestly felt we would be taking a chance getting spun out if I tried too hard to hold him back.

The final 5 laps were interesting because Dustin was right there but just didn't have enough to go outside or get us coming off the corner. Once he tried looking under going into 3 but wasn't in far enough. With 2 laps to go I was determined to make sure I protected the inside lane and on the final lap, though anxious, was so glad to cross the finish line in 2nd place, with the 15 year old right on my bumper.

It was a great feeling to take second in this race. I think the car could have used more gear, but maybe what we had was just we needed to give us the runner up because no one was getting Gary.

My crew came on the track and they were so excited and I was very happy for them. We were sporting our new team uniforms and they looked awesome.

Congrats to Gary McLean and his team for winning this race and for winning the top award in Time Trial's. Also to the Rick Woolner family who worked so hard to make this race a very special even.

I don't know what to say about our team, but we had an awesome night and we are very happy about that.

* 2nd Time Trials
* 1st in Heat
* 2nd in Heat
* Top Qualifier
* 2nd In Feature
* Top Finishing Rookie

Great night......thank you to all our crew, sponsors, fans, and track promoter for making this race awesome for the memory of Rick Woolner, his family and all the teams who came to support this prestigious race.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:49 pm

Postby Gary » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:05 am

July 30th....................Sauble Speedway

Race #19

High Lites
*15 cars
* Scott McTeer wins
* We finish 13th (DNF)
* We get heat win (first LM win in 2 years)
* 613 gears

Results
1st Heat..........5th
2nd Heat.........1st
Feature..........13th

Winnings
$160

Repairs
rack, routine check over

Crew
Marty, Ryan Dick

Conclusion
After our awesome run on Sunday with the Modified, the challenge and work load of removing and installing an engine in the Late Model was a lot easier from an emotional point of view. It was discouraging that the engine blew up, but there was no time to find out why, but rather install the engine loaned to us by my good friend Jason Legge.
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Bob and Marty guide engine into truck Viewed 273 times
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Jason loads 602 in our truck Viewed 273 times

I started Monday morning around 10 to dismantle the engine in the car.
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Slowly piece by piece Viewed 273 times

We left the Modified in the trailer so I could use the other bay to lay out all the removed parts. I didn't mind removing it by myself because then I had a system of laying out the removed parts so there would be no issues when the parts were installed on the borrowed 602. There was really no problems at all dismantling everything, I even pulled out the transmission and though it was a little heavy, it wasn't bad, plus they are mostly aluminum.
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Parts laid out easy to reinstall Viewed 273 times
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The starter was smashed by the rod and piston coming through the block Viewed 273 times
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Old one out...replacement on the tailgate Viewed 273 times

By 1pm I had it completely out with the bolt on parts laid on the floor.
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Marty & Gehrig reassemble Viewed 273 times

Marty and Gehrig came to the garage around 1:30 and I headed to get some gaskets we would need to finish the installation, water pump and exhaust plus a starter.
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Installing with headers on to save time and make it easier to secure bolts etc Viewed 273 times

By 8 pm everything was in and we decided to call it a day and then on Tuesday morning David was coming by to set the timing.

We left home Tuesday around 2pm and headed to Sauble Beach for a show on the Beach. It was to promote the Dash for Cash on Sunday night at Sauble Speedway. The show was awesome. Marty and I felt like we were at an amusement park and we were the main ride. Kids, big and small with their parents and families came in droves. We unloaded the car at 5:45 and by 6:15 the people came and never stopped until the show ended at 8:30.
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We have many shots of this day, but we were kept busy promoting Sauble Speedway Viewed 273 times

Tuesday night we went to Jason's Pub in Owen Sound with our darts, hoping to play on some boards, but they didn't have any. While there the owner asked if I was Late Model driver Gary Elliott? Small world, wow. Turned out that he raced at Sauble as well. Soon Jason Legge came because I wanted to buy him supper for loaning us the engine. He wasn't hungry but did stay with us for a while and we talked about racing.

On Wednesday morning we took our car to the Quik Lube in Owen Sound. The owner Jerry Downey was there and we stayed until 2:30. Jason Thom, promoter of Sauble Speedway came by and gave Jerry some free passes for his customers and did some advertising on the local radio station about us being at the Quik Lube.
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Quik Lube Owen Sound...where Joe Adams works Viewed 273 times

They even done an oil change on the Late Model for us. We supplied the parts and they supplied the labour.

We headed for the track around 3. Once there we set up our pit area (all paved pits....nice). We made one set of hot laps and the car seemed good. The engine worked fine and had good oil pressure.

Ryan Dick Helps Out
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Ryan Dick, helping with a gear change Viewed 273 times

Marty and I were working on the car, getting it ready and setting up the pits to make sure we had everything done. The radio's tires, stagger, fuel etc. Ryan Dick, one of my competitors in the OSCAAR Modified series came by and asked if we needed help. I said yes for sure and he was a great addition for us, helping so we didn't get burnt out.

There were 15 cars for this race. We were in the 2nd heat and started 6th. It was a tough heat, very close. The top 5 ran very close. We got into 4th and ran bumper to bumper until the final lap and because we were so tight and close, I was slowing down a lot going into the turns. That allowed #2 Tim Ellis to move outside and get by on the last lap putting us 5th.

There was a slight hesitation from the engine so I made a carb adjustment but it didn't seem right. I was trying to get the idle better but was having issues with it. The car was running hot and bogging slightly.

In our next heat we started outside pole and won it by a few car lengths. It was awesome to pick up a win at this track.. This was our first win in the Late Model since 2012. It was also our 3rd win of 2014, tying us with 2012.
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Flames from the exhaust......too rich :) Viewed 273 times
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Heat win #3 for 2014 Viewed 273 times

After the heat win I noticed the car was running hot and hesitating still. I asked Jason Parker to double check the timing for us and while he was doing it the carb was backing up fuel and spewing it out the air inlets. He confirmed the timing was good so I called David to pick his brain. He felt maybe we were too lean and then I remembered I had messed with the carb trying to get the idle right and needed to double check it.

We started the car and it was popping through the carb and within 2 minutes of adjusting the air idle screws it was fine and never acted up again. The temperature dropped and the car idled fine.

We decided to put one new tire on the RR for the feature. We had a few for Sunset and used one for the feature race.

Ryan was a huge help. Marty was awesome and appreciated the help. Bob and Jason were on holidays. Paul couldn't make it. Matt also had to work and the other 5 names on our crew haven't been out at all this year. That's not uncommon to start the season with 9 crew and only 3 or 4 make it out. Anyway, we were okay because I wasn't in contention here, because the built engines are too stout for our 602. We were allowed either a 4 barrel or small clutch. I don't have the clutch so I put on the carb.

We started pole, I was going to go last but decided to take it. The fast cars were by me right away. I was getting hit from behind by the built engine cars because I was too slow. They have all the right stuff in their cars and knowing that is why I go scratch. There is nothing worse than getting run over, so I would sooner go to the back then start pole and end up there by getting spun out.

The plan for us was to finish this race unscathed and leave the car at Sauble and come back for the 150 lap race on Sunday, "Beat the Heat". Things were going okay for us in the race. We were an 8th place car at best. I had some serious battles with Shawn McGlynn who ran strong considering he didn't have a 4 barrel on his 602.

We were 10th on lap 47 of 50 when a yellow came out. On the restart we got into 9th and my goal was 8th because it paid $300 and we needed that money to get us to the next race. Unfortunately for us things would go bad on lap 48 when 2 cars ahead of us spun going into 3. I got around the first and almost the 2nd car, but got tagged and pushed up into the wall between turns 3 and 4. The impact was slight and Marty said from the spotters stands that it looked like the tie rod broke. I got out and looked but both wheels were pointing in the same direction. Marty could see the drivers wheel just the right side. When I got back in the car I knew I was in big trouble because as I turned the steering wheel the tires didn't move and there was a terrible loud clunk.....a broken rack.

Well things couldn't have turned out worse for us on that deal. We hardly hit at all, but the way we did was enough to bust the rack housing and the teeth on the pinion and rack. We finished 13th on the hook and got $160, but worse than that was the fact we needed a new rack and pinion and the in the car was $800, busted at Autumn Colors in 2012.
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July%2031%20001.jpg (98.11 KiB) Viewed 5852 times
Busted rack Viewed 273 times
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Amazing that the tie rods and himes were okay...just the way it hit Viewed 273 times
Jason Legge thought he had a rack assembly at home so we went there to see but his was an Appleton with an integral servo so it would work at all. He said we could leave the car and he would see what he would do to try and get it fixed. I decided not to do that, though much appreciated, by him and his racing friend who said to me "we want to see the streak continue".

I thought if I got it home I would have a better chance to hunt down the needed parts. I called Ron Easton and he said he would see if Larry Jackson had one or if there were any parts we could use.

Marty and I headed home. We were tired, 3 race nights since Saturday, plus 2 shows and a day of changing an engine. Now I had to find a rack and plus we needed to do the maintenance on the Modified on Thursday and the Late Model, that would now be going to Sunset Speedway on Sunday instead of back to Sauble. We would be racing the Modified in Peterborough and then head back home to unload and load the Late Model. Going to Sauble would be too much for just the 2 of us, so the easier and cheaper choice would be Sunset Speedway. We still wouldn't be competitive there but with our sponsors night coming on August 9th, it was a good choice to see how far off we were, because we hadn't run at Sunset since May 31st.

On Thursday morning my grand kids helped unload the Late Model, what a job that was, no steering at all. It took about an hour to finesse the car out of the trailer and then 15 minutes to get the rack off. I called Ron Easton and he did not have any access to a steering rack. I posted our needs on facebook and within an hour a few people responded. Derrick Tiemersma had exactly what we needed and it was ready to get that day. Shirley had asked me to take the Mini Stock to Sunset and leave it there, so on the way back I went to Derricks shop in New Market.
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Life saver Derrick Tiemersma sells us a rack...exactly the same...almost Viewed 273 times
Marty came to the garage around 6:30 and started the nut and bolt and maintenance on both cars. By the time I got there with the rack he was 90% done. I decided to install the rack on Friday. I called Ron Easton and he said he would come over Friday after supper and set the bump steer.

So by Friday night both cars were ready to go and I was tired, but no time to update this part of our web site. Plus I tried so hard to get pictures to post and one photographer doesn't give checker pictures unless the driver buys them, I just want a low res for my web site. The other photographer, who I paid money at the beginning of the year to send me pictures, sent me one with his name on it so I couldn't post it right away until he got me another one. If we hadn't raced 3 races in 5 nights it could have waited but also, we had 2 more races coming and I wanted to get our site updated.....getting there.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:50 pm

Postby Gary » Sun Aug 03, 2014 12:58 am

Aug 2nd...................Peterborough Speedway

Race #20

High Lites
* 16 cars
* Max Beyore wins feature
* Good racing
* We get 3rd heat win in Modified
* Now have 4 checkers in 2014, most in 4 years
* Another top 5 feature finish
* 3rd in OSCAAR Modified points
* 578 gears

Results
1st Heat.......1st
2nd Heat......5th
Feature.......4th

Winnings
$275

Repairs
routine, prepare for Kawartha

Crew
Marty

Conclusion
This was our 4th night of racing in 8 days. Marty and his Dad and Mom came with us for the drive, a 2 hours jaunt normally that ended up being over 3 because I decided to try going highway 7 once we got off the 407 and just north of Ajax. That didn’t work out so well, but it was scenic, and though we were a little late we were relaxed and unfortunately parked a long ways from home base, down in the grass, but it was okay we were glad just to be there in the Modified, and I love short track racing and Peterborough provides some of the fastest,

Marty and I got things ready, just the two of us. Bruce and Joyce headed for the grand stands and we got the pits and car ready. We were running our tires from our last trip to Sunset, and had 3 decent tires set aside for the feature, including one new right rear.

Our first set of hot laps was awesome, so good in fact I didn’t want to do anymore. Marty agreed. There was no sense eating up what life was left on the tires, they are soft and fast but need to be nurtured or quickly become hard and useless.

I drew #5 putting us outside pole in the second heat. Gary McLean, Davey Terry, Max Beyore and a few other fast cars were in our heat.
As I got on the track I did a quick radio check and could not hear Marty. I checked again and no sound. I was beginning to panic because I don’t have mirrors either. I reached down to the radio and turned it on and off and did not hear the beep so I knew I was euchred.

I had two choices, get to the front, but be careful because I would not know if someone was inside me and really be careful trying to go outside or take the chance of getting turned into the front or back wall, a thought that entered my mind to mess with me.

The white came out and I tried again to fidget with my ear plug or whatever else I could get but our radio container is down by my seat and not easy to access.

Mirrors are one thing, and I don’t use one, but radio’s and a good spotter are absolutely crucial. I am now dependent on my spotters to get me through a race and not have to worry where cars are because until he says “Clear” high or low, I am staying put. It’s frustrating to want to get high but the spotter is saying “outside” for a few laps, but the alternative is not listening to him and wrecking the car, and I prefer to listen to him, and they (Bob, Jim, Marty and Matt) all know not to take a chance. Even when I know I can pass a car on the outside I stay up in case he drives in hard, so saying clear does not mean by an inch, it means “clear, you will not wreck your race car”. Well in this race I didn’t have that, I have been use to having a spotter for the past 10 years. From 1978 until 2004 I raced the Hobby car with no mirrors or spotter for 26 years and it was not an issue. Now however, much faster cars and expensive at that, make it mandatory to have a good spotter. I did have a great spotter this day, I just wasn’t connected to him.

As the field headed down the back chute I was thinking, “I better not try this, just go high and to the back”, but I didn’t like that choice because the car was fast. But it was also in one piece right now and working awesome, so why take a chance. Why take a chance? Well there were lots of reasons to stay where I was and race. We were 4th in points, and in this class qualifying is huge because it is very tough to pass, so taking my spot might be the best choice, as scary as that was, because of no mirrors as well.

As we were half way down the back chute I made one more press of the button and called out “test 1-2-3”, but no response, so I immediately said I am going for it.

I got a good run off four and raced into one with #47 Brian McLean right beside me. I stayed high to give him room. I did that for the next 2 laps because I had no clue where he was. Finally going into one I dropped to the inside and waited for the bang but it didn’t happen so I started racing harder. I kept an eye on the starter and the score board that showed #47 still 2nd and #8 Gary McLean 3rd. Finally the starter had the cross flags in his hand meaning we were half way. With three laps to go I was still racing hard when suddenly the car broke loose in turn 2 almost bringing me around. I collected it and hoped no one was right there. The next lap was 2 to go and again the car broke loose, I thought I was having a flat tire. On the white flag lap I slowed a little and was easy on the throttle and managed to pick up our 4th checker of the season and the 3rd in the Modified. It was awesome and I was pumped for sure. It was at least 6 years since I won at Peterborough.

Once in the pits I asked Marty to check the air in the RR tire. He reported it was fine. I asked Gary McLean’s crew about the tires and they said they are like a switch, when they go it is instant…..so I knew we had a tire that was officially gone.
We installed a good spare RR and went out for the next heat and finished 5th. We got a slow start and could not get by Dustin Jackson who ran a strong and smart race. We would finish 5th with Max, Gary and Davey taking the top 3 spots.

Marty and I changed the tires for the feature, but I also wanted to change the gears as well, we were hitting the chip very hard and I felt with night coming and cooler temps we would be going faster and be harder on the chip, so going down to 578 was necessary, we were 588 but the 100 RPM would not hurt us. We had to hustle because the show was moving quick and it was hot and humid. Add to that our 4th race in 8 nights, plus 2 shows, and an engine swap so we were tired.

We moved the car about 75 feet to a pad that was vacant. There we could use a jack and put it on stands. Our grass/earth pad was leaning bad as it was on a slope, and no way safe to get under the car. Marty headed with the gears, drain pan, oil and tools, and I took the 4 tires, gun and torque wrench, we had to make a few trips to get all we needed, and just one person extra would have made such a big difference for us but we didn't have anyone else so I ran instead of walked and both of us were exhausted by the time they came to line us up.

Marty was upset that we didn't have any help and I seen his frustration but there was nothing I could do but just work extra hard myself. Sometimes I don't even make changes on my car or suggest things because I know my crew will be tired from the work so I race was I have, and sometimes will go scratch knowing that sometimes I am driving a road block and need to get out of the way. But that isn't the situation for the Modified, it is fast enough to be a contender. Not the fastest car in the field but not one that has to get out of the way either because we have some decent parity with the rest of the field.

Marty vented, and I was frustrated as well because there was nothing I could do about the lack of help at the track or at home. Sometimes my crew get discouraged and don't want to help because there is no one else, and next I am almost alone, so to help matters, I get the cars on stand (most of the time), make a list, and get done what I can before they come over. Then whatever is left or not done I finish so they don't have to come back. We work on the cars only 2 nights and the crew come over at 6 or 7 and stay until 9 max, but many times leave by 8:30 or sooner so the time working on the car is all business and not much time for reviewing the races or having any social time, there is a little but it's very little and all of that would be better if we had even one more person, but for now I will work harder and very much appreciate what help I have because it wouldn't take much to lose all the crew over a wreck or a heavy work load. Very frustrating but just the way it is.

By the time we were ready to go out on the track Marty was feeling better, and I calmed down as well. It happens every once in a while, even with teams who have 5 or 6 guys and girls. Marty has been spotting for me lately, since the Wednesday race and doing a fantastic job, so letting this little blow up go was a good deal because we had a big race coming up and our car was very good.

We were set to go, the radio's were working and with a good qualifying in the heats we were starting 5th in the feature. The race was actually very good, close and fast, well other than Max Beyore #91 who dominated the field by his incredible ability to hook up and pull away from the field gaining a few car lengths every lap.

Our car was good. I needed to drive harder into the turns and not get so low in one and two, but I try so hard not to hit the RF wheel or slide up into one of the other cars. The other issue with staying too low is the inside rumble strips, when you hit them you lose a half a car length and worse, take away any momentum the car had diving into the turns.

We held on to 5th for the first few laps and then Gary McLean #8 got by on the outside while we were running nose to tail. A caution brought the field together and we got into a tough hard battle with Tommy Robb #88 and Chad Strawn #77. Chad was fast all night and Tommy ran very well. Tommy was holding on to 4th and I could race with him but just not set him up. Chad was outside and though he didn't pinch me down, I was trying hard not to run into him, and also stay off the bumps on the inside. If I had a good corner I gained, although Chad was running great on the outside.

Behind us was John Harper #79 who is a great guy and running awesome. He had a win and a 3rd in his heats, making him the top qualifier and had he been ahead we would have struggled to get by and likely might not have because he stayed with us in the 4 car battle.

Meanwhile Max was pulling away from Davey Terry #14 and Gary McLean, though those two were in a fierce battle for second. Meanwhile Tommy was holding on to 4th and behind him was us, then Chad, Brian McLean #47, Shane Stickle #39 and John Harper.

We had a long green flag run bringing the battle from 4th to 8th the race to watch. Our car was awesome but Chad was knowing on my door constantly meaning that if I wasn't on the wheel and focused, and if the car wasn't good in the corners, we were getting passed. But both were good and I really felt, more than anytime this year, the fierceness of this battle.

By lap 22 I noticed we were catching Gary McLean. I knew something had to be wrong with this car because we could not see Davey or Max, I'm not sure Davey could see Max. As the laps went by we were quickly gaining on Gary and I could see he was struggling in the turns. It was obvious he had a tire going down, but was trying to hold on to 3rd.

With 4 laps to go we were on Gary and I expected with a train of 6 cars coming, he would surrender the fight to hold on to 3rd and let us go. I also know that leading a points race, and needing every point you can get is very important, plus add to the fact that the car second in points was leading the race. It's no wonder Gary was hanging on, but his fight would turn ugly on lap 28.

Gong into turn one it was obvious that Gary was slowing down, in fact his car stayed high going in. Possibly because the low tire was making his car loose and he had to turn right to avoid spinning out, or he was deliberately keeping the car high so his turns wouldn't be too tight and then self spin. It was a tough decision for the warrior to concede the spot and he says he did concede it as we were coming off turn 2, and pointed high for Tommy to go around on the outside. But, either Tommy didn't see it, and with the huge hole left on the inside from Gary being high in the turn, Tommy had to make a quick decision and he went low coming off turn 2, to get under Gary. At the same time, when Gary was pointing high, he to was coming down to give the upper lane, and that is when the 2 cars came together.

The previous 5 laps gave me time to think about what I was going to do, I was planning on going outside, but that was because I figured Gary would be staying low. When Tommy went low coming off two I thought that I was going to get boxed on the outside as Tommy forced Gary to the outside lane. But just a split second before I made the move, they tangled and I went straight outside. I saw Tommy's #88 go sliding through the grass, it was about half way down the long fast back chute. I got outside Gary and made the pass going into turn 3 and saw the #88 sliding out of control and heading out on to the track. I knew it was going to be ugly and I hoped we would make it through and we did, but by the time I got to turn one the red flag was out.

Tommy's out of control car could not get slowed up enough to avoid heading on the track and t-boning #47 Brian McLean. It was a terrible crash impact that sent Brian flying into the wall and bursting into flames. A few other cars got wrecked as well including Tommy and Gary.

It took a while to clean up the track but the good news was that no one was hurt.

We finally got the yellow and started to cruise around and then my car began spewing water out the overflow tube. I was hoping we wouldn't have to stop because there were only 3 laps to go and I felt we could maybe get a top 3 or even 2nd place. As we went around under yellow the water kept spouting out and I tried to find clean air and cool it down. It was bugging me for sure.

On the green the field was tight. I didn't get the start I wanted as I hit the rumbled strip coming off turn 4 and it slowed me up enough for Chad to get a good run off the corner. Going into one his momentum gave him a strong run off turn 2 and he was ahead going down the back chute. My mind wasn't focused because of the water coming out the overflow tube.

On the final lap I was a car length behind Chad who was battling Davey now and I was comfortable in 4th, but a little disappointed we didn't get a podium finish. The car was awesome and no damage at all, so it was a great night of racing for us.

We are now 3rd in points, after dropping back to 8th. Our car has been very good and hope to continue that at Kawartha on Sunday the 10th of August.

Bruce and Joyce headed to the pits and gave us a thumbs up for a good night of racing. Marty was flawless at spotting and made the race both exciting and informative for me.

We headed home at 10:45 and once there unloaded the Mod and loaded the Late Model for Sunset Speedway. I decided not to go to Sauble Speedway because it would be another long tiring run and we were no competition there, although we wouldn't be a Sunset Speedway either, but it would be the cheaper of the two races for us to attend.

Position Car # Owner/Driver Points Total Behind
1 8.......Gary McLean.......578
2 91N.....Max Beyore....... 564
3 36......Gary Elliott........521
4 88R.....Tommy Robb......518
5 14.......Davey Terry.......510
6 47.......Brian McLean.....505
7 77.......Chad Strawn.......476
8 88.......Ryan Dick..........462
9 61.......Dustin Jackson.....462
10 7.......Brent McLean......447

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