Diary Of A Season 2014

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 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:50 pm

August 3rd...............Sunset Speedway

Race #21

High Lites
* 22 cars
* Jason Witty wins
* We struggle but stay out of trouble
* Lauren and team fix her car for Sunday
* This was our 5th race night in 9 days. Marty made everyone
* 596 gears



Routine, prepare for next Saturday Sunset, Family Faith Night



We raced Saturday night at Peterborough and this race was the 5th in 9 nights so we were just about baked from the work, travelling and racing. It was good, I mean I loved it, we got 3 wins in this mini series of racing, and we did 2 shows as well in the 9 nights, not to mention replacing an engine and then getting a rack so we could make this race.

We got to the track a little late but in time to get one set of hot laps. This was our first time back since May 31st and though I don't need a ton of practice, I was not about to be racing over my head to finish 15th. Our car can't keep up here, and though it's my favorite track, I hate going anywhere when I know we have zero chance of winning....here we have zero chance of a top 5 and maybe even top 10.

I know what we need to do to get the car better, but it will take too much money this year and besides, we are having fun in the Modified and very competitive.

I told Marty I was going to run scratch all night and the reason was because we were tired and needed to have an easy week. Monday was a holiday and we had a big event weekend coming on the 8th to the 10th in Grand Bend with our show car and Late Model, so that was going to be another marathon and we needed to have an easy week, no extra fixing. Though taking it easy is no guarantee, it was our best option, and I let Marty know and he was thumbs up for sure.

We finished at the back of the heat and then 4th in the consi. There were 20 cars for the feature and we started at the back and managed to stay out of trouble and there was plenty of it with cars shoving and banging each other. Bentley and Morrow both did not finish when they collided as Walters made it 3 wide on the back chute going into 3. I was surprised that Mike or Chris would be in that spot, in other words, I didn't think even Tom could make it 3 wide with those dudes, but he did, and disaster struck.

We stayed out of the way and finished 15th, not good, but exactly what we needed, a night with nothing going wrong.

I am tired, this was our 21st night, and we've had 12 shows off the track, so it was a mind pleasing deal to be heading home knowing we just had maintenance to do on both our speedy Mod and good looking Late Model.

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 10, 2014 12:45 am

August 9th.........Sunset Speedway

Race #22

Family Faith Night

High Lites
* 20 cars
* Dwayne Baker Wins
* Family Faith Night a success
* Rough stuff going on
* We finish 12th, 3rd in consi
* Lauren awesome run....10th in feature



routine, prepare for Trevor Monaghan to drive...August 16th at Flamboro

Marty, Matt, Bill & Cheryl


Family Faith Night
In 2012 a few of us discussed the possibility of bringing the gospel to the races. Not a night to preach, but more of a night to bring awareness of what Christianity was about, and not so much in a religious way, but reaching out to the racing community by joining hands in a sport where people of all back grounds, social, career and spiritual would gather.

We wanted to show our racing friends, and more, my arena of choice for most of my life, that God loves people, and the things they do, more than anything.

Three organizations helped make it happen. Open Door’s, Scripture Union and the Canadian Bible Society, worked together to bring a night to the fans that might be less intimidating by supporting the sport, giving out material and mostly letting people know that people of faith are not any different than regular every day race fans, in fact we are the same, just separated by the belief in God.
It was good for me to have the support I was getting from these 3 companies. I have been a Christian since 1988, and I love people and racing. Every Christian has a mission field. It could be his or her work place, community, another country around the world, or in my case, the race track.

I don’t get many chances to share the gospel, the life giving message about Jesus and what He has done for us, at least not verbally, but I do by the way I race my car. Wrecking someone to gain a spot, freaking out on the race track, or going after another person are ways that would not show you are anything but greedy and a hot head. It’s not easy to control yourself when you are filled with adrenalin, but that may be the only way to preach to people, but the way you act, compared to what you say. Christians need to be ready to give an answer if asked about their faith, but more importantly, they need to live and walk it so people see you live by what you believe. That speaks louder than words.

As well as fans being introduced to the spiritual side for a night at the races, those who were in the VIP area were also visited by me and my crew, Matt and Marty. I had an opportunity to explain to them in more detail what a race car was, how it worked, the various divisions and the format for that night. For many of those in the VIP, it was a new venture.

The night was a great success. We even got a few more kids signed up for Kids Camp. There were 5 last year and we are up to 28 for 2014.
It would be awesome to have Family Faith Night at every track in Ontario, at least once a year. Our world is getting darker by the day and we need to be reminded that God loves us and will meet us where we are in our lives. The Bible warns that in the last days receiving Christ may only happen by losing your life. We see some religions even today, murdering people who won’t conform or accept their religion. Fanatics yes, but millions in their religion are not speaking out. We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God, we can’t get to Heaven on our own, but thanks to God, we have the victory over death through Jesus and what He has done for us.

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Sunset Speedway who made the day go easy for all the hard working people sponsoring the event.

The night was good for us, I mean, good in that we didn’t get wrecked or look too far out of place. I hate knowing that when we head to the track we have zero chance to win, in fact zero chance for a top 5, maybe even top 10. It's very frustrating but we love this track. I have this illusion that when I drive into the turns the car will set and turn like it should, and when I step on the gas I can come off the corners like everyone else, but then someone slaps me in the face and says "hey, wake up, you're dreaming".

We raced hard in every race tonight, like we usually do, as discouraging as it is to be inept at your home track. I know for sure that on certain nights, anyone can run poorly, and I know that someone will finish last or 18th etc. I just don't like going to the races knowing that I will be that guy who will fill in one of the positions between 15th and last. It's so discouraging but I try not to let my feelings get out too much, I keep it inside, but anyone who knows me, knows how bad I feel about racing like this. I also know that if I had the most expensive car on the track, the most powerful and best set up, there would be no guarantee of a win....but!!!! there would be a guarantee of a chance to win, and for us right now, there is no chance of a top 10 finish let alone a win, and that is hard to take, but we did it every weekend last year, and every time we come out this year. I do plan on doing something about it over the winter, but for now I will surrender to the fact we can't keep up, and hope to get the support we need in 2015 to run with the pack....the front pack.

Just an example of good cars and not so good. Last year we thought we did all the right stuff to our car and my son took the year off to pit for me. By the time we got the car to turn better, it was obvious that our car was out powered as well. David felt bad for me and said "Dad they are killing you on power, even when your car is perfect they pull you off the corners so much.

David went back to racing this year, and was not going to race like I do. His cars have been less than stout in the chassis and more in the engine. So he did rebuild his engine and redid his chassis and guess what....he's won 4 features, 3 in a row. His car is not the same one he ran last year, not even close. He already had the driving skill, just needed the power and chassis like the rest and he got it and is winning.

Our heat race was nuts with at least 3 cautions. It’s crazy how some racers think everyone should move over for them and if they don’t they bang on them. There was a yellow near the end of our heat when one of the top drivers simply drove into the car in front deliberately turning him around. He did it because that car didn't move over, or crowded him too much. I knew it was coming and stayed clear. I wasn’t sure if the fellow getting spun would want to get revenge, so staying back saved our car, but put us last in that heat race.

In the consi, we started 4th and ran hard. There was more rough stuff, not as bad, only this time we gained by it, picking up a 3rd.

We had 3 new tires for the feature, a little consolation. Our car is down on horsepower. Many of the cars we’re racing against run a modified Crate engine, while ours is stock. The advantage is 15 to 20 HP, quite a difference. I was reluctant to get mixed up with the aggressive field, because many of them were in a close point race and we had only been at Sunset five times this year, and that because of the conflict in scheduling with the Mod.

The race had a long run of green flag racing. We were running 14th of 20 cars and were running with a few cars mid pack and back. Marty was spotting, doing an awesome job and let me know the leader was coming. On about lap 34 I moved over to let Mike Bentley go. He started on the pole and was 5 car lengths ahead of 2nd.

Soon the 2nd place car caught me as well and I moved over again. I was surprised to see the #73car, who was right in front of me, not move over, or at least stay down. Instead he decided to pass the car in front of him. Some racers will do that. They are racing in a small group of cars about to be lapped. Some cars will slow up, but then one will jump out to gain a spot by passing a car that obeyed the move over. I understand when two cars are in a hot battle for 15th and about to get lapped that the racer on the outside hates to give up what he worked so hard to get, but his spotter has to tell him to get by or get out of the way. Well the #73 didn’t get out of the way and raced even the 2nd place car Sean Cronan into the turns. Cronan had to back off but on the next lap coming down the front chute, the starter is waving the move over flag frantically, but the #73 wasn’t adhering. I was thinking he wasn’t being very sportsmanlike, but apparently Sean agreed and drove into him spinning the car out.
The yellow came out, it was lap 38, and the starter sent Sean to the back. I didn’t agree with that call because the lapped car did not obey the flags. If I was the starter I would have come on the track, pulled the #73 over, asked him if he seen the mover over flag, and if so, why did he not get out of the way and then let him know the car that hit him was not going to be penalized. “If you are going to ignore the flags, you will be under the law of driver rules, and they will move you”.
Anyway, I felt bad for Sean, he was very fast and maybe could have won that race with a caution. Unfortunately the caution involved him and he went to the back.

On the restart, mayhem was about to take over when Billy Zardo and Mike Bentley took the green side by side. Mike had the choice of lane and took the outside. Billy got the lead and Mike fell in behind and less than a lap later it was like we were at Bowman Grey Stadium, around went the leader with some damage. Billy pitted and Mike pitted as well. Both had to go to the rear, Billy and his crew were very upset, but so were the Bentley team. Billy pulled up beside Mike and pointed at him while we were cruising around under yellow. I had a great seat for this one because they were at the back like me.

Billy settled down and got in behind Mike but his troubles were not over as a ray of sparks shot out from under his car. The right front tire went down, and Billy was dragging the chassis on the track. He pitted, but would lose 2 laps from the repairs. Mike also would pit soon after the restart with trouble as well.

It was all good for us as we plugged along a lap down but gaining spots by attrition. We ended up 12th.

It was a decent night for us, considering we are under powered and under manned crew wise. Just two crew guys, Matt and Marty and we did get some help from friends Bill and his wife Cheryl. They have never been on a crew before and came out to support us.

Our next race is Kawartha in the Modified and we hope to keep our streak going there.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:51 pm

Postby Gary » Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:19 pm

August 10th..........Kawartha Speedway

Race #23

710 In A Row :)

High Lites
* 14 cars
* Terry Baker's car wins...but refuses tech because the car is illegal...DQ...and not Dairy Queen
* Chad Strawn gets the win his second of the year
* We finish 2nd our 3rd runner up for 2014 and our 5th top 4 feature finish
* Tech went nuts on all cars as OSCAAR tries to clean up the cars not fitting under the rules...and that was good
* 504 final



Routine, prepare for Delaware

Bob and Marty

We had a decent night at Sunset in the Late Model and wanted to do even better today in the Modified. We have been on a role with 3 top four feature finishes in the past 3 weeks. We had a 3rd at Capital City, 2nd at Sauble and a 4th at Peterborough Speedway's. That run moved us back into 3rd in the points standing.

We made one set of hot laps. The car was close but loose in. It felt good overall, but I could not go in deeper because of being loose. I was happy with the car, and we made one change for the heat to help loose in. The key to this series is to keep the tires as good as possible for as long as possible, so over practicing isn't good, unless of course you have extra tires to do that and though we have some from Jesse Kennedy we have been using them sparingly.

The format for today was one heat and the feature, not double heats. There were 14 cars, not a good turnout, and kind of discouraging with so many guys saying they were coming out but not supporting the series.

Of the 14 cars in the pits, the one that caused a stir was Terry Bakers #26. A nice looking, new, fast Modified. However, it wasn't a good thing to see the car because there were issues with it. The car had been under scrutiny since it came out with some serious rule infractions that had yet been rectified. The car won the feature on Saturday June 28th with Terry Baker driving it, then a different driver raced it on Sunday the 29th and won. One problem was the engine was too low, at least that is the one they found right away. Terry was told to add weight on the right front corner, but it had no affect on the car, other than it made it maybe even faster. You would think that would hinder the car, but that wasn't the case, or if it did hinder it, the penalty was not near enough. Many racers were upset that they were not told to fix the car, but rather give it a weight penalty. One of those was Pete Terry. We talked before the races and Pete was discouraged and was thinking of making some changes to his own car to be like some of the others, the cars that looked like Super Late Models and not Modifieds. I suggested that we talk to OSCCAR, because that would be better than teams like Pete, being discouraged and either quitting or messing with their own cars. Pete would far sooner see a field of cars on the same playing field and all look the same, or close. I agreed. So prior to todays races Pete and I talked to OSCAAR about the #26 car and suggested they needed to have Terry Baker change the car. OSCAAR said they would look into it and we left it at that.

There were 2 heats with 7 cars in each heat. We started 4th in the second heat and before we got one lap in, we were passed by the #26 driven by Kevin Robb quite easily. We stayed with him and the #77 of Chad Strawn, but could not gain any on the first two. There was a caution half way through the heat. On the white flag lap the pace truck pulled over and the lead car, Kevin slowed right down. It was nuts how much he slowed the pace down. The back flag man, George from Sunset Speedway, who usually works in corner 2 at Sunset, ran out on the back chute and was waving the leaders to pick up the speed. It was ridiculously slow. Finally by turn 3 they got going and Kevin went on to win. Our car was still loose on entry, not as bad as in the hot laps but needed to be fixed for the feature.

After the heat we changed our tires, putting the best ones on for this race. They were not necessarily our best tires, but ones we knew would get heat back into them from this bigger fast track. To help the loose in condition, we added some wedge and lowered the right side pan hard. We decided not to touch the stagger.

While we were working on our car I saw the 26 jacked up on the right side with tech checking it over. They were running a 2 speed transmission, and were told it was illegal, and if they went through tech they would be disqualified. It was the same deal with the #61 team, when they got disqualified at Sauble for running a 2 speed.

We started 3rd in the 25 lap feature and Chad Strawn got the lead and held on for most of the race. We ran 2nd until the 26 passed us and then shortly after got by Chad, with no effort really. Our car was good and was still slightly loose in. The car seemed to be on the edge at times and I didn't want to overdrive it like that, but felt I could go in harder. However, the smoother I was at this track the better ground I would gain. The 3 of us pulled away. Bob was spotting for this race and was having a blast. He kept me posted on how far we were ahead of 4th, Gary McLean and that he wasn't really gaining much on us.

There was a caution with about 8 to go and on the restart Gary lined up beside us. I thought we were doomed now. He has some good power and we haven't beat him yet this year, so it was natural to expect him to get by.

As we took the white the pace truck pulled off and Kevin slowed down again, like he did in the heat race. The problem with doing that, besides the fact that the race leader is suppose to maintain the pace, is that car engines will bog. Naturally Kevin with a 2 speed would be okay, it wouldn't hurt him. I was upset that he was going so slow so I hit his rear bumper between turns 1 and 2. He still didn't go so I hit him again coming off 2 and finally he picked up a little. It's not fair to slow down that much and really causes mayhem further back in the field.

On the start I made sure I got a good jump and though I couldn't get under Chad who was outside of Kevin, I did get into 3rd and Gary fell in behind me. Over the next 4 laps Bob was letting me know that I was pulling away from the #8 of McLean and to concentrate on catching and passing the #77. The 26 of Kevin Robb was pulling away now and I was all over Chad.

When the white came out it was our last chance to make a move but it just wasn't there. Chad didn't make any mistakes, holding his position well coming off turn 2. We raced into 3 and he got loose between 3 and 4 and we gained a little but he got it straight enough to rocket off 4, with us on his tail but unable to pass, but brought home our 4th top 4 feature finish in a row.

Bob and Marty were so pumped. I drove to victory lane, the top 3 go for pictures. While getting our pictures taken I apologized to Kevin for hitting him like I did. He said it was a hard hit, and I explained he should have known after the heat that he had to maintain speed with the pace truck. I congratulated him and then he shocked my by saying that he wasn't going to get the win because he wasn't going to tech. I asked why and he said that his transmission was illegal. Sure enough he didn't go and was disqualified.

I wondered why, since he knew he would be DQ'd, why he didn't pull off with 3 to go or something and let the race be decided fairly. Perhaps fans would think he won and no one would know the difference, plus he got the picture to show sponsors and they wouldn't know he was disqualified either.

I found out after that tech new his transmission was illegal and told him if he ran the 2 speed in the feature he would be disqualified. The rule is that the winner gets the win if he is found illegal but no money or points. That is okay if the car comes to tech and is too light or something else wrong and gets a DQ, but not in this case. The car should not have been allowed to run period and so Chad should get the win and everyone else move up. I hope OSCAAR changes that rule because it does not apply in this case, and it should be changed for 2015. Even if it's not changed for this year, and it could be, the win has to go to Chad given the circumstances and the fact everyone knew he was illegal, tech and the #26 team.

We had a great day regardless and moved us a little further ahead of 4th in the points. It's still close but we are having an awesome year.

Top 5 In Points
1st...#8 Gary Mclean......639
2nd...#91n Max Beyore...625
3rd...#36 Gary Elliott.....582
4th...#88r Tommy Robb..571
5th...#14 Davey Terry.....565

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:51 pm

Postby Gary » Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:13 am

August 15th....................Delaware Speedway

Race #24

High Lites
* 16 cars
* Jamie Cox wins the feature
* Gary McLean top qualifier
* We qualify bad finish 9th in feature
* Jamie gets DQ
* One caution in the feature
* Great crowd
* Still in 3rd by 8 points (3 races to go)
* 504 final

Time Trials.......15th


Fix back bumper

Bob, Marty, Dave Hennessey

I just got back from Sunset Speedway where the 2nd Annual Kids Race Camp was held. It was a great week with over 30 kids joining both the sports and race camp.

Scripture Union runs this camp through one of their divisions, SU Sports. I was proud to be part of it and conduct 3 seminars a day for the full week. I wasn’t alone, my best friend Buttons was with me every minute.

I didn’t get time to do the race report from Delaware in the Modified because I was away all week. We got busy on Sunday when Trevor Monaghan drove my Late Model at Flamboro for the Grisdale Triple Crown race. It wasn’t a scheduled race for me so I let Trevor drive. He rented the car, I took it to the track, worked on the car and spotted for him. He finished 8th in the race and to be honest I was scared because I was taking the car to the kids camp and didn’t want to get it wrecked, but there was not a mark on it and both Trevor and I were very happy.

I need to unload my Late Model and get the Modified done for Saturday’s OSCAAR race at Sunset. However, I also need to update our site and so here is the report from Delaware Speedway August 15th.

We got to Delaware early, and we’re very excited about our chances. We had decent inventory tires for practice, heat and feature. Our strong finish at Kawartha kind of gave us some hope we could run the big half and keep up.

Prior to our time trials, I walked through the pits admiring the Super Modifieds that were on hand and there were some awesome cars. I talked to one racer who said the cars cost about $30,000 and engines ranged from $30 to $50,000. I quickly went back to my Modified, just in case I got a notion to try one of these, but I got scared off quickly. They were nice looking race machines, but very expensive, and I would think they would be given the power and class they represent. Super Modifieds were always the fastest cars on oval, so being expensive would or should be understandable. I still went back to my pit area and breathed easy that my engine was $3500…new.

We made one set of hot laps and though the car felt okay, it was not as fast as I wanted. It was smooth enough, just not aggressive fast.

We changed the tires we ran in hot laps because in the second set the car started getting loose, and we found the RR was done in. We are allowed to buy tires from the Super Late Models, but they are usually used up and don’t give us a lot of practice, and for this set they were done, at least the right rear, after the second time on the track.

Our time trials were dismal at best. I am not a good qualifier unless I know the track, and Delaware I don’t. There were 16 cars and we were 15th fastest, putting us at the tail of the 2nd heat.

Our heat race was okay. I stayed with the pack but some cars had more pull and that could have been for several reasons, new tires, the built engines, or better set up….maybe all 3.

We were running 6th with about 3 laps to go and one car made a crazy move trying to get under the 3rd place car and took that car, another and himself out. It was lucky that mess didn’t collect all the cars from 3rd back, although I got hammered hard by #88 Tommy Robb, who would not finish the race.

On the restart I was able to pace the top 3 but not make any move on them, but I could stay with them and that was a good thing for us.

After the heat I noticed that Tommy’s damage from the wreck. He was behind me when it happened and nailed us hard on the rear bumper. We were okay, but he got a lot of front suspension damage. I suggested he get it ready for the feature and at least take one lap but he had too much wrong and couldn’t get it done.

In the feature we started 9th. It was exciting to be racing with the Delaware Modifieds, though they all had 4 brand new tires. That’s the rule, but the penalty was that they couldn’t start up front from their qualifying heat race.

The leaders took off and a 3 way race developed. Gary McLean was leading with a small group behind him. They were passing a slower car early when the car in second got into Gary causing a pile up off turn four.

At least one car was put out. On the restart I dropped back to 15th because I made a pit stop to increase the rear stagger. Unfortunately I got mixed behind some slower cars and couldn’t pass.

It wasn’t long into the restart that the car running 10th got sideways causing a big check up. I lost a few spots on that deal. The worst part is there was no yellow and that meant that all of us behind that car fell way back from the lead pack. I was behind Dustin Jackson and followed him past the 11th place car into 10th. Then over the next 12 laps I paced but could not pass Dustin. I tried several times to pass on the inside but he pulled me off the corner and I just couldn’t get by. I tried every lap to get a different line, and many times was right on his bumper coming off and at times going into the turns. The pack slowly disappeared in front of us, and with no more yellows there would be no hope of a top 5 in this race.

Finally, with about eight laps to go in the 25 lap feature I tried Dustin on the outside and made it work. He was consistent lap after lap but I was relentless, and it paid off.

I got by, and when I did, I got this lonely feeling. I could not see any cars ahead, meaning they were on the opposite straightaway, or worse, coming around to lap me. Bob was spotting and let me know that within a few laps I was 3, then 4, then 5 and after five more laps about 12 car lengths ahead of Dustin. Even with that I could not see any cars ahead and when the white came out I just took it easy making sure there were no issues with the car. We ended up 9th and I was disappointed, but we still hold to 3rd in the points with an 11 point lead on 4th place.
My crew were awesome again tonight, very encouraging and did a great job all night.
Our next race is Sunset Speedway on August 23rd, and we’re hoping for a podium finish here, maybe if possible a feature win, and that would be so good. It’s been 6 years since we won a feature with our own car.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:51 pm

Postby Gary » Sun Aug 24, 2014 3:47 pm

August 23rd...........Sunset Speedway

Race #25

High Lites
* 16 cars
* Gary McLean wins
* We miss podium get 4th
* Stronger hold on 3rd in points
* 578 gears

Heat #1........3rd
Heat #2........2nd


Rear bumper, find draw, sparking RF wheel, routine check over

Marty, Jim, Dave

Marty, Dave Hennessey and I headed to Sunset in the late morning. We wanted to get there early enough to set up and not rush, and we accomplished that.

Our pad was supposedly being used by Super Late Models so we took the second pad facing south just west of the tech building. It usually fills up with water but it was okay, no water, and close to everything.

We made one set of hot laps and the car felt great. I decided not to do anymore hot laps because our tires wear out fast, plus I knew the track and liked how the car performed during that session.

The crew was very happy with the car. Marty was spotting and Dave was observing. Bob couldn’t make it, and Matt was late due to holidays, so Dave helped us and he was a big help.

After our only hot laps, Dave noticed an oil leak in front of the car. We had a power steering leak issue the past 2 weeks, but it was supposedly fixed during the week. However it wasn’t fixed and was leaking badly. We started the car and could see the leak coming out of the steering assist that is attached to the rack assembly. All the lines were tightened during the week, but that wasn’t the problem, the only way to find it was to start the car and turn the wheel to see it coming out, and fast.

I got out of my fire suit and knew we were in trouble because it was leaking from a seal at the end of the shaft coming out of the steering assist.

We removed the hood to get a good look at the power steering and while we were doing that we ran into 3 very serious but fixable issues. I must say, if it wasn’t for the power steering leak, we would not have found two of these problems.

We started the car to check the power steering again and immediately smoke started coming from the alternator. We shut off the master switch right away. There was a bolt from the cylinder head used as a ground that was hitting the connector for the alternator. It had been there all year so why it started shorting now was a mystery.

Just as I was looking at that, I saw a drop of fuel come from the carb, just a small drop and I found the fuel leak at the float bowl and the inlet pipe. I fixed the fuel first and then we replaced the bolt in the head with a smaller one. Had we not seen the power leak, we would not have removed the hood. A fire would have occurred and that could have done us in for the night. So the power steering leak was kind of a blessing.

Once the fuel and electrical were fixed we proceeded with the power steering and I could see we might be is some trouble. Last time we were here no one had any rack stuff and we ended up not finishing one of the two features that weekend, the big one, our 700th consecutive night. I was stressed about the rack leak because we knew it was leaking and thought it was fixed.

We talked it over and thought of tying rags, and doing other stuff to slow it down but we had 2 heats and a feature to run, and if we ran out of fluid (it was leaking a lot) we would burnt up the pump and maybe damage other parts.

I knew there was such a thing as power steering stop leak, and it was made by Lucas Oil. I went to Kelly Hallett but they didn’t have any. I tried several other drivers and no luck. Finally I went to Mike Beyore and he had a full bottle of Lucas Power Steering stop leak.

It was our only real hope of getting the leak fixed or at least slowed down. We drained a lot of the fluid out and filled the reservoir with the stop leak. Once the car was started and the stop leak (like STP….very thick) got through the system we noticed it slowing down. Then we saw the pinkish sealer sticking out the shaft seal area. All we could do now was hope that it slowed it down a ton for tonight’s races.

The third issue, was when we were routing wires and Marty was cutting plastic ties and accidentally cut the wire for the electric fan. He got on that right away and by the time I was back with power steering stop leak, he had it fixed.

Dave Hennessey
I’ve known Dave since he was a little boy. His dad was one of my first pit crew members back in 1972. Dave eventually started to help my son David and when available helped me as well. It was good he came to this race because just Marty and I would be tough, and the extra hand make it much easier to be ready and do things and make changes necessary.

When I have a small crew I don’t over work them because it won’t be a fun day if I do. We were good today. The boys worked hard, and just as we finished my long time crew chief Jim Hulzinga showed up to help us, but we had just finished some panic repairs to get us mobile.

I drew #11 and put us right in the middle of the first heat. The top 6 cars in the point standing were in our heat race.
Max Beyore was on the pole with Gary McLean outside pole. In front of me was Brian McLean and beside me was Tommy Robb.

The race was fast and I was able to get around Brian and move into 3rd. There were no cautions making it not possible to gain on the leaders.

We checked our power steering level after the first heat and it was good, hardly went down at all and not much leaking out, so our stop leak was doing a tremendous job.

We decided to put on our new tires and scuff them in for the next heat. We were to start 4th in this race but John Harper had transmission issues that put him out for the night, so we were, moved to 3rd.

Davey Terry was on the pole with Brent McLean on the outside. We raced hard into one and were side by side going into 3. I wasn’t sure about the tires but they did grip and I got into 2nd and chased and caught Terry. He was fast off and I would catch him going in each corner.

We ran nose to tail most all of the race but I could not get by and settled for a very close and rewarding 2nd place finish.

We set the car up for the feature including going over the scales and weighing it before putting in any more gas. It weighed 2830 so we felt that was more than enough for a 30 lap feature.

We started 4th with fast cars all around us. Dave Terry was pole and Lane Zardo, driving the #34 was outside pole. Gary McLean was 3rd and I was 4th with Max Beyore 5th and Tom Walters 6th. Tom was driving for Phil Bullen and won one of his heat races, the first time he was ever in a Mod.

On the green Davey got the lead and held it for a few laps. I tried to get by Lane but my car was tight right off the bat. I noticed that Gary’s car was very quick on the turns, and he got around and under Lane in no time.

A yellow came out when Bill Burrows spun. On the restart I was 4th again on the outside of Lane with Gary outside of Davey.

On the start my car was not that good in the middle, very tight but I got a decent run and got by Lane. I ran third for a long time but the tight issue in the middle of the turn was getting worse. Gary got the lead and I gained a little on Davey but not much.

On lap 10 there was a big wreck in turn 3 that brought out the red. No one was hurt but the track was blocked. I told Marty that we were in trouble and that I should pit. I told him we needed to take out a few pounds in the LR tire but unfortunately none of my pit lane crew had radios. Marty and I discussed it and I could see on the score board that Max Beyore was 4th and his car turns better than any car in the series, so I knew I would lose 3rd easy because I could not get on the gas in the middle of the turns.

We talked about it at length. The option was to pit and make the car better to turn, but it meant going to the back. Marty figured if we did that we could make it back to 6th maybe. This class is so even on the straights, that track position is crucial and we had it right now.

I was really upset knowing we were a sitting duck, and worse because I had high hopes of having a shot a wining.

I concluded with Marty that I would stay out and hope to finish 4th but wasn’t happy, but there was really nothing I could do. If it was a 50 lap race I would have gone in right away, but 20 laps to go in this class is over in a hurry.

On the green I raced Max as hard as I could but he got such a good run off 3 that he was soon in 3rd. I got the “clear” call from Marty and settled into 4th.

A few laps later Davey moved down a little and let Max get by. I thought he broke something and went to go outside of him, but once Max passed he sped up again.

We were much faster than Davey. Perhaps the car was a little better because during the red flag I dialed in a little more rear brake to bring the back end around.

I caught the #14 and raced him hard into 3. He was a little high and I dove in and he came down, so I jammed on the brakes and hit the curb. I lost some ground but caught him again 2 laps later and this time as we went through 3 we touched and I thought for sure he was going to spin out. I checked up again but he held on to it and we raced down the front chute. He is a young aggressive and good driver, but I think for sure I had the line and should have been given the low lane both times.

We raced into turn one, but now with the two previous checkups there were a pack of cars on us, including Brent McLean and Tom Walters. I had Davey where I wanted him but also had company as we doubled up coming off one heading down the back chute.

My car was tight still and under this pressure only meant potential disaster. I was loose off the corner and by being that loose I could not set up Davey like I needed to.

Then with about 7 laps to go, coming off two I got hammered from behind as I got half way up the side of the #14. It was intense but he was having more trouble than me holding on.

I finally got by and free of that collection of fast cars to see the hand sign of 5 to go by the starter.

We were third and the leaders were half a track ahead because of the trouble I was having getting by Davey, and the checkups and near wrecks.

I tried a different line to hold on to 3rd and that was a mistake. The car was so tight I had to slow down too much and that allowed Brent to get on my rear bumper. He was all over me and my best move would have been to stay low, because we were strong on the straights.

As we come off four with 2 to go I heard my spotter say inside. I knew I was done because I couldn’t get on the gas and gave up half a car length as Brent got under me.

The next car was too far back to catch us so we ended up 4th.

It was a good run considering, and most people would have been happy, but not me, I was very discouraged. I thought for sure our car would be competitive and it wasn’t, even with 3 new tires. It took me a while to calm down because I felt I let my crew and fans down by not being in the hunt for the win.

We passed tech with no issues and I went over to Brent and apologized and told him good run. He came to me right after the race and said good run, but I wasn’t very happy about losing 3rd, and I should have been more graceful, he’s a great kid and racer.

This was a good night for us points wise. Davey was 4th in points only 10 behind me but he ended up 11th in the feature and 5th in one of his heat races, so we have padded our 3rd in points from a 10 point lead to about 17 or 18. We have no chance to catch the first two unless they explode in warm ups or one of the heat races, they are too far ahead of me. This was our 6th top 4 feature finish in OSCAAR this year.

I got to meet Eugene Morgan for the first time in decades. He use to run the #45 Hobby car and was a very strong runner before he moved on to Late Models in the early 70's. It was good to see him and I meant to give him our 40th Anniversary Quaker State book but not sure that I did.....next time for sure.

Our next race could be this Friday at Full Throttle. Funds are very tight, so racing the smallest track in Ontario might not happen. I will know later in the week, it’s not a scheduled race for us.

Special thanks to my crew for a great night. I hope Dave and Jim can make it out again, and Bob and Matt return for the next OSCAAR race, it’s a month away….yikes…that’s nuts but maybe more cars will be ready by then although the 16 car field was a good turnout and the Super Late Models had over 20.

Just want to say awesome job to Marty for his spotting. He has become a very good spotter and was great again this week.


I was very disappointed after the feature run on Saturday but didn't know until this week during maintenance how lucky we were.

The first thing on our check list was to check the toe, it was easy to see it was towed in, but we needed to know how much. After measuring, we found it was towed in 1" and no wonder I had such a bad push that lead to us losing 3rd. I sent the spindle to Ron Easton and he put in a jig and repaired it as well as replacing the end of the steering arm.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:52 pm

Postby Gary » Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:32 am

August 29th...........Full Throttle

Race #26

713 Nights In A Row

High Lites
* 9 cars
* Gary McLean wins both features
* We finish 2nd in first...our best at Full Throttle
* 613 gears

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


Spindle, steering arm (bent last lap going for 3rd)

Bob, Dave Hennessey and Paul Douglas


What a great night for our team. We arrived later than normal, usually we get to Full Throttle by 4:30 or even sooner, but this time we were closer to 5:30.

We unloaded, had little or nothing to do and made one set of hot laps turning a few laps in the 12:6's. That was all I needed, mostly just to feel the car. Varney is a different track and needs a lot of laps to get around it quick. Gary McLean, and some of the other Mod racers have raced here for years and have no problem, but we're still learning, and the good news is that we are having fun every time we come here. The new owners are doing what they can to make the racing, the payoffs and the rules as fair as possible.

Bob and Paul have been regulars for most of the Full Throttle schedule, and so has Marty, but he was unable to come tonight. Dave Hennessey came with us and is slowly or should I say quickly becoming a regular on our team and he is a huge help and blessing.

There were 11 cars tonight, not a lot, but as much as many tracks have in classes around Ontario. It's still building so by 2015 we could see a few more. It would be great to have 16 to 18 cars on that track. It's a tight fast bull ring, my kind of place, and we are slowly getting the hang of it.

The format was the same, two 20 lap features, no heats. I drew pole for the first race. We started beside Ryan Dick. Bob was spotting. The boys had the car ready for the feature, gassed up and tires set.

We got the lead by the back chute and slowly pulled away from the pack. The fastest car, Gary McLean started scratch. I asked Bob to tell me when Gary got into 2nd place. Our hope was a caution free race and by the time he got into 2nd place, we would be in Owen Sound, and way out of reach.

It didn't quite work that way. We had a good lead, but it was only a lap or so when Bob said, "Gary is in 2nd place". What??? I thought, how is that possible. Anyway, I had only an 8 car length lead but the car was decent, however, all our plans were soon dashed when the yellow came out.

The restart had Gary on the outside and he wasted no time getting by us. Once he was clear and we were clear of the car behind I was able to pace Gary for the next 12 or 14 laps. Coming off four we got 2 flags raised indicating 2 laps to go. As we came for the white, the yellow came out giving us a green white checker. He would take the win and we finished 2nd our best finish this year.

I congratulated my team who worked awesome all night. We took a break while I thought about the car and what changes to make for the feature. We were running old tires from Jesse Kennedy but they were ok, and sticking very good.

I went to the #8 team and congratulated them for another great win. It was our best finish at Full Throttle this season, and I was very happy, though a little disappointed we didn't win. I want so bad to win a feature for my crew and sponsors and I feel it could come before the end of the season, however, it's been 6 years since I won a feature in one of my own cars.

After the first feature we decided not to add fuel, but make a few changes to the chassis. I told Bob prior to the first race that I was okay with making changes as long as we noted them for the next time we go back to Sunset. We are 3rd in OSCAAR points, and 3rd in the Full Throttle standings, but have made OSCAAR our main priority even over the Late Model. However, if a small chassis adjustment will make the car better, then we need to fix the car to do the best we can and so we did.

We raised the pan hard bar and increased the rear stagger to get the car to turn better in the corners. In the next race we would be starting last and Gary on the pole and everyone in the building, drivers staff and fans knew he would win without a doubt unless he had a mechanical failure of some kind or got into trouble some other way, otherwise he was a shoe in for the win.

We started at the back in this one, actually there were 2 cars behind us, who took scratch in the first race, and like most tracks, if you take scratch in your first race you have to go scratch all night.

On the green I was in some heavy traffic. Gary was gone as was Dean Scott #19 and Paul Milligan #23.

I got into 5th and caught up to Phil Shaw #0, who was out for the first time this year driving his Coupe. Phil is a multi time CVM champion and was flying on the track. His car was handling well, coming off the corners fast and with little or no room to pass made it very hard for me to get by.

We were much faster than Phil, but I don’t like to bump and run, I don’t feel good about it and I know competitors don’t like it. When you drive like that, in some cases, the car you hit takes offense and returns the favor, so to me, it’s best to pass clean, and leave out the baggage.

I tried Phil for several laps high and low but he was very good, the best running CVM to run this circuit with us this year.

Bob was watching and could tell we were much quicker and was trying to let me know what way to get by because of his vantage point.

Finally, after following for a few laps I got under Phil coming off turn four. We were side by side going into turn one. It wasn’t the scenario I liked because one if very tight on the inside and knowing that Phil would be driving his Coupe in very hard meant I needed to be careful so I didn’t hit him. I also had to get by him as quick as possible because the top 3 were a straight away ahead.

Once entering turn one side by side I hit the bump on the bottom and it moved me up and with Phil trying to hug me so he didn’t lose much ground, we came together. Sparks flew but I was able to get by with no damage to either car.

Now in 4th I had the track to myself but time was running out. Within one lap I was a car length ahead, then 2 and after a few Bob said we were 5 car lengths ahead of 5th.

As I came out of turn 4 the 2nd and 3rd place cars were going into turn one. Dean was holding Paul off as the two ran nose to tail.

I closed in fast, our car was a rocket. Bob could see how fast we were gaining, but a 20 lap feature isn’t very long with 12.5 second laps.

I caught them with 5 laps to go and needed more laps to find a way past Paul. We ran into traffic and to my surprise Gary was only a few car lengths ahead of Dean.

I tried a few more times to pass, but could not get a good run off the turns to get beside Paul. On the final lap going into one I did get under and we raced down the back chute side by side. I knew going into 3 I would have to slow up so I didn’t push into Paul and I also knew he would have the advantage with the better lane coming off. I had to wait a little too long to get on the gas but when I did the car got a little loose and so did Paul as he was almost up against the front chute cement. We made contact coming off four and that impact sent me flying to the infield. Bob was saying “hold on to it”. I did and managed to cross the finish line ahead of 5th.

We ended up 4th, but it was our best night yet and may have moved us into 2nd in the standings.

My crew was very happy, the car was so good, just ran out of time. Bob said “you were the fastest car by far”. I will take that as a great incentive to come back on the 12th of September and try to win one of the two features.

The impact coming off turn four was serious enough to bend our spindle steering arm. Other than that there was no damage.

This was our 5th night at Full Throttle, and have ran another 11 with OSCAAR, giving us 16 Mod races of the 26 nights we’ve run in 2014.

Looking forward to coming back here in 2 weeks and then our final Mod race at Full Throttle will be on October 3rd. They plan on running Mod’s every other week in 2015.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:54 pm

Postby Gary » Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:30 am

August 30th.............Flamboro Speedway

Race #27

High Lites
* 12 cars
* Jeff Ruddy wins first feature
* David misses 3 in a row for regular night racing...finishes 5th
* We get 8th, and I was okay with that
* 588 final not enough with these tires

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



Marty, Dave Hennessey

We decided to run Flamboro Speedway tonight for a few reasons. Economically we save a ton of tow money going to Flamboro, it’s 10 minutes away. The other reason is competiveness. We have no chance at Sunset with our outdated, obsolete Limited Late Model. We could be closer if we took my stock 602 and spent $4500 on it to get that extra 20 HP, and then spent another $2000 on the suspension, but there is no budget for that right now. Those changes would help us get into the top 10, but to do any better, we need a new chassis like 90% of the cars that run there. I love the track and very much appreciate the owners and promoters, and need to think hard what I will do in 2015. It would be much cheaper for me to run a 604 in our car and head to Flamboro, but I really find it hard to resist going to Sunset in 2015. But for the rest of 2014, it’s a financial decision to run Flamboro and help us get through the year. If we finish in the top 10 every night we make a little money because there is no need to buy tires with a 12 car field, just stay out of the way and help support the track as a filler. Yikes, I hate to say that, but it’s true for now, and in case anyone says different, racing is about having good equipment, and we are shy of that at both tracks. Our car is competitive somewhere, but not either Sunset or Flamboro. Maybe it would be at Barrie, or Sauble, but not for this year. Being competitive is having a chance to win, you might not, but you do have a shot at it. We do in our Mod, but not in our Late Model, not this year.

So going to Flamboro was a relaxing night for us. I missed Lauren’s heat win at Sunset, but got texted the results.

We decided against taking any hot laps. Perhaps one would have been a good idea but the tires we had were pretty well wore out, so any life on them needed to be saved for the 2 heats and feature.

I decided to take scratch all night, mostly because I didn’t want to be in the way of the top 8 cars. There were 12 in total this night, more than the past few weeks. I was glad to support John Casale, he’s a good man, I just wished he could make some wholesale changes to get the place alive. Maybe soon.

In the first heat we finished 5th and did all we could to get by the #77 Alvin McNicol, a former Late Model driver from Full Throttle Speedway. I tried getting under him a few times but couldn’t make the pass. He came over after the race and asked if he got into me, or was blocking and I said no, it was all good.

We knew we were low on gearing but there was no time before the next heat to change the gears. The car was decent otherwise. Still no competition for the top cars but I knew that going in. My goal was to save some money and by racing smart, not buying tires and saving on tow fuel I could accomplish my goals.

In the second heat I got into a battle with Alvin again only this time I did get by him on the outside. It was a clean pass and put us in 4th but the top 3 were out of sight.

We had a fan appreciation night event and just before it took place it started to rain a little but stopped. Meet the Drivers was a good deal for fans and we met a few who knew us from before. On the track it started to rain again and many of our cards got wet and were unable to be signed. But the rain stopped again and this time for good.

Once it was over we headed to the pits and Marty started on the gears. We went from 5:63 to 5:88 to give us another 150 RPM, we were only turning 6100.

We started last in the feature. It was a fast paced race. Our was good as it could be. The gearing really helped. My goal was 8th and we got into a battle with 7th to 10th.
Brent Wheller, Alvin McNicol and Paul Dudnick.

The race was 25 laps. David was trying to win his 3rd in a row but got trapped in traffic and by the time he got out it was too late to catch the #9 of Jeff Ruddy who would go on to win his first feature at Flamboro.

We fought hard and got by 9th and 8th to run with Brent for the final 6 or 7 laps, but there was no way to get by. His car was fast on the straights but not so much in the corners, losing a lot coming off the corners.

We ended up 8th and I was very happy with that, reaching our goal.

I will be back to Flamboro again on the 6th and race the night before at Full Throttle in the Late Model. I’m looking forward to spending a few more races in the Late Model in 2014. This was our 27th night of racing and our 714th in a row. We will race another 9 nights this year, giving us 36 if there are no rain outs.

* Lauren was victorious tonight at Sunset Speedway, winning her 3rd race of the season, she is doing awesome in her car.

* David missed the $1000 bonus of winning 3 features in a row, he had 2 in a row going into the night, but still leads the points.

* The Modified races again on the 12th of September at Full Throttle.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:54 pm

Postby Gary » Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:34 am

September 5th...............Full Throttle

Rained out!!!!!!!!!! :(

They are racing today at Full Throttle, same show.

Our team will have both the Late Model and Modified at Flamboro Speedway on September 6th

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:58 pm

Postby Gary » Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:13 am

September 6th..............Flamboro Speedway

Race #28

715 In A Row

High Lites
*8 Late Models
*10 Mods
* David wins 6th Late Model feature in 2014
* Rob Warnes wins Mod feature
* We finish 6th in both
* 596 final for Late Model
* 588 final for Mod

1st LM Heat.....7th
2nd LM Heat.....7th
LM Feature......6th

Mod Heat.......4th
Mod Feature...6th

Late Model....$200

routine on both cars

Bob, Marty, Dave

After the disappointing rain out Friday at Full Throttle Speedway, we were glad to see decent weather coming Saturday for the Memorial race at Flamboro Speedway.

The Memorial race remembers all those who have left us, those who use to race at Flamboro. It’s a great race night and honoring those men and women and their families is very special. I raced with many of those precious souls and just being there for that race is awesome.

We had to make 2 trips to Flamboro for this race. We took the Late Model over early, Marty, Dave and I. Marty stayed to change the gears while Dave and I headed back to get the Modified. The Mod was ready to race, even fitted with Towel City recaps, courtesy of Rob James.

We decided against practicing with the Late Model because the old tires needed as much life as possible for the heats and feature.

It would be an inexpensive night for us, as far as pre race costs were concerned. Our Mod had the used tires from Rob that he said I could use, and the Late Model was sporting tires from David’s inventory that were also free, a little used up but good enough to get us through the night.

There were only 8 Late Models, and 10 Modified’s. I wasn’t so concerned about the Late Model, but I surely didn’t want to hurt the Modified. This was a group I hadn’t raced with before and did not know any of their characteristics, and more importantly I didn’t know how our car would be on used 8” recaps. Our 10’ Hoosiers are so forgiving and can make any car look good. The problem with the 8” was stagger, we could only get 2 and a bit on the rear, and that wasn’t going to be enough with our springs and chassis set up. I was okay to do chassis adjustments, just wasn’t going to get into changing parts.

The last time we were here we ran 588 in the Late Model, a little more than Sunset, but that was because we were on the old tires and with a big clutch, and this not being a momentum track, we would need a little help off the corners so I guessed 596 for this time out. Nothing else was changed because the car with the set up we had was smooth through the ends, just not enough power or grip to run with the top cars. New tires would have increased our ability and then we may have needed to change the gears to a smaller number, maybe back to 588 or 575, but for tonight we would stick with 596 and hope it would be okay.

I asked John if he could make it so the LM and Mod were not right after each other. There were 6 classes, Mini Stock, Four Fun, Thunder Car, Pro 4, Late Models and OMRS. By opting out on the practicing with the LM, we were able to give a little less stress to my crew and concentrate on the Mod. We knew the LM would be okay, but the Modified had not raced here before and being on a different tire with no stagger, and not sure about the gearing, or how we would compare to the competition, practice was a must.

The Mod warm ups were good for us, because the car was way off. It was tight going in, in the middle and loose off. Most people would notice the loose off but it’s what’s causing it that needs to be addressed. Loose off is a bi-product of tight or pushing in the middle. If the car is great everywhere else, then the changes are different, but for today we needed to fix the car on entry, turning and middle.

With no options on the tires, because getting more stagger would have helped, we decided to add spring rubbers to the right rear and raise the pan hard bar.

In the next set the car was better, in fact a full second better. We were running Thunder Car times in the first set with times in the 17:0’s, but brought that down to 16:0’s but the end of practice.

The OMSR staff was great, very friendly. They checked over the car and passed it, no problem. They gave advice for set up, Rick Warnes was very helpful. It was nice that no one said anything negative to me about OSCAAR and I appreciated that as well.

Because we were new, we started last in our heat race. We made some small changes to the car, because it was still a little tight in the middle, much better but still not right.

The Late Model first heat, we would be running double heat races. Unfortunately our Mod heat was right after and time would be so crucial to get out of the Late Model, change helmets and get the Hans device on for the Mod. My Late Model helmet does not have the clips for the Hans, not yet.

We decided that I would pull off with one to go in the Late Model heat race to help give more time to get in the Modified. Marty would spot for the Late Model and Bob for the Mod races.

We started 8th in the Late Model heat. I was very concerned about time to change over in to the Mod that I told Marty I was pulling off at the half way mark. We needed time to get back to my pit, get out and ready, so waiting until one to go wasn’t going to work at all, because the track was rushing everything because the Thunder Cars had Twin 25 features and the fact there were 6 classes meant the show had to keep moving. We pulled out on the track, 8 cars. Al Bowman was black flagged because his window net fell down. He couldn’t get it up in time and missed the race. On the green I could not stay with anyone, the cars were fairly equal. Our tires and big clutch didn’t help, but I wasn’t worried about that because I was pulling off anyhow.

As soon as the half way flags came out I let Marty know I was coming in. By the time I got to my pit and started changing the Late Model heat was over. At 15.5 second laps it would only be a minute and a bit for them to finish that race and that wasn’t a lot of time for my crew to get me ready but they did an awesome job.

Dale Shaw won the first heat and David finished 2nd.

There was one heat with all 10 cars in it. We started 8th. We didn’t go a lap when one of the cars slammed head on very hard going into 3 on the first lap of the heat. I was right behind him and wow did he hit hard. As I went through the middle of 3 and 4 I watched him bounce off the wall several more times after his initial impact. It looked to me like his throttle stuck, but later we heard something broke on the chassis and made it impossible to steer.

We managed to work up to 4th but that is as far as I could get in the 10 lap heat race. The car was decent but needed another adjustment for the feature.

That would be the only heat race for the Mods, and John told me he could not rearrange the line up for the heats, but did put the Mod’s last with the Thunder Car 2nd Twin 25 running between the Late Model and OSRM feature.

We ran the 2nd LM heat and this time Al Bowman did get in the race. It was an uneventful drive with the front cars all pretty well gone but we ended up 7th and the car was good, no issues.

For the Late Model feature we just added gas. It was 25 laps. I started last but with only 8 cars I wasn’t planning on going anywhere, and thought maybe 7th as long as I didn’t have any issues.

The race was just a drive again because there was no one to race with. The first 6 cars were in a group, then me. The battle up front was fairly intense and became a wild one when David mounted the back chute wall while running 3rd. He rode the full back chute, came back down and was still in 3rd place.

Over the next few laps he was able to get by the 2nd place car, and then take the lead. Once out front David was doing well. Dale Shaw had been given the black flag, not out of the race, but to slow down and let cars get by. I was too far back for him to have to wait for me. However when two cars running 3rd and 4th came by Dale they were racing side by side. They passed Dale but made it 3 wide, and last week’s feature winner #9 Jeff Ruddy and Nick Roth #17 got too close as they were going by Shaw and collided. The wrecking sent Ruddy off on the hook. Roth headed for the pit but got back out before the race restarted.

The last few laps were tight but David would go on to win his 6th feature this year with Dale Shaw 2nd.

I had plenty of time to get ready for the Mod race. We made one small chassis change to the RR trailing arm, lowered it a little. We had taken a little off the sway bar, but I decided to put that back on before the feature. I was concerned about loose off and since we made a few changes to help the car turn in the corners I felt putting the half turn back in the bar would be okay.

We started 8th in this race. It was much more competitive. I got boxed early and fell to the back but did get out quick to move into 7th place. Kelly Hallet was driving #93, a car owned by Shane Gowan. Kelly is a great guy and has been good to me over the years. Our car was much quicker, but I needed to set him up to get by. When I caught him he was away back from 4th and 5th and soon we were in a dog fight. I tried passing Kelly several times, inside and out. Once coming off turn 2 I got too low and spun sideways, almost spinning out in the grass. I was able to save it and get back out on the track. Incredibly I caught right back up in a lap, showing me the car was very fast.

For the next few laps I tried passing again and again. Then I started to plan how it could be, I had to get under him coming off the turn, that was the only way. I had tried several attempts to get under but none worked for me.

Going into turn three I went a little high and dove down low and got beside Kelly and soon by Mr. Hallett. Once we were clear the car pulled away considerably. Unfortunately time was not on our side as there were only 5 laps left.

I caught the 4th and 5th place cars, who were having a great battle themselves. With one to go I got on Rick Warnes rear bumper but could only stay with hand not make the pass, though we tried at the finish line.

We ended up 6th, a little disappointing, but okay considering we had old tires, no stagger but survived and made a race of it, and maybe most important, the car was in one piece.

Our next race is this coming Friday at Full Throttle. We are currently 3rd in that mini-series and hope to take 2nd if possible. We are one point behind Paul Milligan. Gary McLean leads the points.

On Saturday it’s the final points night at Sunset and we are going there for that race and fan appreciation.

Sunday Update

Dave Hennessey and I worked on the Late Model all day and got the led back in, the carb changed as well as an oil change and maintenance done for this week’s race at Sunset Speedway. Dave has been an incredible help to me and our team. Thanks buddy………..The Mod will be done by Tuesday night.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:58 pm

Postby Gary » Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:59 am

September 12th...............Full Throttle Speedway

Race #29

716 in a row

High Lites
* 7 cars
* We win first feature
* Gary McLean wins 2nd feature
* Gary McLean wins Championship
* We finish 2nd
* Our 5th win of 2014
* 621 final

1st Feature.......1st
2nd Feature......3rd


Power steering leak

Marty, Dave, Paul, Jason and Buttons

We finally ended our feature drought tonight. It was the longest yet, 176 nights without a win, but many 2nds and top 5 finishes. We did of course win a feature in 2013, and that counted towards our stats, but it wasn’t in one of our own race cars. When I called David last year and told him we won the feature in an Outlaw Pro 4 Mod he was thrilled for me, but said “too bad it wasn’t in one of your own cars”. I agreed, but it didn’t take away the excitement of winning that July 26th feature at Delaware.

Tonight was different, the way we wanted it and kind of neat that it was in our Mod.

We arrived early and got prepared to do at least one set of hot laps. We remembered the last time we were here we got a 2nd and 4th and felt if things went our way we could pick up a feature win because our car was quick.

We ran on the same used tires we used the last time we were here, the ones we got from Jesse Kennedy. Full Throttle is a rough track on tires and will bring out the heat because we can go hard into the banked turns.

After one set of hot laps I was happy with our car and didn’t want to change anything. The last time we raced the Mod was at Flamboro and we had made some chassis changes to get it to turn better on the flatter 1/3rd mile, and decided to leave those changes for Full Throttle and it felt good.

We started pole in the first 20 lap feature. The car count was low, not good, about what it’s been like all year, and like many tracks in Ontario that are hurting for car count.

It didn’t matter about the car count anyway because Gary McLean was in the race and he had plans of winning both features, like he’s been doing all season. We wanted one real bad, not only to get some confidence, because our Late Model and CVM racing the past few years had been vacant of any feature wins, plus our streak of feature winless nights, in one of our cars, dated back to July 26th 2008.

We started pole in this heat race, and Gary was last. The same scenario last time we were here, only by lap 2 he was in second place and a late caution let him catch up and get by on the restart.

This time would be different because there weren’t as many cars, and though he would get through just as fast, there would be no cautions.

By the time Gary got into 2nd we were 9 car lengths ahead, a full front straight, but he was closing in fast. His car turns so good at FT, his former home track a few years back. Not only is this his track, but he also comes with some very talented crew, while we are still learning the Mod and handling in general.

On lap 10 I caught lapped cars and they were battling. I lost a few valuable seconds, and with lap times in the mid 12’s, losing a second here or there, plus Gary moving closer every lap. With 5 to go I was passing a lapped car and he was right on my tail. Marty was spotting and told me he was 8 car lengths and gaining, then three and next I felt Gary tag my rear bumper. I drove as hard as I could but really felt pressure because one mistake and he would be diving under us and then it would be over.

For the next 36 seconds, about 3 laps Gary was hitting me slightly, down the back chute but I was protecting the inside lane.

With 2 to go, Marty said “looking inside” and I shut the door coming off 2 and was doing all I could so he couldn’t move me or get under.

On the final lap I slowed right down going into one and gave Gary the outside slower lane and hoped that going into turn 3 I wouldn’t mess up. You don’t get many chances to win, and when you do you got to make it count.

I heard him go outside in three but there wasn’t enough time for him to gain any and we came off turn 4 with Gary behind us. Marty and I were wild, as was my crew, Dave, Paul and Jason.

I told the team before the race that if we did get lucky enough to win, I wanted them to head to the winners circle and they did.

The announcer was really good. Mentioned our consecutive night streak and asked how many in a row we had now. He was gracious and even though I was very excited I thanked everyone I had to including the fans who were awesome because it was cold.

I also thanked Gary McLean, a very professional and hard charging racer for running me clean. It was a good win for us.

I text my family and friends after the race, including 2 crew members who could not be there, Bob and Matt. Matt was racing tractors and was not far away and he was having a great night as well, winning his heat and feature in the tractor race.

He decided to come to FT to be with us for the second feature and when it was over we got a nice picture together.

We didn’t touch the car for the second race; in fact we enjoyed the win as much as we could. We would be starting at the back in the next one and our goal now was to finish 2nd in the points. We were one behind 2nd at the start of the night, Paul Milligan, son of Tom Milligan, was ahead of us. He did not finish well in the first, in fact 7th. That gave us a little cushion to work with. We were now 5 points ahead of him, so the last thing we needed was a DNF or to get lapped somehow.

Gary came to our trailer and we talked and he was great. We really enjoy getting to know his team and had a great season at FT, and our time together in OSCAAR, and we still have 2 races left in that series.

In the second feature we got into a few battles that took some time to get sorted out. Paul got ahead early and was in 2nd with Gary long gone. I got into a battle with John Harper and finally made the pass on him to put us in 4th behind #34 Terry Pardy. I tried getting under him but we touched coming off four and it sent me into the infield. I lost 2 spots and about 8 car lengths.

Very shortly I got the spots back and closed in hard on Terry and this time got by and set my sites on Paul who was quite away ahead.

I was able to close in on Paul in the final few laps but no way could I make the pass, and I knew I didn’t have to because we would sew up 2nd by finishing right where we were.

I was a little discouraged not to have a chance to get my Paul and take a run at Gary, because I for sure I run better when I chasing.

Anyway the 1st and 3rd was a milestone night giving us the long awaited win and 2nd in the points.

Our next Mod race will be Velocity on September 27th and 28th. We are 3rd in points in that series and not only want to stay there, but just hoping to get a chance to win a feature in that stout field.

Post Reply