Diary Of A Season 2014

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:59 pm

Postby Gary » Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:15 pm

September 13th..........Sunset Speedway

Race #30


High Lites
* 20 cars
* Holdaway wins
* We suck :)
* finish 15th
* Walters Wild... good run

Results
Time Trials...18th....15:308
Feature........15th

Winnings
$190

Repairs
clutch leak....brakes

Crew
Marty, Dave, Neal Cox

Conclusion
We didn't get to the track early again, and with our budget almost gone for 2014, there was no way to buy tires for the final points night. We are out of the points anyway because we missed so many nights, but still come to support the track whenever possible.

We made one set of hot laps on older tires and it was really just a shake down for time trials. I was content to just go to the back of the feature anyhow because we were not set up or ready to compete with this field.

We were slow in time trials, although we did make a few changes to be as close we could but, my focus was to get in the race and stay out of trouble. Of course I wanted to run well but we knew we were out classed by a ton and plus, it was the final points night and no sense getting in the way of cars trying to gain spots in the standings.

We started 2nd last in the feature. The car was not good, had a push all night. I made a few pit stops to take air out of the left rear but it didn't make any difference, telling me the tires were gone.

There was a caution near the end of the race and Morrow and Holdaway were outside and inside. Morrow got the jump, I had a good view from the back chute as I watched the cars bolt on the restart. I figured there would be a yellow thrown again and told Marty it would happen.

As we came off 4, I noticed there was no flag thrown at all, not even the green. It didn't take long for all hell to break loose. As I came off four I saw #25 way up in the air, demolishing Tom Walters right side. Soon other cars were involved and next thing you know the track is blocked with flying cars. I jammed on the brakes, had been complaining all night about too much rear brake and it's a good thing I still had them because I looked like Ken Block in his punched out Ford Focus. My car did a 180 and missed all 3 cars in front of me and boy was I glad. There is nothing worse than coming into a wreck late.

Tom Walters looked like he was going to go awol. He should have been upset that the green wasn't thrown, but got into yelling at the other drivers. Anyway, his car was beat up bad physically, but he was able to continue and drive to the front by the end of the race. He sure can wheel a good race car.

We were lucky to survive that, and once away to safe ground I dialed in a little more front brake, but was thankful I missed that wreck.

We struggled all race, but kept out of everyone's way. There were a few cars in front of us that we could have passed but to do so would be taking a chance of getting wrecked so I just settled in where I was and we ended up 15th. Not the way I want to race, but until funds allow us better tires and more crew show up, it is impossible to race any other way.

Our next race is Thursday at Sunset for the 125 lap Limited Late Model invitational.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:59 pm

Postby Gary » Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:20 am

September 18th...............Sunset Speedway

Race #31

High Lites
* 28 cars
* only 24 qualify
* Holdaway wins
* We don't make it :(
* Baker and Cronan get into grudge deal....this one is not over

Results
Time Trials.....15:325 25th
Last Chance....9th...DNQ

Winnings
$150

Repairs
Oil leak...not much else, only ran 12 laps

Crew
Marty, Dave Hennessey and Paul Johnson

Conclusion

What an incredibly disappointing night for us. We did not arrive early, we were late, though organized somewhat. We had to get tires mounted, scale the car and other things, so the key to having any kind of success, like making the feature, would only happen if we were well prepared......and I dropped the ball.

It wasn't totally my fault, but not being persistent enough, or assertive, helped mess up the night. I should have said to my crew that we were leaving at 10am, but 2 people asked for rides and I never dreamed I would need to get up there early and practice, but that has been part of my down fall with the Late Model at Sunset, by not practicing more, by not doing mid week testing. It's mostly a financial decision, and maybe that is the end reason, the funds to sustain a race program at Sunset Speedway. Our car is almost obsolete there and the only hope it would have of being competitive (and it could be) is with a more determined race program and a few thousand dollars to get new shocks, tires and set up. The money isn't there now and that is crucial even to get to the track, where a day is needed to practice and money for gas and tires to practice properly. So I am totally responsible for us missing this race.

I knew it would be a tough field, it always is, but for some reason I felt we could wing it, get in the show with little effort. I thought there might only be 22 cars, there were 28. I thought one set of hot laps would be enough, but we changed springs this week and really needed 3 sets of practice. I had new tires that were not scuffed in, my gearing was off and the set up was not right. So I needed to slap myself for showing disrespect to this race and not taking it more serious, it wasn't even on my schedule, but I really wanted to go, and we do work hard on our car during the week maintenance wise, but we needed much more for this trip and I should have been much more rigid with doing anything but getting their early and getting the car the best it could be. Instead I took it for granted that we would be in the show and it cost me.

We unloaded, put on the tires we were going to practice on, and headed for the tech building to check ride height and weights. All looked good. We made no adjustments and got ready for the next set of hot laps, we had not been on the track yet. Unfortunately it was the final set. The car seemed okay but 2 things were happening, it was loose in and I was not hitting the chip at all.

Once back in the pits we found the RR spring was out of the pocket, we had changed it, as well as the front 2 and did not tie it to the mount, so the spring was not in it's proper spot and with the RR jacked up it took out a lot of wedge and made the car loose, so we knew why we were loose, but when that happened we didn't know so we headed back to the tech building to check scales readings and ride height again. The wedge numbers were through the roof, so now a major adjustment was made to get the cross percent where it should be and no more practice to test. All part of the problem of not being here early to get the car set up.

At the drivers meeting it was announced only 24 cars would make the feature. I asked Mark why only 24 and he said because that is what was advertised. I then asked who would be offended if 26 or more started, because that is what they did for the MRE races last year, plus every team that came had to buy 4 tires from the track, not from somewhere else, costing each team $640 plus pit fees $35 a head, tow and race fuel, so at least $900 per car. Tom Walters piped up saying that was the deal and more or less if you don't make it you're not in. No one else said anything, until after the meeting when a few said they agreed with me. Anyway, I have always hated to see cars not make the race if they were able, but the track and Tom were adamant that only 24 would start the race. There were 27 cars, so 3 would go home and I still thought, in spite of the trouble, we would make it.


The next time on the track was time trials. The track staff would mark the 4 tires on pit row and those were the tires that would be used for the 125 lap feature. we had 2 stickers on our car, and that didn't work out for us. The car was not quick at all, turning lap speeds almost 6 tenths off the fastest. We qualified 25th and would start at the back of the 2nd consi where 6 cars would come out of each.

Before the consi, we changed the gears because we were not hitting the chip in the only hot laps we had. We were putting in 613, but I thought it would not be enough. I was wrong, should have left what was in it, but I opted to go to 621......and was that a big mistake. The new tires and the cold night added a ton of grip, so we may have been okay the way we were, but what I decided on would kill us in the consi. I was hitting the chip half way down the back chute and at the start finish line on the front. It would cost us because we could not drive into the corners at all. It was tough, but all part of being there early to get set up proper, scuff in new tires and get the car set.

The car started smoking bad on about lap 6 so I slowed down and lost 7th to the car behind, but it didn't matter because there were 4 bubble cars and none would make it.

I apologized to my crew, and all those who text me wondering how we did. I felt bad, I let everyone down but now my focus would be getting ready for the Garry Reynolds Memorial and make sure not to make the same mistakes that I did for this race.

We found the oil leak, the fitting for the line to the oil pressure gauge was loose, an easy fix. We have new tires for Barrie and will head up there early Saturday morning to get in some testing and set up the car. Lesson learned.

Holdaway won the feature and Bentley was 2nd. Cronan crowded Baker on the back chute during the feature, sending Dwayne into the wall and doing extensive suspension damage. Dwayne drove around slow, and it looked like he was pulling off the track but he stayed high in turn 2 and slowed right down. The yellow came out and when Cronan went by Baker chased him and caught him before the start finish line and rammed Sean in the rear pushing the #84 right into turn one. It looked like Dwayne was trying to push Sean into the turn one wall but could not get it done and spun himself out. Dwayne went on pit row made some repair, and while still under yellow came back out and waited again for Sean but Cronan knew better and stayed well back. Dwayne got the black flag and after the races Sean said he wouldn't be back this year because if he did return he knows he will need a new clip for his car.

It was freezing cold and that was about the only warm spot all night. I must say one thing. The hamburgers were terrible, burnt badly, and the hot chocolate luke warm at best. I was surprised because usually the food was good. I took my burger back and asked for another, no problem the girl said and yelled to the cook "another burnt burger returned. I looked at the grill and there were a pile of charcoal burnt hamburger ready to serve. I took and replacement but threw it out because it tasted awful, nuked to death.

Gehrig drove the Mini Stock and finished 4th in the B main getting him in the feature where he finished 18th. That Honda is not in contention with most of the cars in that field. The winner was turning lap times of 16:4, just 6 tenths off the LM who were in the high 15's by lap 75.


Gehrig did good and will run the "pop can" as Shirley calls it, for Octoberfest and Autumn Colors.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:59 pm

Postby Gary » Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:41 am

September 20th............Barrie Speedway

Race #32

Garry Reynolds Memorial

Streak....719 in a row (this one counts because we qualified, and got paid)

High Lites
* 22 cars
* Started 13th
* 621 final
* Feature rained out
* Our car fast...thanks to help from Taylor Holdaway's team and Scott Wiley

Results
Heat......5th
Feature....rained out

Winnings
$400

Repairs
find engine miss...started while cruising around in feature

Crew
Marty and David

Conclusion
After our disappointing night at Sunset Speedway, missing the 125 lap invitational, I had promised myself and crew that I would be on top of our game for the Barrie Speedway 100 lap Garry Reynolds Memorial. I knew I dropped the ball by not getting to Sunset early and not getting out for practice. All those things hurt us, but had they allowed all the cars to start, we would have improved our car for the feature. But they didn't so I took full responsibility for not making the race and stated on facebook that I learned a lesson, one I knew from before about focusing on our car before a race.....and my crew agreed and we moved on from the Thursday night let down.

I decided to stay at my cousin Kim's in Cookstown, and play some darts as well. I had a friend to see, but that was cancelled so we played darts until 2am. I got my crew a room close by and they picked me up at 9:30...Buttons and I.

We got to the track by 10:45am, gates opened at 11, so we were early. The pits were empty and I liked that, because that meant we definitely were early. The price was $30 to get in, a little less than Thursday night. We had our tires we bought from Thursday, and some stickers for this one, and we had full intentions of making this race.

Marty found a real good parking spot, next to Taylor Holdaway and his team. To be honest, with the attitude change on my part, and parking next to them, it was going to be a good day.

We unpacked and were ready to head to tech. It was overcast but not too bad, in fact there were blue skies at times.
While at tech I got to talk to Mr. Holdaway, Taylor's Dad and congratulate all of them for the win Thursday and the Saturday before. They clearly are the hottest LM team in this part of the woods. I told them I was glad they were doing great and they were excited, but said the help they were getting from Scott Wiley, a US racer, had put them over the top in terms of handling. They felt Scott was directly responsible for them picking off the 2 wins. Marty and I were talking to Taylor and the one thing that stood out on their car was how well it turned in the middle and I can't remember seeing a car glue to the back of the leader of a race and not lose an inch for dozens of laps. It appeared as though Taylor could have taken the lead earlier if he wanted, but his car was turning so good that he wasn't even full throttle, and that makes sense.

It was suggested that we talk to Scott to get some tips and I jumped on that right away. I know our car is older, and for sure would not have the same springs or shook rebounds, but my goal was to get it as good as we could with what we had, and I know for sure we were not getting the best out of our car.

Scott came over to look at the front end and asked questions. I explained that we installed heavier springs on the front because we were lost on bump stops. He agreed that adding bump stops to a race car, is not an easy set up to learn. Scott asked me why I had such a heavy bar, and I said that is the only one we have, and he said "we can work with that, and the springs". Then he asked me what my issues were and I said mostly not turning in the middle, and lately we've been loose in.

Once Scott heard my concerns he asked us to make some changes, quite a few, but we were more than eager to do anything to make our car competitive. I don't care if I finish 10th, as long as the leader is in sight. I just want to be in the race, not falling back and unable to keep up.

We made every change Scott suggested and then took the car out for hot laps. We turned low 15's the first set, but the car felt stable. After I came in, even my crew said the car looked smooth. It was my first time back on Barrie Speedway since last years Garry Reynolds Memorial.

Scott came over and said the car looked decent, and that my lap times were not far off. I told him I was loose going in and reluctant to drive it harder into the turn, so he made a change for that by adding a little wedge to the car. The next set the car was a little faster and more stable going in. I got behind the #9 of Tim Watson, and paced him, but I figured he was on old tires and needed time to get use to the car. He would later go on to win his heat, so he wasn't too unfamiliar with the car :)

The weather started to change and before you know it the blue skies were grey and it was raining hard. Then it stopped and the track got dry for our first of double heats.

We started 2nd row outside in our heat race, but unfortunately we got behind a car that was heading back, in fact he likely should have went scratch. We fell back to 6th and then Marty called "clear low" and I jumped in behind #24 Nick Goetz. Once there I was able to pace that group who were 4 cars slowly falling back from race leader Gord Shepherd. We past one car and got into 5th, but that was it, although I stayed with the pack of cars.

I know on this track that I can go in hard into 3 but should be easy going into one. Anyway, prior to that race, I asked Dave Hennessey, our newest full time crew member, and a huge blessing to me and our team if he would mind doing tire temps after the heat race. Dave agreed and Scott came over and showed Dave how to use the tool and explained what the numbers meant. I knew if we could get the tire temps it would help guide Scott for the next change he would want to make. Dave said "this is a great tool, who did you get it from"? I laughed and said "that's ours, no one has been using it, mostly because it seemed complicated, and we didn't know what the readings meant". I was so glad Dave was willing to learn it because I know it's a good tool and that's why I bought it 2 years ago....just no one would use it every week or at least till we got the car set up.

Scott came over again, encouraged us that we had a good run in the heat. I agreed and thanked him constantly for not only helping but explaining and more importantly, following up.

Scott looked at the tire heat temps and asked how the car was in the race, and I said it was better but still needed to turn better. He said right away "we can fix that", and for the next 20 minutes we added camber to both front wheels and then reset the tow. Scott said "that should help you a lot in the middle of the turn.

Then it started to rain again. The track called a meeting asking if it would be okay to cancel the second round of heats and we all agreed. The rain stopped again and the drying process started all over again. The track owners were determined to get this race in the books. Plus it was the Garry Reynolds Memorial and it was important for the family to do everything possible to get the race in.

Well, we were so excited and ready to try the car after all the successful changes were made. I was barely on the track, under yellow, warming up the tires for the pre race start when suddenly the engine started missing. I was shocked, and thought it might be the carb loading up but it got worse and was almost stalling. I told Marty and he said to pull down pit row. The problem was time. The track wanted to get this race going before the rain came and so there wasn't going to be much time to drive down pit row and check plug wires, that's what I thought it was. If I went to pit row and then the white came out, we would be in big trouble if we didn't take the green because then we would be considered a non starter. So I elected to stay out just in case and sure enough the white came out as cars doubled up. I headed right to the back because the car would barely run.

I was kind of in panic mode, it was nuts, all this work today and now an issue with the engine, or electrical, or fuel, something we haven't had an issue with for years, suddenly was here to spoil our chance to have a decent showing. I told Marty I needed to take the green and then I could go down pit row. I realized we were done anyhow, because as soon as we went down pit row we would get lapped and a top 5 or 10 finished was going to be lost.

I prepared for the start, but as we were heading down the front chute the windshield showed signs of rain on it. Then it got worse. The yellow came out right away and I headed down pit row right then. I yelled to the 41 crew that I thought I had a plug wire off, it would be the easiest and fastest thing to check, but all were okay. I headed back out on the track but soon the rain was worse and tow trucks were out on the track dragging tires trying to dry it off. Soon all cars headed down pit lane and we got out of our cars.

Right away we pulled the hood off and then the air breather assembly. I went over all the wires again and connections but all seemed good.

Marty and Dave felt it might be the air filter because it was soak and wet from the rain we had earlier in the afternoon, in spite of having the car cover on, it was still soaked. I felt a wet air filter would smother the car not make it miss, and it wasn't that wet anyhow because they dried it out pretty good.

Anyway soon the track officials gathered in the pits and suggested the race wouldn't get in because rain was coming 20 minutes and there was no way to get the race to half way even. The track offered to pay out the full purse evenly between all the cars that qualified. It would be $350 each. Some said they didn't like that deal because they bought new tires and now the tires were no good for a big race because they had 2 cycles on them and about 14 laps. They wanted to stick it out, or get more money, but the track wouldn't be expected to pay everyone $640 each, the cost of a set of tires....that would be nuts. I figured with the little wear on our tires they would be perfect for Autumn Colors.

We left the pits and stopped at the pay window on the way out and to my surprise the pay was $400 each, and to that I told the girls in the booth thank you very much and that I would be back in 2015. I felt bad for the staff because people were complaining. I do understand they could have put our race ahead of the Mini Stock 2nd heats, and maybe eliminate or reduce intermission, but I feel they did us all justice with what they gave us......as Mike Brown put it "we got paid $400 to scuff in tires".

Our next show is Velocity with the Mod only. I don't have the funds for both cars and the Mod is priority everywhere but especially when the funds are low. We will have both at AC because I have tires for the Late Model and we have booked rooms for the 3 day experience. Looking forward to that weekend as well.....but Velocity first, and then Octoberfest where the LM may race but on old tires again and that's okay as well. I may race the Modified there with the OMSR, that has been the plan, and on Friday October 3rd we will race the Modified at Full Throttle.

Lots of racing left but our 2014, 46th season is winding down. Been one of our best in 5 seasons.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:00 pm

Postby Gary » Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:45 pm

September 27/28........................Sunset Speedway

Race #33

Streak....720 In A Row

High Lites
* 21 cars
* Gary Mclean wins
* We get runner up
* Win heat....5th win in the Mod, 6th for season
* Most wins in one season since 2007
* Bad luck hits Max Beyore #91
* What a great weekend for Sunset Speedway
* Incredible crowd and car count....as good as Autumn Colors

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

Winnings
$345

Repairs
routine

Crew
Bob, Marty, Matt, Dave, Paul and Jason

Conclusion
What a great weekend we had for our second last OSCAAR Modified series race.

I decided to bring just the Modified this time. The Late Model is not competitive at Sunset, almost obsolete, but we it does run well at Peterborough and other local tracks.

It would be tough getting 2 cars to the track anyhow, plus concentrating on both would be too much with the pressure on this point’s battle. We were in for 3rd place and there were 2 things I really wanted for this weekend. One to win a race, and two, to sow up 3rd spot and both happened.

This Velocity was the best yet and there were many reasons for it. The track management has worked hard all year making this the most efficient (not perfect) race track in Ontario. The turn out or cars and fans was incredible, packed in both categories. There were well over 300 cars and 10 times that in fans and participants with their crews and friends.

I was very happy for Sunset Speedway because they do so many things right, and I made sure sometime late Sunday afternoon to visit the office to congratulate them for a tremendously successful weekend.

The weekend was just as successful for our team. We left our home at 8am, and thought for sure we would be on the early side…..no way, we were considered late arrivals when we got to the track at 10am.

The pits were full and cars were being parked at the south east end of the track, in the make shift parking area east of the grandstands. I was okay with that, so was my crew, because there is nothing more exciting than to be part of a huge race event. I can guarantee next year we will be there the night before, like many teams did, bringing their cars and trailers up early.

It was kind of tough with no speakers around, so we needed to make sure we watched what series was going on the track for practice. We brought lots of spare tires with us, so we could use up older ones for hot laps and better tires for heats.

We made one set of hot laps and the car was very good, we were as fast as any of the cars on the track.

In our first heat we started 6th of 7 cars. There were 21 cars in total, so everyone made the main event, but we were very interested in getting points.

We were too far behind Max Beyore, who was 2nd in the standings, and the same with Gary McLean who was leading. However, our lead on 4th place, Davey Terry, was only 18 points, and that was not enough to guarantee a top 3 at the end of the year.

Max started pole with Davey beside and got the lead and pulled away to take the heat victory. There was a caution half way and that got us beside #39 Shane Stickle. We were able to get by and put a little heat on Davey, but we would settle for 3rd at the line. Davey gained one point on us in that race.

There was little to do on the car other than try to make it a little better. The tires were still good, lots left on them depth wise, and since that’s what we have been going by all season, it would remain our best way to check tires for racing. Naturally having new tires is best, but using inventory to our advantage is the only way to make it through a night, through a season.

We had 2 new tires for the feature but the goal was to make sure we had good tires for the heats, and most every team that competed weekly would be saving new tires for the feature.

Scott Wylie came by and said our car looked good but seemed a little tight in the middle and loose off. He made a suggestion change and we did it, just as we made all the changes he suggested for the Late Model at Barrie.

In our next heat we were to start outside pole. It was night now, and the track was a little different. It was still warm out, it had been an amazing 75 degrees all day and just so beautiful out.

This race had the most bizarre thing happen. As we were warming up our tires one of the cars slammed into Max Beyore busting his front suspension, so bad that Max was towed off the track, he would not start the race, and that was a huge break for Gary McLean who was only a few points ahead of Max. It would be a small gain for us because Max being 53 points ahead was well out of reach for us to catch.

We got the lead on the start of this race and pulled away immediately. By lap 2 we were 5 car lengths ahead and soon we had a full straight almost. I slowed down quite considerably from lap 4 on, wasn’t hitting the chip, just wanting to make sure we had no issues. After all these tires were lasting longer than we expected and the RR could go at any time so conserving was the best deal.

With 2 laps to go Bob suggested that I pick up the pace. Davey Terry was now in 2nd and gaining fast because of our reduced speed. We would take the win, by a fairly good margin. I was so pumped to win this race, at Sunset, in front of a packed house. I was so excited that after the win, and coasting down the back chute as cars passed me on the outside, I forgot to go high in turn 3 and get the checker flag from Brian. Once it hit me I was already deep into turn 3 and bolted down the front chute, passing all the cars that passed me and went flying into turn one. There I met Dave Franks coming the other way, heading to the start finish line to take a picture.

Dave waved at me as if to say “what the heck are you doing”. I just waved out the window as if to say “I’ll be right back with the checker”. When I got it I explained to Brian that I forgot to come up, been a long time since I won a race at Sunset.

Once I had the flag in hand I wildly waved it to all the fans from turn 3 all the way to the finish line. We got a big cheer and applause for our win and my crew and I were very happy about that. We were actually filled with joy knowing we had a good car, but that we just picked up our 6th win of the season, passing 2008 when we won 5 races. The win meant that Davey did not gain on us in the standings.

Bob and Dave stayed overnight in the trailer, and with the help of Marty got the trailer moved to the regular part of the pits. The Hobby cars and Pro Challenge were done this night and heading out of the pits, and the only class coming in was OSCAAR Super Late Models.

Sunday was beautiful. We got to the track early and just took it easy. We would have one set of hot laps and that would be to size our new tires that would go on the outside of the car. Some teams were running 3 new and some 4, but our inventory allotment only provided 2 for us. I hoped it would be enough, but Marty reported that the inside tires were still in good condition. Bob, Matt, Marty and Dave were awesome this weekend, then Paul and his Dad Jason joined us. It was so good to have a full team out for this race.

Some fans came over to us during the morning, and many the night before, to congratulate us and wish us well in the feature. It sure seems that the Modified is the car for our team in terms of being competitive. We haven’t competed this well since 2010.

We heard in the morning that Max Beyore had so much damage to his car that he would not be racing on the Sunday. He would get show up points only. So this was a huge opportunity for our team to close in on Max.

Our only practice came around 12:30. The car was set and it was planned to run easy the first few laps and then get 5 good laps, come off and size them.

The car was awesome; we were very fast, the only car in the low 14:4’s. I was just starting our last few quick hot laps and saw Davey ahead of me. I caught him going into 3 and got on the outside. Coming off four I was at his right rear wheel and suddenly he came right up to the wall. I was stunned and hit the brake and caught the wall with my right front and then right rear. I turned away from the wall and got Davey a little loose.

As he pulled ahead, after I backed off, he stayed high and headed for the pits. I was upset and caught him going into turn one and drove right up beside him. It was maybe wrong to do that, but what he did was way worse because it could have wrecked 2 cars.

I didn’t understand why he pulled up like that. He raced me into 3 and was fast coming off and then went high so there was no way I was expecting him to come off the track. The usual procedure would be to go high in turn 3, slow down a lot, to let the cars behind see your off the pace and then exit. That’s what I did 2 laps later. The car seemed okay, but I was a little concerned with hitting the wall and needed to make sure everything was okay and it seemed fine.

In the pits we could see both outside (new) tires with white paint on them. However the toe was good so nothing got bent.

Davey came over to me after and asked me if I saw his hand waving. I asked him if he had a spotter, because even if he was waving, if there was a car outside the spotter should let him know, plus he raced into 3 and coming off 4 is only good to exit if there is no cars behind. he walked away, maybe upset, maybe not, but he didn't say anymore, and I wasn't mad, just glad for us both because there was no damage to either car.

In the 40 lap feature we started outside pole beside Bobby Tolton. Gary McLean started 4th, right behind me.
We got the lead by lap one and led for only 2 laps before Gary took over the lead. His car was handling awesome and with his power, it was hard to even pace him.

The first caution came on lap 6 and on that restart we were able to stay ahead of the speedy chariots right behind. We built up a 4 or 5 car length lead that lasted until lap 14 when another yellow came out.

Once again we couldn’t stay with Gary, although our restarts were good. That stretch lasted until lap 29, and at the time we had another good lead over 3rd.

On lap 29 our tires and the track were not getting along at all. We were starting to push in the middle and getting loose off, so I had to find a different way around the track.

We would have a few more yellows on this run and each time we would get back into 2nd, one time hitting getting very hard, causing our car to push up. That allowed Matt Barton to get inside and lucky for me, the yellow came out again and we got back into second.

I pulled up beside Gary and waved to indicate I was sorry to hammer him like that, but I was so glad we got the yellow to get our spot back.

Our car slowly got worse as the race went on, but so did most other cars. I slowed right down so that Matt would have to go outside, but he didn’t have enough to do that.

With one to go he was on my bumper but I didn’t care too much, I just hoped he didn’t spin me out.

On the final turn coming off 4 I felt a couple of taps but nothing serious and we held on to grab a hard earned and much needed 2nd.

Many drivers said after that the track was very tight so it wasn’t just us and I was glad we were strong for the first 30 laps.

Our team celebrated after the race and then watched Gehrig do his best in the Mini Stock feature, getting his car in the top 20 with those Pro Mini Stock cars. He did good, but was a little discouraged to get beat so bad on the straights.

Our next race is Octoberfest. We will race the Modified with OMRS and Trevor Monaghan will drive the Late Model on Sunday. Races have been cancelled for Friday with the program running Saturday and Sunday instead of Friday and Saturday.

We gained 41 points on Max to give us a long shot at finishing in the top 2 in the OSCAAR Modified standing

OSCAAR Standings After Velocity
1st……Gary McLean........847
2nd……Max Beyore.........782
3rd…….Gary Elliott........772
4th……Davey Terry.........747
5th……Ryan Dick............702


Special thanks to my crew Bob, Matt, Marty, Dave, Paul and Jason for making this weekend a great one.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2014

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:00 pm

Postby Gary » Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:35 pm

October 10th to 12th...................Peterborough Speedway

Race #34

721 In A Row

High Lites
* 21 Late Models
* 21 Modifieds
* Gord Shepherd wins Pro Late Model
* We finish 11th
* Brent McLean wins Modified feature
* Gary McLean wins OSCAAR Mod points
* Max Beyore "Rookie of the Year
* We get 3rd in points
* 5th in feature
* Heat win on Friday night...6th win in Mod, 7th for season

Results
Late Model
1st Heat......7th
2nd Heat.....7th
Feature......11th

Modified
1st Heat.......1st
2nd Heat......3rd
Feature.......5th

Winnings
Late Model........$360 - $75 (penalty for running 2 cars) should have been $60 I think
Modified...........$230

Repairs
Rebuild both for 2015...best year yet for not carrying a lot of damage to the next year

Crew
Marty, Jim, Ken, Matt, Steff

Conclusion
This was our 34th night of racing, the most since 1990 when we ran 39 nights in the Coupe. It was our 3rd most nights in 46 years; we had 35 nights in 1975.

To show we weren’t slowing down any, I decided to take both my Late Model and Modified to Autumn Colors for our 10th annual visit to the fall classic at Peterborough Speedway. It was a point race for the OSCAAR series, so I was going to be taking the Modified anyhow, and for the past 9 seasons we ran the Late Model there, and felt each year we were better, so we wanted to take it in hopes of having a good finish…for a change. The Late Model was going to be competing in the Pro Late series, not Limited Late Model.

We had to do some juggling to get both cars to the track. The priority car was the Modified of course. We were running 3rd in the standings and naturally would not miss having 100% in the series. That was our commitment since last fall. The issue was getting the Late Model to the track. We had a trailer, David’s, but no tow vehicle, I had asked 5 people and got no replies, some right away, others a few days later.

Finally Marty contacted Brent Wheller, who loaned us his truck to tow our trailer. I really appreciated his generosity very much. The only issue was that Marty couldn’t get it until late Thursday night, after work, and that was good, it just meant I would be going ahead of him.

I went alone on Thursday in hopes of getting 2 pads side by side. There were open pads close to the front, but both cars had to be there at the same time. I explained that my second car would not be there until 9am Friday, but they could not hold it. So I decided to park next to Gary McLean, people I know and who we can help or get help from.

I should have parked on the other side of Gary because the spot I picked had a small gully just where the car would be parked behind the trailer, definitely not a place to set tow or make adjustments, but unless you get to the track on Wednesday night, or first thing Thursday morning, you are in trouble.

I had a place to stay in Peterborough, the Motel 6. It was fairly reasonable and I just needed a place to crash and shower.

When I got to the track first thing Friday morning Marty was already parked beside my trailer. The two of us unloaded both cars and prepared the Late Model for tech and got the Modified ready as well.

Friday
There were 2 sets of hot laps for our cars and we wanted to be in both. The only issue was that there was not much time in between so we had to hustle to make it work.

I was very uncomfortable in the Late Model and we tried to make it so I could use the Hans. But then I needed to switch helmets because the microphones were different in each helmet. Marty came up with brilliant idea to put both microphones in my Mod helmet and the hanging connectors would work for both cars. The Late Model helmet didn’t have clips for the Hans so we took the mic out of the LM helmet and installed it in the other helmet and we were good to go. One time saving little deal that worked out for us.

We were really happy with the Modified after practice. The Late Model was okay but not as good. It was still running okay.

The rest of our crew, Jim, Ken and Steff were on their way, but got caught in the Oshawa traffic and were way behind. They would end up missing both heats.
The format for Autumn Colors is one heat on Friday, one heat on Saturday and features on Sunday.

Marty was crew chief, crew and spotter. The two of us were pretty well nonstop getting the cars ready.

In our Late Model race we started scratch and pretty well stayed there. We were running okay when suddenly coming off turn 2 the car in front hit the wall and bounced off. I made a sharp left to avoid a collision and ended up in the grass and on pit road. By the time I got the car under control I was heading down pit road and I just continued to the end and pulled back out down a lap but there was nothing I could do, and that alternative was better than getting wrecked.

The Mod would be a different deal for us. First of all our car was fast, and secondly I have been very confident racing this car. I would start outside pole in the heat and go on to take our 5th checker in the OSCAAR Modified series, and a total of 6 checkers including our feature win at Full Throttle. It was awesome to win that race and I was very pumped.

The win was our 7th of the season. We won a Late Model heat at Sauble during the Wednesday night “Dash for Cash” race. So the win in the Mod on this night gave us the most wins since 2007 when we won 10 races.

After the races we put the cars away and then Ken and Jim came into the pits and we told them the good news of how well we did in the Modified.


SATURDAY
We got to the track early again. There were a few things to do to the Late Model. I had texted Scott Wiley and he gave us some ideas of things to change on the LM.

We went over the scales and found we were a little light. We had to be 2725 and we were 2711. It didn’t really matter because unless there was a six car wreck we likely would never go through tech, but we add fuel anyhow just in case there was a wreck and we finished in the top 3.

Jim spotted for the rest of the weekend. He was my spotter in the Late Models since 2005. He was great with me and never spotted for the Modified, so he was going to be in for a treat.

In the Late Model we finished 7th again, using our same tires, those that were used from Velocity. We had no damage and though the car was not bad we knew we needed good rubber to make it better.

In the Modified we started 7th, at the back. We decided to put on new tires and scuff them in for the feature. The car was pretty good for the first 4 laps and then coming off four going down the front chute the #09 Nick Lees of the OMRS series got into the back of the #20 Mike Hearty, a brand new Modified. Mike slammed hard into the front chute wall bending his frame and doing enough damage to finish his car off for the weekend. It was too bad and totally not necessary. I saw the cars battling and I don’t know if Nick misjudged or what but when he hit Mike it ruined the weekend for the #20 and their crew.

On the restart Chad Strawn got lead. He just barely clipped Mike as his car was jammed into the cement and it may have been enough to mess up the toe, but no matter what, his speedy Mod was struggling in the final few laps.

Dustin Jackson and I were knocking on the back door. When the white came out the three of us went into turn one very close. Chad pushed up just a little letting Dustin sneak in. I tried to follow but my car was a little tight so I got in behind Chad who was on the outside lane and I thought I might get him coming off four. Dustin pulled ahead and then going into three I dove hard into three but could not get on the gas soon enough and Chad was able to hold onto 2nd by a nose. We loaded both cars and went back to the hotel to get something to eat and to plan our strategy for Sunday.

SUNDAY

On Sunday we were prepared for the days racing long before it started. There never is any practice on Sunday, and it’s the only yearend special event that does not give hot laps on the day of the big races, but we know it and so our final races on Saturday are really for final set up on Sunday.

Late Model Feature
The 114 lap Pro Late feature was out before the Modified. Jim spotted again, and Marty went to the infield with Ken Stenhouse.
There were 21 cars and we started at the back. The tires we used for the feature were the ones from Barrie’s Garry Reynolds memorial on September 20th. So we figured with only 13 laps on these tires they should be okay, although many teams ran news ones all weekend. I didn’t really care because we had no chance to win, although I thought with some luck we could maybe make the top 5, but even that would be a stretch.

The main goal was to finish and not get destroyed like we quite often do here. It’s the last race of the year so a rebuild is always coming anyhow, but we had 2 shows left on the 19th and 31st of October and the LM was going to be in both, and the Modified one.

The race went good, unlike many in the past where cars were wrecked quite frequently. There were no cautions early putting us in a long run with no stops. We weren’t really that far off the rest of the pack and found ourselves battling back and forth with Nick Goetz for 12th. Every restart I got him if he was on the outside, and vice versa if I was on the outside. Nick ran me clean and I did him as well.

Our only mishap was during the middle part of the race. The car was tight in the middle so I thought I would dial in a little more rear brake to help us on entry and maybe get off the corner better.

On about lap 55, with a few cars in line behind me, I reached for my brake bias coming off four and accidentally hit the ignition switch, shutting the car off right in front of Matt Box. Oh Oh!!!!!!

He immediately hit and spun me and then we got tagged again, but most cars got by. Jim was going nuts saying “he drove right into you”. I had to tell him “Jim, it was my fault I shut the car off by accident”. While I was sitting in the car I waved to Matt kind of indicating it was okay, but I know he would think he hit me and didn’t mean to. Matt would tell his spotter “I don’t know what happened, I been pacing Gary for a few laps and he really slowed up coming off the corner when I got on the gas”.

I asked my crew to apologize to Matt and his crew, I was really glad to see he was okay. We were to, not much damage.

The rest of the race was really not very bad at all. There was one serious accidents when the #7 was getting lapped and got tagged and slammed the turn 3 wall very hard. It was a long yellow and he was done for the race.

We went down a lap just before the break on lap 67, but so did cars up to 6th place. We got up to 8th with 10 to go but got stuck on the outside again and lost a few spots falling back to 11th where we would finish.

It wasn’t a bad run and there was no real damage to the car. Our crew were happy and we did do the best we could, no doubt.

MODIFIED FEATURE

The OSCAAR Mod feature was really what I was looking forward to for this weekend. I enjoy racing the Late Model, but I love racing the Modified.

This race was big for us in many ways. We are were only 9 points out of 2nd and in only our first season in the this class, we were very pumped.

Our crew, other than Marty, pretty well never say me race this car and didn’t really know the competitors at all. I explained there were some very talented teams in the OSCAAR Mod ranks, and we would be having our hands full no matter what.

After our 2 heat races, a win (our 6th in the Mod) and a 3rd, very close to taking 2nd in that one, our hope was of course to win the Modified feature, but to have a podium finish if possible.

We qualified 4th. It was another great qualifying night for us, and having a good starting spot in this class is so important. We had also finished in the top four in 5 of the past 6 OSCAAR features. July 5th 3rd at Capital City, July 27th 2nd at Sauble, 4th at Peterborough on August 2nd, then 3rd at Kawartha on August 10th and 2nd at Velocity September 28th. Our only bad night in that streak was Delaware, where we finished 8th.

There were 21 cars in this race with John Harper and Mike Hearty getting wrecked too bad to make the feature race.

We started outside Matt Barton #2. He was fast and almost got by us at Sunset when our car started pushing so bad at the end of the feature. His car was tight as well, but he was better than us.

Matt and I ran side by side for the first 3 laps but the outside just wasn’t good enough for us to stick and we had to get down. I would fall back to 5th after losing a spot to Gary McLean.

There was a wreck early, bringing out the yellow when #79 Corey Horner got tagged and spun in turn 4.

On that restart, about lap 4, Gary got into Max Beyore going into three and spun the #91 bringing out another yellow and both cars went to the back. That was a break for us if we could have some luck, but our car was tight and I could not get on the gas the way I had to in this very aggressive and competitive race.

On that restart, we were 3rd, but our handling issue would come into play. Coming off turn four, running beside Chad Strawn, I had to let up just a little because of the push, I didn’t want to get into him, but I would get hit by Brent McLean and sent flying into the infield.

By the time I got the car slowed down and back on the track, the full field was by us and we were over a half a track behind the leaders.

I couldn’t even see the 20th place car once I got going. I was very upset, not from being hit but that our car wouldn’t turn like it did in the first heat race. We had new tires and I thought for sure they would be awesome in the feature, but the track was different than Friday night when it was cold and dark. I knew I had to pour it on and get the best of our car with a full open track.

By having the entire track surface to use our car was very fast. It would take about 5 laps before I saw any cars and then slowly I saw more and more as I was catching the back of the pack. Jim was doing an awesome job spotting and I was driving my heart out.

By lap 15 we were starting to pass cars and on lap 22 I was running in a big pack of cars that were battling from 7th back.

As we entered turn 3 a few cars checked up and I was able to zig-zag through and come out in 11th place. A lap later there was a yellow.

On the restart we got by 11th and into 10th where we would race with Dean Scott #19 for about 7 or 8 laps but not be able to get by. I could not get on the gas. Where some cars were very good outside, ours wasn’t.

The car that was doing very well was #7 Brent McLean who was leading the race and pulling away.

On or about lap 28, Gary McLean hit the back wall, riding it pretty hard. He was able to keep going but a few laps later he got hit by #14 Davey Terry and went flying through infield on the front straight, right into the pit wall and finishing his car for the day. Terry would go scratch after that for spinning Gary although Gary had to have some chassis issues after hitting the wall prior to that.

A few laps later, while still battling with #19 Dean Scott, that would all change when he spun on his own coming off turn 2.

That put us 7th and now we had a new friend to battle #88 Tommy Robb. Once I cleared the 88 we stared gaining on a pack from 3rd to 6th. Our car still wasn’t very good, and of course there is nothing would make it better other than getting clear of cars and using the whole track.

With about 5 laps to go Dustin Jackson got mixed up with Bill Burrows #65 coming off turn four. I was able to get under them, but Davey Terry, who was coming fast tried to go high and got into the 61 and wrecked his car badly, he was done, but we were now 6th.

With just a handful of laps left I was hoping for a top 5. We didn’t think it would happen, but with 2 laps to go the #26 of Terry Baker got hit by #09 Nick Lees and turned to the infield. I went high to avoid Terry and Tommy Robb went low. We were battling for 5th with the white flag out. We raced hard side by side into three, I thought we were done because I could not run the outside very well. Tommy and I bolted down the back chute and into three and we were still side by side, but we were just a little ahead. I waited an extra split second so our car wouldn’t push up and got a good run off four and beat Tommy by half a car length. It was an awesome finish giving us another top 5 finish.

We passed tech okay. After the race was over the #26 of Terry Baker thought the #91 of Max Beyore spun him out and was going after him but it was Max, it was Nick Lees. After the races Terry apologized to Max and so there will be no feud in 2015 with those two.

That was our last race for the Modified for 2014. It was discouraging to not be handling as well as we wanted, but taking a top 5 was awesome.

We also finished 3rd in the point standing, a great accomplishment for our first year in the Modifieds.

This was a best year in a while:
Some Stats
1) Our best point finish since 1999
2) Our most wins (7) since 2007
3) Our first feature win in our own car since 2008
4) The most nights raced (34) since 1990, we ran 39

This was a great year for me personally. I have a ton of stress this year outside of racing, but God has been so good to me and I give Him praise and thanks for giving me a great crew of friends, and awesome sponsors.

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