Diary Of A Season 2015

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2015

Post by Gary » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:30 pm

September 18th.............Delaware Speedway

Race #28

1198th Career Night

749 Consecutive Race Nights


High Lites
* 19 cars
* Gary McLean wins
* We finish 5th
* Good night no one got beat up

Rsults
Heat.......4th
Feature...5th

Winnings
$250

Repairs
Replace leaking relaease bearing

Crew
Lloyd, Billi

Conclusion
This day sure didn’t look like it would get in. It was overcast and then some hard rain by the time we got to London.
Lloyd drove again, letting me rest. Buttons was in the back with me and Billi in the front.

We got to the track before the gates opened, and there were lots ahead of us. We had about 40 minutes to kill so Billi and I threw a football around, while Lloyd and Buttons visited all the race teams, Buttons got soak and wet.

Once inside we went to work setting up our pit area and getting the tires on for practice.

In our first hot laps the car seemed okay, much better than the last time we were here. Because I was only going to run one new tire I decided not to go out again to save them. It’s frustrating in a way, but I do like the idea of one tire per week. It keeps the cost down and forces each team to monitor, cycles, laps and wear on the tires.

In our only heat race, no double heats this night, found the car not as good as I hoped. It was a little tight in the corners but not severe. I decided to open the stagger a little and add a spring rubber to loosen the car up in the middle.

We started pole in the feature. Prior to our races on this night, we were tied with #79 Corey Horner for 2nd in the point standings. He won his heat, making a great pass on the final lap of the heat. He also had 3 new tires on the car and they sure helped him get around the outside of John Baker Jr. #63. That win gave him a 3point lead over us with our 4th place finish.

I was able to keep the lead for 2 laps until Gary McLean got by on the outside and pulled away. We held on to 2nd for the next 4 laps and then Cole Powell passed. He started 18th and caught us incredibly fast….how is that possible in such a short time? No clue. Maybe all the cars were not handling very well.

Our car wasn’t handling properly, very loose. The added spring rubber was too much. I should have listened to my son who said “the track will not change much for the feature, so don’t touch it”. I added the spring rubber thinking the track would tighten up because it was a little cold out...mistake!! The car was loose proving David was right and I should have listened to him. Next time :)

The 25 lap feature ran nonstop until lap 11. I was being hounded by a few cars who were gaining on me in the middle, I couldn’t hold them back. They were getting good role through the center and able to develop their power faster than I could because they could get on the gas much faster. By lap 11 I was nursing the car, and it was frustrating.

I fell back to 7th with #21 Chris Milwain getting by. Corey Horner was also on my bumper as was John Baker Jr.

I talked with Lloyd and asked him how the car looked compared to the rest. I was actually considering going scratch because what I was hearing made me feel I was in the way and getting tagged at Delaware was something I wanted no part of. I told Lloyd several times I had no confidence in the car and it was only half way.
I buckled down and decided to stop worrying about it and just focus on getting through the corners faster. Not an easy deal when the car is so loose, but it was my only option, I didn’t want to go to the back, I was just frustrated so bad.

On the restart I got a good run into three and gained a spot back moving into 6th. The next 14 laps went green and we were able to hold off the cars behind without blocking them or chopping….I wouldn’t do that intentionally anyhow, it can be expensive.

Lloyd was telling me I had 2 car lengths by the start finish line and then the car behind closed up going in because I had to wait too long.

With one to go I was determined to make sure no one got under me. I thought for sure Lloyd said looking inside, followed by a pause. It was the last lap and as I was going down the back chute I wanted to hear “clear by 2” but nothing. In the middle of that turn I waited longer than normal just not wanting to make a mistake.

We were 6th at that point but coming off four Justin Demelo, the track owner, was having problems and his car died on the front chute and I was able to get by him but Chris Milwain was right beside me gaining as we closed in on the start finish line. I thought for sure he beat me but Lloyd said I got him by 2 feet, taking 5th with a car that was anything but a top 5.

Corey finished 7th, and that combined with me getting one point for leading a lap made up the 3 points we were behind. It was frustrating but a good night.

We passed tech, but they wanted to see our transmission. I hadn’t had it out since I bought the car and it was a night mare getting it out. Both Corey and Daryl Horner helped me get it out and back in, once it passed Bruce’s inspection.

This was our 1197th night, and our 749th in a row. It was a good one stat wise, but we know the car has to be much better at the fast quick Sunset Speedway for next weekend’s Velocity. If you’re handling bad there, you are done for sure, no top 5.
Special thanks to Lloyd and Billi for helping get through this night.

Congratulations to Gary McLean and his team. It’s good to see them win for a change :lol:

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2015

Post by Gary » Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:58 pm

September 26th & 27th..........Sunset Speedway

Velocity 250

Race #29

750th Consecutive......1199 Career Nights

High Lites
* 25 cars
* Gary McLean wins
* We have a rough weekend
* Great racing for the Mods

Results
1st Heat.........9th
2nd Heat........8th
Feature..........12th

Winnings
TBA

Repairs
Over heating

Crew
Lloyd both days and Billi on Sunday

Conclusion
Velocity was tough for us this year. I always want to run great at Sunset Speedway but things didn't go well here.
Lloyd and I arrived in good time to get set up. I had taken the car up Friday night and got a good spot for us. Then on Saturday we arrived about 10am and had to turn the trailer around. It was a little bit of a manouvering mess but we got it done and set up the pits.

We are feeling more and more comfortable in the Mod each time out this year, but have not ran as good as we did in 2014, although we were tied for 2nd going into this final night of racing for Sunset Speedway. Our good friends Corey and Daryl Horner have been very supportive of our team this year. It's been a very stressful one for me in many ways, and one is the lack of crew throughout most all of 2015. We had a few show up at the beginning, but as soon as my home sold, and I didn't have a garage anymore a few disappeared, 2 on May 30th, and another after June 6th. Lloyd has been incredible, just learning, and getting back into the sport he loves but he has been with me most of the races since June. He was only going to help with the Late Model, but found a keen interest and like for the Modified, and has been out to nearly all the races since he started, other than the times he's had personal commitments, and that is totally understandable to me. He lets me know when he isn't coming and whatever it is he's doing, he still messages me to see how I am making out, a very loyal and great friend Lloyd has become, and I only met him 4 months ago.

We got the car ready for testing and struggled a little in hot laps, the first set. The car seemed out of control, not stable. We made a few adjustments, the biggest being tires. My left front tire was now done at 350 laps and 24 cycles, the left rear not much better. I decided to put the best 4 tires on the car and save the 3 I bought for the feature. Ialso added a spring rubber in the rear and went out again. Our final hot lap was very good, we were pumped and excited to get in the heat race.

In the first heat we started 4th behind David Balych on the outside lane. I knew right away our car was very fast. The cornering was the best it's been in some time. On the first lap David pushed high in one, and though I got a great run he came back down and I backed off, letting him go and following the #12 into turn 3. He pushed again and this time as I went to go under he came down and I had to back out again, only this time I got nailed from behind very hard by Chad Strawn #77 as cars checked up. Chad got hit as well because most of the field was hooked up and checking up usually doesn't work.

My car spun in the middle of 3 and 4 and came down to the inside lane where I got hammered hard by #14 Davey Terry, not his fault, he was minding his own business trying to race like everyone else. The impact caused huge damage to our left front suspension and the resulting wreck sent both Dan Price #09 and #79 John Harper. I stayed out when the yellow was thrown, just driving around slow.

As the 2 cars were being towed off I knew we were in big trouble because I could not steer to the right at all and barely to the left. I told Lloyd something was broken in the front end and it was either the rack or a tie rod.

When the race restarted I had to pull off because there was no turning the car in the corners and I needed to get off the track, disappointed because the car was so good. I think I was a little, or maybe a lot impatient and should have just waited for the #12 to settle down or get by the inside car. Lesson learned.

In the pits we found a ton of damage. The upper control arm was junk, the lower was bent, the tie rod on the left front was busted, as was the bottom of the shock on the coil over. The left front steering arm bump steer slug was twisted and cracked. We hustled to find parts but knew there was no way to get it right for the next heat race, so the plan was to get it so I could at least start the second heat and steer the car somewhat. I figured starting at the back with a beat up suspension was more points than sitting in the pits, and we were no longer tied for 2nd as Corey finished 4th in his heat race. We replaced the broken tie rod and then headed to tech to get the spindle serated slug welded, all temporary just to get us out. We didn't change the upper control arm or fix the bottom of the shock, we figured they wouldn't fall off in 10 laps.

We started last and did get by 2 cars, and that was crazy that we could pass anyone because the car was impossible to steer. I hoped to finish better, we ended up 8th of 11 cars, but Corey got another top 4 and was now 9 points ahead after qualifying.

As soon as the second heat was done we started going as fast as we could to replace the rest of the bent parts. The feature was going to be run on Sunday and I wanted to get our car as close to what it was prior to the accident. That was only the second accident I've had with my Mod since I bought it in 2014. The first was at Sunset on opening day last year. It really hurts to beat up the car when it's handling so good.

Lloyd and I started taking everything apart. The hub assembly was first to come off, then the upper control arm. We had a spare upper and put it on right away. We got a lower shock eye from Brian MacDonald and that saved me because my spare shock eyes were different.

We removed the lower control arm to replace it but my spare was different than the one on the car...so it wasn't really a spare. We also needed to cut, weld, and grind the serated slug on the end of the left side spindle at the front because it was still bent pretty good and our bump steer would have been out a lot.

We borrowed a cutting torch from Mark Dilley, Daryl used it to heat the slug and straighten it. Then once he was done he went to the tech shed again and rewelded it. Corey then ground down the welds and made the slug so the bolt could be put in the proper place for our bump steer. It wasn't perfect but it was much more than just good enough, it was very close. By 9:30, 2 hours later, we had it all back together and just needed to put a tack weld on the caliper pin that was stripped......oh and check the toe in the morning.

I was very happy once the car was back together. We cleaned up our pits, put everything away and covered the Mod with our tarp. Lloyd invited me to come back to his place and spend the night, so Buttons and I were guests at his beautiful home.

I got to bed at 11:30, and Lloyd decided to stay up a little later and watch Borat. A funny movie, but I was too tired to watch any TV so Buttons and I crahsed after I had a shower.

In the morning we headed back, got our pit area set up again and started cleaning and preparing our car for the next set of hot laps. The first order of business was to weld the caliper pin and then head to tech to set the toe. I got to do the weldnig this time, the Horner boys were doing some last minute set up on their Mod. They were very excited because they were starting outside pole in the feature. We were excited that our car was back to where it was prior to the accident....well 99% back, but we would start deep in the field at 17th. The toe was out 2" but was fixed now and I was very happy and relaxed. I didn't care where I was starting although I was well away that the field of cars at this years Velocity was not filled with many slow cars, it was very competitive this year so passing would take time, and it was only 40 laps.

We did get one final set of hot laps and I put on the 3 new tires and of course the car was perfect, I just had to discyline myself not to over drive in the early going.

The start was impressive, a full field doubled up, very nice looking cars and all fairly quick. I knew right away that our car was just as good as it was in the last set. We were very fast and stable in the turns, and no doubt some of that was tires, but regardless the car was awesome, and better than many we were racing against.

We passed a few cars and by lap 15 we were now 14th, only passed 3 cars, but that's because it was so close. A few laps later though, we moved into 10th and now we were all over the 9th and 8th place cars. I was just trying to be smart but agressive.

I made a move to get by the 9th place car but he cut down in front of me. When I checked up I got hit from the rear and spun coming off turn four. I managed to keep the car off the inside retaining wall, and was lucky no one hit me, but now I had to restart 20th.....grrrrrrr.

There were only about 12 laps left when we went to 20th. Our car was great still, but now I had to be much more agressive and I drove as hard as I could knowing that time was not on our side. We manged to get back up to 12th but that was it, very disappointing to be honest, but at least the car worked great, and there was no further damage after the feature. The only damage was in the points standing, where we went from tied for second to 19 points behind, and we did have a 22 point lead on 4th that was now reduced to nine.

There is one race left and our focus now will be not allowing #63 John Baker Jr. to gain more than 9 points on us. Corey can not be caught unless he has bad luck and I don't want that for his team, they have done well and not only that they have been a huge blessing to Lloyd and our team this year.

Congrats to Gary McLean for winning the feature and to Corey for finishing 2nd.
I think the #8 team can be beaten :roll: maybe at darts :mrgreen:

Special thanks to Lloyd for his incredible support this year, just awesome and very much appreciate. He has helped me get through some very tough times this past year, been a true blessing....thanks to Suzette for letting him play with the race cars :)

Next OSCAAR race is Autumn Colors....can't wait. Meanwhile, next week we run our Mod against the OMRS Mods, Rick Warnes class and I am looking forward to that as well.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2015

Post by Gary » Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:56 pm

October 2nd.............Flamboro Speedway

Octoberfest

Race #30

1200th Career Night

751 Consective

Racing With OMRS Modfieds

High Lites
* 14 Modifieds
* No feature......Rescheduled October 24th
* Car climbs the wall again
* Mrs Kamwrath (Andrew's wife) hurt but not serious
* We finish 2nd in heat

Results
Heat.......2nd
Feature...see October 24th

Winnings
See October 24th

Repairs
none

Crew
Corey and Daryl Horner

Conclusion
Tonight would be our 1200th career night of racing since 1969 when we first started in Mini Stocks. So much has happened, so many incredible memories over the past 47 seasons that it would take a book to list them all. It was a crazy night, not unlike others over the 1200, but it was a good one, filled with everything. Insane weather, cold windy, with no crowd, but a filled pits. A long red, delaying the race. None of my regular crew could make it, but I was happy to have our friends, Corey and Daryl Horner help us again. 1200 nights, only possible by the help of so many. God has been incredible giving me good health, my family, my crew, friends, sponsors, promoters, and many others who have helped, pushed, encouraged and been there to help me continue this life long journey.

Last week we celbrated our 750th consecutive night, a streak that started on June 5th 1987. All I can say is wow, maybe I am nuts, but I sure hope with the longevity I've had that I have made an impact on my sport in a positive way. I have realized that most important aspect of racing is nothing more than all the wonerful people I have had the pleasure and honor to meet over this incredible time in the racing areana. Thank you Lord for providing me with everything I needed, I give you the glory and credit for all good that has come through this.

OCTOBERFEST......FROSTOBERFEST
I feel so bad for John Casale, he can't win. He gets the worst weather every year of all the big finales. It happens every time. He doesn't run anymore classes, and he pays good, he just gets messed up weather wise, or some other bad luck. I am not referring to the accident that saw a Mini Stock go through the fence, that was actually lucky for John because no one was seriously hurt. I think there needs to be some structure added so cars don't climb the wall. A fence or simply a higher wall like Sunset had coming off turn four.

The wreck was bad. The Mini went through the fence, hit a Dodge pickup truck and sent Mrs. Andy Kamwrath flying. She said she was okay, but her friends convinced her to go to the hospital and she did, and all reports say that she is okay as was the driver of the Mini Stock. His race car, and the Dodge pick up didn't fair so good, and the fence was mangled, about 25 feet of it.

The race was delayed for a long time. Four Police crusiers showed up but I think all was good as far as the track was concerned because the races resumed.

Our car was incredible, I will give it an A+. Daryl and Corey came to help me and I brought the camper for them to use to save driving back to Oshawa. They were a huge help, talking to me, instructing me to be patient.
Our first set of hot laps was off, the car was very loose. They said it would be, although I got off the gas when it started to come around. After that session Corey asked me if I wanted the car set up to get on the gas quicker, in other words, did I feel I could get on the gas quickly. I said yes, if it wasn't so loose. I would like to get on the gas quicker, although I was prepared to drive a little different, ease the throttle. The 10" Hoosier slicks are much softer and offer a ton of grip, so driving the car differnet with the recaps is a must.

Corey and Daryl made an adjustment on the pan hard bar and told me to try it. The next hot laps were amazing, the car was very fast, I was able to pace the #77 of Chad Strawn who is very fast and has run with this group quite a bit.

After that set we were ready to go racing, but we had lots of cars ahead of us first, there were 6 classes to go.

The only thing we had to make sure was that our shocks were not aluminum, that we had at least a 3" ride height with me in the car, and that we weighed 2600 pounds after the feature.

We were set to start 4th in our heat race. There would only be one heat then a 25 lap feature. Because I was new I could not start any better than 2nd last in the feature. I was okay with that of course.

We started to line up for the heat race when I noticed I didn't have first or reverse, the shifter was loose in those gears, and I knew the shifter rod was loose. We didn't have time to fix it then so the boys pushed me back and I was able to start in 2nd.

The #09 of Nick Lees was outside pole beside #67 and I was 4th beside #07. I don't know their names, and I did try to check on the website, but I didn't see a drivers list. If I can find it I will put their names in.

On the green Nick wasted no time getting the lead. I also was able to follow him into one and get on the throttle quick to get a good run off turn 2 and follow Nick down the back chute moving into 2nd by turn three. Once in second, we pulled away from the pack and what a race. Nick is running second in points and has a quick car. To be able to run close to him like we were was such a great feeling. There were some laps when I came off the corner right on his bumper yet didn't hit him, and I was thankful for that. Our car was great, but his was perfect, not getting loose or having any issues to give me a chance to get under him.

There were a few times in the heat race that I got on the apron and it shot my car sideways, causing me to lose 2 car lengths, but each time we made that up before the end of the straightaway. I did all I could, there was no opportunity to pass and it's not my game to drive into the back of someone, push them up and pass. I don't like that. If he's too slow then go outside, but he wasn't, it was a great race for the few fans that were there to watch it. The second place finish was such a treat, not so much for finishing second, but being very competitive.

Once the race was over, and heading back to my pit I felt the banging under the car. It was the shifter rod hitting the ground. A few times I heard a bang and worried that I was going to bust it right off or bend it. I made it back to our pit pad and the boys said they could see it sparking on the track. I never felt it, but I wasn't holding the shifter either, both hands squeezing the steering wheel.

They jacked up the car and Corey got under and tightened up. While he was doing that I noticed some fluid spray on the side of the car. I don't know why I do it but I tasted it and said to Daryl "it's brake fluid". Within seconds he found the caliper fitting loose, and tightend it a ful turn. So on 2 fronts we were lucky because my brakes were good and the shifter sparking didn't get me black flagged.

We put fuel in the car as the second set of heats went on the track. It was in the Mini Stock second round that the car went over the wall and through the fence hitting the Dodge truck. Very lucky the Dodge got hit or the car might have went further into the pit area.

The long red made it impossible to get all the qualifying done. The Mini's did get finished, but no Thunder Cars second round.

With the damage to the fence and the terrible weather, John cancelled the show for Saturday, moving the race completion to October 24th. He would have done it October 17th but that's the night of the APC Late Model banquet and if he ran that night he would lose a lot of Late Model potential drivers.

So on October 24th we will run the feature that was scheduled for tonight, plus another 30 lap feature sometime between all the other features, and I will also run 3 Late Model features. That will be the first time in my life that I have raced 5 features in one night :P .....so what's insane 1200 nights 8-) ....750 Consecutive :lol: ...or racing 5 features in one night :o All of the above and I love it, thank you Lord :)

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2015

Post by Gary » Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:38 pm

October 9th to 11th..............Peterborough Speedway

Race #31

Autumn Colors

752nd Consecutive Night

High Lites
* 23 Cars
* John Baker Jr wins
* Gary McLean wins the title
* We fall apart in the feature....finish 12th
* Finish 4th in points
* Lots of bashing in this one
* 563 final
* David finishes 3rd and 4th in heats
* David takes 9th in the feature, needed a caution in the last 30 laps but didn't get it.

Resutls
Heat #1........3rd
Heat #2........4th
Feature........12th

Winnings
$210

Repairs
Body, toe

Crew
Lloyd, Billi, Tonny, Jacob, Jason and Steve

Conculsion
After our run on Friday night at Flamboro, short but awesome, I was very pumped to hold onto 3rd in the points in the OSCAAR champiosnhip race. Second was out of reach, but we did have a 9 point lead on third. Our car was so good the past 2 nights, Sunset, then Flamboro, that I couldn't wait to get on Peterborough Speedway, another favorite track of mine. It's short and very fast, and I like that because if you're set up right the results can be rewarding, and I was so confident in the car that I was very excited to get on the track.

We arrived onThursday night and got a pad about 5 stalls from the scales and that was great. There were lots of trailers already there, but the staff moved me into a good spot.

On Friday Lloyd made it early enough so we would make practice. Billi and I had the pit set up, and ready to go. It was cold and wet in the morning and looked like we wouldn't be racing this day, but the rains stopped and the wind started blowing and soon we were practising. Tommy Robb, Jacob, Jason, Adam and Steve also came to help us and they were a huge blessing.

Our first practice was on old tires, but the car was very fast. The tires weren't that old, they were from Sunset's Velocity.
We were running over 4" stagger and the car was very smooth through the ends. Not unlike other years where we were fast at the beginning.

There were over 20 Mods on Friday night and the format was one heat Friday, one Saturday and the feature on Sunday. The heats were 8 laps and the feature 50.

We started 3rd in our first heat race. Gary McLean was on the pole with AJ Emms outside. On the green Gary got under AJ coming off turn 2. I heard "clear" from my spotter and I was going to follow Gary but decided to get behind AJ and then drop to the lower lane before we entered into turn three. I did that and was close to Gary, but AJ came down into my lane. I jammed on the brakes, because I didn't want to hit the front end. But in doing so Corey Horner who was right behind me could not get slowed up and hammered me very hard sending our car sideways through turn three. I thought for sure I was going around but managed to get it slowed up. Just when I thought I could go I got hammered again knocking me up towards the outside wall. I checked up again, expecting to get freight trained, but everyone behind me was scrambling to avoid one another and cars spinning. There was no yellow, and when the dust settled I was still surprised to be in third coming off four, but the leader and AJ were past the start finish line, way ahead.

I was upset for sure. I was glad we never got wrecked but I was upset because AJ should have stayed where he was. He's a good kid, a good racer for a good team...I was still upset, not raging, just a little pissed I guess.

Eight laps isn't very much and with one down and seven to go I was on a mission. I knew I couldn't win, no one on earth was going to beat Gary McLean if he was in the lead. Only he could do that, beat himself or have a break down, and neither was likely. But my goal was 2nd, I wanted to beat AJ, but most of all give him a belt going into the turn. He was 6 car lengths ahead, so that to seemed unlikely.

I dorve my car very hard. I was told I had 5 car lengths on the cars behind and I could see I was gaining on #99. With 3 laps to go I was closing in fast. With 2 to go I just needed more time, I could see that, but I was closing in. On the white flag I got behind him going into turn one and got a good run off two and glued to his bumper and drove hard into three. I was going to hammer him but I didn't and he won although I may have brushed his bumper in the middle of three and four. On the cool down lap I got behind him on the back chute and gave him a small tap. Nothing hard and nothing other than to say "that wasn't nice". It was over for me, and by the time I got to the pits I was calm and very excited that our car was so fast. My crew had mixed emotions. They were a little upset, but Tommy said "that car was a rocket, too bad you didn't get a chance to race Gary, that would have been interesting".

The car was good chassis wise, but the back bumper was jammed way up, as was the chrome left rear side bumper. There was no need to fix those things, they weren't hurting the car and were not a danger to anyone else, but wow, I was suprised how hard Corey Horner hit me.

I stopped by his car on the way out of the pits and he was very upset. His front bumper was destroyed, twisted and sway bar mount messed up. He lived close so he was heading home to get it fixed. I apologized, but he knew what happened and said it wasn't my fault. I like all racers but the Horner boys have been very good to me and I didn't want any hard feelings.

Saturday was very nice, sunny and cool, but otherwise nice. It was David's birthday and he had his Late Model here. He also finished 3rd on Friday night in his heat race. Shirley and Derrick pitted for David so he had good help as well.

Our heat race was schedule earlier on this day. We had little to do on the car so we put on 2 new outside tires to scuff them in. I have been struggling with new tires on my car this year, they seem to work better a week old, but I was reluctant to go with older tires knowing most all the top cars had 3 to 4 new tires to run on their car. I didn't get the set up on these tires this year like I did the 1040's last year. I think I could have got more out of my 1057's than I did, my mistake, but a learning year none the less.

In this heat we started 4th. It was a fast heat but for some reason I couldn't get going. The car was pushing in the turns, nothing like the night before. It was great in hot laps this morning but no good in this heat....and no good compared to the night before. We finished 4th and found out the stagger on the back was wrong, we lost stagger and that hurt us. Not drastically but bad enough.

We broke even with the #63 car of Jophn Baker Jr. who is currently 4th in points only 9 behind us. He would still be 9 behind for the start of the feature on Sunday. We left the track earlier, alhtough it was dark.

David finished 4th in his heat race as well.

On Sunday we returned to a beautiful day. Warmer and sunny. None of that mattered as far as we were concerned because our race was the last one out and we knew it would be dark and cold and that was perfect for me. I was going to have the same track conditions I had on Friday night when our car was very fast.

The day went well. We were set long before our race was scheduled. We got to watch all the shows and there was none that were over the top bad or good. Daivd ran and excellent feature making several pit stops to over come a loose car. His feature was 115 laps and that was enough time for him to get it good for the final 50 laps. Unfortunately there were no more cautions and he could not take advantage of how well his car was handling.

He followed Ryan Kymball through the field at the end, and though they caught the 5th to 7th place cars, there just wasn'e enough time to get by so he ended up 9th, with a good car for Flamboro's race on October 24th.

By 7:30 our feature lined up. We were to start 4th. Gary McLean was pole and John Baker Jr was outside pole. They got those spots from their top 2 finishes during our August race that was to see who would qualify on the pole.

The race didn't go very far. Gary got the lead and on the back chute John moved from the outside to the low lane going into three. Brian McLean was inside me and he drove right into John getting him sideways and causing a huge pile up. Both John and Brian had to go scratch. We would start outside of Gary on the restart.

All our work all weekend pointed to one thing and that was making sure our rear stagger was right. We never made one change to the car accpet stagger. We learned from Friday night, even with new rubber, if the stagger was out we would not be able to keep up with good cars. Only going one lap wasn't a barometer for me to know how good our car was, but on the restart I was soon to find out.

Going into into one I raced hard with Gary only to feel the car push up. It was awful and got worse each lap because I was surrounded by fast cars that knew I was like a wounded deer and they were pouncing on me like wild wolves. Within 6 laps we dropped from 2nd to 8th and were back with some still better handling cars than ours.
The race would go to lap 30 before we would get another yellow. It was then we came in, running 12th. I was do dejected, incredibly down from the disappointment of knowing we could not run with any of the cars.

Tommy told me to come in and I did right away and he made a big change to the rear stagger. He didn't tell me what he did, but he did say the stagger was way out, and again, how could that be on lap one of a feature.
I was stressed knowing that Baker was now up to 5th was going to get by us in the points. Tommy tried to cheer me up "Gary, the car is much better than it was, it's not your fault, you drove great, we fixed the car, it's not the same car you drove the first 30 laps. You have 20 laps to go so just go for it you should be good now, lots of time".

That was encouraging and I did go for it. Reatrting 16th we got up to 14th and coming off two I saw the #77 bounce off the back chute wall. I checked up a little thinking he was coming across the track but he didn't. I raced hard into three and Lloyd said clear low but the #47 of Brian McLean dove under me shoving me up into the middle. That would have been okay, although I was kind of upset that it was clear but wasn't. However, the #77 of Chad Strawn was diving into turn three on the outside and when Brian pushed me up Chad hit my right front wheel very hard and litterally ended our night. The steering wheel was no longer straight, our toe was out a lot and now I couldn't steer the car. I could aim it, I just couldn't steer it and there was no way to race it.

With 10 to go I got hammered coming off turn two by #20 Hearty sending us flying to the infield grass. There was no serious damage to the chassis although we got beat up body and wheel wise. It was so frustrating. Racing a car that is pushing is one thing, trying to race with the towed in almost half an inch is not going to happen, you will be in the way if you try to compete, and I was and got shoved off the track.

By now we fell back to 13th and Baker was taking the lead. At the finish we crossed in 12th and John took the win, putting him 4 points ahead of us and claiming the podium for the points. Very disappointing but not a write off year.

I was very thankful to Lloyd who has been incredibly loyal this year and sacrificed so much to help me as much as he has. Billi also helped and supported me almost half the season. Tommy, Adam, Jacob, ZJason and Steve were a huge blessing with their help. I was upset but mostly by falling from 2nd to 4th in 2 weeks racing. It was still a good year no doubt for our team.

Congrats to John Baker Jr on the win, to Corey Horner for finishing 2nd in points and picking up Rookie of the Year, and of course to Gary McLean for grabbing another Championship.

Our next race is October 24th and I hope to do something I have never done before and that's run in 5 features. Three in the Late Model for the Triple 50's and two in the Modified with OMRS.
Come out and cheer us on and drop by to say hello.

Thank you for visiting our web site.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2015

Post by Gary » Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:30 am

October 25th.................Flamboro Speedway

Race #32

5 Features Raced....Personal High :mrgreen:

753 In A Row

High Lites Late Models
* 26 Late Models
* Steve Laking wins overall
* David gets 3rd overall
* We get 13th overall
* Bad wreck in 3rd feature
* David gets blamed for the wreck...more on that
* 588 final

Results
1st Feature............15th
2nd Feature...........12th
3rd Feature...........10th

Winnings
$450

Repairs
complete rebuild....it's due :P

High Lites Modified
* 15 cars
* Rob Warnes takes both features
* We have great night
* Car likes the 8" tires
* 563 final

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

Winnings
$425

Repairs
Compele overhaul....lots of spares...we have none


Crew
Lloyd, Daryl, Corey, Jack and James

Conclusion
After the incredibly busy season, mostly travelling back and forth to Owen Sound, running 3 points series, (OSCAAR, Sauble and Full Throttle), completing a 32 race night schedule, and doing 75% of it with a bare minimum pit crew, the end of this season would have been a blessing to most people going through what we did. But there was an opportunity for my team and me to make the final night at Flamboro Speedway a record breaking event.
This season though more hectic than any in the past, for the above reasons that were magnified by trying to move 2 cars at once for double car nights, or double weekends. I had to rely on help from Jason Legge who implemented the duty of brining the Thunder Car, or the Late Model to Full Throttle Motor Speedway to Glenn Schnurr, Scoob or Corey Adams. I could not have made this season if it was not for Jason Legge. His help, generosity, goodness and support were incredibly appreciative by me and Lloyd, who was also a blessing making 23 of the 32 nights of our schedule.

This night was another that would be hectic but for a different reason. It would be the first time in my career that I would run 5 features in one night. My record is 3, but many drivers have 3, probably hundreds who have competed in the Grisdale Triple Crown races over the past 12 years or more, but I don’t many that would have 4 or any that would have 5, but regardless of the rest, it would be a record for our team, because the most I ran ever was 3 in one night, and to be honest, that was tiring.

There were a few things that made this possible. The original schedule was on October 2nd, we were supposed to run one feature that night, but due to a car climbing the wall and tearing down 25 feet of fence, the delay made it impossible for the track to get all qualifying in that night, so they cancelled it for the next day and moved the show to October 24th, with the rain date the 25th. So now I had the opportunity to do it, 3 Late Model 50 lap features, and 2 thirty lap Mod features in one day.
To make it easier for Lloyd and I, we were blessed with the help of Daryl, Corey, Jack and James Horner. Then there was the weather, it was cool, not 95 degrees Fahrenheit, but likely 50 F, making the loss of energy from heat nonexistent. There would be loss of energy from age and the fact of getting out and jumping into another car, but with the cooler temperatures, exhaustion would not be a factor from the heat.

We did have to make 2 trips to get both cars to the track. Lloyd and I took the Mod over Friday night and then brought the Late Model the next morning.

We made 2 sets of hot laps in both cars and we were happy with the results.

My only complaint was the brakes on the Late Model, a low pedal, not very good compared to the Mod. I like a pedal this is firm and only moves an inch or less. That allows me to go in deeper knowing I can feather the brakes lightly. When the pedal travels too far, going in deep is tougher, the car doesn’t feel as competitive. A good brake pedal is a huge advantage even though I am not hard on brakes.

My complaint about the brakes was quickly cured when after bleeding Jack or Daryl noticed the left front rotor scored. Once the caliper was removed we discovered one of the pads was put in backwards. Not sure how that happened but it is embarrassing although I’m not the first to have done that, nor is it my first time. Perhaps during the hectic part of the season I messed up, not sure, but I will need a new rotor for 2016 and that’s okay because they should be replaced each year regardless.

Once that was done, we prepared for the first feature, the OMRS Modified. They are a good group, very fast cars, running on 8” recaps. I didn’t like the tires, but I must admit my car handled great, and the tires worked even when they appeared to be worn considerably. These recaps cost much less and last much longer than the OSCAAR 10” tires. I think the cars look meaner on the 10”, but my wallet is much fatter on the 8”.

David Gets Unlucky Crazy Injury Pre Race
While I was working on my car and getting ready for our features for both cars I went to see how David was making out. I had been too busy to talk to him and I know even though he had one car, he would be busy as well.
When I got to his car I asked where he was and Jim said in the trialer, "he cut his hand". I know there are many ways to get hurt working on a car, but when I got to David shocked me. Somehow, when he was checking his brakes, he spun the wheel and caught his thumb in the caliper, deeply cutting his thumb and crushing the nail. He was in tremendous pain. He was shaking a little and showed me his thumb, I couldn't believe it. He had a first aid kit that would help clean and wrap the wound, but the pain was not going to be something easy to deal with. Eddie and the rest of his crew got the car ready and David stayed in the trailer, almost in tears from the pain. He took Advil, but that would barely reduce the pain. Adrenalin might help it, but he would need to create that with some action and that would have to be done with the injury. He could barely squeeze his hand together. His hope was that it would subside before the features started, he had about an hour. I didn't know what to say or do, but I prayed for healing and the pain to go away. What I didn't know then, was the healing was going to be many weeks, it was a very bad injury.

Feature #1....OMRS 30 laps
We would start at the back of this OMRS feature, and that was understandable, it was our first time out this season and I wouldn’t expect to start anywhere else.

There were 14 cars out, not the best turnout but still good enough to put on a good show. The grandstands were sparse, probably because of the weather and time of year. It wasn’t really cold, but it wasn’t sit outside for 7 hours weather either.

This race went nonstop, making it tough to hope for a win. One of their top cars was on the pole, Rob Warnes, and he walked away with the race.

We had a good run, the car was awesome. I wasn’t sure how it would be after having such a terrible outing at Peterborough, but once the toe was set the car was fast.

We worked our way through the pack getting up to 6th and made 2 more passes to get into 4th. I was right on the tail of Donny Beatty #40 who was trying to get by #65 Chris Burrows, but Chris was too good off each corner and we stayed this way for the rest of the race.

I felt our car was faster than the other two, but I wasn’t going to get into bashing to get by. My crew were very happy after that run, but once in the pits I had to get out of my car and get right in the Late Model to start our 2nd feature of the night and the first of three in the Grisdale Triple Crown.
Here is the video of the race courtesy of Petalpower51
https://youtu.be/zZUCS6ja4_M

Feature #2 First of three....Grisdale Triple Crown...50 laps
Time trials would determine where we would start in the first 50 lap feature. We qualified 22 of 26 cars, but all cars made the race and that was awesome.

We had 2 new tires and 2 decent inside tires. The top cars all had 6 new tires.

The race was laden with caution laps and we were clean of all of them until I got hit from behind going into three by Chad Corcoran, who was driving his first Late Model race for his Dad.

Each of these races was 50 laps and we managed to stay on the lead lap in this one finishing 15th. Our car was handling very well. It was clear we were down on HP over the Pro Late Models, but it sure was fun to be racing back at Flamboro.

There was very little happen in this race, but the car was good for the next feature.

Feature #3
Because of our finish in the first feature we were scored 15th and on the lead lap, allowing us to start pole in the 2nd feature. I was reluctant to do that, but both Corey and Daryl said the car was good enough to take that spot. I really knew it was down on HP and starting in the front of 23 Pro Lates wasn't comforting.
I lost the lead on the start....surprise....but held onto 2nd for a while, but not long. Soon cars started passing one after the other on the outside. I knew that would happen, but that wasn't the issue. The real problem for me was taking the inside lane and faster cars getting on my bumper and pushing me out of the way.

Soon I got hit coming off turn 2, but didn't spin out, just got sideways enough for a pile of cars to pass and a bunch more to gain. There was no yellow, and I was lucky I didn't get hammered. I was disappointed, but not surprised because I knew we'd get eaten up.

I've ran many Late Model features at Flamboro, finishing in the top 3 a dozen or more times, winning 4 features. But the difference was the power, I was close to the rest if not par. Today I was miles off and getting pushed out of the way was something that I knew would happen. "You don't start up front if you can't keep up"...that's my quote....because all you're doing is forcing much faster cars to try to navigate around you. If there are many of them, even though they may not intend to hit you, they do so because of many reasons. One might be the hole closes up too fast with the slower cars, outright frustration because they get boxed behind the slower car and want no part of heading south in the field, or maybe they figure you shouldn't be there and let you have it. It's not the way to race, but it's a scenario that happens when very fast cars are all over a slower car.

All those reasons are valid at the beginning of a race when things jam up. It dosen't happen if the field of cars is fairly competitive, example, if from the front to the back the competition parity is close, or increases slowly, with the fastest cars at the back. In those cases, passing might not happen for a few laps, and by then cars are single file, especially at Flamboro. Then accidents are not as frequent because the fast cars can choose to go outside or under a slower car because they're not in a position where they feel pressured to knock someone out of the way. All my fans know when I'm in that position, I don't bang people out of the way, I usually go to the back with them until I can pass without bashing someone out of the way. Yes it's frustrating, but in todays instance, I was frustrated because I was the car that was holding everyone up. The 602 stock engine, is not capable of running with the 604 or built engines. That will change in 2016.

We finished this race in 12th spot, better than the first race, and on the lead lap. Only difference in this finish, I wouldn't be starting pole in the next race....no chance.

After the race was I was still in good shape physically and had to jump right away into the Modified......and that I was looking forward to. If they wanted me to start on the pole with that little rocket, I would have no response but smile.

Feature #4....Modified 30 Lap
By the time we got to the fourth feature of the night it was dark, and getting cold. Cold is great for race cars, and also for the driver because he is in a warm car and building up some body heat during the race.
The heat in the car is not near as much in the Mod as the Late Model. The headers on the LM go under the car, while the Mod headers go outside. The Mod is much more open as well and therefore not near as hot....but, the competition in these cars seems greater because of the maneuverability. I get very pumped racing the Mod tho I love racing both.

I started near the back again in this race, only we cars. The race was a record breaker for me, running my 4th feature in one night, never done that before. In 1969 at Pinecrest Speedway I ran 4 Demolition Derbys in one day, 3 qualifying heats and the big feature where all the money was.

This race was one of the best I've been in all year. Our car was very fast but so were a few other Mods, namely Chad Strawn. Our starting spot was okay with me, but I wasn't too happy to see the #99 of Rob Warnes up front, 3rd. He won the first race and it was supposed to be a reverse finish for the second, with the exception of new comers like me. At least that's what I thought.

On the green it only took Warnes a lap or so to get the lead. Meanwhile, one of my most exciting races ever was about to unfold over the next 30 laps. I started 8th just ahead of Chad and John Baker Jr. That was a good spot but heading down the front chute I got boxed in turn one and lost 3 spots, falling back to 11th, though I quickly got one spot back.

For the next two laps I followed Chad, who was closing in on #63 John Baker Jr. Chad got outside John and I stayed behind and on lap 7 made the passed John on the back chute and #40 Donny Beatty who was the points leader of OMRS and eventual Champion for 2015.

By lap 8 we were running 6th and 7th. We were in a tight pack single file from 2nd back to 9th as Rob Warnes grew smaller each lap. By lap 10 I tried twice to get under Chad but each time was when we were passing cars and he would check up. A few times he checked up and we lost about 4 car lengths, and allowed the cars behind to close the gap even tighter.

At the half way mark we both got by Ryan Dick, who was running decent, putting 4th and 5th. Next was Chris Borrows, who finished 2nd in the first feature. Chad was making the holes and I was following him. He got under Chris and I went with him putting us now 3rd and 4th with less than 5 laps to go.

Coming off two heading down the back chute Chad got beside the runner up and made the pass going into three. I was 2 car lengths behind, but drove in harder than I had most of the night and moved into 3rd. By then the leader was a full straightaway ahead and though we were turning faster times, there was no catching Rob without a caution.

With two laps to go I tried to get under Chad at the start finish line, it was close, we were passing a lapped car, but he made the pass and I checked up so I wouldn't hit the lapped car and followed him around. We would cross the line finishing 3rd but it sure was a great race for our team and my toughest feature competitive wise....and get this...it was my 4th feature, and 160th lap of the night. Awesome run for our team, and I was very happy with Lloyd, Daryl and Corey who worked hard on both cars.

Here is the link to the 2nd Mod race. Thanks to Petalpower51
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMPvA4fcVrI

Final Feature......Late Model 50 Lap...Record Breaking 5th Feature In One Night
I must admit, after that exciting Mod race I was ready to relax, but the 3rd Late Model feature, and my 5th for the night was already lined up, so there wasn't much time when I got back to the pits to get out of the Mod and into the Late Model.

I was tired but okay to do one more race, and break a personal record that was set with the race I just finished. I have raced 3 features in one night many times, but never 5. So far we had completed 160 lead laps with one more 50 lapper to go.

I want to talk about David in this race. We ran okay, we did finish 10th, our best of the night, and we finished on the lead lap completing 210 laps on the evening with little or no damage to both cars.

David, who raced with a badly cut thumb, had finished 6th and 4th in the first two races. He was in a lot of pain, but adrenalin and some Advil helped alleviate what he was going through. His biggest pain would come in the final feature, as a result of one of the worst Late Model crashes at Flamboro Speedway.

After this wreck Mark Watson walked to David's car and asked him why he drove hard going into three..."there was speedy dry on the track". Mark slid up and Daivd got under him. Right after that was the big wreck that started on the front chute.

Later that night others started claiming that the accident was totally David's fault. Scott Shaw posted on his page some terrible things about David, Britany Gresel said it was David's fault and Shawn Chenoweth wanted to know why the 37 car didn't go to the back after wrecking two cars (he later changed his post not accusing David of the accident), but the damage was done. Others bashed David and then Nick Goetz posted to David that he was a "no talent" and would be needing a new car in 2016.
Here is the link to see the wreck on lap two, watch it a few times to see what happened and how it could have been avoided....courtesy of Petalpower51 videos
https://youtu.be/x93DWz-9Utk

Here's my take:
On the frist lap of this race you see David get under the #3 of Mark Watson between turns 3 and 4. Mark did slide up but not because he was hit, but because of the speedy dry like he said. No racer is going to slow down when someone slides up the track, in fact they take advantage by moving into the hole that has been created.

They touch coming off 4, but not anything serious. Heading down the front chute Mark tries to get down in front of David before the start finish line. Either his spotter told Mark he was clear, and none of us have heard yet, or Mark decided on his own to cut in front of David on the straightaway at full speed. That is exactly where this disaster started. If the spotter calls "clear" the driver makes the move. If the spotter is wrong a wreck will happen. If the spotter doesn't say clear, the driver is on his own when making the move to cut in front of another car, and a wreck will happen then as well.

So the first part of this accident starts coming off four. Maybe Mark didn't want to give up the inside, he had it before he slid up between 3 and 4, but he lost it coming off 4. He was still ahead but not clear. The real problem starts when he decides or is told that it's okay to move to the inside lane. He crosses over David's nose, and gets turned slightly. That has happened to me before and I have ended up in the infield but not damaged. Anyone who cuts in front of another car and is not clear will end up in the grass if its Flamboro, or in the cement if it's the front chute at Delaware or Sunset Speedways.

The split second Mark knew he wasn't clear, he had two choices. Let the car spin to the grass, or fight it by keeping his foot in the gas. The problem with keeping his foot on the throttle is that he is out of control. So when he tries to power out of his mistake his car becomes chaotic. The problem is that he is out of track know, no more straightaway, he should be breaking because he is approaching the turn. If this incident was for the lead, Mark would have wrecked his own car, losing control and slamming the wall on his own. Unfortunately Nick was in front of him and as Nick slowed down going into turn one, the accelerating of Mark's car caught hit and body slammed both cars hard into the wall doing extensive damage. It's lucky that no one was hurt.

The reson David got blamed is politics. All the names I mentioned above are buddies and all running the same manufacture cars. The problem is, they are all wrong, totally wrong. Unfortunately the majority of those who seen it, the way it happened, said nothing or didn't know David was blamed.

David ended up finishing 3rd overall. Once the night was over he went to the hospital. On the following Monday morning his Doctor told him he could not go back to work for 2 weeks, then it was 2 months and finally he healed enough to be cleared to work on January 4th of this year.

David sent a message to Nick, well after the incident telling him he was sorry that he got wrecked, but that the accident was totally avoidable. Nicks response wasn't kind. Some friends of mine, who know all parties, one who is not only a racer but a promoter and saw it all happen says there is no way anyone should be blaming David for what happened. That's the same feeling I get from most I have talked to over the past few months.

Racers need to understand something. If you cut me off I will back out. Not very many racers will, including David, but then again why should they? Spotters are there for a reason, not to tell us how to drive the car but to tell us when it's safe and clear to move high or low. It's a very dangerous practice to cut in front of cars when not clear. Usually it wrecks your own car. In this incident it was an innocent car that got destroyed. I'm glad no one was hurt.

I understand that during the heat of the moment people don't always see what happened. That's why it is best to not attack someone until all the facts are out.

This is the first time I have posted about this, I have bit my tongue, and was heart broken reading some of the garbage written about David, but I must say that he handled it very professionally and is a true Champion.

David had a great season winning his 8th Champiosnhip, with a few more titles. He will be back in 2016 racing at Flamboro in the Late Model division.....I'll be racing with him. I can't wait to get back to Flamboro in the Late Model and looks like I wil be racing the Modified there a few times as well.

See my run down of 2015 in Diary of a Season 2016 Thanks for visiting our site and reading these letters of a Diary of a Season 2015.

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