Diary Of A Season 2015

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Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Diary Of A Season 2015

Post by Gary » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:23 am

I will be soon posting updates for our 47th season, just on the horizon. Please check back soon.
Thank you for your patience.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2015

Post by Gary » Wed May 06, 2015 10:58 pm

We did our first test with the Modified on Sunday May 3rd at Sunset. Marty, Matt, Billy, Karen and Matt's2 sons, Jon and Andrew were part of the team this day. It was beautiful out and a perfect day for practice but it turned out bad for me, yet it could have been much worse.

We made the first set of hot laps and everything was set. I got in behind David Baylych in his beautiful #12 Scotia Bank Mod and paced him for about 8 laps. We were on last years tires from Autumn Colors and David had four new tires, but he is also getting use to his car. He bought the #7 of Brent McLean a very strong running Modified. Our car was good, had a little push exiting the turns but other wise it was good.
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Racing With David Balych #12
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Howevr on the final lap of practice we were shooting water out the overflow hose. I looked that the water temp gauge and it was at 260.....not good. Once in the pits we realized one of the basic checks was missed, and we hoped it wasn't going to be serious, but I took full responsibility.

I messed up over this cold winter. I put anit freeze in both my cars, but wasn't sure of the strength once mixed. Our Late Model stayed outside much of the first part of winter, in our trailer, and the Modified did once we took it to Oakville Trailers for fab and chassis work.

During the coldest part of this winter, I had the Late Model at Sir John Alexander high school and it was an incredibly bitter cold day, but while there we installed new anti freeze, but it was minus 25 out and just had me worried all the time about freezing.

My winter has been hectic and with just Marty and I looking after pre season prep of both cars the potenital of missing something was possible, I just never thought I would forget to add water. The Mod had about 2 quarts of anit freeze still in it, maybe less. I was so disappointed that I would miss that, but there was nothing I could do about it now except hope we didn't do any damage to the engine.

We addded water, changed the oil and filter and put in 6 new plugs. The car started fine and sounded okay and I went out again but after a few laps the water came out the over flow, although the temp gauge was at 170. It didn't over heat, so we thought it might have been over filled.
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Practice Sunset May 3
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I assumed an overflow bottle was installed on the car when it was fixed but it wasn't so being over filled would mean the water would soon fill up the over flow hose and spray out. I got black flagged and drove down pit lane in the middle of the track but it stopped coming out and the temp didn't go up.

I assumed it was just over filled. We decided to go out once more and see if the engine was okay. With no water bottle and no way to stop it from coming out the over flow hose we decided to plug the overflow hose with a bolt. That was mistake #2.

I was reluctant to push hard but I wanted to leave this day happy that we didn't hurt the engine and so I had to drive it hard to make sure. What I didn't realize was that by plugging the over flow hose, there was no where to let pressure go, so we actually were making things worse.

After 4 laps coming off turn 4 the lower rad hose exploded sending water all over the back wheels and our car sideways, heading for the inside wall. I was kind of ready for it and immediately locked up the brakes and then feathered it to get the car turned away from the wall. Luckily we missed a date with cement and I was able to head back to the pits with another bad outing but one that our prayers at the beginning of the night helped, because Matt prayed for safety and we got just that. Thank you Lord.

We will check it out this week and see what we need to get it right. Special thanks to my crew for coming out and making this day a blessing.

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Re: Diary Of A Season 2015

Post by Gary » Tue May 12, 2015 11:53 pm

Our season will begin this coming Saturday, May 16th on two fronts. I will be racing the OSCAAR Modified at Sunset Speedway for the Season Opener, and Jason Legge will be driving my Late Model for Sauble Speedways opening night.
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Saulbe Opener May 16th
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Jason and I are planning to make all the regular season races in the Late Model class, allowing us to compete for the points chase. There are some very good drivers from Sauble. Jason Parker, last years Champion, Scott McTeer, the 2013 Champ, multi time Champ and feature winner Tim Ellis, and the hard charging Josh Stade who won a feature at Sunset on opening night May 2nd.
I will be keeping my Late Model at Jason Legges shop, where we will do the maintenance and prepare the car for both Late Model races at Sauble and Full Throttle. There is a chance Jason might want me to run one of his other Late Models at Full Throttle, and use our Late Model just for Sauble, and that is a great idea.
Jason will run 3 of the Sauble dates and I will run the other 7.

Our Modified should be ready to go by Thursday night, just need tires and final set up, gears and double checking the rest of the car. I am looking for some help during the week with the Modified. Some of our crew live too far away to help with maintenance, and others who are closer are committed to other things, but will help when they can.
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Full Throttle May 22nd
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We hope to be ready to run for a Championship in both series. Neither will be easy. The Late Model is very competitive at Sauble, and the OSCAAR Modified's have attracted some very strong runners to compete in 2015. I am looking forward to 2015 and hope we have some good luck, a few checkers and most of all a lot of fun.
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Sunset May 16th Modified
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Posts: 204
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Re: Diary Of A Season 2015

Post by Gary » Mon May 18, 2015 4:15 pm

May 16th Sunset Speedway

Race #1

High Lites
* 16 cars
* Gary McLean wins
* We finish 5th
* We get our first checker of the season heat #2
* 563 final for 2nd heat and feature....578 too high

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


* Routne check over
* Change gears for Flamboro
" Scale car

Marty, Billy, Jim and Karen

On Saturday May 16th the 13 race OSCAAR Modified season began at Sunset Speedway. Our goal this year is to win the series championship. It won't be easy for sure, there are lots of fast cars, but no championship is easy.

Our crew were awesome this weekend. Marty, Billy, Karen and Jim, kept busy getting us through tech, sizing tires and making sure we were ready for our first set of hot laps. Matt and Jon were unable to make it this day, Matt had to work and couldn't get to the track. Hopefully they can make our next show at Flamboro Speedway May 30th.

We lined up for tech and most of the discussion was on roof height. Over the winter someone suggested not having a frame height, but a crank height of 91/2". There is a rule that roof heights should be 45" measured 10" back from the windshield. Most all of the Troyers are way below that. I moved mine up, but like I indicated before on this site, I was very unhappy with it. But after talking to many of the other teams, they were upset with it to. If a team has a Late Model style Mod, like an ISMA or something, they have no issues, but moving a Troyer up ruins the look of it and part of my reason for going to this class was the mean looking open wheel Troyer that I have loved for years.

Some drivers refused to raise their roof, some suggested there should be no roof height, just the crank, and most all of us Troyers are over 10", some more. The biggest farse was Gary McLeans car. It reaches 45" alright, but the car looks like the hat on the NAPA auto parts truck, really not fair that somoene could jack up their roof to look ridiculous and then tell normal looking Troyer sytle cars to adjust to meet that. Many boys are upset, some stayed home, and I hope that OSCAAR gets it figured out,
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Gary McLean #8
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We had on issues with tech, we went through fine, and our car scaled okay.

Prior to practice, we found a very slight rad leak. I went to the parts truck and he suggested I use the bars leak I had in our trailer, so it saved me some money, plus the one I had worked. It was so nice to see the dripping rad drip slower and slower then stop.

Marty set the tire stagger, and Billy made sure all the levels were good. We decided to practice on old tires, and then put the new ones for the final set of hot laps.

The car ran very well in hot laps, both sets, but we knew for sure we would be hitting the chip with new tires.

It was an honor to be racing with Bill Burrows #65. I watched Bill race when I was a kid at Pinecrest. He is 76 years old....wow
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Bill Burrows #65
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We drew #33 for the first heat race, putting us 6th on the start, but one car didn’t get out, and another went scratch, putting us 4th.

Chris Milwain #21, former CVM racer started outside pole and got the lead. I was able to follow him and could run as fast but my car was too loose to do anything, especially when turning, not off the corner, and not going in, but just before I got on the gas. Our car was fast, and a few times I tried getting under Chris but each time I wasn’t quite far enough and dove hard into the turns. At the half way mark I tried going in deeper from a better angle but Chris pushed up and when I hit the brake I got real loose allowing Shane Stickle #39 to get under me. He would move into 2nd place and try to get by Chris but would settle for 2nd with Milwain grabbing the win and us taking 3rd.
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Chris Milwain #21
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We made a few changes to the car. I added little more wedge, not much, but just a little, hoping that would help, and more front brake. Scott Wylie came by and said the car looked good. I told him I was loose and he thought it was possible I could have too much rear brake.

In the 2nd heat we started 3rd. Dan Price #09 was on the pole and got the lead from Michael Hearty #20. Michael comes all the way from Sault Ste Marie to run with OSCAAR.
On the start Dan got the lead and I followed him. Gary McLean started beside me. We ran behind Dan for a few laps, he was quick on the straights. Our car was good in the corners, a little better now after the adjustments. At about the half way mark I was able to make a move on Dan and finally got by him in turn one and two and pulled ahead.
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Dan Price #09
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Gary got by at the same time and with four laps left managed to maintain a 3 car length lead to pull off our first win of the season. Our team were very happy with the win and now got prepared for the feature.
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First Win of 2015
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Other heat winners were Chad Strawn and Jamie Horner.
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Chad Strawn #77
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Jamie Horner #79
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The invert put us 6th for the start, with some very fast cars up front, in fact the top 9 cars were in the invert, and many of them were ahead of me.

During the cruising around the oval Milwain started leaking fuel out the back of his car. Each time he would warm his tires he would spill a lot of gas out of his fuel cell onto the track. The officials pulled him over and he was sent to pit row to get it fixed. Unfortunately for him, he lost the pole position and had to restart last.

The race was very clean, very fast and close. The problem with this class; and maybe any class on this track is falling behind. If you have to check up for any reason, you lose a few car lengths and they are nearly impossible to make up. I had to check up a few times, once on the start when Hearty got loose, and a few times after that.

We ran consistent, but I did feel a little tired about 2/3rds through the race. I have been working a little extra getting ready and not getting much good sleep. I also need to do some chest and arm weights or something to get a little more strength.

There was a restart with 10 to go and Ryan Dick #88. Ryan has a very fast car and being on the outside was the preferred lane. We ran side by side for a few laps until Marty gave the clear high command and I went right there. We pulled away and were running strong until another yellow came out, only this time it was Brian McLean #47 in his new Modified. On the green Brian was very fast as well and stayed with me for the remaining laps of the feature. Our car got through the ends good, allowing us to get on the gas soon and battle hard with the veteran racer.

When the white flag came out I was in 5th, but just by a nose. I wanted to make sure I didn’t mess up so I went through turn one fairly smooth, and didn’t see Brian beside me, although I knew he was right there, not far behind.

We came off turn four ahead and took 5th at the line. It was a good finish. I wished we could have done better, but the car was still a little loose. It seemed okay low, but not as good when I was on the high line, still loose going in. The top cars ran very well, Gary McLean #8 took first, Shane Stickle 2nd, Jamie Horner $79 was 3rd, with Chad Strawn #88 fourth. We ended up with a good night over all.
Congratulations to Gary and his team for taking the win
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Gary McLean #8 Feature Winner
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Our crew was very happy after the race was over. There wasn’t a mark on the car and we can still make it better.

Our next scheduled race is Friday night at Full Throttle, and the next Modified race is May 30th at Flamboro.

I will be running the Late Model at Full Throttle this coming Friday night, hope to see some of my fans there

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Re: Diary Of A Season 2015

Post by Gary » Tue May 26, 2015 11:23 pm

May 22nd........................Full Throttle Speedway

Race #2
Late Model

High Lites
*6 cars
*#11 Cole Weber wins|
*We need 10" tires
*Freezing cold
* 621 final

1st Feature.......6th
2nd Feature......5th


None....routine check over

Glenn, Matt, Scoob, Corey, Paul and Lloyd

Paul Douglas and I headed to Full Throttle Speedway in Varney on Friday night. We had my trailer in tow, but the contents were mostly my garage things, boxes, pictures, tools etc, that would be taken from FTS to Jason Legges place near Sauble Speedway.
When we got to the track, Glenn and Corey were already there waiting for me with our Quaker State Late Model. A while later Matt Smith and Lloyd Larivere came and we were in good shape crew wise.

The car was pretty well ready to go, I just needed to get some laps on the track and hope the our 2013 Impala was in the ball park. However, a small hick up occured when we realized the boys left the radios back at Jason's shop. A call was already sent out to Scoob and he was looking after getting them for us.

I took about 10 hot laps and really didn't need a radio, although there are no mirrors in our car, but with only 6 cars, and half them not going out we were okay to go.

It was apparent right away that we would be struggling on this night. I decided to run the 8" Hoosier 980's against 4 of the other 5 teams on 10" Hoosier. That is pretty well summed up as "no contest". We also didn't have enough gear and the chassis needed to be set up to prevent bottomig out. Glenn raised the chassis evenly on both sides.

Scoob made it with the radio's and we were good to go. We didn't get any more hot laps and maybe another set would have been helpful, but we were really off the mark against the rest of the competitive cars there. We didn't have a small clutch either, but none of that mattered to us because the idea was to shake the car down, get a feel for the competition and how close our car would be, and then decide if we run this car there or get another Late Model. My biggest concern was not wrecking the Sauble set up that all of us agreed was very good.

We were suppose to start pole in the first feature but I decided to go scratch. There's no sense starting up front if you're miles off and we were and we knew it. Plus starting at the back would give a good feel of how much we needed to improve for the next night, not so much the next race, because without the tires we could only improve the car marginally, but nothing like what we would need with new 10" Hoosiers.

In the first run we were okay but a communication situation arose when I got rattled with not understanding Glenn's spotting. I was running 4th at the half way mark, and one car behind us was on 10's and the other 8's. I wanted so bad to finish without an incident but I kind of panicked and moved over to let the 2 behind me go. I did that because I thought I was holding them up and it would only be a matter of time before I got spun by the 5th place car and t-boned by the 6th. We would finsih that race in 6th. After the race I talked to Glenn about spotting and what I wanted for feed back. I like Glenn alot, he's a great guy, and he was gracious enough to let me tell him what I wanted to hear.

The one thing that was apparent after the first feature was how severe we were still hitting the track with the valance. We were bottoming out hard enough to rub it down pretty good. It's called a wear bar, or wear strip, a valance, and we sure were wearing it down.

Scoob took some tire temps with our tool then went ahead calculating adjustments. Matt, Paul and Lloyd got the car ready, fuel, cleaned and Corey set the tires for the second feature.

The second 20 lapper was non stop, and I know we would expect that with so few cars. We ran okay, actually getting in 5th and pulling away from the other 8" tire car. However we got lapped by the leader and stayed out of trouble finishing 5th in this one.

The night was incredibly cold and we were still without enough gear. It dropped to just above freezing and certainly wasn't good because on one thought to bring a jacket or sweater. I gave the team some of our Quaker State crew shirts, and maybe we didn't run as good as we will next time, we did look good.

Our next race with Later Model is here on June 5th. Friday May 29th we come to Full Throttle to run Jason's Thunder Car and next Saturday we race the Modifed at FLamboro Speedway. Our 35 race schedule will get very busy in the few weeks.

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Re: Diary Of A Season 2015

Post by Gary » Sun May 31, 2015 2:36 am

May 29th .....................Full Throttle Speedway

Race #3
Thunder Car

High Lites
* 5 cars
* Greg Rauscher wins
* We use the night as a shake down
* Trains were the entertainment of the night

1st Feature..........5th (DNF)
2nd Feature.........3rd


none...routine.....get it painted

Corey, Scoob, Marty and Paul

This was my first night in a Thunder Car since 2011 when I drove Jason Legge's car in the summer for the special race with Jimmy Spencer, Ernie Irvine and Kenny Schrader. That was a fun day and so was this night.
Corey, and Scoob brought the Monte Carlo to the track and Marty and Paul came with me.
We made it so it was comfortable for me. It reminded me a little of back in my early CVM days. The seat was tipped way back. Corey loves it than way, but not me. I like to be sitting up on the wheel and tipped at least straight up, maybe a little back but not very much and not near as much as this car seat was. But that's why car builders always want the driver to come to the shop when putting in the seat, because there are many diferent preferennces, as well, many different size drivers.
Once we were good with the seat, and I bascially stuffed foam behind me, Marty put on the numbers, supplied by Jason.

One of the first things we did before going anywhere was to check the fuel. During the fill up I noticed the foam was coming apart. That's normal after a few years racing, but this was bad. I said to Corey, "we got to replace that next week for sure, it will mess up the carb". I have had it happen to me over the years, and as recent as 2 years ago at Sunset in the Late Model. Usually happens over time, or when you racing fuel. There are a few different kinds of foam, the stuff in the Late Model now was expensive, but will last a long time.

We finished working on the car and I headed out for hot laps. I got 2 laps in when the engine started to miss. I returned to the pits and we found the flaot jammed wide open and flooding the engine. I took it apart and we found foam in the needle and seat of the carb. The foam was preventing the float from lowering and allowed too much fuel in. The boys immediately started removing the old foam, all of it, but we could still see tons of floating pieces in the bottom. It was decided to get an inline gas filter and use it to help us through the night and then fix it during the week before our next race, June 19th.

We went out for the first race and really hadn't had any laps. We spent all our time cleaning the fuel system. There were only 5 cars, so it was kind of discouraging, but there was nothing we could do, if we didn't come there would only be four, so five is better than four and hopefully more come out each week. Jason and I want to support local tracks and we are doing our best this year.

The car was good power wise, and it looked awesome. I really liked the body style, and the numbers. They were made by Kamwrath Graphics I think, but they were very nice.

I didn't last long in this race when the car started to over heat. I returned to the pits and we found the nose was prevent air from getting into the rad. Corey opened it up and it was great for the second race.

A few of my good friends were racing against me. Kevin Gallant, and Gregg Rauscher. Kevin won the first race but it was costly, losing his engine on the last lap. He didn't make the second feature. We weren't able to run with the top 2 cars, not close really. But we had fun and did finish 3rd. Scoob said we can make the car better for the next race.

Congrats to my former crew member Gregg Rauscher for winning his first ever feature race. He ran well in the first one to.

Special thanks to Corey and Scoob for bringing the TC to Full Throttle Speedway. Looking forward to returning in the Late Model soon.

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Re: Diary Of A Season 2015

Post by Gary » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:44 am

June 5th...........................Full Throttle Speedway

Race #4
Late Model

High Lites
* 8 cars
* #11 Cole Weber and #76 Tyer Williams win
* We finish 5th in both
* Car was much better in the 2nd feature

1st Feature...........5th
2nd Feature..........5th



Marty, Glenn, Paul, Scoob and Lloyd

well the big thing on this night was an increase in car count from 5 to 8. We knew why we were so far out of our league against these cars on our first outing. We ran 8" tires against 10" and that never will work. Most of them had 5" cluthes and we were using our 10".
I bought 2 new 10" right side tires and used our 2014 left sides to get us through this night.

Our crew were great, just wanted to get through this night and not mess up the car for Jason at Sauble. This car really is set up for Sauble, but we want to support Full Throttle, even though the pay out is nuts. More cars will bring that up...I hope.

We were lapped last time here in both races. We made a few changes after the first set of hot laps and I was coached by Glenn on keeping the car down. In the first feature I started last. Our car has nothing for the faster Pro Lates. They are allowed anything, the track just adds weight penalties.
In the first feature we were good but pushing. The features were only 20 laps. We finished 5th in the first one, and did not get lapped.

The boys made a few changes for the second feature. The car was much better now. I still went to the back, but that was because I will not start in front of much quicker cars with my car when it's not in the same league. There is one car with over 450 HP, another one with a 2 speed Bert transmission and a coupler, no clutch....those additions make us obsolete in terms of competition, so the only smart thing to do is let them go and find a few cars we can race with.

The surprise for me in this race was how strong our car was just from the handling improvements. We ran nose to tail for 7 laps with #23 Paul Milligan and #00 Thompson Racing. We stayed with them for the most part until we caught a lapped car and that got us messed up a little. Paul pulled away and Thompson and I gained on the 4th place car. We were running 5th and 6th and our car was as good as the #00.

In the final laps we caught the 4th place car. He was struggling and with one to go we were on him and both of us got by coming off four for the checker, giving us 5th but more than that a night where this car ran very good. No damage and a big improvement.

Our next time here we should have the little clutch and that will help us as well.
Special thanks to Glenn for making sure the car got to the track and all your coaching, and to Scoob Marty and Paul for making this a fun night. Scoob said to me "if we can leave the night with a better car than we had when we came, it was a successful night", and we did just that.

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Re: Diary Of A Season 2015

Post by Gary » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:47 am

June 6th...................Sunset Speedway

Race #5
726 in a row

High Lites
* 19 cars
* Gary McLean wins
* We get 6th
* 563 gears...then 574
Running consistent, working on running fast

Heat #1..........3rd
Heat #2..........5th




Marty and Matt

We were very pumped about running Sunset again. I love this track, and though I struggle in the Late Model, we do pretty good in the Modified. We got to the track early, Marty and I. Matt had some commitments and was not able to come until later. We used old tires, non inventory for our first practice and everything seemed fine.

There were 19 cars on hand. Sunset akways draws good car counts in all classes.
We started 6th in the first heat. We finished 3rd, but it was a battle to try and pass. Our seemed okay down low, where we made most of our passes.

We didn't change much for the next race except we took out a little stagger. I thought I would be up closer, but because there were 9 and 10 cars in each heat, I started 5th in this one. This race was a real battle with all the cars being fairly equal. At one point in the heat we fell back to 8th but managed to gain a few spots and on the white flag lap nearly caught Tommy Robb at the line, but ended up 5th by a hair.

I liked the way the car handled in the hear on the outside, so I left the stagger as it was, about 3 3/4 for the feature. We also tried to figure out our fuel, because we get a 30 pound weight break and the last time we were here we weight 2618 and only need to be 2570. Giving up 48 pounds seemed a lot, but we also worried about being too light so we played it safe and did put in less gas, but still stayed conservative.

We started 3rd in the feature. I was hoping for a strong run. Davey Terry #14 and Brad Pearsol #15 were on the front row, with Brad insdie pole. On the green we ran close for a few laps. Soon though Gary McLean #8 and Chad Strawn #77 were mixing it up with us and I couldn't get out of the inside lane. We fell back to 5th and then lost a spot to #79 Corey Horner.

Each restart was hurting us because I couldn't get on the gas soon enough. When I did the car would push a little and I would ease up and it cost me a few feet. Once in line with the rest we could pace them but not in the lower or upper groove.

There was a restart with 7 to go and I started inside #88 Ryan Dick. He was on the gas the same time we were but I pushed up again and had to back out just for a second and he got by. The rest of the race I was able to pace them but our car was just not turning like it should.

We ended up 6th and though it was a good night, I was disappointed because we should have been able to finish in the top 5 but in the big picture it was a good night for us.

Our next race is next weekend in the Mod at Full Throttle Motor Speedway for Part 1 of the Rick Woolner Memorial. I need to get my car fixed by then for sure. There are many I could ask to help, but all of them are fairly busy and some with businesses that charge, others that just don't have the time, and others again who help many other racers. I think it's time to call Scott Wylie. He will spend the time and get us geared up for sure.

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Re: Diary Of A Season 2015

Post by Gary » Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:58 pm

June 13th..................Full Throttle Motor Speedway

Race #6

Rick Woolner Memorial....Part 1

High Lites
* 16 cars
* Shane Stickle wins
* We get second
* Set up made a big difference
* Failed to qualify in time trials need a transponder
* 613 final

Heat #1.......4th
Heat #2.......7th



Matt, Paul, Jon, Troy

After last weeks disappointing night I decided to call Scott Wylie and ask him if he could look at our car before the weekend, this night. He said he could, and we booked a set up day with him and his dad on Friday the 12th. I called David to see if he would come with me and it happened he had the night off and was able to come and help.

I had to make a few stops in the morning including one to my aunt Gloria who looked after Buttons for me. There was no way I could take her across the border so Gloria was kind enough to look after my sweet puppy.

I picked David up near Grimsby around 12:30, we had lunch and headed for New York. Scott lives about 20 minutes from the peace bridge right on highway 5. He asked us to be there by 1:30.

They have an beautiful peace of property and an awesome shop. We were there from 1:30 until 7. It was a long day, but Scott and David worked steady on the car while I talked to Rick, Scott's dad, about his racing career. We worked on sway bar, springs, chassis height, trailing arm angles and camber and caster. All were changed and he felt our car would be much better. Scott had to leave at 5, so his dad Rick, helped us finish off the rest of the work.

They are a great family, really know their stuff and can be reached on facebook. Scott helps Taylor Holdaway got him running awesome at the end of last year and into this season. David was a huge help and drove down and back giving me some rest.

I had everything loaded up for Friday night to leave early in the morning for Full Throttle. I wanted to get their early enough to get a good pad and take our time setting up. Marty, Billy, Karen, Jay and Lloyd would not be coming so it would be mostly Matt, Jon and Paul to prepare for the nights races.

I stopped just east of Fergus and picked Paul up. He is on fire for our team. We stopped at Ideal Supply and got some glass cleaner and compressor oil. I forgot to strap down my tools and compressor solid and it tipped over spilling out all the oil in it, but no other damage.

We got to the track in lots of time. Paul and I set up the pits and Matt got there not too long after us. We mounted the right front tire and got ready for tech. When going through tech all was good, but I was reminded I needed to get a transponder. I signed in and derew #40 for my starting spot in time trials. I also had to pay for my lap sponsor money and then get ready for practice. Matt was going to be spotting for us and I was happy about that. We just needed to get the radios set up and make sure he was comfortable that I could here him.

Randy, who does the tire management and policing for OSCAAR came to our trailer and was looking for 2 tires. I was surprised and said "we can use 2"? and Randy said yes because it was a special event, 50 laps. I totally forgot that. I had one to put in but not two. He said I should try and find one because most everyone will be using 2 tires.

I ended up buying one from Chad Strawn. However the track did not have a tire changing machine. So I asked the McLeans if they had the tools to do it and they did. We got them both off but putting them on rims would be a challenge, so Gary McLean's Dad came over and showed us how to do one and then Matt, Paul and Jon did the next one. They did great mounting them and Randy came back and got the number off our new tire.

Brent McLean and his dad came over to see the changes we made. They offered to help us and were there most of the day. I was glad they came over, Brent always runs good.

The format for the day was time trials. The lap times would determine where we would start in the first heat race. The second heat would be like always, a reverse of the first.
In the first set of hot laps our car was good. Brent and his dad thought it looked very good. In the next set it got a little worse becasue I was bottoming out. They helped raise the chassis by putting a few turns on each from sping. I reset the bar after that but only by guess.

The time trial line up was on the board and that would be the first event to go on the track. We were 2nd last.

When I went out I made sure to be ready to go as quick as possible. I felt we could have a good run in time trials. The first lap was okay and on the second I got a little loose off two and spun on the back chute. I felt so dumb, and not only ruined the time trials but also maybe hurt the new tires we just bought. The car wouldn't restat adding more to the frustration. I did a 360 and finished that lap...about 6 minutes instead of 12.5 seconds.

Once in the pits an OSCAAR official said our lap times didn't record. Then I remembered, I didn't install a transponder. My crew ran around trying to get one and when they did no one knew where it had to go, plus there was no case for it, so they disqualified us from time trials, meaning we would be starting last in each heat race.

We put the battery on charge, installed the transponder and made a chassis adjustment. Two turns on the right front and a turn and a half on the sway bar. We also put on the tires from opening night.

In the first heat race we ran awesome finishing 4th. The car was very good. The second heat wasn't as good because I got chopped bad going into turn one by #14 and when I backed out of it I lost a lot of track position. I was able to catch back up but time wasn't on our side and we finished 7th in that race.

The combined finishes put us 12th on the starting grid.

Matt was doing a great job spotting and we talked a little stratgey went over the things I like to hear, which he knew from before.

There were lots of trouble in the first 15 laps. Including 2 on lap one. By the time we got going we were up to 8th. Our car was very fast and I felt like I could put it anywhere. Over the first 30 laps we were up to 3rd.

On lap 33 we restarted 3rd and with Shane Stickle #39 on the pole and Chad Strawn #77 outside pole. I restarted 3rd and Gary Mclean was 5th. I had asked Matt to let me know when there were 10 laps to go, then 5 to go. He said he would, but we didn't know was how intense the final 17 laps would be. On the restart I got a great run and passed Chad to move into 2nd. A lap later Gary McLean was by Chad as well and now with 16 laps to go I had the OSCAAR Mod rocket on my tail.

The final 17 laps went caution free and I was very happy but Matt was going nuts. Gary was on my tail, looking inside at times, but then getting loose off the corners. Our car was really good, but was slightly on the tight side, but nothing serious. I saw the starter put out his hand indicating 5 to go, and I thought to my self, "Matt must have forgot". But how I even thought of that, with all that was going on was beyond me. I was hoping for a top 5 and here we were with 5 to go running 2nd.

The leader was pulling away, he was just too good in the turns, and though he wasn't that much faster he was just a little quicker getting in and out of each turn. But so were we, and Gary McLean was right there trying to get under but couldn't make it happen. The 2 laps sign came out and as we passed the starter we caught a lapped car on the back chute. Gary moved inside me but I knew he could go anywhere, I had him boxed in. Once going through turn four we were still side by side but I got by the lapped car and Gary followed with one to go. Chad Strawn was right there with us. Matt was so pumped, saying "great move, good show". Then coming off four for the final lap he went crazy and so did I. We ended up 2nd and we were just wild with how well we did.

I thanked the fans, and the promoter and OSCAAR, and forgot to thank my crew, although I hugged Matt many times when he came down, he did fantastic. So congrats to Shane Stickle and his team, and thank you Matt, Jon, Paul and Troy for making this night so awesome.
And last but not least....thank you Lord for the many blessings you have put on me. I am truly grateful for all You have given.

Next week I have a double header. The Thunder Car at Full Throttle and the Late Model at Sauble. Looking forward to next weekend.

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Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2015

Post by Gary » Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:53 pm

June 19th.....................Full Throttle Motor Speedway

Race #7
Thunder Car


High Lites
* 3 Thunder Cars...."Seriously"
* We run with the Street Stocks
* #17 wins both features
* We get podium finish in both :lol:
* We get wrecked bad in the 2nd feature

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


Front end

Glenn Schnurr

We got to Full Throttle early this day. It was time to run the Thunder Car again. The only crew would be Glenn Schnurr and I . Glenn brought the Monte Carlo with him, and I brought my trailer with the Late Model in it to run Sauble Speedway on Saturday night.

Glenn had made a few changes on the car and wanted me out on the track as quick as possible. I am so use to hearing the PA system announce there is going to be a practice session, that I quite often just don’t get ready in time.

I made one set of hot laps and the car was good actually, just a little hesitation on acceleration off the corners. I asked Glenn if he replaced the foam in the tank and he had. I decided to check the float and sure enough it was pouring out, and the needle and seat would not adjust. Glenn and I worked together, pulling it apart and found some old foam jammed in the seat, not letting the needle close the float. We got it fixed, no trouble and in the next set of practice laps the hesitation was gone.

Once we were set to go, we noticed there was almost no other Thunder Cars. One came in and then finally a third. Gregg Rauscher, who took one of the features last time, was here and Tristan Gill would drive a car owned by Gord Bennett, that was the Thunder Car field.

Gord had a dilemma on his hands, and I was about to be part of a personal record. Gord needed to figure out how to make 3 cars entertaining to his fans. What was my personal record? This was the lowest field of cars I had ever participated in. Wow, the Pro 4’s out drew the Thunder Cars. We only had 3 cars, so the good news? We were going to be on the podium.

Gord decided to run the Thunder Cars with the Street Stocks, there were 10 to 12 of them. The format would still be 20 laps but we would start up front and have our own race, and though the Street Stocks were slower, they were not competing against the TC class, so there would be a winner in that class. Basically like the 24 Hours of Daytona, when many cars in the same race battle within their own class of cars.

I started pole in the first race. It didn’t take the Tristan to get by, and he was followed by Gregg. I didn’t have enough pull off the corners. The car handled good, but they were eating my up off. We were tight as well, very tight creating a bad push.

It didn’t take long for us to start lapping cars. The Street Stocks were much slower but they obeyed the move over flag, and we needed to be patient.

I was catching up slowly when we got into heavier traffic. Tristan led all the way, Gregg pushed him as best he could until he spun out on lap 19, the white flag waving. That ended the race and I was able to get by Gregg to take 2nd.

In the pits Glenn and I talked and we agreed to do something to free up the car, so he replaced the LR spring with one not so heavy.

In the next race we started 3rd. On the start both Gregg, who was inside, and Tristan were banging each other on the front chute right after the green. It was crazy, I thought they were going to spin each other out, but Tristan pulled ahead just a little but both Gregg and I were right there.

This race was much different for us because the car was better and we did not fall back near as much as the first race. When we caught traffic our car was there with them. They were awesome coming off the corner; I guessed they had more gear.
As the race closed we started to push again. The front 2 were more consistent and slowly pulled ahead, that is until Gregg spun out with 4 laps to go.

With only 3 cars he restarted right behind us. I was 2nd on the start and raced hard into one. I knew I had nothing for Tristan. He was fast, Gregg to. As we entered turn one I got hammered, I mean slammed very hard, no chance to save it. I was spun around between one and two facing the pits. No real damage at this point but just a second or so away were the Street Stocks and they came barreling into one, side by side and suddenly they see me sitting there blocking at least half the track. Cars headed high and others slammed on their brakes. Paul Huskin, a good friend of mine, was driving his beautiful white Monte Carlo and was forced down, not being able to get around. I was sitting in the car watching some cars go by, shoulders shrugged hoping I wouldn’t get hit. At that same time Paul jammed on the brakes, he tried to stop, but was hammered very hard into my right front. That was a whack and a half, sending our car half way up turn 2 facing the back chute wall. Game over.

I started the car and thought, I’m just going to back up and keep going as if everything is okay. But the severe damage to the front end was stopping me from going anywhere.

As the tow truck backed in the driver asked me if I was okay and I said yes I was. I was very sore though, and limped out of the car on to the track and made my way past cars stopped under red. My right leg, outside thigh was very sore and I felt like I got tackled, but otherwise I was okay.

After the race in the pits Gregg came over and said that wreck was his entire fault. He said he hit he brake and the pedal went right to the floor. He was very sorry. He offered to pay something, I suggested for him to call Jason Legge, but I knew Jason wouldn’t ask for money. I gave Gregg a hug, he pitted for me in 2010 in the Late Model, and I knew he was an honest guy. As he walked away something hit me and I yelled out “Gregg, did you finish the race”? He replied “Yes I did”. I then asked what everyone would “how did you finish the race with no brakes”? He said “Oh they came back right away”. I said “no they didn’t, you hit the clutch going into one, your brake didn’t go to the floor”. Then we laughed and he left.

A tow truck loaded the car for us and in the morning Jason unloaded it from the trailer with a front end loader. I hope it’s not too damaged. We seen upper and lowers, a fender, a shock, brake line, rim and tire destroyed. More than likely ball joints and possibly other small things as well.

Glenn would work on it this week; it won’t be out again for 2 weeks at Sauble.

Special thanks to Glenn for all his help and to Jason for understanding….although it wasn’t my fault, I did feel bad.

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