Diary Of A Season 2016

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Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2016

Post by Gary » Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:14 pm

September 24th......................Flamboro Speedway

Race #20

Last Night of Points

High Lites
* 18 cars
* Chenoweth wins first feature
* David wins second feature
* Chenoweth wins points by 2 over David
* We have a good car but get caught in wreck
* We finish 8th in points

First Feature........15th
Second Feature.....18th


Body, rear axle, routine

Louie, Randall

This was the last night of regular points for all divisions at Flamboro. Naturally our eyes were on David who was tied for the lead with Shawn Chenoweth. We were 8th in points, only 10 ahead of 9th and the same behind 7th.

Warm ups were good, our car was fast. Maybe a top 5 car, but that was with 3 new tires. I only did one set of hot laps. We felt the car was good and I wanted to save any laps or heat cycles on the new rubber.

I drew 8, putting us 3rd for the first feature. In front of me was Matt Lockwood #15 and Chad Cocoran #50, both fast cars. David was 6th and Shawn 7th. We drove around a few laps warming up the tires. There must have been something on the track because the service truck was on the track cleaning up something. I told Louie how hard it was to see going into turn one and in the middle of one and two. It was blinding, like it's always been, but seemed about the worst I had seen ever. There was a point entering the turn and in the middle that I could see nothing in front of me. Many racers agreed, and even with sun glasses and tinted shield on the helmet, there was a dangerous blind spot.

While we were going around something happened at that spot I was referring to. The utility truck was parked in the upper lane still cleaning and Al Bowman drove right into the back of the truck. It is so lucky that no one was hurt on the truck, or Al, because he must have not seen the truck and I can believe it, although the blinding area is only for a split second, I would think Al would have seen it going into to turn one before the sun block. Anyway no one was injured, but that wreck ended Al's night with a broken rad, The red came out and now there was speedy dry put down to clean up Al's water from his rad.

Soon we got the double up and then one to go. I was pumped to be starting this far up. I usually stay at the back but I felt the car was good enough to run with the fast cars. I started row two inside with #17 Nick Roth beside me.

On the green Matt held the lead with Chad right beside him going down the back chute and into turn 3. Matt had the edge, because unless the car on the inside is slow or the car on the outside real good, the outside lane is not the place to be. I like the outside but it's not a favorable place for a Late Model to be.

Racing Deal or Bad Choice
Coming off four Matt got the edge, by half a car. At the start finish line the leaders were a car length and a half ahead of me. I was in 3rd a little ahead of Nick, with David close behind me. As we entered turn one Chad came down in front of me and I hit him turning him and causing a big unnecessary wreck involving four or five cars including David.

As I drove around Chad, or tried to, I got hit hard on the passenger right rear wheel and body. The impact was hard enough to bend the trailing arm like a pretzel and the snout of the right rear axle tube. We were done in this race. I drove back to the pits and found the right rear wheel way up towards the door. We put it on jack stands and started to dissect the damage.

Meanwhile David had a lot of damage to his nose and front bumper. His crew worked hard to get the car as good as possible to get back on the track. They did, and David finished 5th, but lost a lot to Shawn who won the feature.
I felt bad for David and his team because that wreck surely hurt his Championship chances, and I wished it wasn't me who was involved in the start of the accident.

I was standing at the fence watching the race when Chad came up to me and asked why I ran into him. I was taken by that and explained that he came down on me, I couldn't stop. He said his spotter said he was clear and when he looked in his mirror I was behind him. I argued that he shouldn't have come down where he did because he wasn't clear. The debate got tense when he said I just caused my son the title.

So lets diagnose this closer, and there is a video that shows enough of what I think happened. First I don't think anything was deliberate on Chad's part, but I do totally believe he made a bad choice to move down when he did. I also believe that me, or anyone in my situation could not have done much different because slamming on my brakes would have caused a different accident with David on my bumper. But that really isn't the issue, because I didn't have any choices.

As Matt and Chad came off turn four to complete lap one, Chad was at Matt's quarter. Chad has a fast car but lost a little coming off the corner. Yes, I was about a car length plus behind the leader. At the start finish line Chad's spotter tells him he is clear, and yes he was clear.....accept he was still not clear of Matt, in other words he needed to turn left to get down but he would hit Matt if he did too soon. Chad had to check up a little to get in behind Matt. The trouble with that is the distance between me and the leader shortened as soon as Chad slowed up a little to get down. I had no idea he was going to come down. My only thought was to stay in my lane and race hard into one. I was very well aware that I had 15 cars behind me maybe the fastest Pro Late, David, on my tail. I was racing and thought that I might get under Chad between the turns sticking him outside, but knew most likely he would pull me off the corner and get in front on the back chute.

As we entered turn one I was shocked that Chad cut down in front of me. I hit him and spun him, then mayhem followed and some cars got beat up including Chad, David, Nick and my own car. It wasn't supposed to be like this. I just wanted to race hard and have a good night. I never thought for a second to blame Chad, it just didn't enter my mind. But when he said I ruined my sons Championship bid I lost it.....for a few seconds. I wrote him an apology that night when I got home.

The damage to my car was too severe to be fixed at the track without proper tools. We needed a heating torch and port-o-power tool to bend the snout back, it was bent an inch. I decided to take one lap in the second feature to get my points and hopefully preserve where we were in the standings.

I started last in the feature, naturally. We went around a bunch of times, not sure why. I didn't want to be wearing the right rear tire or hurting the rear end assembly anymore than I had to. Finally we got the white flag and the green. David was on the pole and once I crossed the finish line, taking the green, I headed for the pits to watch the feature.

David drove an amazing race, leading all 30 laps. Shawn was on his tail. David went in deeper every lap but had to check up allowing Shawn to gain it all back but he was flawless not making one mistake and winning the feature but losing the title by just 2 points. David got points for leading a lap, the most laps, and the win, but it wasn't enough.

He doesn't blame anyone, and calls the wreck a racing deal. I know Chad didn't do anything on purpose. He's young but doesn't need his stuff wrecked. I think when his spotter said "clear", he had to come down right then but couldn't and when he did come down he wasn't clear......simple.

Our next race is in the Modified with OMRS at Sunset and our next Late Model race is Octoberfest. |

Congrats to Shawn and his team on winning the title, and to David's team for making it a battle. Also to my guys, Louie and Randall for their help. It was a sad but fun night.

We raced our 773rd consecutive night as well. :)

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2016

Post by Gary » Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:20 pm

September 25th......................Sunset Speedway Velocity

Velocity with OMRS

Race #21

774 In A Row

High Lites
* 15 cars
* John Baker Jr wins
* We finish 9th....all over the place :roll:
* Awesome weather
* 578 final





Louie and I headed to Sunset Speedway early Sunday morning. I knew there would be a ton of cars there, and that we would be running on older 8" recaps with the OMRS Modifieds. I did enjoy racing with Rick and they boys in the past, and looked forward to this race. It was the only time all year I could race with them.
This was Sunset's Velocity weekend and the Mods had qualified the night before. After we found a place to park, thanks to some very helpful OMRS staff, we got ready for hot laps.

The car was terrible in hot laps. very loose off, and even on the straightaways. I got some help from David over the phone and he felt it might be the right rear tire wore too far if it was loose on acceleration on the straights. I did get another tire from Rick Warne's and we hoped it would solve our problem.

Louie was a big help as always. Lloyd was unable to come again this weekend, not feeling well. He hasn't been to a race since we came back from Nova Scotia, and we miss him, but wish him well and hope for many pain free days to come for him.

Because we were not here the night before to qualify we would be going scratch. I was okay with that because I didn't want to get mixed up with some hard racing, we are in the hunt for a Championship with OSCAAR, and this was just an opportunity to race and have some fun.....although we did want to race as hard as we could.

We changed some tires around, made one wedge adjustment and hoped for the best. I do enjoy racing on Sunset but had not ran there for a year.

On the green for the 30 lap feature I was happy with the pull of my engine. I had put in new spark plugs and made some small changes and liked the power I could feel. However, it wouldn't take long to find that we were still out to lunch on the chassis settings. The car was very loose off even when I took it easy to accelerate. I tried everything, different lanes, different speed approaches into the turns but we had a terrible push and severe loose off.

There are no radio's allowed in OMRS, so once I knew I wasn't competitive with the faster cars I just drove hard enough to stay out of trouble. We got as high as 7th but slowly lost 2 spots finishing 9th, but zero damage to our car and that was great.

Congrats to John Baker Jr. on his win, and thanks to the OMRS staff and Rick for all their help.

This weekend is the final race for our Late Model at Flamboro Speedway, Triple 50's. It's also the OSCAAR Modified elimination round for the 7 remaining Modifieds. Hopefully we get this weekend in.

The final OSCAAR race is Autumn Colors. The three cars that made the Chase will start 4th, 5th and 6th based on their qualifying. We are trying very hard to get into the final three. Ron Easton set up our car and we have new tires to help us get the best chance we can. Now for the weather man to cooperate.

Thanks for visiting our web site.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2016

Post by Gary » Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:20 pm

October 7,8,9.................Peterborough Speedway Autumn Colors Classic

Race #22

High Lites
* 24 cars
* AJ Emms wins
* AJ, John Harper, Gary McLean in chase
* Special thanks to Doug Hanchard, Tim Tolton, Chuck March, Brandon and others
* We finish 8th in race, 4th of the eligible cars
* We're out of the Chase :(
* Tough but good weekend
* 563 final
* Championship goes next weekend Flamboro Octoberfest

Heat #1..........4th
Heat #2..........2nd


Cosmetic, get ready for Octoberfest Classic

Jim, Louie, Randall, Tim

Back in the day, in the 70's when I first started racing, I couldn't wait for 3 day race weekends. Unlike ACC, they were 3 races at three different tracks. We would race Friday night at Delaware, Saturday at Flamboro and Sunday at Sunset or Sauble, it was awesome. We would plan the weekend, have gears set aside, all kinds of prep for an exciting racing weekend. Once in 1973 we ran twice on Sunday, early afternoon at Flamboro and then an evening show at Pinecrest. Those were the days, and we weren't a top runner at all, but I loved to race and racing is what I wanted to do as much as possible. We don't race from late October until late April or May, so once the season was upon us, the more racing for me the better.

This year, though different, I had the same excitement and for the OSCAAR Modified Chase. We saved tires over the final 5 races, running on old tires and not being very competitive. We did win the Flamboro feature on older tires on August 6th, but they weren't that old. Our plan was to have enough tires to have at least 3 new tires for all the elimination rounds. Rain outs changed plans when Varney and Flamboro were rained out. It meant no cars eliminated and no extra tires for inventory. It didn't affect us at all because we had 7 brand new tires in our inventory.

When Flamboro Octoberfest was cancelled due to rain, the 4th rain out of the year, we were still okay because we had 4 for Peterborough and then 3 more for Flamboro on October 15th and 15th. The only issues would be to finish in the top 3 of the 7 cars eligible for the Chase.

Luke Gignac, Dan Price, AJ Emms, John Harper, Cory Horner, Gary McLean and our team, were the cars in the Chase. I was pumped, because Ron Easton has set up our car and we had enough rubber to give us a fair shot. I also knew the other teams would have new rubber as well, but for me it was important because though we knew we did not have one of the better cars, maybe a top 8 or 9 chassis and engine combo.....not even that high when the Delaware cars are included.

Our set up, tires and luck had to work for us to be in the final three at the end of the 50 lap feature at Autumn Colors.
I was very excited to be in this position and so was my crew and family.

It was going to be a tough weekend for me, especially Friday and Saturday because none of my crew could make it. Lloyd was still dealing with health issues and both Louie and Randall would not be coming until Sunday. Jim and Kenny were coming on Saturday, so I knew I would have help on Saturday.

Buttons and I got to the track on Thursday around 2:30 only to find out there were no more pads left. It was okay, I didn't really mind that much, over half the cars competing would be without pads. We unloaded the trailer and then headed to our hotel room to watch game 3 of the Jays and Texas Rangers. What a game, Jays winning 7-6 in the 10th.

Buttons and I got to the track early and slowly prepared the trailer, got the tires on the car etc. I say we, Buttons is great company for me.

I had asked Derrick Tiemersma if he would spot for me in my hot laps and heat race. He was there with Shirley and his crew to run the OSCAAR Super Late Models. He said he would so I was covered. His crew member Ken helped me with tires and getting ready.

I had put on 2 outside Late Model tires for practice. We don't have to use inventory tires to practice. I wanted to get a good feel of the car. These tires barely had any laps on them, maybe 10. When the green came out I was focused, wanting to read my car to make it right for Sunday. I followed #70 Cory Horner, one of the Chase cars, and felt he would be a good gauge to test with. After about a lap, Cory got under Ryan Dick and I tried to follow. I got a run off turn 2 and was up to his back wheel going into turn three. I raced in hard, wanting to keep with Cory but to my shock Ryan came down into my lane about the middle of the turn. I jammed on the brakes and slid into Ryan spinning him out, resulting in us both sliding up to the wall. He hit hard backwards and my right front wheel was pointing towards Elliott Lake. I was so upset. I wondered why his spotter wouldn't tell him I was there and let me go. I found out later that Ryan didn't have a spotter and used his mirror to judge where I was. It was a mistake and hurt us both, but him more.
I felt very bad for many reasons. I like their family very much, father and son team who always do their best and usually run decent. I thought for sure it was my lane, so I was second guessing myself. Why didn't I wait for another lap, why rush it. Then I wondered, why didn't he stay up when I was in there. If we didn't run radio's in our cars I would never have made that move. But we do have radio's and when a car is at your back wheel you better stay in the upper lane.......although many OMRS teams disagree. They feel the lane isn't yours until you are up to their door. That's true, only true if there are no radio's being used. This was an OSCAAR event so OMRS teams should have respected that.

Once in the pits I checked over the damage. Tim Tolton was there and gave me a hand. It was early in the afternoon, and though I only got 2 laps, I knew I wouldn't be making anymore. So now it was panic mode. I got some help from a few people, Doug Hanchard, a Limited Late Model car owner and Tim. I was fortunate to have my good buddy Tim come by to help me. He was surprised I didn't have a crew, but I said I would on Saturday. Friday was going to be one set of hot laps and one heat not a wreck on lap 2 of the first practice.

We had some minor damage. A broken tie rod, the strut was bent and I didn't have a spare. I found a trailing arm in the trailer for the Late Model. Doug took it to his place and cut it the right length and tapped the one end for the heim to go in. While he was gone I was able to get the rest done until Doug came back with the fixed part. That was a huge help for me. I did have a spare strut, but it would not work on my car because the clevis end was the wrong size. Anyway that was the only part I needed and got the car together. When Tim came back we set the toe and I was ready to go.

I asked for some hot laps and got them an hour or so before our heat race. I only wanted 5 and they gave them to me and I appreciated that very much.

Tim had his own car for the Mini Stock division and had to go to check on it. While he was gone we got word to line up. I drew the highest number in the box and would start last in my heat. When we were told to line up I couldn't find Derrick so I text him because he was going to spot for me in the heat race. Then I got a text saying he had to leave to fix his car. A bracket broke on the rear end and needed welding, so he would not be spotting for me but fixing his car. I was lucky that Tim came back and I asked him to spot and he agreed. He had spot for me in the past and did a great job.

I had already installed 4 sticker tires on the car for this heat race. The idea was to size them for the big race. I started at the back of my heat. There were 8 cars in our race. We barely got a lap in when #46 Ryan Babin went from the upper lane to the bottom. The only problem with that was Brian McLean had that spot occupied. Sure Brian could have jammed on his brakes and wrecked everyone, but it was his lane and when the 46 came down it caused an unnecessary wreck that once again took out Brian. He had just finished fixing that car from 2 previous wrecks. We were lucky to stay high and not get involved.

The rest of the race was uneventful. Luke Gignac took the checker. We finished 4th. That would be all the racing for us this night so Buttons and I headed to our hotel room to get some rest.

I got a text from Jim, that he and Kenny would not be coming to pit on Saturday because his business trailer broke down and he needed to make arrangements to get fuel to the gas stations, and get his trailer fixed. He said they would be there on Sunday. So I figured just take it easy and stay out of trouble and I should be good.

I changed the tires over to the used set to keep my new ones as good as possible. I made one set of hot laps, The car was good. Ryan was out there with his other race car. They went home to get their spare Modified. I tried to stay back from him, not because he would wreck me, but just so I could race hard and not get near him. On the last lap of practice my car suddenly broke loose in between turns three and four. I couldn't believe it, just took off. I didn't spin completely but did end up on the grass and kept going. The checker came so this session was over. Once in the pits I checked the stagger and it was close to 5". I was thinking that could be why I got loose, we didn't have that much on the new inventory tires.

I put the new tires on and waited for our next heat race, which wasn't going to be until late in the afternoon. Meanwhile I wanted to talk to Ryan and his Dad, so I paid them a visit and we talked about what happened the day before. They blamed me, I blamed them. They said "you spun on your own just now in practice". I tried to explain the car just broke loose but it was no use. The blaming kept up, but that didn't work out so good, so I just apologized for hitting them but told him once I was committed to that lane I was driving in hard and I couldn't stop plus I locked up my brakes. Ryan was not using a spotter and he confirmed it, so at least I knew for sure why it happened. We shook hands and both of them were okay with it. Ryan's Dad thanked me for coming over and I said I wanted to the day before but they left before I could. They are a great family, and try hard like most of us.

After talking to Ryan and his Dad I decided to check my car over. I had the battery on charge and decided to put fuel in the car. To my shock I noticed the fuel cell cap was way over to the right, about 4 inches. I looked under the car and found out why. The brackets holding the fuel cell had broken, shifting the cell way to the right side of the car. That explained why I spun sideways. Now I was in scramble mode again, because with no crew I had to hustle, find a welder, some pipe or whatever to fix the car.

I asked about 4 teams before I finally found someone with a welder. Dan Price had one, but he loaned it out. Brandon, a Thunder Car driver said he had welder and offered to come over and weld it for me. While I was waiting for him, 2 fans, walking though the pits offered help. Harold and Kevin stayed with me for about 30 minutes getting the fuel cell in place. They were an awesome help. Tim came back and he to helped while Brandon got the welding done. Once he was done Tim and I put the body panel and right rear side bar back on the car and we were ready to go.

In this race we were starting outside pole beside Rob Warnes #95. Rob has a fast car, built motor and runs very strong in the OMRS series. Rob would take the win but we were on his tail from start to finish. It felt good to take 2nd in that race, giving us a 4th and 2nd in qualifying. Now it was time to get some rest and be ready for the biggest Modified race to date, the 50 lap feature, where 4 of the 7 eligible cars would be eliminated. There were going to be 24 cars in this race, and that was awesome.

I was exhausted by now and wanted to get back to my room and rest. I needed lots of sleep because Friday and Saturday were hectic on me..............but it was all good. We had a decent car and on Sunday I would rest when Jim, Kenny, Louie and Randall made it out.

The Feature
We drew for starting spots early Sunday. There was going to be an 11 car inversion. We drew #1, which was good.
Jim spotted while Kenny, Louie and Randall went to pit row. Jim is a great spotter and calms me down more than anyone I know. My other spotters are good as well, Jim is just more relaxed and experienced. He spots for David in the Late Model and spotted for me from 2005 till 2010.

We got the lead early, and held it until the lap 2. Gary McLean, who started 4th, got to the inside lane right away and within 2 laps he flew by me like I was stopped. His car rocketed off the corner and before turn 3 he was ahead.

I ran in second for the next 8 laps or so until a caution. He was 3 or 3 car lengths ahead and ran 3/4 throttle to make it look close but he was much faster than any car on the track, both chassis and power.

On that restart I started outside and that wasn't going to benefit us. Over the next several laps I slowly lost spots being on the outside and unable to get down. We eventually fell back to about 8th.

There were several more restarts from cautions and on each restart I was outside. Each time I got a good restart reducing the spots lost to the inside lane.

We slowly gained a few spots working our way back up to 4th by lap 39. On that restart, again on the outside, #68 who was inside pole for the restart, bogged down. I heard later he ran out of gas. By him getting a poor restart because of the fuel, the outside lane took off and as we passed the start finish line Jim yelled out "clear clear clear". So I immediately dropped to the inside lane. I knew we would clear the 68 because we had such a good run. I wasn't in second place very long, in fact only for a few seconds when we got hammered by the 68 and turned around in the middle of turns one and two. By the time we came to a stop I was on the back chute just past turn two. I couldn't believe it, nor could Jim. I was very upset knowing we were in a qualified spot so late in the race and now heading to the back of the pack. :cry:

A few cars got wrecked on that deal. I didn't pit because I knew our front end didn't get hit. Many cars did pit and that allowed us to get up to 10th, again, still on the outside.....which I normally like.

Over the next few laps we gained a few more spots moving up to 6th. Gary McLean had passed me after this restart and about a lap later drove right into #12 David Balych sending him spinning around into traffic where David got hammered, putting him out of the race.

At this point with 5 to go we were qualified, with 2 of the 7 eligible cars ahead of us. Gary McLean went to the pits after wrecking Balych and we thought we might be okay.

We restarted 6th on the outside of #63 and ran him as hard as we could but McLean was right on my tail and got me on the back chute coming off two. I dove in behind him but he checked up when he got behind the 63 of Baker and I had to jam on my brakes to avoid wrecking him. As I did the car slid up the track and 2 cars behind me got under moving me back to 8th where we would finish.

It was a disappointing finish for me. After the race my crew wondered why I was dejected because they believed that McLean was down at least 2 laps when he pitted earlier in the race. I just knew in my heart he wouldn't be racing that hard if he was down any laps and I knew we didn't make the Chase.

I went up to the see the official finish and Gary was scored 5th and us 8th. :roll:

Now that I have had time to reflect I am satisfied that we did do our best. Our crew worked hard this year keeping us in the hunt. I know we need to update our car, chassis and power wise for 2016 but it was still a good season.

We are out of the Chase but we could still finish 4th or even 3rd depending how this weekend goes at Flamboro Speedway.

Congrats to AJ Emms for his feature win, and getting in the Chase. Also to John Harper and Gary McLean for making the Chase as well. Gary posted on social media that he isn't going in the Chase, and if that's true there will be 2 cars battling it out at Flamboro for their annual Octoberfest Classic.

We will be racing both cars at Flamboro this coming weekend, the Late Model and Modified. Looking forward to it.

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2016

Post by Gary » Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:53 am

October 15th...............Flamboro Speedway

Octoberfest Classic

Race #23

Consecutive streak reaches.......776

High Lites
* 12 cars
* Gary McLean wins :o
* Gary McLean wins OSCAAR Modified Championship :D
* We have podium finish to close out the Mod season :mrgreen:
* 563 final



...up grade car for 2017

Louie and Randall

This was our 23rd race night for 2016. We lost 4 to rain, but may get one back on October 29th for the Late Models. It was also our 776th consecutive night without a miss, dating back to June 5th 1987.

Louie, Randall and I got to Flamboro early enough to set up and get prepared for a long long day. I drew #27 for starting spot, putting us 6th in the heat. The bad news for us was there would only be one heat due 5 classes being in the pits. Thunder Cars had over 35 cars, Mini Stock about the same, there was a full field of Four Fun and the Pro Modifieds were on the card as well. We made up the 5th class, and sadly, only had 12 cars, very disappointing. The weather wasn't disappointing, it was actually incredible, a beautiful sunny 70 degrees.

The pits were full, but the main grandstands were empty. There may have been 200 fans, less people than would attend a red neck wedding. It was such a downer for Flamboro and this special event, especially given the beautiful weather.
Some creative ticket selling or giving away would be a great idea to help increase the crowd size. Give 1000 tickets to specialty groups, seniors, kids clubs, and hope to get some sales on food and souvenirs. At least adding to the crowd, would be a positive in the racing circle. The track holds 6000, so even with 2500, the same as Sunset and Peterborough, the stands look sparse. 3500 fans would look good at Flamboro, and the track is one of the nice looking venues. I would still take aerial photo's of Sunset Speedway and design a similar race surface for Flamboro to increase side by side racing, especially for Late Model racing. I was feeling bad for the track promoters because of the poor crowds, but there is opportunity to improve one of the longest running stock car tracks in Canada.

Paul showed up around 1:30 and he helped with the pit duties keeping the car cleaned and wheels torqued. We made hot laps, one set and the car was good. There were no changes needed because there was no panic for us, We were out of the Chase, although we did hope for a top 3 in the final 30 lap feature.

In our heat race we were able to finish 4th. It was clear to me that we may be short power for this race, although that may have been the case the past few years. Power is derived a few ways, the engine and driveline, but also how well the car rolls though the turns. That may be the biggest thing for us to work on over the winter.

Our heat race was done by 5:30. Each class had heats, a last chance and then double features. There were long cautions in the Mini Stock and Thunder Car classes. Once a red was out for 20 minutes to get 2 Thunder Cars off each other. Jason Legge spun in one and two and then got clobbered by Bobby Mercer. The damage to Jason's car was huge, as Bobby's 3000 pound Chevy rested on the hood of Jason's Camaro.

There was a serious wreck in the Mini Stock, requiring the ambulance to take the driver to the hospital. There was a long delay waiting for another ambulance, as well as a fire truck.

By the time our feature went out it was after 11 pm. Paul and his Dad Jason went home, Paul had a hockey game to play in the morning and needed to get home in a decent hour.

Before our feature went out, good friend, Stephen and Lucy came to the pits. Stephen asked me if I might need some extra help in the pits for 2017, and I right away said yes for sure. I introduced him and Lucy, who said she was okay with Stephen keeping busy on our team, to Louie, Randall and Paul.

We started 7th and started with 3 new tires that had not been scuffed. I usually put one cycle on the tires to size them but we blew them up to size them and tried running the car like that for a change.

We got a break early in the race when cars checked up coming off turn four. There was a small pack around me but I was able to get through them into fourth place. A lap later I got by #88 Ryan Dick on the outside, putting us in 3rd.

For a short time, maybe 4 laps I was able to pace the leaders, Gary McLean and AJ Emms. We built up a good lead on 4th but around lap 12 the car started to push and I was forced to wait to get on the gas. I couldn't push any harder or I would have ruined the tires and it was important for us to try and get a top 3 in the final feature of the year.

Louie did an amazing job spotting, and Randall listened on the spare head set. Louie let me know often, the distance between me and the 4th place car, and it seemed to stay at 7 car lengths, although the gap between us and the top 2 was widening a lot. That was discouraging for me, I wanted us to be more competitive for the win and we were not. In spite of the handling going away, we did finish 3rd in the feature. Getting a podium finish was a great deal for us.

Congratulations to Gary McLean and his team for winning the Championship for 2016.

After the feature Dave Franks came over and said that was one of best races he seen from our team in a long time. I was happy he said that, but I think our feature win was much better, although he may not have been at Flamboro for that special night for us.

The OSCAAR Modified season ended today and we will finish 4th again this year. We finished 3rd our first season in 2014, and 4th last year. It was a decent year, getting our first OSCAAR Mod feature win.

The boys did great throughout the day, and this year, making sure everything was ready for the big race. I am proud of my crew, all of them, including LLoyd who could not make it again because he was not feeling well and Doug who did make it to Nova Scotia but could not come to this race. I am confident that over the winter I will once again have a good strong crew like in the past. It's important for me to have help because too many times in the past few years I have been short and nearly burnt myself out trying to make the races and trying to be competitive. I was exhausted this year way before the season ended but the addition of Louie and Randall sure made the past few months a lot easier.

I have plans for the Modified, but I need to see what OSCAAR plans in terms of racing. I was considering running with OMRS, but they are changing rules for 2017 that will make OSCAAR Mods illegal. They prefer built motors, and that worries me for cost. We will wait till rules and schedules come out, but regardless, we will be improving our Mod to run in any series next season.

There is one more race to go, the Grisdale Triple Crown for Pro Late Models. We will be in that race and hope finish in the top 10 overall. Our Late Model will need a huge face lift for 2017, especially if we are going to race a few times with the Maritime Pro Stock Tour.

I will update our 2017 plans soon as well as sponsors who will return with us for next season.
Thanks for visiting our site.

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Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2016

Post by Gary » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:09 pm

October 29th..............Flamboro Speedway

Race #24

Grisdale Triple Crown

Consecutive steak.......777

High Lites
* 20 Late Models
* Cayden Lapcevich wins Grisdale Triple Crown
* Lapcevich wins first feature
* Shawn Chenoweth wins next 2
* Controversy after final race
* They end up tied, but tie goes to first feature winner in Twin or Triple features (been like that for years)
* We finish 9th overall....not bad really
* Race on old Modified and LM inventory tires...decent but not new
* Time to close the gap between our car and the rockets we compete against

* 16th fastest in time trials
First Feature.........12th
Second Feature.......9th
Third Feature........12th


Complete rebuild...chassis and HP !!!! :mrgreen:

Louie, Randall, Holden, Billi and April.

During the week my crew and I went over all our tires, from the Modified and Pro Late Model. We were able to come up with 6 tires that were a long ways from wore out, and almost as far from brand new. I was content just to get this race opportunity so late in the season, but glad because we lost 4 race nights in 2016 from rain, getting this race meant we only lost three.

Randall and I went over every tire in our OSCAAR and Pro Late inventory, making sure we had 6 decent tires for the triple 50’s and four good tires for hot laps. We were allowed 6 new tires. The purse was good, $5000 to win, $300 for second then $1500 for third. After that, anyone buying 6 tires was going to lose money for sure. Finishing in the top 3 would be a feat as well because many APC Pro Late Models would no doubt be filling the field.

We got to the track early Saturday morning. Once threw tech we were able to get hot laps. On a normal night I would only run one or two sets of hot laps, but I was pumped this night and ran every set. My crew was good with that, plus the tires for practice were done regardless after this night, so I wanted to get out and get a feel for the car.

Once hot laps were over, Louie and Randall went over the car to make sure we had enough fuel, and the tire stagger was set properly. It’s tough for the boys because the Modified has a different set up stagger wise. But they did great.

Lloyd was not able to make it. Though he is feeling better he is moving and this was not a good weekend for him no matter how he was feeling. He will be out more in 2017, and our prayers go out to him for good health.

The format for this event was time trials to determine the start of the first feature. The next 2 features would see all the cars on the lead lap inverted. The winner would start at the back of the lead lap cars, ahead of lapped cars.

We were second last out for time trials, qualifying 16th. Our car was no match for most of this field. A new set of tires would have helped, but our issue is much deeper than new tires. I know we are way down in power in every area where HP is gained. Knowing that didn’t make any difference to us, we were there to RACE, and do the best we could with our car.

Randall said “let’s go win this Gary”. In a gentle voice I said “we have zero chance to win this unless at least 10 cars or more DNF”. I let my crew know why I felt that way, the reason was simple, and it was true…..we didn’t have the same car as the rest, not close. That didn’t mean I didn’t want to race hard, it just meant that we were a non contender in terms of running with the pack. That reality has been with us in the Late Model since 2010. More on how we will fix that at the end of this report. I did say to our team; my goal is top 10 overall, that would be a good day.

We started 16th in the first feature. There were 20 cars. The race was good for the most part, a few cautions from spin outs. The first feature was won by Cayden Lapcevich; he won it from the pole. They had bought that car last week from Shawn Chenoweth and sure made it look awesome. We finished 12th in the second feature but had a bashed in right rear quarter panel after being hammered when a car spun out in the middle of turn one and two.

The boys worked hard on the car to get it good. Topped up the fuel and made a few minor changes with the bump stops to help with a push.

The line up for the second feature had us on the pole. I went to the scorer and let him know there was no way we were starting up front. “How come” I was asked. “We are half a second slower than half this field; I’ll go to the back and save a big wreck because I’m in the way”. I didn’t care; I was content to race with what we had, but not wreck what we had.

We ran very well again in the second feature. Very well considering our car was not in the same league as most. Near the end of the second 50 lapper our brakes were going to the floor, making it tough to go in deep and run with competitors. We finished 9th in this race, but a lap down. Shawn Chenoweth lapped me with 6 to go. He was the only car to lap us. Our car was still pushing bad as well.

Louie was spotting and did an awesome job in the first two features; he has really caught on to spotting effectively.

I decided to fix the brake issue by bleeding the system. David told me if we lose brake pedal its likely air from getting hot causing condensation and to bleed the brakes. Randall jumped in the car and we got it done.

Meanwhile a call to David re the chassis was beneficial. He said to remove 2 bump stock stackers from one side and put them in the other. Louie did that, a quick fix no doubt.

I checked the score board results of the first two features and found that we were close to the top 10 overall.

In the final feature we started last again, or near the back. I wanted to stay out of the way and race up to the rest. We ran strong, the brakes were good for the first 35 laps and the handling was good as well.

We finished 12th in this race, gaining one spot on the final lap on the back chute. No damage to the car other than the first race. Shawn won this race as well giving him two wins.

The boys asked me where I thought we finished and I said I think we could be 10th or 11th. We also talked about the overall winner. Cayden won one feature and Shawn won 2, and we knew they were tied. Louie said “shouldn’t Shawn get it because he won 2 features”? I said “You would think so, but in the past they have given a tie to the first feature winner if he is one of the cars tied for overall”.

Sure enough they gave it to Cayden and sure enough Shawn went nuclear. I see his point but that’s the deal in these races.

The good news for us is that we got 9th overall but just 2 points over Jeff Ruddy and Steve Cashmore. Two racers with better power plants than us, but we were steady and it paid off.

Congrats to Cayden for his win and to my team for doing an awesome job.

I am blessed to have a good crew once again. Last year it was just Lloyd and I, as some quit on us by the end of May. But Lloyd and I had a great year racing 32 nights and winning the final Late Model feature at Full Throttle.

The boys can’t wait to start on the cars. Our plan is to fix the trailer first, then the Late Model and then the Modified.

I called one of the engine builders for the APC and he confirmed that with our engine being stock, the headers we were running and the carburetor, we were down considerably HP wise. When you’re down that much over the rest you tend to do two things, over drive to make up for it, and that never works, or just race the best you can and not beat the car up. We will improve our car huge for 2017….God willing.

Thanks to my crew, sponsors, fans, promoters, competitors and all their families for an amazing 48th race season. Hey we have reached some milestones.
* 1226 total nights, and now 39 seasons of 100% and the big one 777 consecutive nights dating back to June 5th 1987.

Wow I am so blessed, thank you Lord for all you’ve given and all you will do. My prayer is for blessing for all those I have written about. Thank you for my crew and sponsors who dedicate so much to me….bless them fully Lord.

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