Diary of a Season 2017

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

Re: Diary of a Season 2017

Post by Gary » Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:26 pm

July 22nd.............Flamboro Speedway

Race #12

789 Consecutive Nights

High Lites
* 13 cars :roll:
* Chenoweth wins
* We struggle with getting set up after Nova Scotia
* We finish 9th
* Second feature rained out will be run on August 12th

1st Feature............10th


Set up, get ready for APC race August 5th

Lloyd, Louie

After a day of cloud and threat of rain, the skies cleared enough to make us feel we were going to be racing. The gates opened at 4 and we were settled but the rain came, but not hard. Just a little and enough to keep our car in the trailer.
By 5 the rain stopped and we got some practice in.

Practice has been an issue for us this year, always something going wrong, brakes, steering, handling or ear plugs, hindering a good set of hot laps. The car has inched better every time out, but still a long ways to go to be where we want.

In our practice session we were hit again by malfunctioning radios. The issue was my ear plugs I just bought. Loose in the harness connection. I could only hear the odd word, although Louie could hear me. I had to pull off the track. Louie repaired it so I could hear, but I would not be able to talk and that wasn't the end f the world. Even once it was temporarily fixed I could not hear very good, but was able to race.

I was allowed 3 practice laps by the race director, That was good because the last time I asked for hot laps after our spring pocket broke, we were denied any hot laps, I asked for 4 hot laps and was told 3, but I got 4, and that was all I wanted.

There were 13 cars, another disappointing car count, especially for John Casale. There was a fairly decent crowd size, and the feature race was good. The first feature was non stop, making accidents not a factor.

We started second last in the feature. The brakes and steering are finally in A+ condition......but it's late July, we needed this scenario 6 weeks ago :roll: But there are a few races left at Flamboro and APC, so if we can dial in the car, we may have a good run this year yet.

The feature was non stop. We got messed up early in the race trying to by #41, who took me high and slowed up. I don't think he knew I was there. When he did that I fell to the back.

Over the next few laps we got up to 10th and stayed there the rest of the race. We were gaining on #9 Jeff Ruddy, but ran out of time.

The rains came after intermission. The rest of the races were cancelled, and that feature will be run on August 12th.

Congrats to Shawn Chenoweth on the win.

Our next race with the Late Model is August 5th, at Sauble Speedway for APC's Beat The Heat 100 lapper.

Here are the top 7 lap times from Saturday all in the 15's....I didn't get #50 and he finished 3rd.

#89 15:28-30-34-37-38-38-43
#86 15:35-37-38-39-40-41-44
#97 15:33-38-40-42-45-46-47
#27 15:39-42-42-42-44-45-45
#02 15:31-31-32-33-33-38-39
#63 15:38-40-43-46-50-51-56
#9 15:44-50-60-61-63-66-68
#36 15:50-53-53-53-54-55-56

We have narrowed the gap to 2 tenths but had a bad push in the feature....hoping to close better Aug 12th

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Re: Diary of a Season 2017

Post by Gary » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:00 am

July 29th................Flamboro Speedway

Race #13

790 Consecutive Nights

High Lites
* 16 cars
* Chris Milwain wins
* We finish 4th
* Great crowd
* 563 final

Heat #1........1st
Heat #2........5th


Front end after being hit twice in the feature......plus routine check

Lloyd, Louie, Paul, Stephen and Lucy

.......soon.....oooooops I missed this one lol....I will try to do it tonight....it's August 20th :oops:

Here goes with a missed report on the July 29th race. I don't like to do this so long after because I forget stuff, but I

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

Re: Diary of a Season 2017

Post by Gary » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:54 pm

July 29th................Flamboro Speedway

Race #13

790 Consecutive Nights

High Lites
* 16 cars
* Chris Milwain wins
* We finish 4th
* Great crowd
* 563 final

Heat #1........1st
Heat #2........5th


Front end after being hit twice in the feature......plus routine check

Lloyd, Louie, Paul, Stephen and Lucy

This was our 5th OSCAAR Modified race of 2017. We lost both Full Throttle Motor Speedway races again this year, making it 4 rain outs in a row at the Varney Speedway. There was no threat of rain at Flamboro. Blue skies and warm weather was on the menu and we loved it.

We parked beside Mod #56, Jason, Jenny and Ty. Great new friends we made who were extremely friendly to our team. They live north of Barrie and just started racing steady with OSCAAR Mods. We agreed to help them where we could, and of course they would help us in return.

Lloyd, Louie, Paul, Stephen and Lucy made up our team for today. The boys did a great job getting the car ready and fixing a few small issues we had early in the evening, before practice. It started on my way back from tech when I noticed stiff steering. The boys found the steering assist slightly loose on the rack. We had to loosen off the fan to access the mounting bolts for the steering component, and sure enough one of the bolts was loose, not real loose, but when Louie tightened it up, Lloyd verified it was cured.

In our first set of hot laps we found the car to be close. We did make a few changes to loosen the car in the middle. The next set of hot laps we broke in 2 new tires.

There were 16 Mods, not as many as we hoped, but a decent turn out. Double heats would be used to determine qualifying for the feature.

I pulled lucky 13 in the pre race sign-in draw for position. That number put us outside pole of the second heat.
There were 8 cars in each heat. While sitting in the car waiting for the first heat to end we had a long delay from Ken Hayward's oil spill. The oil plug on the left side top of his oil pan, where you would install a oil temp gauge was loose and dumped oil from the start finish line all the way around to the middle of turn 3. Tons of speedy dry was put down, then John Casale mounted his slow speed street sweeper and cleaned up most of it. We headed on the track and could see the light brown trail of speedy dry all around the track. It was mostly in the middle but by turn 3 it was high.

I started outside pole beside Aaron McLean, #47. A young racer from the fast and furious McLean family. They didn't give us any hot laps, so how the track would be racing into one and then three was going to be a mystery.

This race was amazing in many ways. It was one of only a very races where I ran side by side with a competitor for half the heat, 5 laps. On lap 3 I though Aaron had me coming off turn 2, but he drove into three being careful and I drove in hard knowing I had to make up some ground. We pulled off four side by side again. Going through turn one I hugged him as close as I could, he raced me very clean, and I got a good run off two heading down the back chute. Going into three we were still side by side and came off turn four close to take the half way flags. Going into one I got a little advantage and pulled him off turn two and by turn four we were in the lead and went on to win our second heat race of 2017. It was race win #251.

We made a few small changes for the next heat race, but started back and ended up 5th. The car was tight, so after tis heat we removed the RR tire that was new, and put the tire on from Kawartha, and Sauble. It was bigger and we needed more stagger.

The win and 5th put us one of the top 8 cars to draw for the 8 car invert. We got #2, and would start beside #14 AJ Emms who pulled #1.

I discussed with the boys on what they saw during the race. How tight or loose was the car. It's not always easy to tell because the push can be very slight and only the driver is going to feel or see that. However we made a few changes, raising the track bar and adding a little more stagger.

I was excited and confident with our chances. We really want to win our 40th career feature, and being at Flamboro is a good chance but most of these teams run very well here.

On the green AJ got the lead and slowly pulled away. Not far, but he was leaving me behind. My car was pushing and I felt it. I was saying to myself, "should have done more to loosen up the car"!!! But once inside the car there is only two ways to correct a car that pushes in the corner, change your entry without leaving too much room for someone behind to sneak in, or dial in more rear brakes. I decided on the latter, and tried to adjust it on the back chute. But as I fumbled around trying to find the knob I was out of straightaway and needed 2 hands again. I tried again on the front chute but found myself losing concentration trying not to lose too much ground. Finally a yellow came out on about lap 5.

I told Louie the car was pushing, and knowing we were in second he said "well not much we can do". I said "I can add more rear brake, that might help", While we were going around under the yellow I was able to find and adjust the brake bias. I made a change by adding more rear brake bias, hoping the car would loosen up a little and take away some of the minor but serious push......no push is good :mrgreen:

It's hard to see with the Hans device on, but I won't race without it anymore. Meanwhile I was pumped and jumped outside AJ for the restart. Going down the back chute I made up my mind I was going to get on the gas quick and not lose any ground. He is very fast on the chutes and handles awesome through the corners.

As we came through three and four I got on the gas and pulled AJ off turn four. Louie let me know I was clear going into turn one. I have never done that but maybe once before. Usually when you can't get the pass on the leader on the initial start, there is no way you get him on the next yellow, for many reasons. You might not be second anymore, and usually if he is better at the start he's better all the time.......but not this time. We would lead for the next 4 or 5 laps until the yellow came out, and yes I did not want to see that.

On this restart AJ got the jump and by the start finish line he was pulling away and was clear before entering turn one. As we went through turn one and two Chris Milwain, who is one of the very fastest cars in our series, was on the outside and drove hard into my right front wheel. It was a hard smash as witnessed by the video. There is no reason he had to do that. He had the momentum and could have easily got a good run off two with out rearranging my front end. Anyway the impact was hard enough to knock our toe out by a quarter of an inch, going from 1/8th toed out to 1/8th toed in.....no good. :oops:

Chris rocketed off me and was gone while I was trying to get my car under control, and finally did. I hung on to third but I knew right away the car was different slightly. The first two pulled away and we stayed in third until the next caution. There was no more adjustments I could make to our car, so I ran into the back of Milwain's #21 and adjusted the paint job on his bumper.....yes I was pissed, because he didn't need to drive me like that. I don't know if he knew why, it doesn't matter, I knew why and was satisfied with the small act of justice. :P

On that restart #99 Luke Gignac was outside me and for some reason went from the high lane to the middle...but....he wasn't clear and hit me before the start finish line. Maybe someone put a sticker on my car "HIT ME" :roll:

Anyway those three were too much for my on a good night and they pulled away slowly. Chris would get by AJ for the win and we would hang on to 4th, giving us a good night points wise. When the race was over I thought I would love tap Luke as well and when we were in tech he admitted he messed up so I made a joke and we shook hands.

Congrats to the #21 on the win. There was a great crowd this night and I hope they saw some good racing. The Super Late Model were suffering car count as were the new Hot Rod series. I really think the Hot Rod series, Late Model stock cars from the 70's will catch on. They need another year to grow under the OSCAAR umbrella.

Top 10 in Points After Tonight

1st......#79 Cory Horner.........404
2nd.....#14 AJ Emms.............402
3rd.....#99 Luke Gignac..........397
4th.....#21 Chris Milwain.........390
5th.....#36 Gary Elliott...........377
6th.....#79 John Harper..........373
7th.....#51 Dale Reinhart........367
8th.....#3 Tim Tolton.............326
9th.....#11 Chris Hodgkinson....298
10th...#12 Dave Balych...........276

Race Video Heat #1

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

Re: Diary of a Season 2017

Post by Gary » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:59 pm

August 5th...........Peterborough Speedway

Race #14

791 Consecutive Nights

High Lites
* 15 cars
* Luke Gignac wins
* We get spun lap 13, after leading the feature from the green :(
* Great night for our team
* 578 gears....with newer tires should be 563

High Lites
Heat #1...........1st (3rd win of 2017)
Heat #2...........2nd


front end.....routine, maintenance....prepare for Sauble

Lloyd, Louie, Stephen and Lucy

I must say I was a little worried about this weekend. It was all to do with the schedule change and the weather. I was supposed to race at Sauble Speedway in the APC race. I bought the tires and the car was ready. Rob DiVenanzo was going to race the Modified in the OSCAAR series at Peterborough. We are currently 5th in points in the Modified series and Rob would drive the car so we could maintain our points status.

On Monday, 5 days before the race, Rob found out he had a schedule change and could not make the race. The next few days were stressful and here's why. The weather was calling for rain all weekend, but we know the weather man isn't always accurate. If I went to Peterborough and they got rained out, but Sauble didn't get cancelled, I would have to hustle back home and head to Sauble, but that would be almost impossible if I was already in Peterborough.

I posted on face book about my schedule change and prayed for no rain. It worked out great, with no rain at either track. We would get our show in, and APC would get theirs in as well. meaning we wouldn't have to rush home from Peterborough and load up for Sunday at the beach....that would have been over the top exhausting....but God was good and weather wise, things turned out just fine.

We parked again beside Jason Cornell and his team. Jason, Jenny and Ty are great friends and we help each other when ever we can.

Lloyd drove directly to the track with Daisy, Stephen and Lucy left from Brampton getting to the track about the same time as Louie and I and we left home at 10:30. The traffic was crazy from Whitby to Bowmanville. We took the 407 from highway 401 to highway 412, a long haul on the toll road, but got us there quicker. My sweet Buttons was naturally with us.

Our first set of hot laps was very good. we basically left the same set up as Flamboro Speedway. I wanted to run on older tires, so we old did one set of hot laps. Maybe we could have done more, but I wanted to save the tires and save new tires for Sunset Speedway....more on that at the end of this write up.

We made a few chassis changes trying to tighten the car. It's usually tight here, but was a little too free, although that never really showed up until the first heat. The car was very good in the first hot laps so I left it as it was.

We started outside pole in our first heat race, beside Cliff Hodgkinson. He started racing with OSCAAR this year, but he has tons of experience in the Pro 4 Outlaw Modifieds. I may have been over confident in this race. I knew Cliff had good power, but I thought I would out handle him and grab the lead....but "don't get too anxious just yet" was the reminder I soon got. On the first lap into turn one, Cliff body checked me pretty good, but we only went a short ways and there was a caution. The 66 of Marty Monette and #00 of Adam Hagen got together on the front chute. It took forever to clear those two cars, and Marty returned, Adam was done for that race.

On the restart I knew I couldn't squeeze too tight because if he slid up again I could hurt our front end. However I did try and we ran side by side for a few laps. I led at least one lap maybe 2, but wasn't clear of Cliff. He would drive in hard and I just couldn't get on the gas as soon as I wanted, the car was loose. Also, I wasn't going to chop him going into the turn because that would only result in me getting turned or wrecked. I had to stay high until I got the word from my spotter Louie that I was clear.

On lap 5 Cliff got a good run off one but I couldn't get the same bite off. I had to wait a split second longer, allowing him to pull away faster. Within a lap he was clear of me and Luke Gignac was inside with his #99. Once he cleared me I fell in behind. It was a 10 lap race, so with four to go I just followed. I thought Luke may get under the #11, but Cliff was fast on the straights, though Luke was right there, pushing hard.

The white came out and I sensed Luke felt this was his last chance to go for the win, and knowing both racers, Cliff wasn't going to give in. I also thought, if Luke did get under Cliff there might be enough time for me to pass him as well.

Heading down the back chute I watched close. This was Luke's last chance. He was faster on the chutes, pretty well the fastest Modified, It looked to me, as they entered 3, that Luke was in far enough, that Cliff's spotter would tell him "inside", But with less than half a track to go, I wasn't sure if Cliff would listen anyhow. As we entered the turn Luke was there, but Cliff came down, maybe hoping Luke would check up, but he didn't and he hit the #11 just hard enough to spin him around. Cliff spun towards the infield and Luke went high. It all happened very quick. I dove low under both cars, and thankfully Cliff hit the brakes so he didn't come right down to the bottom of the track. There was barely enough room for me to sneak by, though I could have went on the dirt, but that track is very rough if you get off the track. Anyway, we emerged in the lead but the checker didn't fall, the yellow did. I was surprised because it was the white flag lap and usually the race is over once the white has been displayed.

On the restart we got the lead and held on for our 3rd win of the season....yes it felt great, but we had to fix the loose concern. The last time we had 3 or more wins in a season was 2014, when we collected the checker 7 times.

We made a few changes, minor, for the next heat. We started 5th in this one. Cory Horner was on the pole and I knew he would be tough to beat or catch if we were beside him. Sure enough he took off and by the time we got into second, he was a straightaway ahead and flying. We settled for second, our best night this year for heat race finishes, and with points so close in this series, we needed everyone of them.

It was getting very cold out, mid 50's meaning the track should tighten up. We made a few changes to hopefully get the right set up. We would start pole in this feature, beside Mark Gordon #52.

Before the start of the feature I asked our tech people for three hot laps. These American Racers are really good tires, but unlike Hoosier, they need a few laps to get some heat and grip in them. For some reason they said okay, but didn't give us any hot laps.

Louie would spot from the grand stand, while Lloyd and Stephen headed to pit row with 2 tires and a few tools.

On the green I got a good start and pulled ahead slightly, but the yellow came out because of a big wreck on the front chute. There were 13 or 14 cars that took the green, but now at least one maybe two were done. The red flag came out and we stopped on the back chute, I was in turn three but couldn't see anything. There was a 15 to 20 minute delay before we got going again.

Prior to the feature I was well aware that the cars behind me were faster. Horner and Gignac were very fast. I felt like a sitting duck in a way, but reasoned the changes we made might be okay. Feeling insecure at first soon changed to shaking that off and deciding to give it all I could.

On the green I got a good run again off four and took the lead. The boys were on my tail. I led for about 3 laps when Luke decided to go outside on lap 4. In my days of being competitive, no one would have gone outside, unless we were in traffic, but his car is very stout speed wise and handles great, plus Luke is a good aggressive driver.....so is Cory Horner and he was glued to my rear bumper.

Luke got outside and raced me hard, I gave him room but was aggressive as well, not wanting to lose the lead. I was surprised to see him not beside me by about lap 8. I was getting whacked a few times on the back bumper, but I wasn't giving up the inside...."if you want to pass me, do it on the outside" was my thought.

By lap 11 the starter was shaking the flag and pointing it at Cory, letting him know not to be banging. One time he got me a little sideways. I guess Cory didn't know enough to go outside, maybe he felt if Luke couldn't get me, he wouldn't be able to either. "Maybe hammer Gary a few times and push him up so I can get under him" was going through the youngsters mind, but I wasn't giving the inside up, in fact I even slowed a little to maintain the inside, but by me doing that, Cory should have realized my game plan and went outside. I am pretty sure Cory figured if he went outside Luke would get under him, so best to "hound Gary so he makes a mistake and I get under him" may have been the bad choice decision for Mr. Horner, and for us.

Cory sure was happy at Sauble when I chased him for 20 laps and never touched him. The tracks are different for sure, making racing strategy and courtesy a little more tense.

On lap 13 coming off turn 2 I got hammered very hard, so hard I couldn't recover from that and would up sitting on the grass on the back chute. I wasn't angry, disappointed for sure. We led almost half the race but it wasn't to be. The scenario of a race leader being slightly off, followed by an aggressive racer who won't or can't go outside, usually has the same outcome. The dumb thing on his part was he would be going to back as well. Patience wasn't one of his mental tools. Maybe he could have waiting until a better opportunity.

We went scratch, I made a quick pit stop to add some wedge through the sway bar. Lloyd was ready and made the change quickly.

We would run for most of the rest of the race in 8th spot, getting by 2 cars, but we were falling off the pace. When the white came out we were too far behind 7th to have any chance of gaining a spot. We turn high 14 second lap times, and even on a bumper of the car in front, it's hard to get by on this tight, fast but fun little oval.

I was pretty well settled in finishing 8th not expecting anything would happen. But another battle for 2nd was just as intense as the one with Cory and I. This time it was #52 Mark Gordon holding onto second with AJ Emms on his tail. Not sure how, but they got together and by the time I got there, both cars were sitting low on the track, Mark in turn four. As we came off turn four both the yellow and checker were flying. That was good for us, giving us 6th in the 30 lap main event.

Congrats to Luke and his team on the win. Luke came to me after letting me know he felt bad for us. I asked him if I blocked or drove him bad when he was trying on the outside, he said no way. My crew said that Cory told them Luke hit him knocking him into me, but Luke said no. Bottom line it was close racing and contact is inevitable. At least there was no damage and we will get the car ready for Rob DiVenanzo for his race on August 19th at Sauble.

It was a good points night for us, taking 67, the second highest. We are still 5th in points, and Rob will do his best to keep us there as we head for the APC race at Sunset on August 19th.

Mod Standings After August 5th
1st......#79 Luke Gignac..........472
2nd......#79 Cory Horner.........469
3rd......#14 AJ Emms.............465
4th......#21 Chris Milwain........456
5th......#36 Gary Elliott..........444
6th......#79 John Harper.........439
7th......#51 Dale Reinhart.......430

Sunset Speedway
At the end of 2015 OSCAAR and Sunset Speedway had a falling out when negotiating for the 2016 season. OSCAAR was told if the series came to Sunset, they could run 2 of the 3 classes, but not the Super Late Models. OSCAAR said no, it was all 3 or none. The result was many unhappy teams who wanted to race on that awesome speedway.

After losing both 2016 and 2017 Brian Toddish contacted Dave Gainforth to see if OSCAAR would come for the fall Velocity. OMRS ran the spring Velocity but had low car count, resulting in track ownership trying to resolve the issue of not enough cars.

The dilemma for OMRS started over the winter when they adapted rule changes that no longer allowed, 10" rims, quick change rear ends or wide five rims. This pretty well eliminated any OSCAAR cars from competing with OMRS. I did run a few races with them in 2014 and 2015 and loved racing with them, but sold my 8" Towel City tires once I found out we could not run with them.

After length discussion the Modified race for the Velocity will now be an OSCAAR sanctioned points event. :D
The good news is that OMRS cars can still run with OSCAAR, and if it was a point race for them, they could still use it as a points event, but they have to run under OSCAAR rules, meaning 10" American Racer tires. I will have some used tires for sale to help OMRS teams with that cost.

Our next race is this weekend.....3 features in the Late Model. The first being the rain out from July 22nd and then the regular night......thanks for visiting our site. :mrgreen:

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

Re: Diary of a Season 2017

Post by Gary » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:41 am

August 12th.........................Flamboro Speedway

Race #15

792 Consecutive Nights

High Lites
* 11 cars :roll:
* 3 feature winners....Mark Burbridge, Kevin Albers, Shawn Chenoweth
* First feature, rain out from July 22nd
* We get slowly better like a turtle :D
* 648 final...hitting the chip (412 quick change)

1st feature..............10th
2nd feature.............8th
3rd feature..............5th

Prepare for Sunset APC race

Lloyd, Louie and Laurie

We arrived at the track to be greeted by some rain, but we missed the big storm that past over an hour earlier. The thing I love about John Casale is that he doesn't cancel right away. He is a business owner who is a race fan and always has been. I remember many times going on the track in my Coupe to help dry it off. Sometimes using up half a tank of fuel, but it was worth it because the owner was giving us a chance to race. Many guys didn't come out, they saved their fuel, but David did, and many Mini Stocks and Street Stocks, anyone with treaded tires.
Derek Smith  (4) - Copy.jpg
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Well on this day we didn't need to dry the track. The pits opened at 4 and by the time practice sessions rolled around the heat dried the track and we could get out for hot laps.

My crew have been awesome this year, Lloyd, Louie, Stephen, Lucy, Rick, Laurie, Randall and Paul. They have not all been able to make every race but when they come out it helps give more time to set up and work on the car to make it better. In the past I have only been able to get on the track and between races have not had time to work on the car, mainly because I have been very tired and had to surrender to rest and just race the car like it is. This year however, our super crew as they are known, have made it possible to make changes and it has had an impact on how competitive we've been, especially in the Modified.

There were 3 features tonight. The rain out feature from July 22nd, and then the regular 2 for the night. We started last in the first, in fact in all three. Yes I could have started pole in the second feature, but being 2 to 3 tenths off is just asking for a wreck. I take my spot in the Modified because we can keep up for the most part. We are still down power with some of the cars, but mostly we are able to compete without getting wrecked because of being way too slow. Now understand, when I say slow I mean off the pace. Cars running 15:2 against cars running 15:5 is way too much. Add to that a narrow track that does not allow much outside racing unless on the starts or restarts. If a car is leading and is 2 tenths off the car in second, he could win if the car behind doesn't knock him out of the way. A car would need to be much faster to pass a car on the outside, like 3 or 4 tenths. Part of the problem is the design of the track, it is narrow. By the time the leader comes off the corner the car in second has a small window to try to get outside, or they are going into the next turn. It can be done, but takes patience which too many racers lack....they prefer to pass on the inside and there is a reason....because they can't go outside.

In our first feature 11 cars started.....and that is very discouraging for me. I know it is for the track owners and fans. It's really sad that so many cars that could come out won't. I understand if they feel they have no chance to win, well neither do we. We race against the clock and try to improve our lap times that are at least 2 to 3 tenths off the top 7 or 8 cars. It's just the way it is with our car, but I also drive conservatively to reduce the work load for my only crew member who can help during the week. It's not fun but we're not competitive for a win anyhow but we have slowly got better over the season.

This race was uneventful. We finished 10th. Congrats to #02 Mark Burbridge.

We made some changes for the second feature, mostly to tighten up the car. I went overboard the first set freeing up the car, but it was too much. I made a few changes for feature #2 by tightening the car up. Less pan hard, more wedge and less stagger.

We started last again and avoided some wild spins and wrecks. Avoiding those mishaps put us in 4th. While we were going around under yellow Chad Corcoran #50 wanted to get into 4th. I let him because I preferred the inside (with a fast car give me either lane, I do love running on the outside if I have the car to do it). He was involved in the wreck and would not go to the back so they blacked flagged him, putting us 4th.
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We ran in 4h for many laps but I felt the car loose still and could not get on the gas. Blair Wickett, a young racer with a great car was on my tail. He was faster, like the example I gave previous, but he wanted to go under me. I kept low giving him the outside but he stayed right on me and that resulted in my getting spun out coming off turn four. We both went scratch. PS....I wasn't mad because I don't have a fast car and there was no damage.
Derek Smith  (1) - Copy.jpg
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The next few laps were good, we ended up 8th but a few cars were out. I wasn't happy with the car, it was still loose. Congrats to Kevin Albers #27 who won the second feature.

In the pits we talked about changes. I wanted to tighten the car up even more, but it was getting dark and cooling down, so the track was gong to tighten up a little on its own. We lowered the pan hard a little, more wedge by half a turn on the bar, and took a little more stagger out. I also had the boys check the right rear tire, and we found it wore quite a bit so we put a new spare on the RR. While we were talking Blair did the awesome sportsman thing by apologizing for hitting me. We shook hands, I told him it was okay. Tight close racing. He smiled and left.
I will promise not to spin him out when he's 70 :lol:

Once again we started last in the feature. I felt good mentally. I love to race, so winning to me isn't racing, it's part of it, like battling for spots, running bumper to bumper, getting spun out, hitting someone else, those are the normal things in a race and starting 24th and finishing 15th in good shape is a good night, finishing in the top 10 is much better, a top 5 with a big field of cars is awesome and high fives all the way around....but if we get a win, we're pumped for a week. :mrgreen:

This race saw all kinds of crazy stuff happen. Cars got into each other early and took out some contenders. We were good this time, faster than earlier, though lap times didn't seem to indicated we were much faster, but the car sure felt good. 02, 38, 86 all got knocked out of the race. We got into 5th and ran with #9 Jeff Ruddy and #63 Hudson Nagy. We ran well finishing 5th in this feature. It sure felt good to have the car handling better. Congrats to Shawn Chenoweth who won the final feature.

Next week is the APC race at Sunset Speedway. I haven't raced the Late Model there since 2014. The 604 engine is not allowed in regular Limited Late Model racing at Sunset. But we are looking forward to going back....hoping this stronger performance will carry on at Sunset. There will be a full field and more for this race. We are sure going to try.
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Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary of a Season 2017

Post by Gary » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:32 pm

August 19th...................Sunset Speedway

Race #16

793 Consecutive Nights

High Lites
* 23 cars
* Brandon Watson wins....6 out of 7 :mrgreen:
* We have brake issues, miss valuable practice laps
* We finish 19th of 21 starters
* Rob DiVenanzo races the Mod at Sauble, takes 5th, 4th, and 3rd in the feature
* Preparing now for Jukasa
* 662 with 412 quick change



Caliper, pads, fix rotor, gears, routine etc

Lloyd, Louie and Gehrig

Racing the Late Model this year has been frustrating, well to be honest, it has been frustrating for the past 5 seasons. I thought we would be more competitive this year but we are not at all. We are up to 4 tenths off the fastest and at least 3 tenths from the bulk of cars. On a good note the Modified is the exact opposite, we are competitive and that's all I want, to be able to have a chance to win. There are 5 Mods that are faster, maybe more than 5, but we can hold our own with the pack. But back to the Pro Late Model and our race at Sunset. :D

Louie Buttons and I headed to Sunset Speedway Friday night to drop off the car so we would be in the pits before they opened Saturday morning. Lloyd met us, and took us to Tom and Kim's for a visit and play some darts. We had a great time, playing some great games with Tom and Kim and their friends. We stayed till about 11:pm and headed to Lloyd's home in Barrie and stayed there the night, getting a good sleep. Thanks to Lloyd and Suzette for the great hospitality.

We arrived back at the track an hour before it opened. Once inside we unloaded and prepared our pit area. My grandson Gehrig called me the day before asking if we needed help and I said yes for sure, and glad I did, he sure was a big help.

We had a few things to do before practice, go through tech, nut and bolt on the car and clean the car. We done quite a bit during the week and had only the nut and bolt to do prep wise.

In tech everything was good until they told me my roof was too high and our fenders were too low. I didn't understand why it was good last time and not this time. We didn't change anything. They said I could run it today but not a Jukasa Speedway. The rest was good.

I called David and told him and that the ride heights were close, but he said don't touch the ride heights, just try to see if there was an adjustment on the fenders. He said if I raised the rear, the roof might come down. I was stressed and not having a good time. I removed the trunk lid and saw for places that we could adjust. I asked Lloyd to work on that, while Louie and Gehrig did the nut and bolt. Meanwhile I went back to tech to see if I could come through again to have the body rechecked once we were done, and I was told yes for sure. Lloyd had raised the back a fair amount and I was getting less stressed as things looked better.

Once the boys (Lloyd, Louie and Gehrig) were done we took the car back over to tech. The tech crew knew what to tech and with the mobile body templates over the car measured both the roof and rear fenders and seen that we went from an inch high on the roof to just a quarter inch high, same with the fenders. They gave me the nod that it was good to go and I asked "for Jukasa"? and they said "yes". I felt a lot better for sure, and headed back to pits so we could get ready for practice.

The boys got the car ready and we heard the announcement for Late Model practice. I got ready and as I was getting my helmet on the skies north of us were dark and overcast and suddenly we got a little sprinkle of rain. I said forget it, we will wait for the next set of hot laps, The sprinkle was very light. I could hear cars going around the track, warming up their tires under yellow. We put the car cover over our Late Model, and could still hear cars on the track. I thought "what if it stops"....but suddenly it started to pour and we jumped in the trailer for cover,

The rains didn't last too long, as cars drove back off the track heading to their pits. A few minutes later it stopped, but it would be a long time for the track to dry. Meanwhile we headed to the tire compound to size our tires.

We really needed a few practice sessions to get this car right here. Sunset is a very aggressive high banked short oval that requires a precise set up to be in the ball park.

About an hour later they called for practice and again we got ready, and again it rained. This wasn't as severe, but stopped practice. Once it stopped the skies cleared, turned a beautiful blue in the bright sun.

We finally got on the track. But I wasn't on very long when Lloyd's radio started to act up. I could only hear every other word. It was so frustrating, waiting this long to get out and I had to pull off. There is no way I will practice in the Late Model with no radio, or poor radio communication. The boys understand. The Mod is different, I can use the mirrors if needed although I rarely do even look into mirrors. Louie took over with his radio and it was much better.
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After we got in about 10 laps I pulled off. Soon Dave Bentley, my former racing competitor for many years in the Hobby club came by and said the car looked very good. I was surprised to hear that but happy. The car was pushing so I thought maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought.

Once settled after talking to Dave, I noticed the RF wheel smoking. We removed the wheel and the smoke was coming from the caliper area. Some thought it was just rubber burning on the rotor, but it was smoking bad, and if that was the cause, we would have had a ton of smoke in Nova Scotia as we shredded those Hoosier tires with the high bank and speed at Riverside International Speedway. I insisted that we replace the caliper. I couldn't go along with rubber burning. Gehrig pulled the wheel off while I looked for a caliper, but had none. He removed our caliper and found the piston seized.
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I went through the pits looking for one. The first 7 or 8 teams I asked said no, but finally Tom Gibson, #10 Pro Late said yes that he had one and I was pumped.

Going back to the pits we installed the caliper, that was new in the spring, Gehrig also noticed a crack in the rotor, but I had a spare rotor. So that to was replaced, as well as a set of right side pads that were badly wore. Meanwhile we missed another 2 hot lap sessions.

Never saw this before
Once the parts were put on we started to bleed the system, but no air came out and the piston wasn't moving. We continued but neither side piston was moving and I didn't understand that. We also noticed the brake pedal didn't go down when we released the bleeder. The rear brakes were on, but both front wheels moved freely.

We were stumped. Dave, who was helping Grisdale with tires, came over and asked what was going on. He knew for sure we could bleed brakes, but he was stumped as well. Eventually we removed the master to see if it was seized or leaking. Dave checked it and there was nothing wrong with it.....it was new at the beginning of the year as well.

Dave looked at me and said "I think I might be your pedals". No I thought, this is nuts. Then we heard again final APC Late Model hot laps. So no hot laps for us, no getting the car set up, but to be honest, getting the car ready was a priority over practice.

Over the PA system we heard the announcement for APC cars to get their tires from the compound and get ready for group qualifying. I was worried we wouldn't be ready.

We removed the reservoir assembly to see if there was blockage. Louie realized that when he removed the hose from the master to the reservoir, no fluid came out, and it should have emptied. So now we were closing in on the culprit. Once the reservoir mount was out, no fluid came out of the hose, so we emptied it and separated the hose from the reservoir and the reservoir from the mount. The reservoir to the mount was open, no blockage, that left just he hose, and then we saw it....collapsed internally. Wow, we could not blow through the hose.....are you kidding. In all my years racing I have never seen that, but I have only used this system for 13 seasons, but no one else seen it either.
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I had new hose in my spare brake pedal box and we installed it, should have done both now that I think of it, the rear as well...this week.

We bled the brakes and the system was fixed. By the time we were done all the cars were on pit row waiting for the other series to complete their features and then qualifying would start. The good news for us was there were only 23 cars, and two were done before practice was over.

We got our tires and installed them. An APC staff member stood by our car while we installed the tires. Then we went through tech one more time for a final check and scale. They noticed our shield for the brake pedal access was missing and told us to put it on.....very impressed they say that, we were going to put it on this week, but it is a safety issues.

We went back to our pit, with the APC staff member watching us, got the lid on with rivets, and headed to pit row to wait for qualifying.

Gehrig and Lloyd came with me, while Louie stayed in the pits for a while they headed to the grandstands. Our lap times were brutal. 14:7's maybe 8' putting us second last of 21 cars. I didn't care, I just wanted to be in the race, but one thing was certain, we had no idea how our car would be. Brandon Watson turned a 14:222 setting a new track record that was 14:223. I matched the lap time from 12 years ago :lol:
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After introduction we got buckled into the car.
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It was a clean start and the race went green for 20 laps and our car was brutal loose. So loose I could not get on the gas coming off the turns. I had to let the car ride up the track and not get on the gas too hard or I would break loose. I was hoping for a caution but none came. When Louie said the leader was 5 car lengths behind I felt sick, but headed for the pits.
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I thought about just staying there and calling it a day, but I don't like to do that, I am a racer and want to race and get the car better. I asked Lloyd to put 3/4 of a turn on the bar, hoping that would put more wedge and help us off the corners. We went down 10 laps and then a yellow came out on lap 34.

On that restart the car was a little better but still could not get on the gas down low and on exit off the turns. The car was sideways for a half the straight. I would soon burn off the RR tire. This was our first time on this track in 3 years, and I remembered how bad loose our car was off the turns then, but usually from pushing in the middle....we weren't pushing just stupid loose. I couldn't wait for another yellow.

Soon we got another caution and I asked Lloyd to lower the pan hard bar half an inch. He did that and I went back out. The car was better in the middle, but when I tried to pass coming off the car was nuts loose still.

Another caution came out and we did the same adjustment, lowered the pan hard another 1/4".
On this restart the car felt better. Noticeably better, and with the long run I was able to move into free air and gain on a group of cars ahead of me, from 10th to 17th.
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I was cruising along pretty good when the car broke loose so bad in one and two that I almost spun out. I think by now I had all but destroyed the RR tire.

Anyway we stayed out of trouble, finished the race, 15 laps down, crossing the line beating the 2 cars that were out of the race, JR Farley and Mark Burbridge.

Congrats to Brandon Watson on winning his 6th of 7 APC events. That car is amazing. He's a great racer as well but that car has something most of the others don't have. I need a car like that 8-)

After the races a family came over for an autograph and we got a picture with Eric and our crew.
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Our next race is Jukasa this coming weekend, 44 cars are registered. We need to do our best to qualify because getting a provisional won't be in the cards likely for us. I have a good feeling about this big event. The fact it's big swooping turns I believe our car won't be as far off pace. But we do have to make some changes to get it to handle better. David will join our team and that encourages all of us.

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

Re: Diary of a Season 2017

Post by Gary » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:04 pm

August 26/27...............Jukasa Speedway

794 Consecutive Nights

Race #17

High Lites
* 39 Cars
* Jason Hathaway wins both 75's
* We do great....carb issues
* Big crowd, big car count....great racing weather
* 528 final with 412 rear end

1st Feature...........32nd
2nd Feature..........25th

$600....$300 in each race :roll:

Carb, clutch, routine, gears for Flamboro, oil filter etc

David, Lloyd, Louie, Don (Ski) Rob, Tyler, Willy

The long awaited reopening of Cayuga Speedway was commenced this past weekend, August 26th and 27th under the new name Jukasa Motor Speedway. The response by racers and fans was overwhelming,

Forty APC Pro Late Models were on hand to participate in the Rankin Construction Twin 75's, and another 22 Super Late Models competing in a 75 lap feature race.

This race was historic for my team. It would be the first time we would race a Late Model at this big fast oval. The newly redesigned race track is totally different than the previous track. Wider, banked more, swooping turns and a long D shaped back chute.....and boy was it fast.

We reached our 40th different career track by running this weekend. It was expensive and exhausting but fun and a memory to add to our many great racing memories.......we just didn't run that well though our car was decent....I'll explain.

Lloyd and I got to the track at 8:15 am. We parked outside the track in a beautifully paved area. We were not allowed to bring our trailers into the track, not even to unload. I can see how the chaos would be over the top. Don Mierzswinski brought his pick up truck into the parking area and we loaded all the things we could think of, to take in to the center of the track to our assigned pit stall...#23. We took our tent, cooler, tools, and anything we could think of.
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The reason the cost was so high was the tires we had to buy. Two sets, at $800 a set, plus practice tires. The track speed is so high that we could not run our American Tire EC21's on the outside. I had lots of them. We needed to use a much heavier compound tire EC84 for right side tires. So that meant 2 sets of tires (mandatory) for the 75 lap features, and then another 2 to 4 tires for practice, that needed EC84's on the outside.

Pits were $50 per person for 2 days, but there were no single day tickets. I had 6 in our pits including me, plus fuel that was $150, I use 91 Octane or our fuel cost would be triple that. So with truck fuel, tires, practice tires, pit fees and car fuel we were just under $3,000. Some teams may have been more, but not many would have been less.
The cost was only an issue with the purse structure, $300 from last to 15th for each race.....and with the field of talent for this event, finishing 15th wouldn't be easy, but that was not a lot more in pay out.

It was budgeted for this year, so I was okay with it, plus it was important to be in this race. The biggest surprise to me wasn't the car count, we knew everyone would be going. It was the size of the crowd that really impressed me. A full house somewhere between 7 and 9 thousand I would guess. I thought it would be my biggest crowd to race in front of, but Riverside International Speedway holds that with over 10,000 fans for their IWK 250.

The Crew
We had a sparse crew on Saturday and Sunday but enough to help us get through the weekend and not be to burnt out...but by the end we were all wiped pretty well.
David had guided me during the week on setting up the car. Don and I worked on it for 4 or 5 hours to get it right and it was near perfect. Lloyd came down Friday afternoon and stayed for the weekend. Louie had to work Saturday but got to the track well before group qualifying. Rob and Tyler Di Venanzo were a tremendous help and stayed all day Saturday for practice and qualifying. Having this crew on Saturday was great because the work load was just big enough for us to handle.
David would be the head spotter and declared that the only thing we would need to do to the car is adding or removing bump stop shims. The car was set up perfect at home and would only need minor adjustments. I let him be the boss with the car and my crew were all okay with the 13 time Champion helping us run as good as we could.

I started to get ready for the first set of hot laps. I practice tires were set, 3 new, 2 outside 1 left rear. When I got in the car trouble started right away with the radio's. Mine weren't working, no beep when they were turned on. Louie could hear David but I couldn't hear anyone. We tried playing with connections but no use. They were working fine at Sunset Speedway.

Louie geared me up with an ear plug that I could hear but not talk and it worked. By the time we got it set up the cars were already on the track. I had never turned a lap on this track in a Late Model, the new one or the old one. The last time I did race hear was 2001.

I finally got going and was very intimidated. Not because of the speed but because I was heading on to a track under green with not a lap in this car. I didn't know if it would turn or not. Would it slide up, push, or come around, loose. It was maddening because I knew the other guys were here for practice a week ago 35 of them, maybe not all these guys, but 90% did already have laps on Jukasa. I was really worried about driving into the turn not knowing what the car was going to do.

When I pulled out of pit lane, off turn 2, David pushed me to get up to speed. I drove as hard as I could not trusting the car, and desperately not wanting to get in anybody's way. After two laps David said "clear high....now drive it hard". No way I thought, I just wasn't comfortable. Shortly after David told me to pull down because the fast cars were eating me up, gaining 5 car lengths in each corner.

Suddenly after about 4 or 5 laps the brakes started to pulsate real bad. Never felt that before. I told David and he suggested right away......"when Dad comes in put the car on stands and check the wheel bearings". We had repacked them during the week, and it was possible they were a little loose and if so that would cause the rotor/hub assembly to move in and out. We found the front real bad and the back a little loose, but we tightened them all up.
David asked me "how was the car"? I wasn't sure what to say because we didn't get enough laps.....I said "loose"...if anything it was "loose". David told us to take a shim out of the LF bump stop.

While the boys worked on that, Louie and I grabbed the ear plugs again and tried them, and this time they worked. David was happy to hear that.

Once all the work was done we had to mount our a set of tires to scuff them in. The purpose was to get some hot laps on them, 5 max, then go into the pits, remove them and put on the practice tires again, return these back to the impound, but have them soaked with cold water to harden, or cure them. The worry was blistering with the high speeds this track would force on the tires in the corner.

We got them on and I headed out for the next set of hot laps. But again I was slow getting ready and had to go on the track under green. This time was much better, there was no brake issue and I was better going into the turns. I really needed to get to know this track in a hurry but this was just 5 laps. David said to me....."that was much better but you need to drive in harder, a lot harder still". Then he asked again "how was the car"? Since I got a few laps more and faster I told him......." it was tight this time". He told us to take a shim out of the RF.

There were no more warm ups, just qualifying next. Another chance to get some laps on the car.

We headed back to the impound to mount our first set of tires for group qualifying. It was tough for us because we only had about 10 laps on the track. We went out with 4 others. There were 8 sets of qualifying with almost 40 cars for this inaugural race. We were 37th fastest. The APC let us know that all cars would be in the race, but wanted the 12 cars not in the top 26 to run a 10 lap race for the fans. This was great for us because it gave us another chance to practice.

We put on the practice tires, they only had 5 laps on them, and started at the back of this race. We did pretty good considering, running with the cars from 4th back to 10th in a big group. We finished 9th and David was happy with how we did that race....I was as well.

Fan Appreciation
Prior to the race we lined up on the front chute. We started 35th. I didn't care, as long as we were in the race.
Quite a few fans came by our car, it was awesome. Got to meet many great people and get some pictures with fans and their kids.
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Twin 75 #1
Once the autograph session was over we got right into the first race. The track was fast for sure, but we were way off the leaders for several reasons. No laps on the big oval, and a carb that wasn't quite right, had a small hesitation but not serious, but enough to take away tenths.

We didn't go very far in the first 75 when the first and most serious wreck of the day happened. Nick Goetz was right behind me heading into turn one. It was early, like lap 5 maybe, and I slowed up a little and Nick hit me slightly, not very hard, but hard enough for him to get hit from behind by Gord Shepherd. The resulting hit sent him sideways and up the turn hard into the wall. I've never seen a car folded like that in Ontario racing, it was destroyed. Many people say their car was destroyed after getting in a wreck, but that's an immediate reaction to bent front end parts and possibly a slightly bent frame. In Nick's case, this car is destroyed. The rear bumper was against the back window and the fuel cell folded up on the quick change. I talked to Nick after this race and he said the frame was bent under his feet.....that car chassis and likely many bolt on parts are destroyed. The good news is that Nick is okay and will be back in his Limited Late Model where he has had great success this year.

David did a great job spotting for us. There were a few long yellows and I thought we might be in trouble fuel wise because I only have a 15 gallon tank. It uses about 12 gallons on a 100 lap race at Flamboro, if there a few cautions. This was 75 laps but a much bigger track. We discussed the possibility of coming in, but we were on the lead lap and wanted to stay out.
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With about 5 laps to go the car was hesitating real bad and obviously running out of fuel. We got lapped by a few cars and ended up 32nd in this race, but we were up to 20th.

After the first race, there was a long delay, I tried adjusting the carb because it was hesitating in the corners even well before we were low on fuel. There was about 3 gallons left at the end. The thought was we picked up dirt possibly. We were ready in plenty of time for the next 75.
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I must say, the extra work we did this week setting up the car made a huge difference. David gave me the numbers to set the car up and now that I understand better, we should be able to keep it that way.
The car handled great, our only issue being the hesitation, and it wasn't real bad.

Twin 75 #2
Only a few cars were out of this race who were in the first. Nick Goetz was one, but most restarted, we were 33rd.
I felt comfortable for this race, because I was getting more use to the track each time out.

On the green, it didn't take long to know we were in trouble. As I accelerated through the turns I could feel a huge hesitation, the engine bogged worse than in the previous race, the worst I can ever remember. From the entrance to well past the exit the car bogged. :cry: I told David and he said what was true and obvious, "there is nothing we can to about the carb, lets just finish this race and have fun". I agreed.....but it was maddening, because we had a great handling car.
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(Note the tribute to Bob Slack)
In this race there were a few cautions, but they put us under red, and saved the race teams fuel. There were a few who ran out in the first race, and probably more who were close.

At one point we were in the top 20. Our lap times were still poor, but the hesitation was the reason for that. We just kept in it trying our best. I would change lanes on entering to see if there was a way through the turns that would result in less bogging but not really. It was so frustrating because we would pull right beside a car in the middle and lose it all coming off.

With about 15 laps to go heading into turn one, running around 18th, I go a huge shock when my gas pedal jammed. :o It didn't stick to the floor but jammed on me, causing the car to push way up the track....lucky no one was there. I told David my throttle just jammed and he said to get off the track right away. I did and our crew pulled the hood off and this is what Louie showed me.
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The top of the oil breather cap broke off, landing in the intake and getting wedged under the throttle linkage.
They secured the hood and I got back out, two laps down or more, but no more throttle sticking :P

We finished the race a few laps down in 25th spot. Good job by my crew this weekend, and David for his great spotting and set up knowledge......I really hope we can get him in a car for 2018, he is a great racer and deserves a good car and sponsors.

This was a great experience for my crew at this newly designed huge race facility, a beautiful rebuild. Thanks to the owners for doing what they did and the fans and race teams for supporting the grand opening.

Congratulations to Jason Hathaway and his team for winning both races. They sure were hooked up :D
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The crowd was amazing, can't wait to go back.

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

Re: Diary of a Season 2017

Post by Gary » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:13 pm

September 2nd............Flamboro Speedway

Race #18

795 Consecutive Nights

High Lites
* 13 cars
* Billy Schwartzenburg wins
* We get spun first lap...no caution
* Car is getting better
* We turn our best laps this year
* 7 laps in the 15:4's a 15:413 (fastest yet)...with the hood lifting up :D
* 662 final....412 quick change

1st Feature.........10th
2nd Feature..........rained out....next week


Cosmetic, nut and bolt, hood pins

Lloyd, Louie, Rick, Laurie, Suzette, Jason, Jenny and Christa

Well we only got one feature in tonight. It started to rain very lightly, but enough that races had to be stopped for awhile. I am guessing the track owners called it because of the time it would have taken to dry the track and still offer the fans corn and hot dogs....it was Fan Appreciation Night.

We got to the track right after our show in Waterdown at the Canadian Tire.
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David said not to touch the car after Jukasa, just leave it and use bump stops to adjust the car....and so I did that. He also said to rebuild the carb after last weekend, so I bought a kit and did it at home.
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(all done with the replaced parts in the final photo.

The car was good in hot laps, real good, best it's been all year, best it's been in a few years. I was very excited, and for the first time in a few years in a Pro Late Model, I was taking my spot because I was finally feeling comfortable with my car. I know it seems odd, but I can't race a car that won't keep up or is struggling somewhere.

We were hesitating slightly in the final hot laps so I checked the float level and they were both way too low. I had adjusted them on my table at home instead of on the car....and that won't work.

We started 3rd in the feature. I was pumped no doubt. I wasn't sure how far off the fast cars we would be, I knew we closed the gap but we were 4 tenths off most of this year.

Shawn Chenoweth started pole with Hudson Nagy #63 outside pole. On the first lap, on the green between one and two, Hudson fell back from Shawn and decided to come down in the middle of the turn. He wasn't clear to do that, I was still there. When he came down I drove into him, lifting his car and getting it sideways, and at the same time I got nailed in the rear and spun out. As I spun to the infield, I thought, "so much for a chance to see how I could run against the top cars. But as I thought that and got turned around I noticed the green was still out. I thought for sure the yellow would come out. I got on it right away and Louie let me know that Shawn was only about 8 car lengths behind me.

I got up to speed quickly and Louie said "he's not gaining on you, you are maintaining the same distance". As I tried to get some good laps in suddenly the hood came up on the back chute. It came up quite far and I was worried it would fly off. I needed a caution to get into the pits and get it secured. I would let off the gas sooner because the further I drove wide open on the straightway the more it came up. I was not turning the lap times I wanted to because of fear the hood would slam into the windshield.....but did turn our fastest lap of 2017....... 15:413 :D

During this run we were turning very good lap times.....well good for us and the best we have all year.
Here are comparisons:
#36 lap 4.....15:614
#89 lap 4....15:586
#36 lap 5.....15:496
#89 lap 5.....15:444
#36 lap 7.....15:726 (lapping a car)
#89 lap 7.....15:346
#36 lap 10.....15:413
#89 lap 10.....15:342
#36 lap 11.....15:420
#89 lap 11.....15:422
#36 lap 12.....15:433
#89 lap 12.....15:504
We ran pretty equal to Shawn who was leading the race, but the car with the fastest times was #97 and he was on Shawn's tail.
Finally on lap 14 our hood flew off, maybe lap 13. It just flipped up and was gone, landing in turn three off the main racing groove or line, so it didn't get hit. The boys got the hood during the yellow, but I stayed out.

We didn't go down a lap or so and Chenoweth got spun out by Wickett. The 97 must have got into Shawn because there was lots of motions and a finger pointed up when Shawn drove by Blair.

On the next restart, two cars got tangled and I hit the #43, not sure who it is, a new racer. I spun him because we were all running close and checked up quick. Now I know we're getting quicker because we are getting caught in the trouble that we use to be too far behind to get mixed up in. On that incident some of the hood pin brackets got bent for sure.

We restarted and this time we only went a lap or and #50 Chad Corcoran was sitting sideways on the track with #63 Hudson Nagy. I was racing hard into the turn and there was no where to go. I jammed the brakes and headed low to the infield trying to get by but just tapped Chad as I drove around him, hitting his car with my right front wheel. I knew they we were done. I came in and the boys looked at the front end, nothing was serious but the toe was off.

One thing I did notice.....the carb....it was perfect and I felt the difference in power now with a great tuned carb. It's not a VDL but rather a TCL :lol:

Congrats to Mark Burbridge on his win.

We finished the race in 10th place. After the race we got the car fixed, set the toe, and fixed the hood temporarily. It wasn't hurt too bad at all. We waited for feature #2, we were on the pole and I was excited about that.

Soon it started to rain, like mist, not hard but hard enough. The Mini Stocks were on the track, Hobbies lined up to go. It was Fan Appreciation Night and rather than have fans go home because of the threat of rain, or sitting waiting for the track to dry, John called the night and the fans headed over for Corn and Hot Dogs.

We met a few after the night was over, turned out great and now we can fix our car better for next weeks Triple Feature night, the one from tonight that we didn't run and the regular nights racing. I hope we can get into the 3's, we sure are close.....then we will work on the 2's. I am excited for the first time in a long time racing our Pro Late Model.
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Thanks to my crew and my son for all their help and the awesome great fans who came over to see us and get an autograph.

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

Re: Diary of a Season 2017

Post by Gary » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:03 pm

September 9th..................Flamboro Speedway

Race #19

796 Consecutive Nights

Hi Lites
* 13 cars
* Bill Schwartzenburg, Chad Corcoran and Shawn Chenoweth win
* We have great night finish wise
* Closing in on the 14:3's
* Fastest lap 14:002 :D
* 86 and 89 black flagged in second feature

Feature from Sept 2nd.......7th
1st Feature....................4th :mrgreen:
2nd Feature...................4th ;)


Hood, grille, cosmetic.....routine check....oil and filter

Louie, Stephen, Rick, Lucy and Laurie.

This was a fun night for us. Triple features, the second feature from September 2nd and the two regular features from this night.
Lloyd was unable to make it tonight, not feeling well. But we did have Louie, Stephan, Rick, Lucy and Laurie. Lucy is carrying her and Stephan's first baby and is due sometime late October.

Mr. Monette stopped by with his 33 Ford Kit car, what a beauty. It would make a perfect Quaker State business Coupe for me.......so sweet.
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We made one set of hot laps and the car was good so I settled my mind and heart that we were ready to go. There were 13 cars in total but only 10 could start the first feature.

We started pole in this race and though I was somewhat confident, I did warn my crew that we could get beat up pretty good by the faster cars. Yes, we have improved a lot since the season began, but we are still 2 to 3 tenths slower than the fast cars.

Blair Wickett #97 started outside pole and got the lead from me before we got to turn three. Shawn Chenoweth followed by didn't get by until going into turn one on lap one. We held onto 3rd until close to the half way and then I got passed by four cars 96, 50, 63 and 02. Putting us 8th.

A restart later in the race allowed us to get by 02 and finish 7th in this race. Kind of disappointing, but not like I didn't know we would get beat bad. Our lap times actually were not too bad, a few in the 15:4's.

Second Feature...Regular Night 3o Lapper
There were a few cars not out again. The 38, 86, 27 11 for starters. If those cars came out we would have had 17 Late Models. Oh well, we were there, running every Flamboro Speedway night looking for our 40th season of 100% attendance. Two more to go after this one was in the books.

The second feature was nuts to say the least. We started last because I was breaking in a new tire.
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This was the first of two for this nights regular racing. 11 cars started, including Keith Temple #14 who was not in the first one because he was not at Flamboro the week before. Keith only lasted about 3 laps and his lower A-arm broke at the ball joint. No wreck but he had to leave the track.

A lot of wrecks, with only 11 cars starting and 6 taking the checker. It was a tough night for the 97 of Blair and Chris Wickett. They nailed the front chute wall, busted some front end parts and came down in front of us clipping the 02 of Mark Burbridge. Tough day for both of them. The 97 was done for the night.

Up front was where the chaos and mayhem made it's home. Billy Schwartzenburg was leading the feature for most of the race after getting by Blair early in the feature. By the time Chenoweth and Corcoran got by the 97, Schwartzenburg was a long ways off.

Meanwhile we ran decent in this race, after putting on a new right rear tire. Ours was pretty well used up, but so were the other tires, especially the right front. We had a battle going on with Jeff Ruddy #9. We could run with him but could not get under him coming off the turns. He was fast off and we were not fast enough off. Maybe more setting him up was needed.

We caught up to Scott Gibson #88 who was making his debut. It was good to see Scott back out again. The long green run allowed us to catch and lap Scott as we were heading into the turn one. I tried going in behind Scott but Jeff cut down a little too soon and hit the rear bumper of Scott causing the 88 to spin. I clipped the 9 and naturally, for the second week in a row messed up my hood. I made a quick pit stop and Louie and Stephen taped up the hood.

The next green was the Blair Wickett wreck. Both he and the 02 did not finish.

There were 22 laps left and as we were coming for the green Louie said the track race director had warned the leaders not to be roughing it up. On the green I was outside, and we raced into turn one. 89 started outside pole beside 86 but the speedy 86 got the jump. Chad #50 was loose off turn 4 and Shawn must have got the clear low from his spotter because he dove right in behind Billy, but hit him hard enough to throw the 86 into a wild spin right into the turn one wall below the scoreboard. I was lucky to avoid the wreck, but still slid sideways trying to get stopped....and I did. Billy was really upset and waited for the 89 to come around. He didn't do anything but as Shawn was coming into turn one under yellow Billy pulled in front of the 89 letting him know he wasn't happy.

Both cars went to the back. I knew what was coming and let them both pass me. They did and it only took one more lap for the 86 to dump the 89 and they both got the black flag. That should mean no points for that race, though both of them are well ahead of third who didn't come out because he had a wedding to attend. Wrecking the lead car in a race is dumb when there is a pack of cars coming. These guys all boast how good they are but many of the racers this year, not just the 89, dumb the leader. It's like it's the thing to do. There must be a reason no one wants to try the outside....is it because there isn't enough room? The track is tight, no doubt, but that means you will finish behind the leader if you can't get by without dumping him. Oh well.

The rest of the race was normal, no more wrecks and Chad Corcoran went on to win. We finished 4th all over the 9 but not good enough to pass him. We did good though, no damage and the car is running much better thanks to David.

Feature #3
The final race of the night, and the second regular scheduled feature didn't seem to have the drama the middle feature did. Maybe the boys were warned, I don't know, no one says, but it doesn't matter. Most want to win I guess, we just want to have a chance to win, but most of all put on a show for the fans. That's important to me. Winning is great, but it's a bonus, lots of nights it's not your turn to win, or even finish good, but the more a racer concentrates on racing and finishing as strong as he can without wrecking his car or another racers car, the better racing is.

Shawn Chenoweth won the final feature with Chad and Billy close behind. We were able to get by #63 Hudson Nagy after he pushed up pretty high with about 8 to go. The leaders were way out of sight could not catch them at all.

We are now 7th in the standings with one final night to go. That will be our 9th night of the season, and there is a drop night. I don't understand or like the drop night. Maybe I would go along with it if there were a 20 race schedule. What I prefer is a Perfect Attendance award that goes to the car. So if cars show up every week they get an even split of the cash. How does it benefit the race track when cars don't show up at all. If I was an owner I would put up a 100% for the cars that made every race and no drop night. We only run 10 races, why do we need a drop night, it's nuts.....let someone else race your car if you can't make it. Anyway, I thought a 15 race schedule was not enough, I am definitely a dying breed :)

Congrats to all the feature winners.

One of our sponsors was on display in the front grand stand bringing awareness and raising funds to help get cats and dogs new homes. Cedar Hills Animal Sanctuary are new with our team this year and we hope they do well finding new homes for precious little animals.
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Thanks to my team for doing a great job again. We don't race September 16th, I gave everyone a night off, plus both Pro Late Models and OSCAAR Mods are off. We run September 23rd at Flamboro then we have the Velocity the next day at Sunset with the Modified. Rob Di Venanzo is going to qualify the Mod for me while I am at Flamboro. Once we get the next 2 nights in at Flamboro, we will have our 40th season of 100%.

Also we're at 796 consecutive nights now, 4 more to go. Flamboro, Sunset, back to Flamboro for Octoberfest then Autumn Colors. It's been a great year for us and we are running much better in the Late Model. We will know in 2 weeks how fast we are on new rubber.

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

Re: Diary of a Season 2017

Post by Gary » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:09 am

September 23rd..................Flamboro Speedway

Race #20

Last Night of Points

High Lites
* 10 cars
* Chenoweth wins both features
* Chenoweth wins Championship
* We finish unscathed
* Drop night system will hurt us
* Currently 7th in points but final not posted

1st Feature..............5th
2nd Feature.............8th



Lloyd, Louie. Stephen and Lucy

This was a fairly uneventful night for us. I didn't put on any new tires, I could have, but there was no point. We couldn't catch anyone in the standings and with the drop night system, I was already concluding I would lose a least one spot.

Drop Night
In my 49 years racing I have never been in favor of drop nights. The only time I might consider it is if we have a 20 night race schedule. I am totally against the idea for a few reasons, the main one being car count, we need all the cars we can get to show up. Instead of a drop night, increase the Perfect Attendance purse so teams show up. It is beneficial to a race track to have cars there each week. I am okay with substitute drivers, but no drop nights.
I don't like racing with car count equivalent to a heat race, I find that embarrassing and I am sure so does the owner. So tell teams to make sure there cars are here each week. Increase the banquet payout to cars that make all the races. Get a sponsor for that. A $5000 sponsor divided equally by all the drivers with 100% would be a nice token of appreciation by the track.
The other issue. We race every night, make all the races, and a few cars take off a night. We move up in points, naturally. but then lose it after drop nights are subtracted from the totals. A car that misses a night has no drop nights, but those who are there every week lose their worst night. I find the drop night system is more discouraging than anything else.

Because there was a battle for the title, I decided to go scratch all night. I was running old tires and some of the teams were on new rubber. I am still off by 2 tenths, so I am not going to get in front of cars that will eat me up with new tires.
Our car ran decent in spite of the tires. I had put a different shock on the right front. I wanted to try it, one from Nova Scotia. It seemed to work good. We finished 5th in the first feature.

The second feature was even more ho-hum. I couldn't get by the 7th place car, Steve Cashmore. He wasn't handling very well, and I wasn't going to mess up either of our cars by being aggressive for 1 point and $5. I finished 8th behind the #29 and it was okay...........except it sure was very hot in the car :oops:

Congrats to Shawn Chenoweth who won both features and the title. I'm not sure where we finished yet but will know soon.

Points before the Drop Night
1st........#89 Chenoweth..............792
2nd.......#86 Schwartzenburg.........776
3rd........#63 Nagy......................720
4th....... #9 Ruddy......................711
5th.......#50 Corcoran..................710
6th........#97 Wickett..................693
7th........#36 Elliott....................689
8th........#02 Burbridge................642
9th........#27 Albers....................622
10th.......#14 Temple..................534

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