Diary Of A Season 2021

Gary
Posts:216
Joined:Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm
Re: Diary Of A Season 2021

Post by Gary » Sun Jul 25, 2021 12:41 pm

July 25th.................Riverside International Speedway

Race #3

Highlights
* 17 cars
* Nicholas Naugle wins
* We finish without any issues
* 524 gears...maybe should be 515 if I was able to race harder
Fastest lap 14:918 (practice)
* Fun night for all our crew

Results
Heat........3rd
Feature....12th

Winnings
$475

Repairs
routine.....sand and de-glaze brakes, gears, nut and bolt, check spark plugs

Crew
Shannon, Chris, Tyler, Jack and Buttons

Conclusion
We left my place early Saturday morning around 9:30. All of us went together. We arrived at the track well before they opened. There were strict protocol Covid rules in place, masks, stay in your pits etc....meanwhile nearly everyone is 100% open.....it's okay, hug your neighbor. :D
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We got ready for tech. Chris and I went to tech, Tyler and Jack got the tires from the impound and Shannon prepared the trailer while Buttons waited in the air conditioned truck.
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At tech we found out we were 10 pounds light, I didn't have my helmet, hans, fire suit or boots. The rule is 2750, we were 2740. They weren't worried at all. After the feature they will check weight again but there is no weight brake, they know everyone should be around 2690 or close. If someone is 2600 it's going to be trouble. But as for our team we were good to go and likely would not have to go through post tech.....but you never know and if so, we would be good.

We practiced on used tires, the new ones we bought for Petty on July 10th. We can't use them in a Tour race, they're not part of our inventory. They worked fine. I only went out once. Our lap time was almost 8 tenths off the fastest...yes discouraging but its understandable. This track is very fast, high banked, much bigger than Flamboro and a lot faster. Flamboro lap times are 15:0 at best and the boys here were turning in the high 14:2's. I was barely hitting 14:9 but I was here to race, not compete for the win. One thing about this track is strength and stamina, a very demanding physical challenge. Sometimes I think I'm 47....but that's the year I was born. Getting up on the wheel makes for fast lap times.....getting tired when up on the wheel is dangerous....produces over driving..... but I wanted to reduce the spread so few laps I tried racing harder, but just got more sore and wore out. All good because I already knew that. My goal was to pace myself to finish the race.
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We were hitting the chip most laps with the 5:24 gears. The tires we were using gave us 3 1/4" of stagger. The new tires were going to require some adjustments to the car because Hoosier is having issues right now supplying 10" tires for the many series and home tracks using them in Canada and the USA. Our new tires only gave us 2 3/4" of stagger.
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We went out for another set of hot laps on the new tires to size them and the car was pushing slightly in the middle. There was no way of getting more stagger. Almost every car, all the fast cars were in the 14:5's, still 1/2 a second faster than us. I was okay with that, I was there to race and intended to race and load the car free of damage which = $$$$.
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We started 6th in our heat. It was loaded with 5 of the best, every heat had top runners because there are so many in the Maritimes, very talented strong racers. By the end of the heat I was close to a straightaway behind, and that makes sense being 1/2 a second off. In 10 laps we were 5 seconds behind the leaders. The car was tight in the middle, I had a plan to fix that.

When the white came out I was happy but things changed quick when I saw two cars spun out coming off turn 4. When the race ended, I just gained 2 spots. :mrgreen:.....BUT.....there was another bonus. One of the cars in our race Kent Vincent DNF'd in his heat, the first one with some issue. The series let him run at the back of our heat race to see if his car was fixed. It was fixed alright, he finished 3rd, but he didn't get credit for it because he wasn't suppose to be in our race. That gave 3rd to us. Remember, in racing there are fast cars, very fast cars and attrition :D

With cars not finishing in their heats we would start the feature in 10th just ahead of Cole Butcher who was 11th. I told Cole I would cruise around one lap then I was going scratch. He asked me if the car was good and I said yes, the issue isn't with the car, it's the driver. If this was Flamboro or Sauble Speedway or Center for Speed in Shediac New Brunswick, I would be taking my spot, but wisdom told me to go scratch and watch the race from there....and so I did.

Prior to the feature we gassed up, charged the battery and raised the track bar half an inch. The would help it rotate through the middle better. I also raised the air pressure slightly on the left front, those were the only changes I wanted to make.

The feature was a fast race, a few cautions. I got lapped 3 times but I drove harder and longer than I did last year. The car handled very well, and yes they do when they are not up to speed, but for me it was good, allowing me to race as hard as I could to try and keep up.
I was sore all over from the high banks. I did battle with a few cars but most had me covered easy. A few cars dropped out with mechanical issues, three more for contact on the track and backing into the inside wall. When the dust settled we crossed the line in 12th placed and I was happy with that. No damage, no stress on the crew this week and no pouring out a bunch of dollars to fix the car.

Congrats to Nicholas Naugle for the win. We will still be in the top 10 in points after race #1 where car count was low.

East Coast Inc Pro Stock Top 10
After 2 of 9 Events

1...08....Nicholas Naugle........417
2...99...Craig Slaunwhite........414
2...53...Cole Butcher............414
4...54...Jared Butcher...........405
5...89...Donald Chisholm........401
6...0.....Matt Vaughn.............386
7...36...Gary Elliott..............381
8...29...Greg Proude.............202
9...48...Waylon Farrell..........194
9...11...Tony Leonard...........194

Pictures soon

Gary
Posts:216
Joined:Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2021

Post by Gary » Mon Aug 02, 2021 5:24 pm

July 31st..........Petty international Raceway

Race #4.....Series Race #3

High Lites
* 14 cars
* Cole Butcher wins
* Long green flag runs
* We get better last 50 laps
* Pass 10th but we were down one lap more
* Move into 6th in points :mrgreen:
* 562 gears

Results
Heat.........7th
Feature.....12th

Winnings
$375

Repairs
Routine

Crew
Shannon, Tyler, Chris, Jack, Jeff and Buttons......Shirley and Derrick join us :D

Conclusion
We had a decent run on Saturday night at Petty International Raceway. Our team arrived in plenty of time to get unloaded, go through tech and set up our pit area.
My daughter Shirley and son in law Derrick gave me the surprise of the year. My cousin Kim and her husband Tom were going to come with us to this race. They recently moved here from Ontario and went to many races at Sunset Speedway, they lived in Cookstown, about 20 minutes away.
The plan was for them to come to my house for 9:30 am and go with us to Petty. My cousin Kim messaged me about 9:am saying they were on their way with coffees. BUT!!!....a shocker it was when Shannon said "Tom and Kim are here", but when I opened the door it was my daughter and son in law. I was absolutely stunned to silence. I could hardly talk I was so surprised. One of the first things that went through my mind was how we would get all of them in the truck, because Tom and Kim were on their way. :lol:
Turned out it was a plan to surprise me, Tom and Kim had no intentions of coming, it was a set up to fool me and it worked. Standing there dumb founded I asked "is Tom and Kim coming"? Shirley answers "oh so you're disappointed it's not Kim" :D.....but no, I was just in shock. I hadn't seen Shirley or Derrick since Christmas and had no idea because of the insane restrictions, they would be coming at all. I finally settled down half way to Petty, which is a 21/2 hour drive for us.

I was so happy they came to the races and they were happy they did as well. Got to meet my awesome crew and then head to the main grandstands to watch the races.

The format was a heat race and feature. Only 14 cars showed up, another bad turnout. But, that's been happening even in the USA, watching Speed51 and some Pro Late Model features only have 14 to 20 cars. It's mostly to do with Covid, causing some teams not to be ready. It also doesn't help the series when other tracks hold races on the same night as the East Coast International Pro Stock Tour. I wished tracks wouldn't do that. This is a great, well run series and needs car count to survive. Regardless of the car count, we came to support the series and our sponsors.

Hot laps were a good test for us. We made a few minor changes, including a bump stop in the left front to help the car from being tight. It made a big difference.
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Our crew, Shannon, Chris, Jeff and Jack were very good making sure everything that needed to be done was done perfect and quickly. We had reached the low 13:9's in practice and our own crew had us in the 13:8's in the heat race. That's the fastest we were, better than any time last year or 2021.
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The feature only had a few cautions. I don't know the track as good as I knew most in Ontario. Our car was loose off in the early going. The first yellow came out on lap 44, just as we were about to go down a lap. I immediately headed to pits and had our crew make a wedge change.
On the restart it seemed better at first, but as the race went on it developed a loose off again. I wasn't able to stay on the lead lap this time, the green lasted for 70 laps, by then we were down 2 laps. I had to slow up so I wouldn't burn the RR tire up. That resulted in slower lap times and going down 2 laps to the leaders.

On lap 110 another yellow came out when the leader hit and spun a car that wouldn't move over for several laps. They both went scratch. Meanwhile I was thinking "what can I do to help this car get off the corners better". I went into the pits and asked for 2 pounds of air in the LR.
The boys got it done and I returned to the track.
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This time the car was really good. I was able to run with the back cars but still struggled trying to get by. I chased #14 Terry Dougay from PEI for several laps. He was having brake issues like I was a few weeks ago. Finally I was able to get by him in turns 1 & 2, once past I was pulling away from him. He was running 10th at the time. I was happy thinking we would finish 10th. At the checker, though we crossed in 10th, we were down one lap more than Terry and one other car, we ended up 12th.

The car was clean after, not a mark on it, allowing us to make more changes for the next race without starting over. Terry came over after the race and told me he lost his brakes. I knew something happened to him. He was still fast, I thought I was going to chase him until Wednesday before getting by. He's a friendly racer but not one you would want to rough up, he would most certainly disapprove of that....and I knew it and waited patiently. :D

Congrats to Cole Butcher who won again. He is leading the points right now and has been running very strong.

Our next race will be an exciting weekend. We have a double header at Scotia Speedworld. Saturday August 14th and Sunday August 15th. A 150 lap double header....I love it.

Our team will be on display this coming Friday at the Canadian Tire store in Truro from 11 until 3:30. Hope to see some of our fans there.
Here is a picture from our show we did in 2020
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Gary
Posts:216
Joined:Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2021

Post by Gary » Wed Aug 11, 2021 11:12 am

August 14th and 15th ......Scotia Speedworld

Double Header....150 lap features in 2 days.
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Gary
Posts:216
Joined:Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2021

Post by Gary » Thu Aug 12, 2021 3:56 pm

Top 10.......East Coast International Pro Stock Tour Point Standing

3 of 9 Events
1...53....Cole Butcher...........625
2...99...Craig Slaunwhite.......617
2...08...Nicolan Naugle.........612
4...54...Jared Butcher...........608
5...0....Matt Vaughn.............579
6...36...Gary Elliott..............563
7...89...Donald Chisholm........401
8...8.....Kent Vincent............392
9...48...Waylon Farrell...........374
10..2...Ashton Tucker............203

Gary
Posts:216
Joined:Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2021

Post by Gary » Sat Aug 14, 2021 9:27 pm

August 14th ...........Scotia Speedworld

Race #5

East Coast International Pro Stock Tour race #4

High Lites

* 22 cars
* Cole Butcher wins
* We fight a car that was a little off
* Finished 2 laps down in 16th
* 4 pm start
* 569 gears...not quite enough

Results
Heat.......5th
Feature...16th

Winnings
$450-$30 for transponder fee :shock:

Repairs
Routine, change gears, work on making the car turn better

Crew
Shannon, Chris, Tyler, Jeff and Shawn (Tyler's crew member).....and Buttons :D

Conclusion
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A little late posting this report, but I have been busy fixing the car and other issues, none serious, also waiting for pictures. Our photo sponsor Wingnut Productions is also the official photo supplier for the East Coast International Pro Stock Tour. They have been very busy getting photo's done after 2 days of racing....speaking of 2 days of hard racing :D

This past weekend was the most laps I have ever raced in 2 days. It was back to back tour races, each with 150 lap features following 10 lap hear races. The good news for this first time experience was the fact the races were held at the same track, Scotia Speedworld.

On Saturday we made a few practice laps and the car felt really good. I had barely broke the 15 second lap time our first time here. We were very excited to see lap times in the 14:6's, a huge improvement for our team. The fastest cars were in the 3's, but we closed the gap, and a 14:3 might be impossible for someone over 60, let alone 70 :lol:
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We started last in our 7 car heat race, finishing 5th at the line. Nothing noteworthy happened in the heat race. There were 3 heats as 22 cars made the show.

The crew worked steady this day. Shannon had the radios all set, as well as the cool suit. Chris Tyler Jeff and Shawn (Tyler's crew chief on his Mini Stock) all helped get the adjustments done that I wanted to make to improve the car and the results were good for us.

My goal for the feature was to stay on the lead lap, not an easy feat with long green flag runs. If we go over 35 laps green, I usually will get lapped. I need to work out more I'm thinking because either the car or me fall off after long greens. There may be a good reason for both :mrgreen:

The feature had a ton of cautions in it. Most yellows were happening with cars running in the top 10. Hammering and running into each other. Lucky for me I was able to see far enough ahead and get through all the spin outs, some in front of me. Racing hard into turn one was the closest call when 2 cars spun coming off turn 2. I was able to get checked up and dodge through it but others weren't so lucky.
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By the end of the race only 18 cars were left running. We would finish the race in 16th. I was disappointed but I knew going down 2 laps wasn't going to get us the lucky dog and our car was pushing a little and loose off, something that we tried to correct with a few yellow flag pit stops.

Our crew worked very hard and did a great job in the heat and humidity. Buttons was put in the truck with the AC on during the feature. She was okay the rest of the time because we had 2 strong fans going all day.

Congrats to Cole Butcher on his win.
We packed up, unhooked the trailer and drove home, a 50 minute drive, but very convenient knowing we were coming back in the morning.

Gary
Posts:216
Joined:Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2021

Post by Gary » Sun Aug 15, 2021 10:50 pm

August 15th..............Scotia Speedworld

Race #6 for Gary Elliott Motorsports

Race #5 for the East Coast International Pro Stock Tour

***855th Consecutive Night***

High Lites
* 18 cars
* Craig Slaunwhite wins
* We're still 6th in points
* We run very competitive in spurts
* Brake issues again, too much rear
* 573 gears

Results
Heat...........5th
Feature.......12th

Winnings
$475

Repairs
Fender, gears, routine, brakes, oil change

Crew
Shannon, Bob, Chris, Tyler, Jeff, Jack.....Buttons....Guest...Jim Morrison from Ontario.

Conclusion
855th consecutive night. I am very happy we are getting as many nights as possible in for the 2021 season. I have 12 scheduled for this year, and today was our 6th, the 5th for the East Coast International Pro Stock Tour.
This was also a milestone for us, reaching 855 nights in a row since June 5th 1987. It would be nice to reach 900. God is good, giving me the passion, support and good health to keep racing like this. I am very thankful for being in this sport so long. The adrenaline we get from racing is just part of it. Families, friends, my awesome crew and sponsors, the arena filled with great fans, our competitors and their families all make this a wonderful fun sport.

We got to the track early on Sunday. I was very pumped to get out and see if we could get the car better. I was discouraged somewhat on Saturday because the car was good then would fall off. It was fairly good by the feature yesterday but I wanted to be more consistent.

We went every set of hot laps, more than we did on Saturday. Our tires had 180 laps on them. We turned consistent 14:7's on old tires. Still off the kids, but to be honest, I can't compare myself anymore to the young guns, it's silly for me to even try to do that. I will try to improve each time out, but my goal has to be to beat my own lap times, not very talented 20-30 year old :roll:

Today was a 2 tire race, yesterday was 4. After at least 25 hot laps, maybe more, we were set for the heat race. A few cars didn't make it back on Sunday, but we still had 18 cars.

We started sixth in our heat and again finished 5th. The car was good, the best it had been all day. We made a few adjustments for the feature.
There was an out of car introduction, same as Saturday. I felt bad for the track that only 1250 fans were allowed, heartbreaking really. We should be opened up but restrictions are preventing tracks from allowing full grandstands.

We started 16th in the feature of 17 cars. One team had to miss the feature with a mechanical failure.

On the green we were very good on the outside, moving up a few spots very quick. This particular race was the fastest I had been since coming to the Maritimes. The car was awesome and I felt confident to race it hard. But the yellow came out and I lost most all the spots I gained.

Over the next 25 laps our car was fast and felt good. I was running in a pack of cars from 8th to 15th. All very close, but way off the pace of the leaders who were out of sight. We had a long green and next thing the leaders are coming and I had to move over as Craig Slaunwhite was lapping me, and soon about 4 other cars. The top 6 are much faster than the rest of us, so when they start up front and we are battling in a pack, they catch us pretty quick.
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We were one of three or four cars a lap down. Over the next few laps there were a few cautions, allowing us to finally get back on the lead lap.
On a restart at lap 60 I was very happy with how good the car was turning and coming off the corners. But that changed by lap 80 when my rear brakes were coming on too soon bringing the back end of the car around. I got so loose from braking that I was almost spinning out at one point.
The only thing I could do was dial in more front brake with the bias. As I came off the corners I would turn the bias to the right for more front braking balance. Each lap the car got a little better until I was able to drive in hard and not be loose from too much rear brake.....I was also out of more front brake adjustment. Fortunately I was able to continue, though not as fast as I was....maybe getting tired.
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During a battle with a few cars, we were beat up a little when the #0 was passing me on the inside. I moved up to let him go but coming off turn four he kept running me up when I was outside of him. I thought for sure he would stay in his lane but he kept coming up forcing me to jam on the brake or be stuffed into the cement. Even with me hard braking, he still clipped my left front fender and nose, cracking the fender. I didn't feel much but the damage was far from minor.

We were a top 10 car past the half way mark of the race. On about lap 110 on a restart, Tyler my spotter, called "caution, big wreck behind you". This caution involved cars from 10th to 12th. Not sure exactly what happened, but Matt Vaughn, driving the #0 for R&D Performance got wrecked pretty bad when turned into the front straight wall.

Over the next 40 laps of green flag racing I was lapped by the leader. Craig Slaunwhite would win this one in his Fury race car. He's been fast all year and still maintains second in points behind Cole Butcher.
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We thought we had a top 10 but would cross the line in 12th. Only 5 cars were on the lead lap. We complete 148.

Congrats to #99 Craig Slaunwhite for his first win of 2021, he is now only 4 points behind points leader Cole Butcher.

Our next race is August 21st at Riverside International Speedway.

Top 10.......East Coast International Pro Stock Tour Point Standing
5 of 9 Events

1...53....Cole Butcher...........1040
2...99...Craig Slaunwhite.......1036
3...54...Jared Butcher...........1014
4...08...Nicolan Naugle.........1001
5...0....Matt Vaughn.............940
6...36...Gary Elliott..............923
7...8.....Kent Vincent............781
8...89...Donald Chisholm........773
9...48...Waylon Farrell...........738
10..2...Ashton Tucker............605

Gary
Posts:216
Joined:Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2021

Post by Gary » Sun Aug 22, 2021 8:05 am

August 21st..............Riverside International Speedway

Race #7

East Coast International Pro Stock Tour Race #6


High Lites
* 12 cars
* Craig Slaunwhite wins
* Twin 75's
* Both races green to checker
* We finish 11th
* Still 3/10ths off fast cars at this track...by first feature 2.33 tenths
* 524 final
* Car was good....driver got tired :D

Results
Heat............6th
Feature........11th

Winnings
$475

Repairs
None....routine maintenance, repack bearings, sand de-glaze pads

Crew
Shannon, Chris Tyler, Jack and Buttons

Conclusion
We arrived at the track fairly early and were set up in plenty of time for tech and hot laps. Our crew, Shannon, Chris , Jack and Tyler helped me set up our pit area and got organized fairly quickly. Buttons always stays in the truck until we have everything moved so she can come in and bark at me for leaving her in the truck for 20 minutes :lol: with the AC on though.
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Riverside is a grueling track for me, and I am guessing for most really. It's very fast, high banked and produces more g-force than any track I race.
Kalamazoo was like that, and so to Varney Speedway and Peterborough Speedway, but none like this one. The fast straights make the turns even more strenuous when turning.
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The format was billed as Twin 75's. Any event I have raced that is a Twin 75, Twin 50 or Triple 50 always has a winner for each segment. The driver with the best combined finishes will be determined the winner of the day..... still one pay out, still same points but 2 winners. Sometimes tracks will give points to both races, and half the normal pay out to both races. That wasn't the case today. This race was 150 laps, with a break at 75 or 76, not Twin 75's. It really didn't matter to me, but I did ask if there was going to be a winner in each 75 and an overall winner based on the combined finishes of both races....the answer was no, just a break at the half way point.

Our first practice was on tires that were not in our inventory. The car was really smooth but not as fast as the top cars. I knew I would have to put our inventory tires on and worried they might not be as good as the ones we used in the first set. A few changes were needed to get the car ready for the heat race.
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It was another disappointing race night car count wise. Only 12 cars made it out, and most of them the very best. Fan attendance was down as well because of Covid restrictions. These mandates are hurting everyone, businesses especially where customers help pay for their expenses. It's basically the same as last year, and yet 75% of the people here are vaccinated. That should tell everyone something isn't right (as if we didn't know). I am guessing if 100% are vaccinated there will be reasons to close businesses for safety reasons when such a small percent of our nation even got Covid.

In spite of that, the cars that were there, were going to entertain the fans that could come. The grandstands were sold out with their allotment but surely car count didn't go over well. It's not the series issue, it's everything overall. We have 3 provinces to draw cars, and each province has it's own restrictions. Hopefully Nova Scotia opens up fully to allow unlimited fans for the next race at Riverside International Speedway, that would be the IWK 250 that would draw 10-12,000 fans.

We finished 6th in our heat race, started 6th and finished there. I couldn't run with the leaders on this very fast high banked oval. I drove as hard as I could to see if there were any issues with the car and did find it loose on acceleration off the corners. Once back in the pits we had a short discussion on what to do for the first feature. We filled the gas tank, filled the cool box and for the loose condition we decreased the rear stagger slightly, lowered the pan hard bar 1/2' and added a half a turn on the bar.

After introduction the race started and we went green to checker. Our car was really good, not loose at all. It was fun to drive. I got lapped once at lap 53 by track owner Donald Chisholm #89. Second place was so far behind him they didn't even catch me. Taking 53 laps to go by me meant I was less than 3 tenths slower than the faster cars in that race. I would finish 12th although we did chase #80 Ryan Van Oirschot for most of the race. It was fun. Ryan got the lucky dog for the second half. There was a 10 minute break after the first 75. Donald Chisholm basically dominated, being half a track ahead of second, crazy.
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Our crew cleaned the windshield for me but left the rest, there was no complaints from the driver. Tyler did

We made no changes for the second half. It was also a green to checker race, no cautions. Craig Slaunwhite #99 won in his Fury, two in a row. The car was very fast, so fast he lapped me twice and almost lapped the winner of the first 75. In this race I chased the #48 of Waylon Farrell for almost the entire race.
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Ryan dropped out early with mechanical issues and so I was able to pace Waylon who was 10th. I would get lapped by the leader twice in this race, no caution, so no lucky dog for me. The good news is that we kept our points position maintaining 6th with just three tour races to go and just as important, we loaded the car exactly the same as it came off the trailer.
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Our next race is August 28th at Petty International Raceway and the final two will happen on September 11th at Riverside and September 25th at Scotia Speedworld.
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Top 10.......East Coast International Pro Stock Tour Point Standing
6 of 9 Events
1...53....Cole Butcher...........1251
2...99...Craig Slaunwhite.......1250
3...54...Jared Butcher...........1217
4...08...Nicolan Naugle.........1207
5...0....Matt Vaughn.............1134
6...36...Gary Elliott..............1108
7...89...Donald Chisholm........976
8...8.....Kent Vincent............971
9...48...Waylon Farrell...........927
10..2...Ryan Van Oirschot.......720

Gary
Posts:216
Joined:Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2021

Post by Gary » Sun Sep 12, 2021 1:32 pm

September 11th................Riverside International Speedway

Race #8
1300th Night of Racing


857 Consecutive

High Lites
* 17 cars
* Craig Slaunwhite makes it 3 in a row
* We finish 13th......on our 1300th night
* No damage
* Still 6th in points....it pays to be there
* We turn our fastest lap ever at RIS....14:701...previous was 14:932

Results
Heat..........5th
Feature......13th

Winnings
$475

Repairs
None....routine maintenance

Crew
Shannon, Bob, Chris, Tyler, Jack, Jeff and Buttons

Conclusion
1300th Night...since 1969
I didn't miss this milestone, although I did miss an earlier one. I had 1292 nights before the season started and 2893 races entered. This weekend was our 8th night racing, putting us to 1300 total nights. I did mention that on Facebook and on the front page of our site, but missed our 2900th race. That happened on July 31st at Petty International Raceway in our heat race. July 31st was our 4th night of 2021 and the heat race on that night was our 7th race of the year, putting us to 2900, now we have 2909 total races Not sure I will hit 3000, I will need 45 more nights to do it.

We arrived at Riverside International Speedway just before the gates opened, around 10:45. The crew were all there and I gave them their passes. We had to order them on line instead of paying at the back pit gate. We had 7 members on our team today, 8 including Buttons :D

I was tired when we got to the track, I have been most of the year. I think racing in this series with every race at least 150 laps plus heat races and hot laps is a grind. This track is the most aggressive with the highest speeds and g-force. I have still managed to get within 3 or 4 tenths of the quickest. Having 7 of us in the pits was good to help get organized quickly.

This race was a 4 tire event, first time on 4 new tires since race #5. Our last race was a 2 tire event. Our inside tires already had 370 laps on them, and would end up with 540. That's the most ever put on any tire for any of my race cars. Hoosier was having issues getting tires to all the tracks in North American, because of product shortage in making the tires. Covid sure has messed up many aspects of life, some more severe than others.

Once our pit area was set up and tires picked up from the compound tractor trailer, we were ready for hot laps. Being tired I took a moment to pray to God for strength, physical strength and a positive attitude. Once I got in the car I couldn't wait to go as fast as I could on this demanding oval.
The car was set up with our older inventory tires, they had about 170 to 190 laps on them. The idea was to practice on these and get close, knowing new tires would be better. We didn't want to set up the car on new tires, that would be a mistake if the car wasn't handling, so using older tires, even with lots of laps was a good start for us. Some teams practice on new tires, but that financial option wasn't something we could do.

In the first set of hot laps the car wasn't right. Chris and Jack had the tires set before we went out. Bob did a final check on stagger stating we were 3 1/4 on the rear and 21/2 on the front. I was okay with that. The practice was 30 minutes for Pro Stocks.

After 10 laps the car was loose coming off the turns. I returned to the pits and suggested 2 pounds in the LR and a 1/2 turn on the bar. That would help loose off. But it was the same. I returned again to the pits and asked to check the rear stagger, and let me know what it was. Chris said "2".
"That's not possible, we went out with 31/4", it has to be more if anything" I said. Chris double checked and said "no, it's 2"". I asked what the LR tire pressure was and Jack said "23 pounds". None of this made any sense. I knew that tire was high because of tire sizing not being available, making us work with what we had. Jack reduced the tire pressure to 12 on the LR and I went back out. I didn't like that move, because it didn't make sense to lower that tire so much, especially being loose already.

I went back out again and only lasted 2 laps because the car was going to spin out from being so loose. I called on the radio "I'm coming back in, the RR tire is flat. Check the RR tire". When I pulled in Jack checked right away and didn't even say anything, he ran right away for the jack to take the tire off.....it was 10 pounds, and had a slow leak, actually a quick leak, it was 24 when we first went out.

They put on a RR that wasn't in my inventory, but was close size wise. I went back out and the car was good, not loose and good on exit.

We decided to put the 4 new tires on and go out in the second set of hot laps but not until the last 10 minutes. I was happy with the car overall, the flat tire was something we wouldn't normally see, but it explained why the stagger was off so much.

Our best lap times ever at that track was 14:932. I wanted so bad to get into the 8's, although the faster cars were mostly in the 4's and 5's. I didn't care about them too much, they're 50 years younger than me and my goal is to get better for our team.

The new tires set up the same as the last set with 2 3/4" on the back and 2 1/2" on the front made a huge difference. After about 6 laps Shannon comes on the radio "14:7's Ironman". I was so pumped and should have stayed out another lap or two because the actual time was 14:701 and we could have got in the 6's. The crew and I were very happy, even though we were still off by 3 plus tenths to the fastest, we closed the gap time wise. The issue at this track would be stamina....a 74 year old trying to stay with Snowball Derby competitors 50 years younger than me...I didn't care, we had our personal best here and that was a win for us.

We started last in the heat. We were suppose to start pole but there were too many fast cars right behind me, so I went scratch. Only 6 cars in each heat, we would finish 5th.

We started 15th in the feature, 150 laps. It would be a long race but we actually hit lap times in the 14:6's. Our car was good. I got pretty tired before the end. There were a few cautions around lap 34 and 37, but then went green till lap 87 and a comp yellow was thrown.
We were down one lap but got the lucky dog. The next 63 laps also went green. A few cars fell out, mechanical and damage. We would cross the line in 13th one lap down. Usually at this track we would be 2-3 laps down.

Overall our 1300th night was a success. Our fast lap times ever, not a mark on the car, and still holding on to 6th in the points. Our crew were very good, helpful and are learning so much so fast. I appreciate them very much.

Congrats to Craig Slauwhite for the win, that puts him top in the points. Our next race is September 25th at Scotia Speedworld, the 8th of the series and our 9th. We have one more series race after that, but our team has 2 more including Shedica Center for Speed in October.

Top 10.......East Coast International Pro Stock Tour Point Standing
7 of 9 Events
1...99...Craig Slaunwhite.......1463
2...53....Cole Butcher...........1455
3...54...Jared Butcher...........1422
4...08...Nicolan Naugle.........1386
5...0....Matt Vaughn.............1322
6...36...Gary Elliott..............1290
7...89...Donald Chisholm........1164
8...8.....Kent Vincent............1163
9...48...Waylon Farrell...........1125
10..2...Ryan Van Oirschot.......893

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