Saturday May 21st
Started 3rd in the first heat race. Going into turn 1 on the first lap I am low when the pole sitter gets loose and comes down in front of me. I slammed on the brakes so I would not hit him...and POP! The pedal went to the floor! The rear brake caliper brackets both spun and tore the lines out of the calipers. Sheered the locking bolt clean off! I hit the pole sitters LR quarter and sent him around. No damage to my car other then orange paint on the nose. I was going to pull off, but when I realized I would move up the the pole, I figured I would try it without brakes and at least try to transfer. I managed to jump out front, lifted early to let the gear slow me down enough to roll into the corners and then throttle back up. It worked, I never touched the brake pedal (would have done me no good anyway!) I managed to hold off the others and win the heat race. But, the damage to the rear brakes was too bad to fix at the track. The calipers would need to be fixed, new lines, redrill the brackets and this time tack weld them in place. So we loaded up the car and watch the rest of the races for the night.
Saturday June 4th
We started 4th in the first heat race and was running 3rd right from the drop of the green. All of a sudden the car would not turn in turn 2! I almost stopped trying to turn it and keep it off the wall. I fell to 4th while creeping down the backstretch headed to the pits when all of a sudden, it started steering again! I took it easy and ran 4th for the final transfer spot. Did not want to push it as I was not sure if something was broken. Upon investigation, I found something I have never had happen before...a ROCK became lodged between my rotor and caliper on the RF and froze it up! The rock wedged down into a rotor vein and that is why it started steering again. But you could see where it had locked between the rotor and caliper!
Started 8th in the feature. On the start I fell to 9th as everyone headed for the bottom groove. Slowly a car or two would get out of line and the train would go by. I made it up to 4th at one point. But then after a restart I got tired of following the top 3 and decided to search for a faster line. I tried high, then middle, but there just was no bite and now that I was out of line, the freight train was going by. I fell back to 8th and that is where I finished.
Saturday June 11th
Started on the pole of heat 1. Fast heat, so I knew I had to run hard. Jumped out front on the start and thought I may be able to stay out there to win it. But a few laps in I started pushing it too hard in the center of the corners and I slid a little too high and allowed a car to get by me. The car was too tight and I was sliding too high in turn 3 every lap. I fell to 3rd before the 4th place car slammed me in the drivers door and pushed me off the top of turn 3. That knocked me back to 6th. We would have to run the Consi to make the feature.
Started on the pole of the Consi though...jumped out front and led it flag to flag for the win. The track was drying out and coming to my setup.
Started 16th in the feature. Took it really easy for 2 laps because they were beating and banging on eachother in front of me. I fell to 18th in the first 2 laps. But then started moving back up. Had a few cautions mixed in to line us back up. My car was working well in the bottom line. I made it all the way to 7th by the end of the race.
Saturday June 25th
It was 97 degrees and sunny today...dried the track out very early. The track crews worked hard to try keeping it moist, but mother nature would have nothing of it...it dried right out and became very slick. We started 10th out of 10 cars in the second heat race. There was very little traction left, so you had to drive very carefully. On the second lap there was a crash in turn 3 that involved the 5th through 9th place cars! They all continued, but behind me, so I was now in 5th. I started working the bottom and had a door to door battle with Ron Shultz. We managed to beat him to the finish by just a few feet to take 4th. We had to start 11th in the feature. On the start I went right to the bottom line...but the 8 car passed me right away in the middle. I raced hard with the X2 car for several laps when the caution came out. On the restart the X2 went to the bottom line. I went to the middle and found some traction there. I went back by the X2 and the 8 car made a late race pass to move into the 10th spot. Started 11th, fell to 14th, made it back to 10th. Tough track to pass on, but good clean racing.
Saturday July 9th
Saturday was hot again, and sunny. Track went dry slick pretty quickly. We lined up 4th in the first heat race on the track. I ran in 4th the whole race. That transferred me to the feature, but not in a redraw spot. So I started 13th in the feature. Track was EXTREMELY dry slick due to the hot sunny weather. The field really became strung out as we ran 20 straight laps...no cautions! We started 13th and finished 9th. Not a realy eventful race, but a fast race.
Saturday July 16th
I started outside the front row in the 2nd heat race, the best spot to be in for sure. Only problem...this was a very fast heat race! On the initial start I did not take off because I could see a stalled car slowing on the front stretch as we were coming to the green, so the pole sitter beat me to turn 1, but as I suspected, the caution was out on the backstretch. Complete restart and I timed it better this time and beat the pole sitter to turn 1. A caution came out halfway through. I managed to get a good restart and went on to win the race.
We redrew a 10 for the feature, bad draw! But...just before intermission it started to sprinkle and during intermission it started to pour. Features rained out! To be run on 7/30.
Saturday July 30th
Double features tonight to make up for the 7/16 rain out. First feature we started 10th. I made my way to 6th by the end. Very uneventful and only one minor caution in the back of the pack. Heat race, we started 6th, finished 4th, good enough for a redraw. Redraw....drew the POLE, #1! But I know that running a partial schedule, my car is not dialed in as well as most of the guys who are running the full schedule. I knew it would be tough to hold those guys off. The next 5 cars behind me are all in the top 7 in points to boot! On the start I knew that if I could hold it really low and be reasonably fast, I could maybe hold them off because there would be no other line around the outside. On the start I took the lead. But Chris Keller quickly caught me after 3-4 laps. He worked REALLY hard to get under me coming off but I kept squeezing him down. He finally squeezed it in tight under me and we banged doors, pushing me up a little coming off turn 2 and he took the lead. The problem was he had 2 more cars in line right behind him. So now I was hung out to dry and those 3 went under me. I fell in line 4th. The car started to become a little tight and started pushing up a little coming off the corners. Another car got under me off turn 2 and moved me back to 5th. On the last lap, the 2003 (and now 2005 track champion) stuck his nose under me off turn 2 and I had to run through turns 3 and 4 in the middle, falling back to 6th. Not a terrible run. Missed the setup a little, but put up a tough fight.
Saturday September 3rd
The last time we ran I started on the pole and finished 6th, car would not turn off the corners. So Saturday AM we scaled the car. We made a few significant adjustments to the chassis to help this situation. Drew a 2 at the gate...pole of first heat race. Fast heat too! I managed to get the lead on the start. We ran caution free and I led the whole thing for another heat win. The changes seemed to help, the car turned really well. Feature...drew 11, another bad starting spot. Raced about 4-5 laps before we had a caution and I was in 10th. On the restart the car in front of me got squirly and I lost 2 spots, but got them both back the next lap. Got by the 9th place car on the bottom. Ran down the 8th place car just in time for another caution. On the restart he was keeping it on the bottom, so I went to the middle and drove around the outside of him. Closed up on the 7th place car. Got my nose under him really well once, but he chopped me hard and being a nice guy..I slammed on the brakes to avoid crashing both of us. I tried outside/inside moves on him, tried keeping it pinned real tight, tried the middle..nothing worked. I was a tick faster, just could not get my nose far enough along side to get him to give me the line. So I finished 8th. Not a bad run overall, it was fun running door to door for that last spot toward the end of the race. Good, clean racing.
Saturday September 17th
Forth anual Twin 25's special. We won the first 2 (second 25) events of this special show. Took 4th last year, was hoping for another good run this year. But not running a full schedule could hurt us again as our setup was not dialed in.
Heat race, started 4th, only top 4 transfer to the twin 25's. This was a FAST heat again. I got pushed high going into 1 on the first lap and fell to 6th right away! Made it back to 5th, but we ran caution free and I could not get to 4th. Car was very loose off the corners. So I put 1 turn of bite in for the consi. Consi- Started outside front row. The pole sitter jumped in front on the start, I was OK with second since top 4 get in. On the first restart he fired early and had 3 car lengths on me at the cone. So on the next caution and insuing restart I tried to time it better...about 2 car lengths before the cone I fired! But he did not...he waited till he got right to the cone! I almost slammed into the back of him and instead, I shot to the outside to avoid the crash. They called me for jumping the restart since I did not stay in line and penalized me 2 positions! So, even though I finished 2nd on the track, I was scored 4th! Car was still too loose off, kept wanting to turn sideways on me. So, I put 1 turn in the front and 2 in the rear to really tighten it up.
Feature 1- started 20th out of 20 cars. Four car pile up on lap one, so now I am starting 17th (one of the cars in the crash continued.) I did get to 12th by about lap 15. Worked low on the 11th place car for 3 laps and it was working well, got along side him and he dove down to protect the bottom. This was the same car I had a great battle with at the end of the feature a couple weeks ago...another great race! I went to the high side and on the last lap managed to complete the pass for 11th. Handling was tricky! I had actually made the car a tick too tight now. But if I drove it REALLY hard into the corners, it was good and fast. Just had to drive it a little different.
Feature number 2- I finished 11th in feature one...they did a 12 car invert for the second 25...that put me outside the front row! After passing Rob on the last lap of the first 25, he now is starting on the pole of feature 2. But I was concerned about the car being too tight. It was border line too tight in the first 25. I put on BRAND NEW rears for the feature. They had 2 inches of stagger while the rears in feature 1 had 2.5 inches of stagger. So this would add more bite...but the track was drying a little, so I decided to leave it alone and run it. BADDDDD CALL!!! On the start I went into turn one and with all the bite and new rubber, it pushed like a truck all the way to the top! I was in 6th after 1 lap! It was ugly, and I mean UGLY! Had to be the most embarrassing race I have ever run. I fell all the way to 10th by the end of the race.
Not having raced much this year, we just missed the setup for that track condition and missed it BADLY! Well, we had fun and that is all that matters for now. The season is over and even running a limited schedule, it was a fun and successful season. Nothing really hurt on the car other then the RR quarter panel. So we will do some general maintenance on it this winter and have it ready to go again in 2006! See you then.