Wednesday, April 30, 2008

work work work...

We have been busy boys (and a girl) so far this week. Sunday, we unloaded, pressure washed and assessed the damage to the car as pictured in a previous post. Monday plans had been formulated, parts were assembled and we were off and running. The whole team (well, all 4 of us!) has been blasting away full tilt boogie for 2 nights and the car is shaping up. The picture above is of the repaired tail section, which required a new bumper and deck lid supports. It's also going to need some blue vinyl to patch up those spots where the paint chipped off and a couple of snowflakes, but I think it is now stronger than before.


Here we see the new door and fender getting fitted and prepped. We were extremely lucky to have both of these items in our loft of spare parts. They will be shipped off to paint tonight so hopefully tomorrow night we will have them back to install and start the oh so very fun process of laying that 55" long flame sticker over those compound curves. I think Scott is getting pretty good at it though, so it should turn out great! There are still a few little repairs that need to be made, plus the weekly nut & bolt list, set-up and all the other things that keep a Racecar going from week to week, but things are definately looking up as far as making this weekend's race.

As the Crew Chief, its my job to make sure that things get taken care of in all facets of the race team. Fortunately I have a great team of guys (and one hell of a gal) that make it all look easy, even when we all know it rarely is. It's amazing to see what happens when we all just pin our ears back, put on our hard hats and get to work. Sure, there are larger teams out here and definately teams with more assets to pull from, but I wouldn't trade what we have for any of it.

Special thanks go out to Jeff Knight (recognize that fender Cheif??), Coleman Motorsports (for the offers of parts and assistance, Frank, Lena and JZ you rock!) and Melinda Knight for thier help in getting us back out and on the track this week. And of course, Scott and Jeri from TnT Mechanical for being right there with us each night this week working hard and putting up with my smart alec comments about Jeri's fascination with turning off good TV to watch Dancing with the Stars while we work... (That show is so Rigged!!!)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Getting to Know your Team LaCross Sponsors - TnT Mechanical

TnT Mechanical LLC

TnT Mehcnaical LLC was founded when Heat Pumps Plus and AJ Services merged in 1997. With over 75 years of combined HVAC experience, Dale Fite, Scott Harrison and TJ Milton partnered up to create a force to be reckoned with in the HVAC industry. Then, in 2000, Scott's brother, Justin, joined the company and brought with him a new focus on heavy commericial and industrial work.

In 2002, Scott bought out the other shareholders and he and Justin proceeded to dominate the light retail, commercial and industrial markets.

In 2007, TnT Mechanical became a preferred gas furnace change out company and air conditioning retrofit contractor in the residential market place for two of the largest equipment manufacturers in the market. 

Today, TnT Mechanical perforns a large volume of commercial retail work and light industrial, along with being a top notch residential retofit contractor in gas furnaces, air conditioning and heat pumps. 

So if you need a quote on commercial work or are just thinking about not suffering through another hot summer without central air, give TnT Mechanical a call at (425) 486-4327 or email us at

Come visit us on the web at


Sunday, April 27, 2008

The agony of defeat...

It was bound to happen... I just wish it wasnt the 2nd time the car hit the track!

Now, you may be asking yourself, "Eddie, shouldn't that be attached to the car?" Well, yes, as a matter of fact it should be. However, it DID do a valiant job of staying with the car until the bitter end of this weekends race. In fact, I found it quite nice of the car to wave its door, side skirt and half a fender at the crowd as it came by the stands each lap. As you can see by the photos, we had a little issue..


In thier ultimate wisdom, the track went back to a double file restart rule this week. We were told that they had "supreme confidence" in the ability of the drivers to make it work and put on a good show. A good show... if by that they meant crashing half of the field off and taking almost 2 hours to run a 40 lap race, mission accomplished. I am pretty sure we ran more laps under yellow than green. You know the old saying, cautions breed cautions? Oh so very true!


We spent the better part of the day adjusting the car, tweaking this and that and were making good progress. By the time the heat races were over, we had discussed a few things with our chassis guru and bingo... the car and driver were getting pretty racy. We didn't qualify really well as a brake locked up going into turn 3, so we started mid pack for the main. By lap 30 or so, Scott was cruising along nicely, having become very adept at avoiding wrecks that were happening right in front of him. Then, it happened... A couple of cars got together in turn 3 and Scott got the car slowed down and just missed them, however, the car behind him did not and wham, the rear end damage you see above was inflicted. This pushed him up and over one of the wrecked cars that he had just avoided and you get what we see below.


Can you spot where the parts in the first picture of this post were??? Luckily, at this point most of the damage is cosmetic. We will perform a closer inspection of the car tomorrow when we put it up on the lift and take a peek. It looks like a long week at the old Team LaCross race shop. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by and say hi, bring coffee, donuts, red bull... we will need it! :-)

We were able to finish the race, door and fender flapping in the breeze and slapping against the roof. (Scott said he looked over after the accident thinking someone was right next to him and realized that 66 he was seeing was an upside down 99!) By staying out there, we were able to garner a 10th place finish, so on the positive side, we so far have been accomplishing our goal of finishing in the top ten at each race.

After the race, several of our fellow racers came by with offers of parts, assistance and condolences on the destruction of as one put it, "the prettiest car at the track". Just like the 6 Million Dollar Man, we have the technology and we will rebuild it... better, stronger and faster! 

Team LaCross lesiure activities...




One cannot possibly work on Race Cars all the time. I learned this lesson recently and have vowed not to let another summer slip away not doing the things that everyone else does this time of year. One of those things is going to a ball game, which Scott and I, along with his brother Matt ( did on Thursday night.

Matt gave us a call and had come up with some really killer seats to the rubber match of the M's/Orioles series at the Safe and boy, he wasnt kidding. We were right behind home plate 9 rows up. We could throw peanuts at the batters in the on deck circle!


It was brutally cold, which didnt stop me from enjoying a nice cold beer, but there was plenty of offense to cheer for. Unfortunately, the Hometown 9 ended up losing this one, but it was still a nice distraction from working on the car for a night!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bummer man...

Official Results for April 19th
Apr 18, 2008, 12:06
After lengthy discussions with NASCAR scoring officials and track officials, the following results have been issued from last week’s main events in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Speedway Chevrolet Super Stock Division and the Les Schwab Tires Bomber Division.  In regards to the Super Stock event, discussions were necessary due to an incorrect line-up at the time of the final green flag restart of the main event.  Drivers that desire clarification as to the reason for their respective finishing positions are welcome to contact Lex Johnson at the speedway office or via E-Mail at 

Saturday April 12th 2008 finishing order’s (official)

Evergreen Speedway – Fairgrounds Monroe


Speedway Chevrolet Super Stocks

1          00            Naima Lang    

2          51            John Zaretzke          

3          28            Chris Preston

4          06            Steve Ptacek 

5          36            Brian Cottrell

6          27            Jill Lang    

7          48            Tom Hughes

8          11            Mike Holden

9          92            Tommy Rasmussen      

10        99            Scott LaCross          

11        16            Dan Moore 

12        9            Kelly Mann  

13        38            Darren Hall     

14        12            Jeff Holden

15        70            Jeff Knight 

16        34            James Mugge 

17        2            John Barrow


This is what greeted me on Friday the 18th as I checked out the Evergreen speedway website ( After a week of what I'm sure were heated and tense discussions and negotiations, the results from the 1st night of racing were finally official and somehow, we ended up losing 3 positions. Now, I kind of anticipated there would be a shift, but man, it still sucks going from 7th to 10th because of scoring and timing errors.

Normally, as the crew chief and spotter, I would be pretty upset about this. But after deep contemplation and placing myself in a Zen like trance for approximately 72 seconds (thats a huge amount of time to have to myself lately!) I understood what happened, why it happened and am just hoping that things will find thier level concerning this later in the season.

On an exciting note, Scott informed me today that our monetary concerns for the season are over as our first winnings check arrived in the mail today. With the 65.00 we won for our 10th place finish (its more like 100.00 but there was a mystery deduction that I need to call on) I can now go ahead and buy that can of SprayAway glass cleaner and 12 pack of blue shop towels I always wanted. And who says that racing on the local level is not just fun, but very lucrative as well! We might have enough left over to get mocha's for the team on Saturday too!

Weather forecast for Saturday April 26th, Considerable cloudiness. Highs in the low 60s and lows in the upper 40s. Lets keep our fingers crossed for those clouds to stay away!  

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Week 2... Sometimes you win, Sometimes you lose, Sometimes it Snows???

Ah, the trials and tribulations of racing in the Northwest... This weekend it snowed, rained, hailed, snowed some more, rained some more... you get the picture. The photo above is of our intrepid pit bosses, Deanne and Amy, braving the weather to bring racing off on a wet Saturday night.

Well, as you can see, we didn't race Saturday. While we always want to hit the track, there is something so very right about sitting in my easy chair watching re-runs of Deadliest Catch instead of being ankle deep in mud, rain or snow at the track. Over the years of running our mini stock, we spent many nights huddled in the trailer and dreading the call to the scales before the main, knowing that it was going to be a dreary 30 laps. Fortunately, these days if it rains, we load up and go home, or like this week, never take the car off the jack stands at the shop! I hear it was a good show, but by seeing the pictures of the evenings events, all I saw were a lot of wrecked race cars. I guess that is the bad thing about having a "rain or shine" program with the rest of the divisions at the track.

The good thing about the rain is that this week at the race shop has been nice and light! We have been able to fix a couple of little things that we'd been putting off (painting shock mounts, applying more decals) and of course, not having to buy a set of tires this week, which as everyone knows, is always the biggest weekly cost of a race team.

Well, thats all for now. I have an update on last race's standings, but I'll save that for the next post.

See ya at the track!

Your faithful blogservant,



Week 1 update - Originally posted on the Spotter76 blog on 4-14-08

Well, the first race of the 08 season has come and gone and it certainly had it’s highs and lows. First off, the weather was absolutely fantastic. 70 degrees and sunny is always a welcome sight!


The #99 was a little late getting to the track so we missed the 1st practice, but got out there for the 2nd and she was just a little loose off. We figured it was due to the really old practice tires so we made no significant changes and slapped on a new set of Hoosiers for qualifying.


Now this is our Rookie campaign in a Late Model (although we of course have been crewing for Roger and Jeff with TVM for many years) so I turn around and the officials are putting Yellow Rookie Stripes on the car!!! My arguments that our 8 years and 3 championships in the Mini’s should negate our need to have stripes didn’t work out, so I guess they are on there for a few weeks…


Anyhow, Qualifying… Scott headed out for his laps on those aforementioned new Hoosiers, and the got loose coming out of 2 on both of his laps. While we didn’t set the world on fire, we weren’t the slowest car either. It didn’t matter in the end, because all rookies start at the back of the field regardless of time in. So, when the main started, we were sitting shotgun in the 18 car field.


I should have known it was going to be a strange night when there was an emergency meeting of all the Late model drivers called to discuss the double file restart that was dropped on all of us in the pit meeting, which they were successful in lobbying to change back to single file restarts, with lap down cars to the back under 10 to go. We went out for the new 10 lap heat race and immediately started moving forward, passing 4 or 5 cars and looking forward to a good showing when the car got loose into turn 1 and went around. Scott got it gathered up and continued on, but it relegated us to a last place finish. The only damage was a little torn fiberglass on the right front where someone turned down into him on the first lap.


There was plenty of time before the main, so we got out the wrenches, talked to Steve and Rog and tweaked a couple of things to tighten up the car. When we rolled out for the main, all seemed well. A couple of laps passed and we had moved forward a few positions when a car chopped down across our nose going into turn 1. Scott did a fine job saving it and we continued to move along until the 1st caution came out for a spun car. As the laps added up, the car kept getting better and I could see Scott’s confidence in the car rising as he began to drive it harder. Around lap 30 there was a major wreck involving our good friend Jeff and a couple of other cars. We were able to avoid the wreck and continue on, unfortunately Jeff didn’t fare as well and had to retire the car for the night with a broken radiator and oil cooler.


On the restart, the leader brought everyone down at a pace that would have made a snail start honking his horn. Everyone was stacked up on the backstretch and in line, waiting for him to jump on the gas, but apparently this was just not acceptable for a couple of guys who were involved in the wreck and put to the back. As the leader was heading into turn three, they both jumped the start and came barreling up the inside of the line of cars. By the time the green actually came out, they had passed a half dozen or so cars. This is when I, as the spotter, blew a gasket and began the next 30 minutes of official abuse (I am sorry about that Marv… but I had to complain to someone!) One of the offenders then broke and took several cars with him just after the start finish line. After a prolonged yellow (again) and several line up changes, they threw the green with cars all over the place. We lost several positions due to this, which of course added to my displeasure with the officials (again, sorry Marv!)


When the dust settled and the checkered flag flew, we ended up 7th, the highest finishing rookie, but depending on the outcome of several issues, that could change to 6th. The car came back in one piece, albeit needing a few rivets and while my anger over the events of the race has not diminished, I have calmed down and am working on being reasonable in my dealings with it. Hopefully, the track will do the right thing and send a message to a few drivers that while being aggressive and having the desire to win is a great thing, driving with one’s head up one’s ass is not. A very good car (Jeff’s) was damaged pretty badly due to impatience on another driver’s part and nobody likes to see that… We spend tens of thousands of dollars to go out and put on a show for the fans and it’s a shame that everyone can’t seem adhere to the mantra of getting by someone clean.


On a side note, there were some pretty good licks taken out there this weekend and all the drivers involved walked away with just bruises. Also, I was very happy to see that the Mini stocks had 20(!) cars out and there were a few that are still being prepped. Could the days of a B-main having to be run be too far off??? This is an exciting time for them coming from low car counts just a few years ago. Way to go guys!!!


Many thanks go out to TNT Mechanical, Visual Ventures, Fire Down Graphics, Speedway Autocraft and Papa Murphy’s Pizza for all their help this year. We couldn’t make it out without the help of these great people. Please make it a point to visit our sponsors and let them know when you purchase their services that you saw them on the 99 car! Roger Habich and Jamie Thomas... The Ace and the Wizzard... These guys are the absolute best and with them on our side, how can we not be successful? Also, please visit our friends and Spiritual leaders, Jeff and Melinda Knight @ and Jeff and Melinda are the Senior Pastors of the Rock Church in Monroe as well as Jeff being a good wheelman too! Why not stop by Sunday and check out the services at 9 and 11 am!


That’s all for week 1… I’ll try to post weekly on the progress of the team. When you have a chance, come on out to the speedway and help cheer us on! We also still have a few sponsorship opportunities available, so if you are, or know of someone that would like to gain a presence at the speedway, let me know! Sponsorship is a great way to get your company name in front of several thousand fans each week, not to mention Radio and print ads associated with the Race team.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Grettings and Welcome to the Blog of Team LaCross!

Hey there avid racing fan and cyberspace trooper!

My name is Eddie and I am the Crew Chief, Spotter, negotiator and imposing muscle for the #99 Team LaCross Late Model at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington. I'll be posting regular updates on our inagural season in the NASCAR Whelen All-American racing series Super Stock division. We may even get the driver to post occasionally if you all post lots of comments and goad him into it!

As this is the first post and the season has already started, we have some catching up to do. It's not like we just suddenly ended up here in this super swoopy Chevy Impala Stock car. Over the next few days, I will give you all the readers digest condensed version of where we started, how we got here and our goals going forward. I'll even include lots of groovy pictures for you just in case I get too wordy... (and all of you who know me well, know that is almost a 100% lock to happen!) I'll also be posting things like team bios, sponsor information, pizza topping preferences and insight into the inner workings of a race team on the local level.

So stay tuned folks, I'll try to keep you entertained! Thanks for checking us out and please come on out to the track and root us on!