Friday, May 30, 2008

Check out that guy in the blue and white!


Congratulations to our Good buddy Jeff Knight on his STELLAR run last Saturday night at the ASA NW Tour race in Yakima, Wa. After 125 laps of action, Jeff ended up 3rd with his Evergreen legal Crate motor car against some pretty stiff competition toting around 600+ hp fire breathers. Finishing 2nd was James Mugge, also a fellow Evergreen driver with his crate motor as well, and the winner of course was the ever hard charging Pete Harding, who was going to celebrate his win the next day by using the Chainsaw he won as fast qualifier to cut up a downed tree in his backyard! Darin Stordahl, whom Yours Truly and Scott went over to give a hand to finished 4th, but ran 2nd most of the night and led the first 20 or so laps. Darin is looking like a VERY strong cantidate for this year's Rookie of the Year honors on the Tour and should finish well in the season long points battle too.


Next Race this weekend on the 3/8ths mile Oval... make an evening of it and come cheer on your favorite Late Model team as we continue to improve and work towards that podium! Racing starts at 7 sharp, qualifying at 5... Be there or be Octagonal!  

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Getting to know your Team LaCross Sponsors - Speedway Autocraft

Speedway Autocraft CARSTAR was founded in 2004 by Fred & Jayelene Hall.  Fred grew up in the industry and Jayelene has worked in the collision repair business for the last 12 years.   They joined the CARSTAR franchise earlier this year to continue to grow and develop their business.  Speedway Autocraft CARSTAR offers the following services:


  • Complete auto body and refinishing services
  • Custom painting & fabrication
  • Complete repaints
  • Insurance claims welcome – we work with all insurance companies!  
  • Wheel alignments  
  • Tire mounting & balancing
  • Pickup and delivery of vehicles for repair
  • Shuttle service in Monroe area


Our office hours are Monday – Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm – evening and weekend appointments available by request.  If you are in need of minor scratch and/or ding repair to major collision repair – come and see us for exceptional quality and service. 


Speedway Autocraft CARSTAR

14532 169th DR SE Suite 142

Monroe WA  98272

Phone: 360-805-3130

Fax: 360-805-3129



Monday, May 19, 2008

Hot times in the air and on the track!

What a weekend!

Saturday greeted us with Sunny skies and 90 degree weather, which anyone who lives in the Great Pacific Northwest knows, is a rarity in mid May. After a rousing set on Rock Band at the shop which included some Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica and Boston, we loaded up and headed to the track.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like the later back gate opening time is causing people to miss practices. That, combined with 2 different times listed on the Evergreen website makes it kind of difficult to know when to be there.  Eventually we made it in, but we missed our 1st practice session. Normally this would be of great concern to me and at the time it was, but when the 2nd rolled around we headed out and boy howdy if the car wasn’t pretty good! I got nothing but silence each time I asked about the car. Finally I asked how the water temp was and got an answer, which relieved me as I thought maybe the radios were not working.

When Scott finally came in, he was pretty happy with the car. We decided to make a small trailing arm adjustment, throw the sticker tires on and go qualify. We qualified at an 18.4, which put us 14th on the grid. Not our best effort of the season, but not the worst either.

Lesson learned: Scrub in the new tires… We would probably qualify a bit better if the new was rubbed off of them.

We lined up for the heat race and we were finally moving forward. Scott was throwing the car around like he felt confident with it and while we finished pretty much where we started, there was definite improvement!  I asked Scott if there was anything he wanted done to the car and his simple answer was “Great in, rotates well in the center, really loose off.” So after a conference with our chassis guru and all around expert Steve, it was decided a little tweak was all that was needed.

Note: It is always extremely gratifying to see your driver’s face light up when you make a minute change to the car and he states that he is “amazed” that we are to the point in our rookie campaign that those sorts of things are what’s called for. (I can’t give away all of our tuning secrets ya know!)

We lined up for the main and from the drop of the green I knew we were going to have a good night. Scott was hitting his marks and the car looked better than it has all year. He wasn’t just passing cars; he was passing them and driving away. The loose off condition pretty much went away and as the race wore on, you could tell he was making adjustments as the car started to change near the end, that he is finally able to trust the car and start pushing it to the edge.

We finished 9th after running as high as 8th. Our best finish of the season! While this may not be a high for some, the fact that we were running well and raced our way into that spot is a sign of progress, which is very important to our young Late Model program. I truly believe that if not for a couple of minor bobbles and the lack of a 4 speed transmission we could have run as high as 6th or 7th this night.  Running the 2 speed was fine at first, but I think now that we have the car and driver in sync with each other, we need to be able to get good starts and restarts and that just isn’t possible with our current tranny.

In the end, we all walked away from the night on a high… we know that we are close to that 1st top 5 finish. The team operated flawlessly, the driver finally had a car under him that gave him the chance to drive to his capabilities and the crew chief… well let’s just say he slept pretty well that night knowing that we are going into this off week with a good performance on and off the track to build on… I think the big Mo is finally swinging our way!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Getting to know your Team LaCross sponsors - Papa Murphy's Take 'N' Bake Pizza, Monroe



About Papa Murphy's
Papa Murphy's is the fifth-largest pizza chain in the country and the pioneer of the Take 'N' Bake pizza concept. Papa Murphy's operates over 1,000 locations in 30 states and Canada. The Vancouver, Wash.-based company offers custom-made pizzas featuring high-quality fresh toppings generously layered on pizza dough that is made fresh each morning in each store. Papa Murphy's pizzas are baked at home in customers' ovens for a piping hot, delicious meal whenever they want it. In addition to handmade pizzas, the company offers a growing menu of Take 'N' Bake items, including cheesy bread, lasagna, chocolate chip cookie dough and freshly-made salads. Papa Murphy's has been voted "Best Pizza Chain in America" for five consecutive years by consumers nationwide in the Restaurants and Institutions "Consumers' Choice in Chains" survey. For more information, visit


Visit the Monroe Papa Murhpy's Take 'N' Bake Pizza today and let them know you heard about them from Team LaCross! Try the Grilled Chicken and Bacon Stuffed Pizza (A Favorite of yours Truly), The Vegetarian (Team Manager Jeri's fave) or a tasty Calzone! Top it off with a Fresh salad and some cookie dough and you are all set. Dont forget to stop by and see us during the Autograph Session on race night for discount coupons too!

Papa Murphy's Take 'N' Bake Pizza

Monroe/SR 2 - In the Alberstons Shopping Complex
19995 State Route 2 - Monroe, WA 98272
(360) 805-9085

Friday, May 9, 2008

Thursday's Practice

The long and short of it is that we made quite a few changes to the car over the past week and were excited to get out there and see what we had. Then it started raining, which really deflated our spirits. But the rain stopped quickly and we were able to get out there and run some good hard laps... I'll let the excerpt below tell the tale...


[Ed] Well, how does it feel?

[Scott] It feels like a race car now!!

[Ed] Sweet!

[Scott] It's very predictable, not sketchy feeling at all anymore

[Jeri] Eddie, I am positive that is Alderwood Mall Security cross chattering on our radios

[Ed] We are 15 miles from the mall... thats pretty impressive range

[Scott] huh?

[Ed] never mind...

I think we finally have some of the buggaboos that have been fighting us all year figured out, so now its time to start fine tuning the car to Scott's driving style and the track's less than stellar grip characteristics...



Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Hey, Hey, I wanna be a rock star...

Rog on guitar, Jeff on Lead Vocals and Me doing my best Charlie Watts impression on a late night at the race shop before the season started... Look out world, here we come!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Big Thrash and no Fireworks

I thought it was about time I added to our new team blog.  Eddie has been doing such a great job of keeping everyone informed and entertained, thanks Ed.

So the dust has settled and the points added up.  Saturday wasn't a great night for Team LaCross when the checkered flag flew. 

We developed an overheating problem while stagging for the main.  The overflow started boiling over while waiting to line up for the main.  Our little crate motor is usually really well behaved and will idle for quite some time with no complaints.  I noticed the steam escaping from our super-trick, Habich Development overflow nozzle.  I looked down at the water temp gauge and it was a bit over 230 degrees.  That's hotter than we would like the engine to run at. 

We had never experienced cooling problems before.  I shut the car off and watched the water continue to pour out all over the windshield and fender.  Attempting to be optimistic about the situation I hoped that once we started turning laps that the airflow would cool the motor down and we'd be able to run the entire race. 

We were called out for driver introductions and pulled the cars onto the front stretch.  The flow of coolant didn't seem to be abating and I was starting to feel some anxiety.  We finally received the command to start our engines and get under way.  The water temp dropped a bit once moving and I tried to focus on the task at hand. 

We started in the fifth row behind the #51 of John Zaretske.  My plan was to follow John as long as possible and hope to pick up some positions as we were in the inside row.  The cars' set-up is still a bit frisky and I tried my best to stay up with the fast guys and not wreck anyone.  We ran a few laps and I looked down at the gauge again and it was close to 240 degrees.  At this point you have two options, one, forge on and hope for the best, or two, pull off and attempt to remedy the situation.  Since we're not running for a championship and a motor rebuild is not in our budget at this point I chose option 2 (against my racer instinct)  Pulling off the racetrack with the sounds of the pack turning green flag laps without you is a lot like getting picked last in kickball.

When I got to our pit stall, Harrison was waiting for me.  With the assistance of some friends from other teams, they pulled off the hood.  About the only repair possible with the limited time available is to try to add water to the cooling system.  Much easier said than done.  There's a reason that most radiator caps have a warning label about removing them while hot.  The cap itself is usually at least as hot as the water trying to escape and if you manage to get it off, there's a generous supply of said water to burn anyone in a 10 foot radius.  Just ask Scott or Trevor.  Both brave souls took one for the team and managed to get water in the car at the expense of personal injury.  Thanks guys, you're awsome.

I returned to the track and rejoined the race.  We were several laps down at this point.  Hoping to finish the race and gain a few positions I drove a bit less than full throttle and with the assistance of my spotter, that's Eddie, did our best to stay out of the way.  Unfortunately our little motor was not in a good mood and the temp started climbing again.  I pulled off knowing that to continue would be an expensive choice.  Our second exit from the track felt more like not getting picked for kickball at all.

The positives?  The car looks great!  No bodywork, paint or stickers this week.  A special thanks to the guys at Speedway Autocraft, especially Trevor who's efforts are really appreciated.  They painted our bodywork on short notice and Trevor layed some awsome color for us and he's only sixteen, wow!  The team really did a great job putting in the extra hours to get everything fixed for Saturday.  Thanks a ton Ed, H and Jeri.  You guys make this all possible.

This week we'll focus on making the car handle better, finding our cooling problem, installing new brakes (thanks Jeff!) and appologizing to everyone I yelled at this week.  I personally want to say a big "Thanks" to everyone that supports and encourages our race team.  It really makes it all worth the effort.

We'll keep you posted on our progress.

See you at the track!

-the driver


Friday, May 2, 2008

Good news!

Well, its almost 2:30 am on Saturday...

The car is.... DONE! All the kings horses and all the kings men were able to put the car back together again. Aside from the butt having to get some vinyl patches instead of paint, it looks as good as it ever did!

I'm tired and going to bed, but I figured I'd let you all know that we will be there and ready to race tomorrow.


Blogmeister EdC