1998... The birth of Team LaCross
The year that we Purchased the 1996 championship car from Steve Green. In 1997, LaCrash and Harrision purchased an old Rabbit mini stock and split time in it, learning the game. H driving conservatively and LaCrash earning his nickname by providing us with ample opportunities to hone our body work skills. We also learned a lesson that was expensive to be sure... Always tighten the carb stud nut! That first year we kind of waded through, finishing 19th in the points but laying the ground work for what was to come.
Come the start of the 1998 season, we came out for the first practice, car painted up all pretty, ready to set the world on fire and ::smack::: right into the turn 4 wall. I still have the chunk of bondo that was filling up the old gas filler door hanging in our race shop to this day as a little reminder of how it all came to be.
We took the car home, fixed it up and hit the track running. Back then, the Team consisted of Scott, Peter, Doug, Bob and Myself. We were all pretty new to this racing thing and very green when it came to the comittment it took to prepare a car. Friday nights at the Paragon often resulted in Saturdays spent popping tylenol instead of doing the things necessary to win races. Through it all, we kept at it and by the end of the season, we had improved to a finishing position of 8th in final standings. Not too bad for a bunch of guys who started the season not knowing what tire pressures, cross weights and ride height could really mean to the performance of a race car!
By now, we now were understanding what it takes to compete, although we were still young guys out having a good time. The team pretty much had a regular routine of Friday nights having a few Pops, Saturday at the track and Sunday recharging. Everyone was looking forward to 1999 and a run at the championship. This all came to a crashing halt after 2 words entered our vocabulary that were to shape the way we do things to this very day... which will be a part of our next post... but I'll give you a hint to what those words are...