Did I mention it was Hot Saturday???
Holy smokes, the Mercury must have been tipping 90 degrees on the asphalt as we ventured out on the the 5/8 oval for the first time this year. We arrived at the track about 12:15 anticipating a log jam getting in and finding a pit stall and boy were we glad we did! Picking a spot at the entrance to pit road made me appreciate the short walk I normally have to the stands to spot. Once we got in and set up the pits, out went the trailer and truck and then began the sitting around in the sun until 1st practice at 3:15. Scott wheeled the car out to scuff in the race tires for a few laps and then we went out on the practice set for the rest of the session, which was a good thing, because the left rear race tire had a hole in it! I am certainly glad we found that before the race...
We missed the 2nd session dealing with the tire issue and the fact that our practice set had so many laps on them that they weren't really helping us learn much. We didn't qualify very well and had to start at the rear of the main, but in retrospect, maybe that wasn't such a bad thing! The temp had cooled to a balmy 85 or so by race time and by then we were all anxious to get out there and get laps in under race conditions. I mean, you can practice for hundreds of laps, but until you actually get out there and start rubbing doors, it's hard to know just how much you need to push the car.
On lap 2, one of the cars lost a tire and slammed into the turn 4 wall, bringing out a red to fix it. The wall made it... unfortunately the car didn't and they had to put it on the rollback to get it back to the pits. When we got back under green, we were able to hold our own, passing a car or two, but something just wasn't right and Scott was having a difficult time getting back to the throttle without the car wanting to slip out from under him. This lead to us going a lap down around lap 36, but we weren't the only ones... the lead pack of 4 cars were on absolute fire and it was amazing to see how well they were running.
About lap 52, 3 cars got together on the front stretch, bringing out another long caution. By now, Scott had settled into a groove and was driving the car as fast as it would go and stay out of the wall. As the laps wound down, we discovered a little something that should make us much faster and more competitive the next time around. I'd tell you what it was, but I'd have to silence you after!
In the end, we started 17th and finished 12th. Not our best finish of the year, but for his first start on the big track, not too bad either. The car is straight and nothing mechanical broke, so it should be a somewhat light week at the race shop. Scott is already looking forward to getting back out there on the 26th as well as our next race on the 3/8, which is on the 12th.
Later this week, I will unlock the mystery of FB... I know you are all waiting with baited breath!