Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Highs and Lows


The pile O' parts... body
Radiator carnage
Almost all season
Is that supposed to look like that?

Well, what can I say... it was a very unusual day Saturday...

The Highs - We were FAST!  We didn't get a qualifying time due to one of the lows listed below and had to start at the back of the 18 car field in both 50 lap races, but it didn't matter... we really hit the set up at long last and LaCrash drove it like he stole it!

Race 1 - After spending several laps trying to get around a car that is normally very fast, but had a new driver in it, we finally got by and took off towards the front. By the end of the race, we had caught up to the battle being waged for positions 4-8 and ended up finishing 8th. Not too bad all things considered.

Race 2 - Yup, you guessed it, we started at the back again. The results were far different this time however, as by lap 20 we had climbed up to 6th and were looking for more. Unfortunately, we had a bad restart after a caution on lap 21 and slipped back to 8th. Scott settled in and we knew we would move back forward until lap 23... (continued below)

The Lows - Bad luck, bad parts...

Pre-race - Well, to say the day was a mechanical struggle would be playing it down a little. As soon as we unloaded from the trailer we started having clutch problems. the throwout bearing had come apart and as soon as Scott stepped on the clutch, it spewed fluid everywhere. To make a long story short, I had the tranny in and out of the car 3 times, trying different repairs to no avail. That's when JZ came over and told us, "just disconnect it and run without it!" Which we did and boy am I glad about it! We did miss our qualifying window though, which kind of stunk. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the good folks at Jerico for building one heck of a transmission. Gotta love those guys!

Race 2 continued - So on Lap 23, the 11 and 2 car had been beating and banging on each other for a couple of laps when finally the straw broke. From what I could tell, the 11 was trying to pass the 2 coming out of turn 4 and got way loose, sliding up into the 2 and sending him spinning towards the infield. This was a great opportunity to pickup a few spots and since the top side of the track was wide open, we gunned it out of 4 and went wide.

Have you ever seen Days of Thunder? Remember the scene where Cole goes high to avoid the wreck at Daytona and suddenly there is a car directly in front of him? Bingo... Just as Scott was passing the start/finish line at full throttle, the 11 decided to hit the 2 again (I'm not sure what the heck he was thinking at that point) and spun him back up the track, directly in front of us. There was nowhere for Scott to go but into the 2 car then into the wall... hard. The 11 continued for a while longer before wrecking himself out, but ourselves and the 2 car were done for the night, basically due to someone else's wreckless driving style.

As you can see by the pictures, not a pretty site. This is what happens when guys try to race beyond either their own capabilities or the capabilities of their equipment.... They not only wreck themselves, but wreck other cars that had nothing to do with it. One simple thing could have kept this from happening... Patience. Patience is something that some drivers are sorely lacking these days. They see guys like Kyle Busch on TV pushing and shoving their way to the front and figure that they should drive like that too. Wait 1 more lap to make the pass, put yourself in position to do it cleanly and we all finish the night with smiles on our faces and everyones car in one piece. 

Well I have news for you... Busch has dozens of cars and millions of dollars behind him to fix what he wrecks... perhaps you have the budget to go out and wreck your own car (actually, it wasn't even your own car... it was a rental deal... I'm sure the owner enjoyed seeing the mess you brought back to him on Sunday), but I don't have the budget to fix what you destroy on mine.

I digress... We have great friends and teammates that are already stepping up to the plate to help us get the Old Hot Rod cobbled back together... Hopefully the parts bill wont be too much, the frame damage minimal and the hours to fix it efficient.

Next race: Saturday, September 13th "Washington State Championship Night" on the big 5/8's oval with the ASA.NSRA Sprint cars...  

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