This is the slogan of Snickers... it also explains this weekend for us...
As you know, the car got wrecked pretty good two weeks ago. Scott and I spent many late hours working to get the hot rod put back together. In fact, we were still finishing things up Saturday morning right up until we loaded the car into the trailer.
During practice, the car was Ok, but certainly not what we considered "fast." Adjustments were made, pizza was eaten and many cigarettes were smoked trying to figure out what to do. Finally, we came to a decision and went with the "Go big or go home" theory. Lap 1 of Qualifying Scott almost put it in the wall due to this, but the second lap he knew what the car was going to do and bettered our best Q lap of the year on the 5/8's by 6/10ths of a second.
We were pretty happy until the 00 went out and ran a lap that left all of our jaws hanging. Man, Naima and his crew sure do have the big track figured out... I should go get one of those spy cameras and get some speed secrets from them!
We ended up starting 15th out of 18 cars. Not horrible considering that we started the previous big track races last. The car was allright, but we got lapped around lap 30 or so, which isnt too odd considering that the entire field was lapped on the last race we had on this track. Around lap 65, there was a wreck and caution which bunched the field back up. A few laps after the restart, we started moving forward... quickly. Scott simply said that it felt like he was driving a different car after that caution. He was putting it wherever he felt like it, passing with relative ease and driving away, catching the next car in line and making another pass.
The car was still tight in, loose off, but it sure didnt look it as Scott battled for positions, moving forward most of the time! The track cut the race short by 10 laps, which we didnt like as we felt we could have moved up another position in those laps. In the end, we finished 7th, 1 lap down. 5 cars finished on the lead lap and we were on the back bumper of the 6th place car at the checkered flag.
I got back down the the pits and it was a very happy place. We really felt that had we been able to stay on the lead lap early, we could have been right there battling for the top 5. It really made all that work we put in worth it to perform as well as we did. Another thing we were happy about is that every change we made to the car, we made ourselves, without asking for help from anyone. This is a big step for our young Late Model team. We know that we have a long ways to go as far as knowledge, but it sure felt good to make decisions about the car and have them actually work!
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Fred Hall at Speedway Performance for his help over the break in straightening out the frame, Kelly and Karen Mann for helping us out with a lightly used spindle and Rob Touchette for the offer of any parts we might have needed. You all are the best!
Also, we want to give a shout out to Chris Preston #28. Scott and Chris battled away for what seemed like half the race, trading spots and racing hard, never once so much as trading a gram of paint. As tough as it is to be the spotter and never really getting to watch the races, I really enjoyed the show that Chris and Scott put on. Thanks for the great race Chris!
Well, this is it... the last race of the season is this Saturday. The Northwest Big Track championship night with ourselves and the ASA NW Tour on the 5/8's mile oval. Come on out and catch some great racing action as there will certainly be some fireworks as the track championship is coming right down the wire with the 00 of Naima Lang holding a slim 6 point lead over current Champ John Zaretzke in the 51 car.
Also, Team LaCross would like to say congratulations to the 00 Lang Autosports team for winning the NASCAR Washington State Championship last weekend. Way to go guys... you worked hard all year and it paid off big time!