Position - Number - Name
1 - 00 - Naima Lang
2 - 51 - John Zaretzke
3 - 34 - James Mugee - R
4 - 70 - Jeff Knight
5 - 11 - Mike Holden
6 - 06 - Steve Ptacek - R
7 - 99 - Scott LaCross - R
8 - 48 - Tom Hughs
9 - 16 - Daniel Moore - R
10 - 26 - Michael Prudnick
These are the season ending points standings for the Evergreen Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Stocks for 2008. 4 rookies in the top ten... not to shabby eh?
On the last day of the season, the track put us out behind the turn 2 wall to pit. I think it really was a great idea as everyone was laughing and joking, you know, enjoying ourselves. Something that is sometimes lacking when we pit on the 5/8ths during normal nights. We unloaded and all was well until we went to start the car for practice and *poof* starter went kaput. I wont bore you with details, but we never did get it fixed, so the push truck was our good and faithful friend the rest of the night... Thanks Cascade Push Truck association!!!
1st practice was ok, but changes were needed so we went to thrashing. Unfortunately for us, just as we got it all done and were ready to go out, they cut the session short, so we were unable to gauge the success or failure of said changes. We must have done good however, because we went out and qualified faster than we had ever done before. But the field was also pretty fast that night, so we started 15th on the field, not last, but not as far up as we had hoped to.
At the drop of the green we knew that we needed to move forward quickly in order to stay on the lead lap. This proved more difficult that one might imagine as there were a couple of cars that were holding ourselves and another car up. As the leaders closed in, we eventually made it around the cars that were... well lets just call them Choppers. But it was a case of too much, too little, too late as the leader got by a lap or so later.
And then, there was a yellow. Now, while we were not in line for it, I was lobbying for a "lucky dog" rule... Positioning ourselves to recieve it the next yellow, right? Well, it didnt fly, but we did end up the 1st car a lap down a few laps back under green. Now comes the frustrating part... we stayed with the leader for what seemed like 20 laps... then we were caught by the 2-4th place cars and of course did the right thing and let them by, but then we held that 5th place position on the track for the rest of the race. Nobody else on the lead lap had anything for us.
It seems like we have that track somewhat figured out, but we really need to put together a decent qualifying effort so that we can start mid pack or better instead of at the back. I know the car can do it, I know Scott can do it, I just have to be able to put both of those pieces together for 2 laps... I've got all winter to think about it now... and damnit, I WILL figure it out... I will get Crash a set up that will match up to his driving ability and get us those top 5 qualifying spots...
But I digress... we finished a dissapointing 11th, but at the same time, we were very happy with how we ran. For the majority of the race, we were a top 5 car, even if the lap counter didnt show it. We ran with the best Evergreen has to offer and we stayed with them. With all the money and talent those guys up front have, our little 2-4 person team, with a 14 year old chassis, 2 speed transmission, old school shocks and just enough money each week to buy tires, ran with the big boys on the big track. How cool is that?
Well, thats it for the 2008 season. In the coming days and weeks, I'll be posting a recap of the season overall, sending love and respect out to some special people who made this all happen and perhaps pick back up on our history of Team LaCross series. Also, I will provide updates on the off season progress, make sponsor announcements and generally keep you all aprised of the comings and goings at the shop. And Hey... if you want to get involved in a more hands on way with the race team, come on by! There will be plenty to do this winter to get ready for next year and what better way to get your feet wet and come on board for a run at the championship in 2009!