Monday, April 27, 2009
Ever notice how somewhat homely your race car looks without it's stickers? This weekend, we pulled all the vinyl off of the Hot Rod... If we sell it, that saves the new owner a step, if we go ahead and put it back together, well, we need to paint it anyways! It's also always fun to peel them off and see the pristine paint under them, surrounded by large areas of faded red and blue... but hey, dont look at those rivits holding the cracked fenders together! Nothing to see here!!! :-)
As we look towards trying to get out there this season, visions of Transmissions, Brakes, Shock packages, etc. dance through my mind and sniff around my wallet looking through the dust bunnies for something green and large in denomination to eat. As I was peeling stickers, the thought occurred to me... what are we going to do for a paint scheme? Last year was actually pretty easy as we designed our paint scheme to highlight our primary sponsor with the flames for heating and the snowflakes for air conditioning. But what about when you dont have a large sponsor?
The simple answer would be to go monotone... dare I say understated, but that really isn't our style. Flat black, ala' Daytona test dates would be cool, but someone is already doing that. Perhaps something retro, commemorating our past with a paint scheme from one of our championship Mini stock cars... Even without a sponsor, part of creating a fan base is having a car that appeals to the eye. Something that people see and can instantly recognize. Let's be honest, ask a casual fan who Kyle Busch is and they might look at you confused, but if you tel them that he drives the M&M's car, most all would immediately know who you are talking about and some would admit to being a fan of his just because of the car he drives.
What do you think? At this point, I am completely open to suggestions. If you are artistic or just have an eye for color, drop us a message and give us a few ideas. Who knows... you might see your name right here on the Blog someday being given credit for helping us design the next Team LaCross paint scheme...
Dont forget, We are racing the #99 Harriss Racing Mini Stock for the last time this weekend out at Evergreen Speedway. I'ts Cinco De Mayo night and I'm sure the beer garden will be buzzing with activity. We have been brainstorming a lot and may have come up with a few little tweaks to get the HarrissTeam/Flowmaster Gutters/Susan G. Komen race for the cure/All City Haul -N-/Speedway Autocraft Honda Prelude into Winners Circle!
Grandstands open at 5:00 Racing starts at 7:00... Bring the whole family! Visit www.evergreenspeedway.com for ticket info...
See you at the races...
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Well, another week has come and gone at the racing stables of Team LaCross and here is the latest news:
Mikey has been exploring purchasing a new race car since before the season began and after makign offers on 3 other pretty damn good cars, I think he ended up with a hell of a nice hot rod as he finalized the purchase of a new race car this week. The #10 Scirocco of former champion Steve Green and master Motor builder Jamie Thomas is currently awaiting a graphics re-design and will be at the track for the next race on May 2nd. This is in addition to a fine 3rd place finish in the Main for Mikey in his trusty Corrado. Next race, he will put his driving skills to the test and be starting from the back... but in what car??? Hmmmmmm.... Goooooooooooo Mikey!!!!
Can I just say "Whoa Nelly!" about our racing day? Being the Anal guys we are, 19.4's were not good enough for us week one... so we put a completely new set-up in the Honda. Much more of a Late Model style package, we were determined to go out and shave a couple of tenths off of the previous week's best time and spent quite a bit of time experimenting with sway bars while the car was sitting on the scales. We went out for 1st practice and it was noted that the car felt rather bouncy again and would require a bit of tuning to dial that out. Then... It happened... As Scott and Steve were side by side going through turn two after a practice restart, Scott clipped the uke tire with the left front wheel, breaking the tie rod and axle... when the car came down, it immediately shot to the right and hit Steve's car, sending him off the track and into the outside wall. Both guys hopped out of their cars and were ok, frazzled a little but still in good spirits.
As Steve's spotter Eric and I stood there staring at the cars on the track and shaking our heads, we could do nothing but laugh at the situation. The Flagman came walking up to us and I figured we were going to get read the riot act, but he just shook his head and said that he KNEW that it was an accident and that no intent was there because they are good friends and would never wreck each other intentionally. Steve drove back to the pits and Scott came back on the wrecker... both cars needed a fair amount of work, so we went at it on both.
While Scott and Mindy ran up to the Harriss homestead to grab parts for the Honda, I got it all apart, fixed the minor body damage and hoovered around Steve's pits offering help if they needed it. In the end, Steve was able to get his car fixed for Qualifying and we missed it by about 10 minutes... fortunately, we did get the car put back together in plenty of time to get a couple of safety laps in before the heat races.
Heat Races: Did I mention that we turned the fastest recorded lap of the year in the Mini-stocks Saturday? 19.240... nowhere near the track record, but still not too shabby. We finished an unspectacular 4th in the heat race as Scott drove predictably cautious for the first few laps after all the parts swapping done a couple of minutes earlier. But then that 19.240 appeared shortly after a 19.3something. Funny thing is that the car was not handling very well and it still was pretty fast...
Main: Started in the back due to missing qualifying. Went green to checkered once again and we finished 6th. The car was still not handling very well and we think we have figured out the problem, so we are going to address it and possibly a couple other items and see what happens. Whoever drives the car next, we want it to have that bounce eliminated so they can drive it even faster than we have. We feel that we are just scratching the surface of the potential of Tonya and hope she continues to show well even after our time in her is done.
I'd like to point out that the show was great in the Mini's again this week, with Steve Green and Kris Harriss putting on the races of the night in both the heat race and the main... last lap passes and nose to tail/door handle to door handle racing between these two absolutely stole the show. Great racing from a couple of great competitors!
The big news of the week is
There is a light down at the far end of the Late Model Tunnel. We are going to start turning our attention back towards our Late Model program. We have been setting aside a little here and a little there and with a little gentle prodding from our fellow competitors in the class, the juices are flowing again to get to work. As work progresses and news develops, you will see it here first!
Next scheduled Team LaCross race date: Saturday, May 2nd, "Cinco de Mayo" Night at Evergreen (although shouldn't it be "Dos de Mayo"?) featuring the Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, Super and Stinger Figure 8's and the new Renegade 8's.
Also, please don't forget to head out to the track this Saturday night for the Super Late Models, Super and Stinger figure 8's, Hornets and Youth Hornets as well as Friday night for the WWRA racing schedule and Sunday for Drifting!
See you at the track!
Friday, April 17, 2009
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On another note, we are still looking for Marketing partners to work with for the 2009 season. If this sounds like your cup of tea, please send us a message... we would love to talk to you!
Monday, April 13, 2009
2009 - I think that we will call this one, "Moving forward by going back"
As you might have figured out, The 2009 Super Late Model season has started and we here at Team LaCross have a race car, but its up on jack stands in the shop. With the economy the way it is, sponsorship opportunities did not fall into place as we had hoped and we will not be able to compete for the season points championship in the premier division at Evergreen Speedway this year. While we are disappointed about this, we had to make the decision about what was best for the team's long term goals and scale back our plans for the year. There is a possibility that we will make at least a couple of the 5/8s races if things go right though, so all is not lost!
However, it is often said that from the ashes of disappointment, new opportunities arise and that opportunity has come from an old and dear friend... The MiniStock division!
This is the #2 VW Corrado of Mr. Mike Fritz. Some of you may remember this car campaigning last year with the Nintendo Wii and Super Mario Kart colors. For about a month now, we have been working with Mike on set-up and improvements to the car and Saturday night all the hard work paid off with a great 4th place finish in the A-main for him. He even led his first laps ever.. how cool is that?!?!?! Congrats to the entire Fritz racing team of Mike, Enoc and their new Tire specialist, Fatima. You are all great people... We have enjoyed helping you alot and look forward to seeing you have even more success as the season moves along.
In a last minute deal, Wednesday night we hustled up to Kris and Mindy Harriss' place and picked up "Tonya" the 1989 Honda Prelude campaigned the past few years by Mindy. This extraordinary opportunity was presented to us over hands of No-Limit Holdem Poker at Nat and Amy Barber's place a week ago and we of course were happy to run the car. Over the next couple of days, we added a little lead, changed the numbers and did a little maintenance to it and went on out to the track Saturday hoping for dry skies.
We missed the first practice session while I stood in line to check in tires, which was a little worrisome, since Scott had yet to drive the car at all. But we went out and turned some pretty decent lap times in the 2nd session and LaCrash reported back that he really was digging the long wheelbase and predictability of the car. We made a few minor adjustments after a less than stellar qualifying effort and then went out and WON our heat race. I gotta tell ya, it felt like we never left the class at that moment. :-)
Race time came and we started inside row 4 and when the green flag dropped, the car starting in front of us completely "put out the anchor" so to speak, resulting in us getting stuck behind him as the field went by on the outside. When we finally got a spot to go around, the field had checked out and we were playing catch up. Normally, there is at least one yellow, but this week we went green to checkers, so LaCrash had his work cut out for him. We picked our way back through the pack until we got up to the 4th thru 8th place cars, where there were some very hot battles going on. LaCrash looked high, looked low, looked in the middle but everywhere he went, there was a car. Not wanting to wreck Mindy's car, he kept applying pressure, but with Kris hugging the low line and Kim on the outside of him, an aggressive pass just wasn't in the works... we really didn't want to end up getting tangled up with the man who was so generous in letting us drive one of his cars after all!
In the end, I think we finished 7th with a car that I fully believe we could have finished top 3 with. This week, we are going to spend a little time setting it up "Team LaCross" style, which as I am hearing is "kind of anal" :-). We really would like to go out there and compete for the win this weekend and send Tonya home with a victory. We cannot express enough our gratitude and delight with Kris and Mindy Harriss for letting us drive their car. Thank you, Thank you and Thank you again... you guys Rock!!!
By the way, This car is also for Sale! If you were ever considering getting into racing, the MiniStocks are a GREAT starting point for your career. And let me tell ya, this is a pretty nice little Hot Rod! Asking price is $3,500.00 complete minus seat and I think its worth every penny and more! For more info, just drop us a line and we will put you in touch with Kris and Mindy!
So, here is the deal... right now we are set up to drive Mindy's car again this weekend. There are also a few other things in the works that may allow us to drive a few other MiniStocks this season on select nights. As those deals get hammered out, I will post our race dates here. We really do hope to see you all out at the races, cheering as loud as always because we appreciate each and every one of you coming out and spending your hard earned money to help support not only us, but Racing in the Northwest as a whole.
Next Race is this Saturday, 4-18 on the 3/8s track, with the Super Late Models (Come cheer on our friends Jeff Knight #70 and Natalie "Speed" Sather #94), Street Stocks, MiniStocks, Hornets and the NW Legends Tour, who are making their 1st stop this season at Evergreen.
See you at the track!