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!