Friday, September 25, 2009

And thats a wrap...

Well, thats all she wrote, the 2009 race season is in the books. Here is how the last race went down. 

Race 15 - Damn Rain!

It was a decent start to the day, with overcast skies and the weatherman calling for clearing in the afternoon... Yeah Right... just as the late models were finishing thier 1st practice, the skies unleashed... for the next, oh... well, day? We scrapped first practice but decided that we needed to at least knock a little bit of the new off our tire, so went out for practice 2 and got a whole 120 degrees of heat into it... woowee, somebody grab me the sunscreen!

Our mission for the night was simple, win. As I stated in an earlier post, we needed to win the heat race and the main to have any chance of winning the championship. The rain was the wild card that had us worried the most. When the heat races came along, I was intently watching Heat #1, where Kris was racing and he finished 3rd. I relayed this info to Scott and he went out and finished 1st in the 2nd heat, a 2 point gain, knocking the gap down to 17 points.

There were 13 total cars that showed up, which was great for us, as we needed car count if we were to stand a chance. Unfortunately, when the main came along, 3 cars had chosen to sit it out (2 RWD cars and 1 with severe fogging issues on his windscreen). This ate up some of the cushion we were hoping for as this meant that with 10 cars starting, Kris would only have to finish in front of 2 cars to lock up the big trophy, no matter what we did.

When the main started, we were clearly the car to beat. Scott made his way quickly to 2nd then into 1st when the 1st caution came out for a car that had stalled on the front stretch. On the restart, Scott chose the outside and the 2nd place car was able to get a good start and lead for a few more laps while Scott just sat behind him, knowing that we could make the pass whenever he wanted, but smart enough to know that he would only make the move when the right opportunity presented itself. Shortly after we took the lead again, another yellow flew for a car spun in turn 4.

This brought about the most bizzare series of starts I've seen in a while. On the 1st restart, Scott got a great jump and the outside car pretty much stepped on his (well you know) and we were gone... until they waved it off and shook the black flag at us. 2nd restart, I advised Scott to bring them down slow and to not even breathe on the throttle until the "official" start line in turn 4, which he did and the outside car was once agian caught sleeping, but this time, he decided the best thing to do was turn into us and try to bring out the caution again. This caused damn near a 5 car pileup as he nearly took himself out and we skittered out to the lead again, alas to have it waved off.. again. By now I was pretty hot under the collar and looking for any official to vent on. Restart #3, they finally felt that it was a good start, but same result as before, by turn 1 we were clear of 2nd place by 3 car lengths.

Meanwhile, Kris was hanging out near the middle of the pack, taking his time and making sure that he was no lower than 8th place on the track. He later told me that with about 20 to go, he was able to see that only 8 cars were running and that was when he knew it was locked up and he could drive a little more aggressively. After 50 laps, we ended up winning by almost 5 seconds and Kris finished 3rd, resulting in a 13 point final difference and winning his 1st championship!

So there it is... Our miracle season has ended and it is time for reflection on what took place, what could have been and what was. In the next week, I'll be posting about our sponsors, car owner and team, so I'll save those thank you's for that post.

The Final Season points standings (top 12) for the 2009 Evergreen Speedway Foster Press Mini Stocks.


1 - Kris Harriss          789

2 - Scott LaCross      776  -13

3 tie - John Roberts        731  -58 (John "Fozzie" Roberts places 3rd via 1st Tie breaker, 2 wins to 1 for Mikey) 

4 tie - Mike Fritz            731  -58

5 - Nat Barber           613  -176

6 - Travis Woodward  588  -201

7 - Kenny Schukar    383  -406

8 - Kim Lang             342  -447

9 - Andrew Schukar   315  -474

10 - John Schukar       298  -491

11 - Bob Emery          289  -500

12 - Jeff Miller             235  -554

Congratulations to Kris Harriss for his 1st championship! You deserved it my friend!!!

This is the point where I would normaly say, "see you at the races!" but the season is over. But don't fret... Stay tuned right here to keep up with the goings on over the winter as we plan for next season and a hopeful triumphant return to the Super Late Models!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Team LaCross in the news!

Posted at 12:01 am by Scott Whitmore

The youngster or the champ?

One title will be decided on the track on Saturday, Evergreen Speedway's Mini-Stock division championship.

Entering the season championship race, former rookie of the year Kris Harriss holds a 19-point lead over three-time champion Scott LaCross. No. 3 Jon Roberts is mathematically alive at 47 points back, but would need both of the drivers in front of him to have catastrophic nights to lift the division trophy.

Although LaCross has three feature wins this season to Harriss' one, both have risen to the top of the standings by consistently finishing near the front of the field each week.

Regardless of which driver prevails on Saturday, one person who should be able to celebrate is Mindy Harriss, the wife of Kris Harriss and the owner of the car driven by LaCross.


Visit Scott Whitmore's blog at


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Update, races 13 & 14

Yea, I know, I've been slacking... but lots has happened since we last talked, so let me bring you up to date... no, that might take too long, let me sum up!

Week 13 - 1st weekend of the Fair. We figured out a little something tonight that we feel was a major contributor to our poor performance in week 12. A minor thing that we had assumed was insignificant was in fact, HUGELY significant. I'd love to tell you what it was, but we still have a race to go and a championship to chase, so that will have to be my secret until the season is over. We went out and finished 2nd in our heat race, behind Kris, who now had what seemed like an insurmountable lead, but in the main, Scott once again showed why he is one of the best by going out and winning the race by an easy margin of just a shade under 4 tenths of a second. It was a good race and we felt great, coming back from such a poor showing the week before to grab the win. Unfortunately for our championship aspirations, Kris finished 2nd, so we only were able to muster a 1 point gain for the night.

Week 14 - week 2 of the Fair, 2nd rain race of the season. Eyup, thats right. It was nice all day long and we once again finished 2nd in our heat race and Kris finished 1st in his. We made a pretty significant call in regards to our mystery change from the week before by going even further with it for the main. Then, the rains came. Not a deluge, but enough to make the track nice and slick, LaCrash jumped out to an early, large lead, driving it in slow and easy on the bottom while most others were fighting to keep control. Most others, except for Fozzy, who was going like a wild man on the high side in his RWD RX-7. As I counted the laps off, I let Scott know that Fozzy was coming fast and rim riding the track, but our car just would not handle up there and eventually, Fozzy caught and passed us for the lead. With 5 to go, Scott began reeling Fozzy back in and a couple of times it looked like he might get the lead back, but Foz held tough and the track was still just wet enough to not allow a good run on the bottom, so we ended up 2nd with Kris in 3rd. To be honest, we were pretty happy to be putting a straight racecar back in the trailer and 2nd was a good finish!

Here are the championship standings going into the final week of the season, this Saturday.

Kris Harriss -                737

Scott LaCross -            718

John "Fozzy" Roberts - 690 

Michael Fritz -              681

Nat Barber -                 613

Travis Woodward -        548

Kenny Shuckar -          383

Andrew Shuckar -        315

Kim Lang -                  308

John Shuckar -            243

Bob Emery -               239

Jeff Miller -                  235


Well, this is it. Race 15 is upon us and another season is just about in the books. We are 19 points back. Mathematically still in it. We are going to show up and we are going to do what we need to do, which is win our heat race and the main. The rest is up to fate... come out this weekend and show your support. You arent going to want to be the only person who wasnt there the night that we came back from a double digit deficit to put an exclaimation point on a suprise Mini Stock season! But even if that doesnt happen, you'll want to be there help us celebrate the first of what we here at Team LaCross feel will be many championships for our car owner, Kris Harriss. It's going to be a hell of a fun night Saturday, no matter how it turns out. Come on down after the races, we will be pitted near the entrance of turn 3 on the 5/8's track!


See you at the races!!