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!