Thursday, October 6, 2011

Season by the numbers

One heck of a season... 

As we pause to reflect on the 2011 season, I thought I'd give you a quick look at the numbers that made it up...

1,205 - Point total for the season

289 - Point spread between ourselves and the 2nd place car.

99 - Oh come on, you know this one :-)

80.333 - Our points average per race

18.723 - Our Outlaw Compact Track record (3/8s track)

18.6225 - Our fastest qualifying lap this year (Dale Creager set track record on the same lap at 18.6221)

15 - The number of races this season and our worst finish of the season.

14 - The number of podium finishes we had this season.

13 - Number of weeks spent in the #1 points position

8 - Second place finishes

4 - Wins this season and number of Championships we now have.

2 - Third place finishes

1 - Our final position in the Championship point standings

One Hell of a Career... and Still mountains to climb!
More reflections to come, including a season wrap up, kudos and a little peek into what the future holds for Team LaCross!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Making History

The Team, Lovely Ladies and Superfans...

Championship night...I'd like to tell you that it was an easy day at the racetrack, everything was perfect and we lounged around, having already sewn up the 2011 title the week before, but we all know about the best laid plans....

We arrived at the track fashionably late and missed first practice, but it was all for a good cause... Cause we had to set up the shop for the after party!

Right from the start, we were battling a number of things. The car wasn't particularly fast, the track was very dirty and we only had one practice session to work with. Not knowing exactly how much was car and how much was track, we made a few adjustments based on hunches and went out to qualify.

Qualifying saw us pick up about 2-3 tenths of a second over our practice times, but we were still looking for some speed. We qualified 5th fast, about 2 tenths off the pole sitters time. Scott brought the car back in and we threw a few more adjustments at the car, wiped it down and headed out for the autograph session.

We were in the fast heat race as usual and knew the competition was going to be stiff. Starting inside of the 2nd row, Scott was able to make a move going into turn one, pull away to a lead by the entrance of turn three and never looked back as he easily won the race by 5 car lengths. However, even though the hot rod was good, it wasn't great, so back to the drawing board we went. Another few adjustments later, we were ready to relax for a few and watch our very good friend and Pastor, Jeff Knight race his late model to victory in their 100 lap main event as well as fellow mini stock racer Molly Helmuth compete in her very first late model race.

The Main rolled around and from the drop of the green, Scott said he knew we were going to be tough to beat. He quickly made his way to the front and settled in around 4th place, taking his time and choosing spots to pass where he knew there would be no danger of cars coming together. When he eased into 2nd, he began  a several lap battle with the leader Andrew Schukar in the 07 car. They sliced and diced with Andrew holding the low groove and Scott running the high side. As they got to lapped traffic, one of the lapped cars decided he wanted to interject himself into the outcome of the race and ran Scott up the track in turn three. Scott got on the binders and pulled an over under move, slipping around the lapper. The next lap, the caution came out and the lapper, now behind Scott, decided it would be a good time to ram into us from behind, which he did.

Scott was then hit by the lapper again as he was slowing for the broken car that had brought out the caution. The lapper proceeded to hit him hard enough to destroy the front of his car and tweak our bumper pretty good, but that wasn't the end, as the lapper then demonstrated how to do a PIT maneuver by driving directly into Scott's left rear quarter panel, damaging it pretty good and spinning us out in the process. However, it was superficial body damage and did nothing to the performance of the car. The lapper was black flagged and parked for the night and we went back to green flag racing. On the restart, Scott was able to take advantage of a tiny slip by Andrew and took the lead, which he stretched out quickly to about 5-6 car lengths... A lead which we held as we took the checkered flag for the 4th and final time this season. 2nd place went to Bobby DeYoung and 3rd to "Triple Duty" Molly Helmuth who had a heck of a run coming from the back several times to grab the last podium spot.

At the end of the night, we made history... By winning our 4th championship, we now stand alone as the all time championship leader in the 26 year history of the class and are tied for the most titles in any 4 cylinder division in the 50+ year history of the track.

Will we be racing for 5? Well you are just gonna have to stick around to find out! :-) The blog is going to be a busy place in the next week or so, so please be sure to check back often. We are headed off to Yakima this weekend to help out with Jeff Knight at the Fall Classic so hopefully we will see some of you there!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Please enjoy a few photos from Saturday night's Season ending victory. Full race update will be posted later today and season updates are coming up over the next week or so.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hot day at the track

Hot temps greeted us as we arrived at the track on Saturday for our 14th and 2nd to last race of the season. We had some cooling issues last race and were eager to check out the fixes we had made along with making sure all the other damage repairs were set and ready.

Bill was a little thirsty, we we got him a large water...
Practice: The car was good, not great though. The track was hot and slick, so times were a bit lower than what we had been running previously. The water temperature was staying within the normal operating limits that we like to see, so we made a few minor adjustments to the set up and got some nice relaxation time in the sun before qualifying.

Our driver, chillin out
Qualifying: We were in the 2nd group and set the pole speed for about 5 minutes. Scott let us know that the car was still a little off as he came in from his run. We confirmed this when we checked the numbers and saw that 3 other cars ran faster, setting us in 4th qualifying spot. Several more adjustments were made in anticipation of the upcoming heat race.

Holding up the wall and calling out lap times 
Heat Race: We as usual were in the top qualifiers heat race, starting on the inside of the 2nd row of the 6 car field. Scott got mired up a little bit, but soon enough he made his way to 2nd behind Mikey Fritz. A caution came out and we chose to go high at the cone when Mike went low. When the green flew, Mike got a small jump and was able to hold off Scott for the next 4 laps and take the win. After the race, Scott and Mike enjoyed a spirited recall of the high speed battle they had.

Main event : We started towards the back of the 17 car field as usual and immediately went to working our way forward, as the feature was only 25 laps. The cars were making moves and Scott was no different, having seen a spot on the low side of the car in front of him coming out of turn 4 on the 1st lap. He surveyed the situation and saw that he could pick up several spots on the front stretch, which is a good place to pass as everyone SHOULD be going straight and not turning. Unfortunately, the driver he was passing decided he did not want to get passed at that moment and when Scott was at his door, he made an aggressive turn left to block. Scott got on the binders hard but the other car kept coming down and ended up hitting our right front tire and the recently fixed bumper, spinning himself across our nose to the infield of the track.

The consequence of this was that when Scott got hit, his car pushed up in front of Mikey Fritz, who was behind Scott and making evasive moves of his own to avoid hitting Scott. Unfortunately, Dale Creager was attempting a pass of Mikey on the outside and they came together, crashing into the front stretch wall and ending both their nights early. Both Mike and Dale had really fast cars and it was disappointing for everyone that they got caught up in something that shouldn't have happened.

On the restart, we quickly made our way into the lead, with Jon "Fozzy" Roberts and Molly Helmuth in hot pursuit. Fozzy was the fast qualifier and was showing why as he was very fast and battling hard with Scott for the lead. Scott mentioned that the car was pushing pretty bad, but he could drive it so we felt like we might be able to hang on, but we caught lapped traffic at the wrong time, with 2 cars battling on the back stretch. Scott went low, Fozzy went really high and the inside of the 2 slower cars moved down just enough to slow Scott's momentum and Fozzy was able to get by and pull out to about a 6 car length lead, which he would hold for the rest of the race. Scott tried valiantly to make up ground, but with an ill handling car and Molly running fast in 3rd, we knew that if 2nd place was what we would end up with, it would be a good night. The race ended with Fozzy in first, Scott 2nd and Molly in 3rd, scoring her first ever Mini Stock podium finish. When we got the car back to the pits, we noticed that the right front tire was pointed much too far out in the wrong direction, which explained the handling issue.

if you turn your head, you can see this is our trophy!
With one race to go, we want to end the season with a bang and win on Championship night to complete a season that has defied all logic. Championship night is September 24th and we would absolutely be honored if all of our fans could be there with us to celebrate an awesome season of achievement. Bring some rain gear though, you may get sprayed down with some celebratory fizzy bubbly stuff! :-)

See you at the track!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fair night, Fast night!

Fair nights are always great for car count. 21 cars showed up to run and we had the largest field for the evening by a long shot. Winning on Fair night is always a goal of ours, but Saturday was even better as we not only set the fast time for the day, we had recently joined the Outlaw Compact Auto Racing series and were able to set their new Evergreen 3/8s track record!

Car eats man, news at 11
We arrived at the track about 11:30 unloaded the car and got it ready for practice. We headed out on to the track and new right away that we had a pretty fast car. Track conditions were a little slick, but we still felt we needed to make a few adjustments and as you can see from the photo above, it involved a little fussing about underneath. 2nd session was better than the first and again, just a few minor changes were required before we qualified.

Qualifying consisted of 4 sessions. We were in the last group so we had plenty of opportunity to see what we would have to run to grab the pole. The pole speed started in the 19.0 second range then dropped in each progressive session to 18.5 as we headed out. Scott immediately looked good, running under 19 seconds on his very first lap and on the 3rd lap, he turned an 18.723, which got us the pole and set the Outlaw track record. We used the remainder of the laps to give the car a good hard run and see if we wanted to make any more adjustments.

Heat Race time came and we were feeling pretty racy. We started shotgun in the fast qualifier heat and of course, it took a little time to work our way to the front. We got into 2nd and ran hard to make it up to the leader's bumper coming out of turn 4 on the last lap, but didn't quite have enough momentum to get past the 92 of Molly Helmuth who took the win.

The main event was scheduled for 40 laps. We started in the back and Scott made some early moves to get forward quickly because lately we have been cut laps due to time constraints. We were moving forward and at one point had made a pass on another car, only to have him lift the car up in the next corner and drive right through us to take the spot back. Fortunately our driver is a great wheel man and saved it from going around. Unfortunately, the contact knocked the rear end out of kilter so the car wasn't as good as it had been earlier.

After the red flag, we found ourselves in 3rd on the restart when all hell broke loose going into turn one after taking the green. The car on the outside of the front row turned down into the car on the inside. The inside car tried to avoid contact and started to spin in front of Scott, who was hard on the brakes to avoid hitting him. However, the car behind Scott probably hadn't seen everything happening and hit him from behind, pushing Scott up into the mess. Again, Scott was able to keep the car straight and keep moving forward, avoiding the dreaded "involved" penalty of going to the back. The car had this time suffered quite a bit of damage and now the front toe was also out of sorts.

Looks bad, but we use lightweight bumpers because as JZ always says, "We build cars to win races, not crash!"
When they lined us back up, they told us they would be cutting 10 laps and we now had only 7 laps to go, not 17. We were now in first and Scott told me that he could feel that the car was now junk after all the wrecks. I let him know that, "We have the best driver and you will win this race no matter what the car feels like because you can make up for it's problems with skill and desire" and he didn't let us down. For 7 laps we fought off the 2nd place car, which was not suffering the handling woes we now had. Every lap in turn 1, he pounded our back bumper, but Scott knew it was coming and handled it perfectly, taking advantage of the boost to stretch out a little cushion each time coming off turn 2. Finally, we took the checkers for our 3rd win of the year and it may have been the most satisfying one yet!

We have 2 races left and are looking to finish the season strong. Next race is this Saturday, the 10th and Championship night is September 24th. We would love to see you all there for the next two races and send out your mojo to us to help power us to the championship!

See you at the races!

Monday, August 22, 2011

High temps, high expectations and high anxiety

Howdy all!

Well, it was an interesting night at the track. Temps were the highest we've seen all season and the sun shone bright as we took to the track for practice. We had hoped to make another run at trying to break the track record, but realized early on that conditions were not going to be favorable to accomplish it. At one point I measured the air temp at a toasty 89 degrees and the track temp was 107!

The car was good, but not great, so we spent quite a bit of time adjusting in the dark as since the new resurfacing of the track, our copious notes from years of running the old worn out asphalt were no longer completely applicable.

Qualifying: We went out in the 3rd group. While we were able to set the pole speed for a few laps, it was surpassed later in the session and we ended up 3rd quick. More adjustments were made and we looked forward to trying some super secret new tricks to make the car a little better in the middle of the corners, which was where we thought we could make up some ground.

Heat Race: The changes made definitely were in the right direction and we were able to finish 2nd. As Scott and I discussed some changes on the radio, he hustled back to the pits, as our main event was coming up shortly and we had little time to get things adjusted. Unfortunately, as I was taking tire measurements I noticed a shiny silver rivet sticking out of the left rear tire. I hoped it was just something superficial, but I could hear air  hissing out and when I touched it, the sound got louder. We scrambled to pick one of our practice tires to put on to run the race when our buddy Travis noticed that there was water under the car.

We popped the hood and much to our disappointment, the new radiator that we had installed Friday was damaged and had decided to piddle much of its water out of the engine. As the cars began to line up for our race, Bill, JZ and I were quickly replacing the radiator and fan assembly with spares we brought. We got everything buttoned up filled with water and burped as Scott was climbing in the car. Mission accomplished, but we were unable to make any set up changes.

Main event: As usual, we started towards the rear of the inverted 16 car field and with the race scheduled for only 25 laps, Scott knew he was going to have to press the issue and get through traffic with a larger sense of urgency than we normally do when we have longer races. He did this masterfully and when the first caution flew on lap 19, he had worked his way up to 3rd. A problem had reared up though as the car developed a severe push and vibration in the front end. Scott tried very hard to get around the 1st and 2nd place cars, digging down deep and working both the high and low sides, but the car just didn't have the grip to complete the passes.

In the end, we were able to finish 3rd, which considering the problems that cropped up during the day is not a bad result. We of course had hoped to win, but this race marks the 11th time in the 12 races this season that we have finished on the podium. With only 3 races to go, we need to go out, qualify at the top of the board and keep finishing well to complete an awesome season. 3 more races means 3 more chances to win more races and we would like to win them all!

Next race is September 3rd, which is a fair race. Come out early and purchase a fair/race combo ticket, cruise around the fair during the day and watch us race in the evening! We love our fans and will be out there doing our best for all of you and we'd love to see you there, sign an autograph, let the kids sit in the car, take a few photos and say thank you to each and every one of you! Speaking of fans, we took this picture of a couple of Team LaCross Super fans Saturday night. Scott of course, felt the spirit and posed with them in the pits after the race...

Super fans Tori and  Eric with LaCrash
Rock on guys, Rock on!

Monday, August 15, 2011

18.622... New Track Record!

Yup, 18.622. A week after shattering the track record and losing it a lap later, it was broken again this week. But this time, we didn't fall short, we actually hold the mark along with our pal Dale. Yes, we both ran exactly the same qualifying time!

Down time between qualifying and racing
For the first time in what seems like months, we were able to actually use our assigned pit pad, which made everyone happy. No dirt and rocks, power near by and everyone having plenty of space made for a very light and festive mood in the pits. We had made a few improvements to the car over the short break and were anxious to practice and see what we had.

Practice: We spent most of the first session just shaking the car down and working with Travis Woodward on some things on his car. Still we were third on the speed chart and pretty happy. In the second session, were were scrubbing in a tire so not pushing too hard, but were able to jump up to 2nd quick. But something ugly popped up as we hit the track in the form of a small puddle of oil on the pit pad. When Scott came back in, we only had a couple of minutes to determine the source, which turned out to be the brand new valve cover gasket we installed earlier in the week (Note to self, buy the Honda factory gasket this week!). Bill cleaned it up a little while I was putting the qualifying set up in.

Qualifying: We went out in the 3rd session. By the time we hit the track, the pole time was in the high 18.7 second range, so we knew the run would have to be flawless. Then, on the same lap, Scott and Dale both turned the 18.622 track record times in. Pretty darn cool!

Between qualifying and the dash/heat race, Bill took the valve cover off and did a quick fix on the gasket. Also, the car was still a bit loose in, so Scott and I made some adjustments to help that.

Dash: When you have the 4 fastest cars on the track, you know it's going to be a good race and the fans were not disappointed as it was a spirited 4 laps. We ended up 2nd after starting in the 3rd spot. The valve cover gasket was still leaking but we had no time to fix it before the heat races, so Bill stuffed a rag in by the leak, we reset the tire pressures and got back in line up.

Heat Race: Starting in the back row of the 8 car, 8 lap heat race, it is important to get to the front fast. The problem is, you've got the top 8 qualifiers, 6 of whom had run sub 19 second laps. There is no such thing as an easy pass. It took Scott the better part of 6 laps to work his way up to 2nd, but in the end, Fozzy had built up a good lead and even though we were able to cut it in half, we ran out of laps and finished 2nd.

Between the heat and main event, we had about an hour, so while Scott and I adjusted the handling of the car, Bill enlisted Britt's help and they tackled the pesky valve cover gasket. This enabled Britt to not only bust out the pink mechanix gloves, but get splattered in the face with oil, thereby making her a dirty track girl... lol

Bill and Britt, elbows deep in a leaky gasket! 
Main event: Starting at the back of the 30 lap main event, our plan was to patiently work our way forward. That all went out the window when, after several cautions and overly lengthy clean ups after said cautions, the track cut 10 laps from our race, making it a 20 lap sprint. Scott was moving forward quickly and soon the to 6 cars were in a large pack. He drove perfectly as he picked off cars as the laps ticked down, finally getting up to 2nd with 2 laps remaining. He made a strong move to the outside of Bobby DeYoung, but was unable to make the pass and tried once more on the white flag lap going into turn 1. The car slid up a bit and he had to drop back in behind, but tried once more, this time low through turns 3 and 4 when he was hit from behind (not by accident as the video was to show later). He was able to gather the car back up, but were not able to make up the time lost and we finished 2nd again. A great day overall as we improved upon our points lead, set a track record and our old car, the one we helped rebuild after it was unceremoniously put in the wall during a race weeks ago and purchased by Bobby DeYoung that week, won the race!

We also want to take a moment to thank Tire Angel Dave Boutell, who provided us with fresh rubber this week... Thanks Dave!!!!

Next up is Comcast Business Class Figure 8 Nationals night on August 20th. Come see us along with the Street Stocks, Stinger 8s, V-8 Extremes and the 100 lap Figure 8 Nationals.

See you at the races!

Monday, August 1, 2011

A new sponsor, A new track surface, A new track record and back to the front...

Hi everyone!

As you can see from the above photo, The Rock Church has joined the ranks of JZ Motorsports, Monroe MotorWerkes, TNT Mechanical, Millennium Motors, DeYoung, Inc. and Joes Racing products as proud sponsors of Team LaCross. We would like to invite all of you to come to Sunday services at 9:30 or 11:30 in Monroe or at 6pm at our new Wenatchee location! Click the link at the top of the page for directions and more info on TRC and all of our other awesome sponsors.

As some of you may know, we spent the last three weeks sitting in front of the TV playing Rock Band and drinking red Kool-aid (Ohh YEAH!!!)... All kidding aside, we spent the lengthy break fixing all kinds of things on the racing 99 and mashing heads with the smartest guys around on changes we needed to make to the car in the everlasting effort to go faster. Last Thursday night, we hit the track after having thrown the proverbial kitchen sink at the car. The track surface had just been treated to a grinding which had things very, very dirty, so we weren't sure that we would get any good info. Turns out we were able to learn quite a few things and that brings us to Saturday.

The day started off not so great, as yours truly was late getting to the shop, (yeah, the guy who lives 2 minutes from the place is usually the one who is late...) which got us to the track much later than we wanted to be. There were 6 classes running on all 4 tracks and everyone was squeezed into the lower pit area, so our late arrival, combined with a lack of sleep from working late on the car Friday really put us all in a slightly antsy mood as we tried to unload and get the car ready for practice.

First practice rolled around and Scott, having just partook in a nice 30 minute nap in the sun, jumped in the car as Bill and I ran through the new procedures we put in place this week that need to get done before the car hits the track each and every time. As Scott hit the track, we stood by with our stop watches and noticed right away that we were running much faster lap times than normal, with 19.0 and 19.1 second laps clicking off regularly. Then we stepped over the magical 18 second line for a few laps and we all knew that today had the makings of something special.

Second practice was even better as we decided to take the practice tires off and slap on the race set. We were consistently in the 18.8 second range at this point. By now reports were coming in of a couple other cars also getting into the 18 second bracket, so it was almost assured that the NASCAR Mini Stock track record  of 18.92 seconds would be broken, the only question was, "By who?"

The answer came in the first qualifying group and many were surprised that it was 16 year old Molly Helmuth who ran an 18.814 on her very first lap! We were all in awe of that number as it was a full tenth of a second faster than the old record time. Now we all had a new bar to reach for in the second session and with the 2, 10, 12, 21, 64, 65 and 99 all in the 2nd group, you could feel excitement in the air growing as they hit the track to qualify.

Scott was running pretty fast laps (in the 18s) for the first few hot laps of the 2nd session, then on lap 4, he turned up the wick. When he passed the scoring loop, the time flashed up on the scoreboard and I had to blink to make sure I wasn't seeing things... his official lap was 18.727... a full 2 tenths of a second faster than the old record. In the calmest way possible(which is to say I excitedly shouted it into the radio), I informed Scott of his now holding the record, which got an equally excited response of something like "YEEHAW!!!"

Unfortunately, our record was to last only 1 lap, as our pal Dale Creager ran a 18.718 on the very next lap, besting us by 9 thousandths of a second. Scott tried to get one really hard last lap in, but by this point he had caught up to traffic and was not able to top Dale's time.

Trophy Dash:
Determined to make the car even better, we made a couple of major tweaks to the set up and used the dash to test it out. The trophy dash is a 4 lap "dash for hardware" which features the 4 fastest qualifiers. If just so happened that this dash had 4 cars that had all qualified in the 18 second bracket for the first time since NASCAR began sanctioning the track in 1985. It was a spirited contest and on the final lap, Scott and Molly got together in turn 4, spinning molly and relegating us to last place. Scott and Molly talked after the race and all was well between them :-)

Main Event:
Still more changes to the car before the main as we were starting in the back of quite possibly one of the fastest mini main events seen at Evergreen since the old AA FSCRA days. From the drop of the green, things were crazy, with cars running 4 and 5 wide. Scott was at the back of the pack as several minor issues in front of him forced evasive braking. A quick caution on lap 3 gathered the pack back up and when it went back to green, Fozzy and Molly were able to squirt out to the front and build a substantial lead. Meanwhile, Scott spent the next 15 or so laps patiently picking his way through traffic, not making any banzai moves that might have ended our night. Finally, he was able to break away from the pack and start running down the leaders, but with precious few laps left, and with the leaders about a half lap ahead, it was starting to look like a solid 3rd would be the best we could muster. But then, with 3 laps to go, lady luck decided to step in and the caution flag flew for a stalled car on the front stretch.

Scott calls over the radio to me, "Hey, is it my birthday??" as they bunched us all back up for a green/white/checkered finish. We went low at the cone which kept us in the 3rd spot in the preferred low groove. When they dropped the green flag, Fozzy and Scott were able to take advantage of the low line and came out of turn 2 nose to tail, battling it out for the lead. Scott tried several times to make a move to grab the lead, but had to back out to avoid contact. At the checkered flag, he gave it one last shot but ended up in 2nd place, which after the terrible 15th place finish the previous race, really bolstered our spirits.

Fast company, Team LaCross, Jeff and Melinda Knight 
At this time, we need to thank some very special people who busted their butts and gave freely their expertise, advice and abilities to make this such a successful weekend. John Zaretzke, Roger Habich, Rob Dykstra, Geoff Filmore and Jeff Knight. Gentlemen, we could not and would not have been able to do this without each of you. While you all have your own race teams, know that you are all very important members of Team LaCross and our achievements are as much yours as they are Scott, Britt, Bill's and Mine. Thank you all so very much...

Next race is August 13th... With only 5 races left in the season, time is growing short to come on out and catch a race before 2011 is in the books. Come on out, watch the races and come down to the pits afterwards and say Hi! We are the third pit stall you come to after walking by the pit gate :-)

See you at the races!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Meet the team!

From the left, Bill, Eddie, Scott and Brittany... Team LaCross 2011!
Ok, so we have a little extended break in the action (3 weeks!) So I thought it would be nice for you all to get to know the team a little better! If there are some questions we didn't cover, please let me know and I'll get them asked for you.

How did you all meet??
Scott: I met Ed while racing RC cars in Everett, and it was love at first sight. I admired his close, clean shave.  I met Britt when she was referred to my auto shop, and Bill is a mutual acquaintance of my brother, Matt.
Britt: I met Scott through Roger Habich about 7 years ago, and we've been friends ever since. I met Ed shortly after that as those two are like peas in a pod and are never far from each other. I didn't meet Bill until this season, but I think I speak for all of us when I say we are glad to have him on board.
Bill: Well the first person I meet was Scott though his brother and everybody else was though him.
Ed: Hmm, I met Scott racing RC cars and he gave me the creeps because he kept asking me what brand of shaver I used! :-) Britt was also lured in by my clean close shave about the same time she met Scott. I met Bill when he was hanging out at LaCross Automotive a few years ago. 

I was asked by many of our female fans (and several male ones?!)... they want to know... Boxers or Briefs??
Scott: Boxer Briefs
Britt: I've got a few options, and none of the options are boxers nor briefs. 
Bill: Boxers are what I wear. Don't feel embarrassed when caught changing my clothes, look like shorts.
Ed: Ok, a couple of things here... One, Boxers. Two, Bill, you've gotta stop changing in the front yard and Three, Britt wears (answer censored by Britt, who is currently aiming a large weapon at me)

This one is for Scott... Where did you get the nickname LaCrash??
Scott: As a kid, I had the occasional habit of crashing in spectacular form while racing BMX. The local promoter coined the phrase after multiple such exhibitions, and it stuck.
Ed: Well that and he does run into a lot of stuff in his advanced age... :::duck:::

What got you into racing?
Britt: I got into racing on accident... it was an occupational hazard to being friends with Scott and Ed. I ended up at the shop a lot, then learned a few things, and next thing I know I'm in the pits thinking "this is AWESOME!!"
Bill:  I have a long history of going to the races. First was a corner worker at sears point when I was a teenager. AMA,SCCA and karting. I always wanted to drive but never had the chance. I really started to get into it after moving to Monroe. I would sit out on my back deck listening to races on Saturday nights wondering what was going on over there (Evergreen Speedway). Then I meet Scott and I was hooked.. I heard from another race friend that its like crack with no cure, Now I understand that.
Scott: I got turned on to BMX as a kid with my buddy Scott Harrison - years later, after attending Evergreen Speedway for some time, decided to get involved in circle track racing.
Ed:  I used to go to the track and watch for years. When Scott got a car, well, opportunity showed its head and the rest as we say is history. 

Who is your favorite driver?
Ed: Big time? Earnhardt Sr. but locally, I'd have to say LaCrash, Roger Habich, Jeff Knight and John Zaretzke. I've crewed for all of them and they are all top notch guys!
Scott: Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart.
Bill: Favorite driver right now is Lacrash And the 99 team. 
Britt: Team SexyTime's driver himself. Outside of that, I'd say Jeff Knight and Kevin Harvick.

Favorite race car??
Scott: Our late model we raced in 2008
Britt: I'd say it's yet to be seen. Scott has worked some magic in the one we've got now, but I think bigger and better things are on the horizon.
Ed: Hmmm, it'd be easy to say the VW as we won so many championships in it, but honestly I think it may be the Honda we have now... To take a car that is so rudimentary and be able to have the success we've had in it has been pretty cool.

If I ran a racetrack... 
Scott: I would strive to keep the competition fair by enforcing a concise rulebook to improve car count. I would want to minimize down-time to provide an entertaining show for the fans and keep the show rolling and finished up by 9:30
Britt: It would be all about consistency, accuracy, and fairness. My biggest pet peeve has been seeing people get completely out of hand on and off the track because incidents go unchecked.
Bill: The first thing I would do is get everybody on the same page.I learned a long time ago that I might not like the rules but I will have respect for the person to hold everybody to them and not be wishy washy with them. Bigger trophies with spinners and those big checks would be great too. 
Ed: I'd first make sure I had on asbestos underwear. Being a promotor is a thankless job and one where you will never make everyone happy, so I'd just do my best and hope that people see that I am trying to make things great for all. 

Favorite part of racing?
Scott: Spending time with all the awesome people that make up our racing community.
Bill: My favorite part of racing is Trophies, the checks, the advertisement. No actually its the people I'm starting to meet and becoming friends with. I really haven't had to many friends outside of work due to the hours that I work, But now I work here in town I have a little more time to spend with family and friends. I appreciate the opportunity to be apart of Team 99.
Britt: Favorite part of racing is a tough one. I know that none of us would put in the time, money, frustration, and effort if it weren't for the fact that there is so much about racing that can't be put into words. I realize it's a passion that not everyone understands... At times, I love the tight knit community. Other times it's being in the spotter stand listening to Scott and Ed banter back and forth under caution. It's watching Scott pick through traffic and pass leaders like a highlight reel. It's taking pictures when the guys don't know it, or group hugs, picking up hardware, and squealing like 12 year old girls at winners circle.
Ed: It's actually pretty easy for me to call this one. Everything is my favorite part. Except not winning... I can do without that! 

What is your dream street car? 
Britt: Aston Martin DBS (I'm calling dibs Ed.) Preferably the one from Casino Royale, complete with my very own James Bond - in the passenger seat of course.
Scott: Porsche 911 gt1 or BMW M3 gtr
Ed: Yeah, yeah Britt... go ahead and steal my dream ride why don't you? I'd have the DBS Carbon Black edition or perhaps a Mercedes SLR Mclaren. 

Finally, one more for Scott... What are your future racing plans?
Scott: Compete in the mini stock class with a future goal of returning to late models. Waiting for Richard Childress to call me but I'm not sure if he has my updated cell number.

Well, there you are! A little this and that about the racing team. I hope you've enjoyed this short look inside the team... 

Britt: Hang on just a second there Eddie, I've got an interesting factoid for everyone... Eddie is allergic to sunscreen. Please stay tuned for Eddie's soon to be released tanning instructional video entitled "Burn to Bronze in 24 hours."
Ed: Uh huh... don't be jealous of my Adonis tan! 

Thanks for reading folks! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Big Track, Big Troubles...

Well, where do I start? We went through 2 cars in one day this weekend...

For the past few weeks, we have been diligently working on the #10 VW Scirocco of Steve Green (which is also our former car!), preparing it for a run at the 1k to win first ever Mini Stock points race on the 5/8s track. We were unable to make the necessary changes to Tonya to really feel that she would be competitive on the big track, so Steve offered us his car and we of course accepted!

Thursday open practice was our target for getting the car back out on the track to make sure the new motor was happy and the repairs made to the car after it was sent into the wall a few races back were all fixed up. Then the rains came, so the only real time we got to put on the car was several speed runs up and down the airstrip at First Air Field.

Saturday morning we arrived at the track and it seemed as though something was amiss with the motor. We missed the first practice session working on it and were finally able to get out for the 2nd session. The motor was laying down pretty badly so Scott brought it in and further diagnosis determined that there may be serious internal issues with it. So Scott and I ran out the back gate, jumped in the truck and hustled back to the shop to grab Tonya and while Scott went to grab some parts, I got her back to the track just in time to get into the pits before the 2 1/2 hour K&N pro series practice began and we would have gotten caught outside the track.

While Scott waited to get into the pits, Ken and I got the car pushed through tech, (Define amusing... Tech officials and other teams watching us unload one car, load the other and go through the whole tech check in procedure for the 2nd time in about 4 hours), buttoned up all the things that needed to get finished, swapped tires, wheels, transponder, radio wiring and of course, a quick shot in the dark set up change. Since we had no more practice time that day, we were guessing on a qualifying set up as the two cars are completely different and nothing we learned on the VW would transfer over to the much heavier, less powerful Honda.

Qualifying wasn't awesome, but was much better than I had thought it would. We shaved a full second off of the times we had turned a few weeks earlier in practice, but even so, we qualified a season worst 10th. We had a couple of hours until the race, so we took advantage of that time to throw the proverbial kitchen sink at the car, making at least 5 different changes to the car in an effort to get some more speed out of the old girl.

The main even started off with a bang, when on lap two the "big one" happened right in front of Scott. He was able to just avoid getting involved and once we went back to green flag racing, he was able to stay up in the top 5. After another caution we found ourselves running in 3rd, with Dale Creager (New track record holder and pole sitter!!) hot on our heels in 4th and moving up fast. Going into turn one, Scott and Dale unfortunately made contact (a total racing thing) and it ended both of our nights early, Dale with bent tie rods and Scott with a bent rear lower control arm.

Fortunately, we had a large points lead, so the poor finish this week (thinking about 15th or so) will hurt us less than it could have. The good news is that even though there were several wrecks, everyone walked away safely and I think we showed that mini's on the big track can be an exciting race and hopefully the track will consider giving us a few more races out there.

We want to say a big huge thank you to Steve Green for giving us the chance to drive his hot rod. Also, Clint Lang, Ken Kreider, Mikey Fritz, John Zaretzke, Eric Zanassi, Travis Woodward, Bill Hampton and Jamie Thomas who all gave their time, parts, skills and passion to help get Steve's car ready. We're just sorry we never got the chance to put it out there in competition.

Next race is July 30th, Foster Press Mayor's Cup night... Come on out and have a great time at the track, then come down to the pits after and say hi!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Current championship point standings

It's just past mid Season and thought I'd go ahead and post the top ten in the chase for the championship. We have had a total of 30 different cars take the green flag this year and with the big 5/8s race and the always highly attended fair race yet to come, that number should grow!

Car# Name             Total Points    Behind Leader
99 Scott LaCross         654                     0
12 Kris Harriss             504                   -150
10 Steve Green            461                   -193
64 Jon Roberts            448                   -206
00 Chuck Richard       338                   -316
07 Andrew Schukar      327                  -327
21 Dale Creager           323                  -331
65 Bobby DeYoung      282                   -372
2 Michael Fritz              258                   -396
16 Travis Woodward    192                   -462

With 6 races to go, it's still anyone's game. Stay tuned for more updates and don't forget that we are racing on the big 5/8 mile oval this weekend! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

A night of Firsts, but not the most important one...

Saturday night was interesting on a few levels...

First off, the track had all the mini stocks pit together in hopes that it would be easier to pack in all the cars that would be there...

Please note the fine artwork of Carmel, letting you know where we are!

This shot was taken from up high and you can see us all parked in one little spot. This actually had a pretty positive result. Everyone who was there racing kind of hung out, shared food, helped on each other's cars and pretty much had a great time. It was a pretty happy day in the pits!

On to the racing, which featured a couple of firsts this year for us... We Qualified on the pole for the first time this year!! It's been a goal to get that done and finally we can check it off the list.

Saturday featured a trophy dash, which we ended up finishing 2nd in. The car was not handling very well and we just couldn't find a way around the winner and 2nd fast qualifier, the 65 of Bobby DeYoung. Mikey Fritz finished 3rd and Mark Creager was 4th.

In our heat race, we started in the back row as the fast qualifier. Coming out of turn 2 on the first lap, Scott saw an opening between Mikey and Bobby and took a run between them. Unfortunately, the hole closed up and Scott locked up the brakes trying to get out of the spot, but it just wasn't enough as he and Mikey made slight contact, which spun him into Bobby and resulted in both of them unable to continue. Fortunately both were able to make quick repairs and return for the main event. After the restart, the car still wasn't very good and we again finished 2nd, with John "Fozzy" Roberts taking the win and Mark Creager finishing 3rd.

The Main event saw us again starting in the back and at the drop of the green, it was apparent that everyone was feeling pretty racy. We had made a few changes to the car and she was handling much better and eventually we found ourselves duking it out with Fozzy for 3rd place by mid race. Mikey and Andrew Schukar and broken away from the pack and were having a heck of a battle for the #1 spot about a straightaway ahead of Scott and Fozzy's race. After about 7 laps of spirited racing, Scott was able to get past Fozzy and set sail after the leaders. He was running them down and as they crossed the line with 2 laps to go, he was within about 6 car lengths as Andrew and Mikey battled side by side for the lead. Coming out of turn 2, they made a little contact and Mikey went into a sideways slide across the track. (We learned after the race that his steering rack had come loose and he had been battling it all race. It finally broke when the contact was made.) Scott was able to slip past (just barely!) and the caution came out.

The caution set things up for a green/white/checker finish and when the restart cone came out Andrew had the pole, Scott was on the outside of him, Fozzy and Chuck Richard made up the 2nd row. When they came out of turn 4 to take the green, Fozzy made a banzai move to the bottom and they went into turn 1 three wide. Scott slid back a little as he was on the outside and we all know how badly that can turn out! When they got the white flag, they were again 3 wide and again, Scott had to back out as he was the outside car. Fozzy and Andrew were trading paint and pushing hard, each wanting the win in the worst way. When the checkers flew, it was Andrew who was able to come out on top, Fozzy 2nd, Scott 3rd, Chuck 4th and Molly Helmuth in 5th.

This brings us to the 2nd first of the night... our 3rd place finish was the first time all season we have finished outside the top 2. But, we did feel that we had a car capable of winning, the changes we made were the right ones and the car went back in the trailer in once piece, which is always a good thing!

One more thing I'd like to bring up before the end of today's blog update. We, all the men who drive and work on these cars, would like to give a fantastic and enthusiastic THANK YOU to the lovely ladies of SH. Britt, Carmel, Fatima, Kim, Lisa, Wendi... You feed us, cheer for us, bandage us up, kick us in the butt when we need it, make us laugh when we are getting stressed out, keep us focused when we lose it. You all kick butt!!!
The manly men of Evergreen enjoying another great spread!
Next race is July 9th and we will be racing on the big 5/8 mile track! You're not going to want to miss it! Also,  coming next week will be the mid-season update blog post.

See you at the track!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wow... An amazing end to a very odd night

What a strange night...

The day started out pretty much how most race days do. We got to the track and unloaded, teched the car in and were able to actually make both practice sessions! We were in the 3rd qualifying group and as we readied to hit the track, a car in the 2nd group lost an oil line (or something of that nature) and dropped a significant amount of fluid on the track. After a lengthy cleanup, our group was able to do our session, but the surface just wasn't very good and we ended up with the 3rd fast time. Another result of this was the track having to cut the heat races from the program, which was disappointing as we had a few changes we wanted to try out for the main event. One good thing to come from it though, was I got to have some of Carmel Creager's dynamite enchilada casserole! Mmm, mmm good!

Oh, back to racing... lol

So the night started off with a bang when during the Super Figure 8 race, a fight broke out on the track!

Ahhh, old time F8 racing makes a comeback!
After that, who would think things could get any crazier? The Mini Stock main was 30 laps this week and for the first time in a few weeks, we got the whole race in. At the drop of the green, it was obvious that everyone was feeling racy and for 15 laps, we scratched out way forward with Steve Green right behind us. The 12 car was able to break free of traffic and made it to the front and by the time the 99-10 train made it to open track in 2nd and 3rd, he had stretched out to a decent lead. But that was short lived as by lap 20, Scott and Steve had caught up to him and for the next 8 laps, the 3 points leaders ran nose to tail, all three cars battling for the top spot.

With 3 to go, Steve got a good run out of 4 and tapped Scott's rear bumper, getting him a little loose, but Scott was able to save it and continued on battling for the 2nd spot side by side until Steve got a better run out of turn 2 and we slipped in behind him. The 3 cars kept battling for the number one spot, 12 still holding onto the lead, but Steve and Scott pressuring him every inch of the 3/8 mile track. Scott had a great run out of turn 4 coming to take the white flag and was able to get under Steve going into turn one. The 12 slid up just a touch entering turn 2 and Scott attempted to get under him, but he slammed the door and Scott had to hit the brakes to avoid contact. Steve was able to get to the outside of the 12 coming out of the turn and they traded paint all the way down the backstretch as Scott laid back a little, trying to pick a spot to make a run. In turn 4, the 12 and Steve got together once again, sending Steve hard into the outside wall . Scott saw this and made his move, darting low and charging past the 12 car to take the win.

On victory stage, Scott was quick to point out that patience was what enabled us to get the victory this night. Sometimes in racing, it's all about being in the right spot at the right time. We didn't have the best car, but Saturday night, we were able to be in that spot at the right time.

Eddie, Scott and Bill enjoying the win
On a good note, Steve is pretty sore, but thankfully was not seriously injured in the crash. Kudos go out to the EMT crew at Evergreen Speedway for making sure he was ok immediately after the crash.

The Mini Stocks are off this weekend, but Team LaCross isn't as we prepare to make a run at Hornet enduro and possibly Chumpcar glory Saturday afternoon at the speedway with our JZ Motorsports teammates. We also want to thank our sponsors, TNT Mechanical, JZ Motorsports, Monroe MotorWerkes, Millennium Motors, Joes Racing Products, Deyoung Inc., and a special thanks this week to Jeff Kessler of Foss Motorsports for the rockin red paint work on the new quarter panel, door skin and side skirt and of course, you, our fans. It was great to hear all of your cheers and congratulations as I walked down from the spotters area on Saturday night. We love you guys!

Next race is June 25th, which is the night of the Rory Price Memorial race, with the NSRA winged sprint cars and Super Late models on the 5/8s, Mini Stocks on the 3/8s and Cub Scouts of America Hornets.

See you at the races!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another night, another crazy finish!

Wow... This season has been something else. This week we were scheduled for a 50 lap main event, so we were pretty jazzed up as these long races are always pretty good to us. The car was all set and ready to go Saturday morning, but we stayed up a little late Friday night standing around the shop and chatting with friends that had stopped by, so we got to the track about 1/2 hour later than we anticipated. Normally, this would not be a big deal as we have an assigned pit stall, but for the next few weeks, the 5/8 track is in use and our pit stalls are not accessible.

The lower pit area was a madhouse as there were darn near 100 cars competing in the various classes. We ended up pitted almost exactly where we had spent the previous 2 years, right by the pit entrance on the backstretch, which is a heck of a walk, especially when you are pushing a 2500lb car... but more on that later.

We ran a decent practice and felt like the car was pretty good for qualifying. Unfortunately, we had our worst qualifying run of the season and found ourselves managing the 4th spot. Once we found this out, Scott decided he needed to have a little talk with the car...

The Racecar whisperer

The Racecar whispers back!
Since there were quite a few events, we did not have heat races. The first late model main event went out and our JZ Motorpsorts Teammate Jeff Knight was moving forward quickly when he was tapped going into turn 3 and backed the car into the fence pretty hard. He drove the car back to the pits and we all sprang into action, JZ directing the combined 70 and 99 teams to make repairs. We almost had it fixed when the race ended, but it was close enough so that Scott and I could head back to our pits and get lined up for our main event while the 70 crew finished repairs to the car so they could run the 2nd of their 2 scheduled races that night.

As we hit the track for our race, the officials notified me that our transponder was not working. The transponder is a little yellow box that, when passing over a buried wire in the track, counts your laps and the lap times. They sent us back to the pits and replaced it with a fresh one and sent us back out to our grid position, which was about 14th position. When the green dropped, Scott took off towards the front but a problem  was brewing deep within the car's electrical system. You see, they always stop us on the front stretch for driver introductions. When Scott went to fire the car up, he noticed that it was very lazy, which as many of you can figure, means the battery is low. Now, in your street car, this is a minor inconvenience, as once the car is running, the alternator charges the battery and runs the computer, fans, lights, etc. In our racecar, we do not run an alternator because it robs horsepower from the motor.

As the race went on, there were several lengthy cautions, during which the car started to get hot. Scott had to turn on the cooling fan, which used more battery power. making the car weaker and weaker. We had worked  our way up to 2nd place and it looked like we might have something for the leader dangit! With 10 laps to go, we got our final restart of the night and by this time, we were thinking there was no way we were going to be able to hang on till the end. Scott was able to get a good restart though and we were able to challenge for the lead for a few laps before he had to start running about half throttle to nurse the remaining electricity. 4 laps to go and Scott came on the radio to tell me that he wasn't sure there was anything left in them to give. I told him to rub the car, kiss it, talk dirty to it, whatever it took to will that old girl to finish this race.

Well, whatever he said, it worked, because we held onto a 5 car length lead over the 3rd place car until 1 lap to go, when traffic slowed us enough and make it REALLY close as Steve Green was able to close right up to our bumper, but we were able to cross the finish line just ahead of him to take 2nd place. 1 more lap and I think we might have looked just like Dale Jr. at Charlotte the next day, running out of gas (or electricity in our case) in the last corner and getting passed by a half dozen cars! The top 3 in the end had Jon "Fozzy" Roberts taking the victory, we were second and Steve Green in third.

As I arrived in Tech, Scott was sitting in the car smiling as he knew that we had dodged a HUGE bullet. However, I think he was smiling for another reason, which I will now show you a picture to explain...

Where in the world is a push truck when you need one???
Yup... that is Me and Bill, pushing the car back to our pits, about oh, a 1/8th of a mile. The car wouldn't even turn over! We finally got it back and put it on the battery charger so Scott could go out later and receive his trophy. So, on the agenda for this week: Replace 2 batteries, possibly add alternator! Next race is June 11th, so make sure you plan on being there as we continue our season!

What can I say... I've always been a sucker for redheads! :-)

See ya at the track!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A race for the ages

Wow... every once in a while, you get to witness something pretty special happen at a race track. Saturday night was one of those times.

Eddie and JZ pushing the car to tech before Qualifying
So we arrive at the track fashionably late as usual (lol) and get the car out for a quick practice session. The skies threatened all day long, so we kept a close eye out for raindrops as we made adjustments during the course of the day. As qualifying approached, it looked as though the rain would stay away, so we put our heads together and adjusted a few items on the car, finishing up just as the officials swung by to tell us to hit the scales before qualifying.

Our qualifying group featured a number of the weekly top qualifying cars. We were able to run a 19.292 second lap, which landed us the 2nd position. We were somewhat disappointed until we saw that the pole lap time was 19.282 seconds. 1 hundredth of a second... to put that in perspective, the blink of the human eye takes 3 to 4 TENTHS of a second... This marks the 3rd week in a row that we qualified 2nd in time measured in hundredths of a second.

Our qualifying effort garnered us the 6th starting position in the "A" heat race which had the top 7 qualifiers, starting inverted. We were unable to improve upon the starting spot however, as for the majority of the race, positions 2, 3, 4 & 5 were running side by side in front of us battling for those spots. Scott put forth a valiant effort to gain positions but in the end, we settled for the 6th spot, knowing that we had a very fast car and the main was coming soon.

Pre-race strategy session
The main event found us starting deep in the field due to the 2 second invert. Only 4 cars of the 20 who started the main were outside this time, so we lined up on the inside of row 8, 15th on the grid. Scott's years of experience came into play almost immediately as he started making moves towards the front. He also skillfully avoided 2 major pile ups that happened directly in front of him in the opening laps with quick reactions that veteran drivers just know how to instinctively make. Little did we all know that this was nothing compared to what was to happen next. We had gone back to racing with only 2 official laps in the books when the third and final caution of the night came out. Mikey Fritz and Scott were dueling for position tearing down the back stretch, Mike on the high side, Scott on the low. As they began to set up for entry into turn 3, another car tried to stick his nose in between them to make it three wide, hitting Scott's right rear tire and then blasting into Mike's left rear. Mike spun as his tire was instantly cut down and in the melee the 65 car of Bobby DeYoung was unable to avoid contact and unfortunately got mixed up in the caution. In the stands we all were trying to make sense of what happened when we saw flames coming from the bottom of Bobby's engine bay. One of the track officials ran out with an extinguisher and was able to put it out, but it took quite a bit of time to get everything cleaned up. 

At this point, it was decided that our race was to be shortened to 15 laps. We all knew it was going to happen, so strategies changed. What happened next was something that is still eating at me... When they lined up the cars for the restart, we were held on the front stretch and they placed 2 cars in front of us that had not been there before the caution. As I argued to have it changed to the proper line up, they went ahead and moved 1 car back but left the other in place, which was a HUGE deal as this was the car that eventually would factor into the finish of the race. When the one to go signal was shown, there were 15 laps to go and we were in 7th place. The green flew and the car placed incorrectly made a couple of bold moves and was able to get out front within 2 laps, while Scott fought his way through the pack. The leader was able to run away and by the time Scott was able to break out into 2nd place, he had built what would normally considered to be an insurmountable lead of just over a straightaway with only 9 laps remaining and this is where the title of this post comes from... A race for the ages. 

I immediately switched gears in the spotters stand from information messages to cheerleader. I told Scott that he was going to win this race, it didn't matter how much of a gap we had to make up. He didn't say a word, but I know he was thinking the same thing as he took off like a bat out of hell and drove the car like a man possessed. Lap after lap, he chopped into the lead, catching and passing lapped cars at what seemed like the perfect time each time and in 5 laps, he had cut the lead to less than 2 car lengths. As they came off of turn 4 and crossed the stripe on the next to last lap, Scott drove to the outside going into turn one and they raced around the track, door to door. Coming out of turn four to take the white flag, Scott crossed the stripe with the lead by about a fender and they went through 1 and 2 side by side again. The crowd was going absolutely bonkers, people standing up and cheering and the track announcer's voice must have jumped 2 octaves as he did the play by play of the action. 

As they came onto the back stretch, there were lapped cars ahead. Scott was again about a fender in front as they approached a lapped car heading into turn three. As they got to the car, Scott was faced with a split second decision. Try to pinch the inside car he was battling for the lead, bash the lapped cars rear bumper or hit the brakes and drop low... He knew his only option was to slow down and drop in, as the guy on the inside would not have given an inch, which would have most likely wrecked us both and he was not going to run into the lapped car because he did not want to take the chance of wrecking that driver too. Scott made one last effort to get in front, diving low, 2 tires in the dirt through the corner, but in the end we finished 2nd. 

I've lost count of how many people have come up to me and mentioned that they hadn't seen anything like that in a long time and that it was the best show they had seen all year. I can't help but get the vibe that this is one of those races that won't be remembered by who won, but by the show put on by the red and black 99 car that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that heart, desire and a never say never attitude can make anything possible. I know I've said many times that our car isn't the fastest, best built or anywhere close to the most technologically advanced car out there. It's cage isn't built as stiff as it should be, is a handful in the corners and smokes like a chimney when we start her up. But something magical happens when Scott drops into her seat and buckles in.  It's like she knows it's him and wants to prove that she's worth every dime we paid for her and much, much more. Yes, we've got a heck of a piece sitting in the shop waiting to be finished, but Scott and I agreed as we unloaded her from the trailer today... We've become really fond of this car! Whodathunk it?? :-)

Next up this weekend, May 28th it's Memorial day and Whelen NASCAR Night. Twin 50 lap Super Late Model shootout and Street Stocks on the 5/8's, Mini Stocks and Midgets on the 3/8's and Stinger 8's. We are running a 50 lap race so there will be plenty of time to cheer for your favorite race team!

See ya at the races! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Photo of the week

Good times at the Buzz Inn after a rainy night last race...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Saturday night Double Dripper

Nope, that isn't a typo you see there. It was indeed a double dipper night (2 main events in the same evening), but it was raining so much, it was certainly a dripper! How wet was it? Perhaps this picture of rookie contender Eric Gimmaka and his crew can explain it best...

It actually started out as an overcast NW day and we arrived at the track fashionably late. After getting all teched in, Scott headed out for practice and the car looked OK, but needed a little tweak. While we made adjustments a few light sprinkles appeared which turned quickly into a steady light drizzle. Scott went ahead and went back out to scuff in our new tire. I of course, spent the next few minutes doing my "Please stop raining dance" It actually worked for a short time, as the rain stopped long enough for the track to dry slightly for qualifying. For the 2nd straight week, we qualified 2nd fast, 4 hundredths of a second off the pole time set by... you guessed it, Steve Green! (we gotta figure out a way to out qualify that cat some day :-) )

As soon as we finished qualifying, the skies opened up. It felt like somebody opened up a fire hydrant and aimed it directly at the track. When it became clear that the rain was there to stay we put our rain set-up in (super secret info) and I finally gave in...I installed the windshield wiper. Scott climbed in and moved the car to his starting grid position.

17 cars took the green flag in the 1st main event and Scott weaved his way through traffic that was at points 4 wide(!) until we found ourselves in the lead with a comfortable margin over the 2nd and 3rd place cars. A couple of cautions closed up the gap and on the final restart of the race, we got nudged a bit going into turn one, which resulted in us dropping back to the 2nd spot. But we had 5 laps to go and we caught the leader on the last lap going into turn three. He overcooked it a bit in the middle and slid up the track, Scott was able to get a nose under him, but slid up a bit himself. He gave it another stab coming out of turn four, running wide but the leader moved up to block the spot and we ended up crossing the line in 2nd place. Finish was Harriss, Scott, Chuck Richard, Andrew Schukar and Jon "Fozzy" Roberts.

Between mains we basically had time to put the car on the battery charger for a few minutes, fill it full of fuel and have a quick discussion with Scott about a few changes. We made a few (more super secret info) taped up a little spot that was leaking rain water in on Scott and lined back up.

All 17 cars were able to make it back out for the 2nd main and the starting grid was set based on the finishing order (inverted) of the first race, so we started pretty far back. Again, Scott picked his way through the field and soon found himself in a 4 way dogfight for 1st with Fozzy, Chuck, and Andrew, 3 of the top 5 cars from the 1st race. Fozzy is always a strong contender and when it's raining, well we all watch in amazement as he makes the RWD Rx-7 ride around the top like it's on rails. The battle was fierce as the 4 swapped positions and Scott was able to find his way to the front. The lead never got to more than a few car lengths as the rain came and went. with about 5 to go, a caution bunched up the field and on the restart, Chuck was able to gain the advantage and take the lead going into turn one. Scott made a bold move to the bottom of the wet track and coming out of two, was able to regain the lead. As Chuck and Fozzy battled it out, Scott was able to pull out to a 3 car length lead. Fozzy was able to get by Chuck and when the checkers flew, we were the winners of the main, Fozzy, Chuck, Andrew and Harriss rounding out the top 5.

On the young season, we have 3 runner ups and a win in 4 races. It's a long season and with a two week break, we will continue to work on the car to make it better. Next race is May 21st, Armed Forces Night. All active Military and their Dependents get in free!

One last thing, here is the traditional Steve/Scott photo in the pits after the races. It is slightly inaccurate as Steve finished better than 10th, but it does show how much fun we are all having racing together!
See you at the races!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Photo of the week

Ok, so at the autograph session this week, Mikey Fritz was giving out these cool little stuffed fellas to all the fans. One of them ended up making the trek back to the shop with us. I found him sitting in the car Monday night so I figured I'd go ahead and let him guard the car overnight and snapped this picture...

Well, imagine my surprise when I got back today and found that he must have gotten a little hungry last night.

Watch out if you got one of these critters at the track... he'll eat your car! :-)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Saturday night revisted

Hi everyone!

After speaking with Scott about the incident in the closing laps of the main event Saturday night and reviewing a posted video, we would like to announce an error in the blog post yesterday. On the restart, Scott missed a shift and a warning light came on. He lost concentration for a moment and moved down about a half a groove, directly into the path of the 12 car, which caused the incident. We accept full responsibility for the contact and apologize for giving out incorrect information.

We at Team LaCross strive to race clean and do not and will not shy away from accepting the appropriate responsibility in any on track incidents that we are involved in. It is important to us that you all are given accurate information, as you are our fans and deserve no less than the truth.

We are currently working hard to fix the damage, which is superficial thankfully and look forward to seeing you all this weekend for our big Twin 30 lap racing night. Thank you once again for being the Best, most Passionate fans any team could ever ask for!

Eddie C, your faithful Crew Chief and blogger.

Race 2, What a night!

Ever have one of those days that makes you feel like you just spent it all riding the Cyclone roller coaster? We had one Saturday for sure on a night that will be one that everyone is sure to remember.

We got to the track under sunny skies for the first time this season. It wasn't quite warm, but it was lovely considering how it's been lately. As Scott headed down to tech, Britt and I readied the pit area and chatted up our fellow racers, everyone seeming to be in great spirits. One of our great Sponsors, Bill Hampton, owner of Monroe MotorWerkes was our guest in the pits and let me tell ya, he had a front row seat for a lot of action!

First practice was cut short due to a couple of cars spinning on the backstretch. Unfortunately, that meant we only got about 5 laps in and really were not sure what we had to work with, so we decided it would be best to go back out without changing anything. 2nd practice was going along alright, but about 10 laps in, Scott came over the radio and said he was coming in early, clearly there was something amiss.

When he hit the pit stall, we commenced our normal procedures and Scott told me, "There is something broken in the left front. Sure enough, when I got the car in the air, the upper control arm had snapped almost completely in half! We had less than 30 minutes till qualifying so the team jumped into action. Bill fired up the generator, Scott ran off to borrow a welder and I pulled the suspension apart. Everything flowed beautifully! Our JZ Motorsports teammate Lance O'grain came walking up and he welded up the control arm in about 2 minutes ( it would have taken me 15 easy! lol) While I put the car back together, Bill pulled off the practice tires and put the race ones on, Scott was busy talking with the producer for the Comcast SportsNet Reality program "Adrenaline Hunter" as they wanted to mount some cameras in our car for an episode they were shooting that night and Britt was doing her best to keep the flow of transmission fluid (blood) at bay from the cut i got on my hand (she's a great nurse!) Right before Scott jumped in the car to qualify, we decided to loosen it up just a smidge and off he went.

Qualifying was broken up into 3 groups this week. we were in the 3rd grouping and with only a few practice laps under our belts, I wasn't really sure what would happen. But as always, LaCrash drove her hard and we grabbed the 2nd spot behind Steve Green. After qualifying, there was a prolonged autograph session as it was sponsor appreciation night. The stands were by now filling up nicely and as we stood on the front stretch, we all remarked about how it looked like old times. Lots of fans, plenty of cars and smiles everywhere you looked.

Heat races began shortly after autographs and since we had so many cars (21 total in our class, best turnout in a very long time!) they broke us up into 3 heats. we were in the 3rd one, which contained the top 6 qualifiers and as the 2nd fast time, we got to start on the inside of the back row. Normally, this wouldn't be horrible, but on this night, it was almost an omen of things to come. The inside line was decidedly NOT the fast line as the race began and soon we found ourselves at the back of the field, struggling to find our way around the 5th and 6th qualifiers as the 10, 12 and 2 cars began to run away from us. The 65 kept making dive moves as we tried to get under him and finally, it worked to his detriment as he dove across our nose going into turn one and recognizing this, Scott backed out of the gas early. He came down in front of us and ended up with 2 in the dirt, which spun him around. Scott unfortunately had nowhere to go and spun trying to avoid him. This brought out the yellow and we were able to get going again and return to the tail of the field for the restart. At the green flag, we had 4 laps to go and Scott got around the 64 and 2 of Mikey Fritz, setting off after the 10 of Steve Green and the 12 car. Alas, there were not enough laps left and we finished the heat in 3rd.

The main event was the first of the evening and the track decided to give us 40 laps instead of the normal 25 to 30 to make up for the shortage of laps the previous race. (Thanks Evergreen!!) The TV crew came over and fired up the video cameras that they had placed on Scott's helmet and on the roof of the car and we lined up. We were to start on the outside of the 10th row due to our full inverts, but with the inclusion of the 1 second rule, we moved up to the outside of the 5th row. It was a thing of beauty to see 21 cars take the green flag. Scott immediately began making moves and before long he found himself fighting for the lead with the 12 car and our old pal Steve. As we found our way to 2nd, the 12 began making a few poor choices in his efforts to stay in front of us, culminating in spinning the 18 car and bringing out a caution flag. The restart found us leading, Steve in 2nd and the 12 in 3rd. At this point, we were able to fend off several taps on our rear bumper after the restart, which could have been terrible as they could have taken out both us and Steve, who had restarted on our outside and was next to us at the time. At this point, we were able to stretch the lead out to over 10 car lengths and were looking solidly in front. Traffic became a factor, as Scott carefully picked his way through, Steve and the 12 were able to make up quite a bit of ground, cutting the lead to 3 car lengths. Just as we broke free of lapped traffic and began to stretch it back out again, we got another caution flag and were grouped up again. This time, it was the 12 who chose the outside and he was able to retake the lead for a short amount of laps. As the 3 cars duked it out again, another caution flew and on the restart, it was Steve on the pole, Scott outside of him and the 12 behind Steve. With only 3 laps to go, it was shaping up to be a whale of a finish. On the drop of the green, Scott missed a shift, which wouldn't have normally resulted in what happened next as he wouldn't have been slightly off Steve's pace. Out of nowhere, the 12 darted up and hit our left rear. As Scott was pitched sideways, he mashed the throttle to straighten the car out. The 12's right front tire climbed up our left rear and his car got locked onto ours as they came out of Turn 4.

As I told Scott to keep his foot in it down the front stretch, sparks were flying off the locked together cars. You could see the driver of the 12 sawing his wheel to try to unlock the two cars and as they crossed the start finish line, they finally became unhooked. He had a flat right front and spun out going into turn one, then pulled off to the pits for a tire change. Our car was torn up pretty badly and Mikey Fritz relayed to me through his spotter that the left rear was bouncing quite a bit. But we weren't going to pull in, it was damn the torpedoes time! On the final restart, we took the outside line and at the drop of the green, it was obvious something was amiss. While we were able to stay with Steve and give him a good battle, the car was far from the dominating performer it was earlier. As the checkers flew, it was Steve 1st, Scott 2nd, Mikey 3rd, Travis Woodward 4th and Jack McGeehan 5th.

As Scott headed to the tech shack, he came on the radio and said, "Um, bring a jack and spare to tech, we've got a flat." Yup, we ran the last 3 green flag and 3 caution laps with a completely flat left rear tire! The pictures below show the damage better than I can explain it...

The right rear (Yes, the one we just replaced!) after the race

Aaand the left rear with a spare mounted so we could load the car. Guess we need to replace that too now!
Yeah... not pretty, but we got 2nd place with all that damage! So yes, I am not completely upset. We've got a great team, great friends and we can get her all fixed up, if not super pretty by next weekend's twin 30 lap races. 

We would like to take this moment to again thank our sponsors, TNT Mechanical, JZ Motorsports, Monroe MotorWerkes, Millennium Motors, Joes Racing Products, Deyoung, Inc. and our Tire Angels for supporting us the way you do. You are all AWESOME! 

Next up, the first of 3 double header nights we have this season, with Twin 30 lap races. And don't forget, it's mothers day this Sunday and so Saturday night, all Mom's get in free! So come on out to the races and see what happens next!

See you at the races!!!