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!