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!