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!

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