|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!