Sunday, April 11, 2010

Opening Night 2010 at Evergreen Speedway

It feels great to post this update. has been pretty dormant over the winter. Not to worry, in a few weeks we will have a brand new look and with the race season upon us it's time to get to some racing recaps, reviews, discipleship and of course the local church!

We took both cars apart after the Fall Classic run. The open motor car is a work in progress as we focused our attention to the crate car. First off, we stripped it down to the chassis for brand new powdercoat. Production Plating Inc hooked us up with a gloss white for the chassis. After getting the chassis back Steve, Tony, Toby and Myself, along with the help of Will, Roger, Tony S. and some others started the reassembly process. We cleaned parts, components, changed a couple minor things, but most importantly turned it from purple to red! Brent from Firedown helped out the finishing effort and the car was ready for the track. Awesome off season.

Side note: Getting the hauler ready was not such an easy chore. Thursday night, while charging the batteries one of them blew up in my face. Seriously, at an arms length a deep cycle marine battery exploded by my left hand. I had no safety glasses or protection from the explosion. Miraculously I was unhurt, no acid in my eyes, or on my face. I am a blessed man!!! However, I had the "Call of Duty" flash grenade syndrome when my ears were ringing and my vision disoriented. Thankfully God watched out for me.

Race Day.
Snohomish Pie Company got us to the track with some race tires, fuel and pit passes! I appreciate the help very much, and anyone rooting for the 70 needs to go buy a piece of pie and tell them, "Jeff sent you from the track." Your effort will put more fresh Goodyears under my race car!!! Fresh pie = Fresh Tires!!!

We unloaded at the track on Saturday. Usually we test a bit in the off season, but this year funding is tight, so we elected to make the car perfect in the shop and show up ready to be fast. The knowledge we've gained as a team the last two seasons paid off big time as we set the fastest lap in practice.

With minimal laps on the car I was confident in the setup. the car was "in the track" meaning it was turning good and getting the power to the ground. We qualified on the pole! That's my second pole!

Heat Race.
Starting from P-1 was great. On the first start I went a bit early. I didn't think it was "huge" early, but the officials didn't agree, and I got the nasty black flag warning to "not do that again." On the next restart the car outside of me jumped! I spun the tires and gave up the lead right away. The car was hooked up pretty good after the start and we turned the fastest lap in the race, but didn't win the heat. I asked someone why I got the caution for jumping the start and he didn't? The answer, "Because he's a 8 time track champion." Well, Okay then.

The Main.
After the invert I started outside row two in 4th position. I got to the lead after a few laps, and checked out by about 15 lengths, turning the fastest lap of the main. Things were going pretty smooth until another car got backwards and the caution came out. Again I was P-1, and on the restart I got a good jump, but so did the 12 car outside of me. We went down the back stretch side by side. It was tight tight racing. As I went into turn 3 the car pushed really bad because the left front tire locked up. It was all I could do to not wreck Tom, but the worst part was I fell to second place, argh.

It wasn't over though. Tom got a way from me a bit, but as the race went on my focus was laser like. I reeled him back in and was banging on his bumper when a small distraction caused me to overdrive the car with 9 laps to go. I went from racing to "savin it" down the backstretch! Once I gathered it up I was back about 6 lengths. We got to his bumper again with 2 to go, but didn't have the time to try and pass him. If only we had another couple laps. I ended up 2nd.

I was stoked about the day. Of course I wanted to win. I always want to win, but to have the car in one piece, the fastest laps in practice, qualifying, heat and race were high points for sure. The truth of the matter is I have to work on my restarts. I haven't been in the P-1 for restarts very often, and with a cagey veteran like Tom Moriarty I stand to learn a lot.

I am so proud and thankful for Steve, Tony, Toby, Stevie and the whole team. We got a great race car and it's going to be a great season. See ya next race at Evergreen Speedway.