Monday, April 26, 2010

Week 2-3rd by .011

Pretty awesome car the team is giving me so far this season. This car is so strong it's been a blast to race. I am learning a ton right now running up front every week, starting on the pole. As with all learning curves I am making some mistakes, more to come on that later.

Ole Red, as we have affectionately named the car, is a beast. It seems whatever combination we throw at it the thing is strong. I am looking forward to an awesome season at Evergreen Speedway. Let's get to this weeks review.

We unloaded and the car was fast, fastest in practice for the second week in a row. We made a minor change, but nothing overly drastic. It's all about fine tuning right now, just making small tweaks for big peaks!

Qualified first for the second week in a row. Awesome .3 seconds quicker than the field. Two poles in a row is not only a first, but that make 3 poles in my racing career. I am pumped about the pole position and it feels great.

Heat Race.
Here is where the night got a little frustrating, only for a moment. For the second weekend in a row Tom schooled me on the start, I got second. The HIGH Point of the heat race was driving the car back to his bumper and wearing him out. I got to race in really close quarters with Tom. We've done that a few times now and I am learning a lot about proximity. For instance, I thought my left front fender was rubbing on his right rear corner, but not so. I'm pretty sure I was as close as I could be without touching, if we had a few more laps in the Heat Race chances are I could have made the pass.

I am learning a lot right now, especially starts. I've been told by drivers whom I really respect that Tom is the best at starts. I am encouraged, even though I'm getting a whooping right now, because WHEN I beat him it will be a BIG day!!!

We started outside row 2 in a four car invert. After getting schooled on the start in the heat I was determined not to let Tom get the jump. I started strong, but there was an early caution. I restarted again in 4th, behind my buddy and TRC'er Fred Hall #6. We got a good jump, but mayhem ensued and I turned Fred. We both slid off the track.

I was picking my way through the grass off turn one onto the 5/8's and whamo, I got hit in the right rear, or better yet, landed on. Seems the #15 got some air off the banking and landed on me tearing up the right rear quarter panel. Ole Red was angry, a good angry.

We went back green and I got the lead, but an oiled down track relinquished me to 2nd before the caution flew to clean stuff up. I restarted 2nd, but the track was super slick. I couldn't get any bite and dropped to 4th. A late red flag left me thinking about what was going on with the night, and with only 5-7 laps or so remaining I determined to set my sights on getting to the front. Sitting in the car I was a little disappointed that this one had gotten away, but with what we had left I knew Ole Red could get me to the front.

I passed for 3rd on the restart. Ole Red started eating up the track like a fat kid on Cherry Pie, I gained on 2nd. With the laps winding down I made some moves to the outside of the #16, eventually getting there, but it was a little too late. I crossed the finish line in 3rd outside of the #16, by .011 seconds. That's pretty close.

Reality was if I had another lap I'd have passed for 2nd, and if we had the total laps run of 40, instead of 25, I think I could have worked my way to racing with Tom for the win. But hey, the car was in good condition, just some cosmetic fixes; the night was full of cautions and reds, the reason the race was cut short; my team gave me another fast race car, fastest at the track for 2 weeks in a row; and I am hungry for some W's, like a fat kid wanting Cherry Pie!

Where's my Cherry pie from Snohomish Pie Company?