In The Beginning 5/1998 6/1998 7/1998 8/1998 9/1998 10/1998 Current News
So the deal is, if you do poorly enough, they give you sympathy and start you on the front row<g>. The Little Deuce Coupe starts inside front row in the heat race and we end up with our first checker. Pretty cool. We loosened the car up a little more this week and it worked pretty well. Still chasing engine gremlins though. This performance must have snuck by the handicapper, 'cause we get a little more sympathy for the feature. Inside front row start. No pressure here, just nowhere to go but backwards... Of course, the evenings program is going way too quickly, so a couple of intermissions and a fireworks show later, we're on the track. What knots in my stomach? ;) We take a run at Frank Harper on the original start, sneak by low in the 2nd turn and end up on the point for the first lap. Several restarts and several cautions later, still holding down the point. I'm being pretty conservative at this point because I have a real strong desire to not bite the wall again this week. We're still able to put some distance on the 2nd place car. For a little while. Artie has a run on me in 2 but I cut back under him and regain the lead. A couple of laps later he gives me a slide job in 4 and rubs his way past. That's what I get for being conservative. So now we go to school for a little while behind Artie. I lose a little ground, mostly 'cause the engine acting up again, but we're still not doing to bad. I'm still in 2nd with 3 to go and the caution comes out. On the restart, George Marcus blows it in under me in 1 and scares the shit out of me<g>. I lift, and he gets by. Next lap I try the same thing to him and slip high enough in 2 for Bobby Chalmers to get inside me on the back straight. We're side by side going into 3 and I slip into the marbles and slap the wall again. SHIT!!! Chalmers and Boomhower get by. Caution come out and I'm 5th. Hackle throws a major slide job on me on the restart, but by this time I've had enough. I hold my line and keep my boot in it and I hang onto 5th. I try to cross under Boomhower coming out of 4 and miss grabbing 4th by about 12 inches. Disappointed with the mistakes, but we had a great run.
I really have to be my own worst enemy. With all the action from the last two races, and giving kiddy rides (including one of the dads!!) this Saturday, the car was just not working at all. Tight in warmups, tighter in the heat, and worse yet in hot laps. It's obvious something's wrong, the car won't respond to any adjustments at all. Bryan and Rick feel like the torsion bars have crapped out. Two new bars later and a 5th place starting position in the feature leave me a bit uncertain what to expect for the start. The bars definitely did the trick, the car finally is working the way it was in the first few races. I spend a few laps just feeling things out and I actually get as high a 2nd for a little while. The car is just a tick tight, but it feels great. 5 laps to go finds me in 5th and I get the fancy idea that I might be able to pass Wayne Jelly for 4th. So I sail 'er on into 3 and loop it. All by myself. This rookie stuff is really killin' me. Fortunately some heads up driving by the rest of the field leave me red-faced, but unharmed In the 4th turn. I toss a 5th place finish away to end up 15th. It's nice to have confidence in the car again and to know the poor performance the last couple of weeks wasn't just me. Till next week....
Got to play in Dickie Larkin's golf outing Friday. In the pouring rain. For 18 holes. Did I mention it rained all day? Probably lucky I don't have pneumonia. But it's the closest thing to racing that we'll do this week, Saturday is the second washout of the season.
Well, after last weeks humbling experience, I decided that a little more experimentation was in order. We went to the track with quite a bit more left rear weight this week to see what that was like. Of course the car was great in warmups, and just too tight in the heat. Speaking of the heat, that would of course be where I waffled the 2nd turn wall on lap 3. We took the left rear weight out for the feature and the car felt great for about 10 laps. But by that time I had been in, or narrowly avoided, 2 or 3 wrecks. Then the car got wicked tight, and to add insult to injury, we lost a cylinder. I ended up riding around to finish 14th. Looks like we may have bent a valve in the motor, and the front clip is tweaked from one of the wrecks.