Spring 1999 5/1999 6/1999 7/1999 8/1999 9/1999 10/1999 Current News
Well it looks like the effects of a full moon are not to be taken lightly. The night began with a lot of promise, as we came from the back of the heat race to win it handily. Unfortunately, by the time the feature rolled around all my luck must have been used up. I started 13th in the feature and before one lap was completed, I was stuck in the fourth turn with Chris Kokosa's right front stuck well inside my left rear. It took at least 15 minutes to get the cars apart. The guys on the crew did a great job getting the tire changed, and we made it back out without losing a lap. A couple of laps later it all ends with a bang. I'm not sure what happened but I got wrecked as hard as I ever have, and got my bell rung pretty good. Tore up the car pretty bad, looks like another long week ahead...
Well, as usual, we tried a couple of different things again this week. The stuff worked great in warm-ups, but wasn't as good in the heat race. The track was definitely a little weird this week. We're fortunate to qualify through the heat again, and our 21st place finish last week has us starting 10th in the feature. One of the disappointments this year has been the lack of fast warm-ups before the feature. Not only does it make it difficult to have confidence in any of the changes you might want to make to the car for the feature, but it makes for a lot of sitting around. This worked to our favor this week however. After ripping up the left side of the rearend last week, I forgot that, because this car uses uprights in the rear suspension and not birdcages, the rearend needed to be re-squared after being reassembled. Which I forgot to do in the shop. So with the help of Ronnie and our crews we were able to get that taken care of. The feature brings a little less excitement this week due to our closer-to-the-front starting position. There is a lot of good racing going on all over the track. My car is just not as good as it's been the last few weeks, but we're still not too far off. As the laps wind down, I find myself behind Stan Jablonka, Art Collins and Chris Kokosa. They're messing it up pretty good in front of me and I'm able to get close enough to take a run at Chris for 3rd place. I pull him going down the backstretch but get into 3 a little hot and slide up into the black shiny middle of the track just enough that Chris repasses me coming down to the checkered. Good hard racing right down to the end.
I'm thinkin' it might be nice to have a Saturday night without a lot of drama in it, real soon. :) I start dead last in the heat and make it up to 5th, good enough to be handicapped. Handicapped in my usual 7th or 8 row start, that is. It's 15th this week. The racing starts right off a little on the wild side. I narrowly miss a couple of wrecks right in front of me. I catch a few breaks and before long I'm in 5th. On a restart I pick the high lane going into turn one and have a good head of steam right behind the 2nd and 3rd place cars - who promptly tangle and shove up to the wall in front of me. I try to duck under them at the same time that Chris Kokosa has a good run on the inside of turn two. We make heavy contact, but both keep going. Unfortunately the contact sheared the spindle bolts on the left rear, along with bending the spindle, axle tube, rearend bell and axle shaft. I retire early with a 21st place finish.
I suspected this week might be a little different. We started moving the Dealership on Thursday and it continued through Sunday. So the combination of too many hours at work and the wreckage from last week made KC a very calm boy. :) I started the heat race in 10th, took my time and ended up winning. Once again the car is really good and the changes we tried for the heat race were tossed for our basic setup. We're still getting handicapped to the rear because of all the top 5 finishes, so I start 15th in the feature. The Sportsman boys do a great job, there are no cautions till lap 16. At that point I was 3rd, running out of time to catch Chris Kokosa and Wayne Jelly. The green comes out and I show Wayne my nose low in the 3rd turn. This makes him move even lower to try to block me. On the last lap, he really tosses it into 3 trying to get Chris. I sneak under him coming out of 4 and head to the finish line. Wayne gets crossed up coming out of 4 and ends up slamming me on the frontstretch. I really thought I was heading to the pits at about 80 miles an hour. I straighten the car out and keep my foot in it and beat Wayne to the line for 2nd. Awesome racing, the kind that keeps you coming back.