Spring 1999 5/1999 6/1999 7/1999 8/1999 9/1999 10/1999 Current News
If you told me it would happen like this I would have called you crazy. I actually start further up in the heat than I would have expected. Those lousy finishes served some purpose I suppose. I start the heat in 6th and of course, coming down to take the green I get pinched into the wall again. Fortunately I was able to gather the car up, but ended up at the back of the pack. I catch up to the 1st group of cars and get a good run coming off of turn 4. It's me on the inside, George Marcus in the middle, and Lorne Brow on the outside. No one gives an inch at the other end of the straight. As we enter turn 1 George tries to crowd me on the inside. I hold my line and he bounces off of me and cuts down a tire. I finish the heat in 5th. I start the feature in 14th and get a great run on the original start. I'm fortunate enough to miss a few accidents and pretty soon I'm running 3rd behind Art Collins and Mike Boomhower. They run a couple of laps side by side until they get together in turn 3 and take each other out, handing me the lead. Once again I'm able to lead the pack to the finish line first. Pretty amazing.
This week it was the story of one extreme to another. We finished putting the motor in Saturday morning. Dan did a great job, having only two days to assemble the engine. I left the same setup in the car from last week since I never got a chance to see what the shock change felt like. All the nasty luck from he last 5 weeks has us starting on the front row in the heat race. At the drop of the green I can tell right away that the car is going to be real good tonight. We win the heat handily. The same set of circumstances put us on the outside front row for the feature. I didn't touch the car from the heat to the feature and that proved to be the right decision, as we led the race from green to checkered getting our first win since I began racing last year. It feels even better than I thought it would! Thanks to everyone who stuck with me during the last 5 weeks, I couldn't have done it without you!
Pretty short night Saturday. After about three laps of warm-ups, the engine has a major vibration in it. Turns out that the crank is broken, probably from all the wrecking that's been going on in the last 5 weeks. Hopefully we'll have it back together by the weekend.
I'm going to try to get some new pics from Mark Brown soon. Here's a couple from last week where I washed the car so hard, I turned it white.
Now I don't want anyone to think that I'm superstitious, but after a week of stepping over the cracks and around the ladders, we finally finished a feature. It was a long week putting the car back together, including a stay over at camp PMC. Pete Chucta did his usual awesome job getting us in and out of the shop in record time, but for some reason, the car wants to smoke cigarettes, drink beer and gamble now. The car is good in warm-ups, but we still have a few teething problems. The brakes are a bit messed up and the steering box has a wicked high spot in it - no surprise after what it went through the last four weeks. We put a new box in and bleed the brakes for the heat race. Fortunately we're able to qualify for the feature. The stellar performance from the past two weeks puts us in 7th for the start. I make it one lap before the guy in front of me brake checks me in turn one and I end up looping it. So much for the good starting spot. So to the rear I go, kinda like Jeff Burton, huh? ;) 8 laps later I'm picking my way past cars when I get loose coming out of two, and get a little help in my quarter panel turning me around again. So with 10 laps down, I get to start over again. I settle down a little bit and end up picking my way up to 9th. The car was good, the driver was not so good. Hopefully I'll be a 100% for next Saturday.
It seems like it's been along time since I've had something positive to write about. Saturday had to have been about the worst time I've ever had at the races. Coming down to turn 3 on the last lap of warm-ups a car spins right in front of me. No room to get by on top, so it's either hit him straight on or try to turn the car down harder to get by on the bottom. Unfortunately I was carrying way too much speed for that to work and I end up slamming into him on the right side resulting in extensive damage to my car. I figured there was way too much damage to get ready to race again so we started to fix the car enough to get it in the trailer. The next thing you know there's about 12 pairs of hands pitching in. Unbelievably, we're ready to go in time for the heat race. I start 6th in the heat so I figure we should be okay...NOT. Coming down to take the green for the start, the outside row gets a good run and we head for the flaggers stand. The next thing I know the guy next to me starts moving into my lane. I'm as far right as I can get, and before I have time to hit the brakes, I end up climbing the wall. When the car comes back down, it shoots across the track in front of the rest of the field. I think I got hit two or three more times before it was all over. So after last week's wreck and the two from tonight, I feel like I was in the ring with Mike Tyson. Everything hurts. Not to mention that the car is wrecked pretty bad. Looks like PMC is going to have to do some major reconstruction, including a complete body, before we can race again.