Spring 1999 5/1999 6/1999 7/1999 8/1999 9/1999 10/1999 Current News
All the wet weather this week gave Howie what he needed to prepare a great track this week. I start 12th in the heat and pull off a pretty neat move on the bottom in the 1st turn and end up passing about 6 cars. I spent the rest of the heat trying to hang on to 5th. That put me 15th in the feature. Now, past history has shown the if the modifieds have a bunch of cautions, the Sportsman race usually goes green to checkers. And that's what happened. I make pretty good progress till I get to 9th. Then I get stuck for a while trying to get around Stan Jablonka. Finally on the last lap I'm able to sneak under him and the 7th place guy to grab 7th. It was a good run for us but the bad news is that we broke another crank. :(
It didn't look too good for Saturday evening's festivities. The weather was pretty much the same as last week when it rained out. Somehow Howie found a patch of blue sky and pulled it off. Well, maybe it wasn't blue. It was heavy overcast, which probably concealed the full moon. At least that's my story. Warm-ups were like driving on a skating rink. Howie did a great job getting the track in shape, although it was quite a bit narrower than usual. Because of the shortened schedule, there were no heat races. I start the feature in 15th and I can tell right away that it's gonna be tough sledding. Around lap 5 I get a pretty good run going on the outside of 3 and 4 but a car slides right up in front of me. I end up running into the rear of him pretty hard. Afterwards the car felt pretty funny, but I though that the toe-in was messed up. Turned out, unknown to me, the right front was going flat. I guess I would have figured it out sooner or later but didn't get the chance. A few laps later I get caught up in a jingle in turn 4 and mess up the right front of the car. Bent radius rods, broken brake line, etc. A short tow to the pits, a new right front and the right front brake shut off, and I'm back out for some more. The car is a real handful, but we're doing okay. For a little while. I get caught up in another jingle down in 2. Once again to the rear I go. I end up with a stellar 15th place finish for my efforts.
What should have been an uneventful week turned into a pretty eventful 7 days. After the win last week I figured all we needed to do was dust off the car for this Saturday. Wrong! The weekly maintenance turned up a few problems on the car that need attention. Then Monday I get a phone call that it might be a good idea to let Billy Decker use my car for the 358 Skoal race at Brewerton on Wednesday. Randy and Billy have been very good to me so we gave it the green light. He starts 6th in the heat and after about 5 laps he takes the lead, winning the heat by about half a straightaway. Pretty cool. And I think we surprised Billy with how good the car was. The only problem we have is Billy's lack of time in the car. We're not sure what changes to make, and since the car is pretty good we leave it alone. Billy starts 7th in the main and in about 3 laps is up to 2nd. On a restart around lap 30 Billy passes Danny Johnson around the outside to take the lead. He heads the field for about 20 laps until the motor starts getting hot. This slows the car down some, allowing Alan Johnson and Pete Bicknell to get by. Billy is able to hold off the rest of the field and finish 3rd, giving him the Syracuse 358 spot. The rest of the week is spent getting the car ready for Saturday night, including some cooling system modifications. Saturday I start my heat in last place. There's some real hard racing going on and I end up getting to 5th on the last lap. I start 16th in the feature, and just like the heat race, the racing is hot and heavy. I slowly pick my towards the front, but around lap 12 the water temp. light comes on. At this point it's running about 240 and it cools down under caution, so I decide to stay out. By the end of the race I'm up to 6th but the temperature is pegged. It looks like we still have to figure this cooling problem out.