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It looks like the roller coaster changed direction again this week, sending us back up the hill.  :)  The big experiment for us this week was trying a new carburetor.  Of course it figures that this week they send every sportsman car in line out on the track at the same time for warm-ups.   Two laps of warm-ups.  I swear I just don't get it sometimes.  Anyway, I start last in the heat,  pay attention, and have a decent run up to second.   That puts me 15th in the feature.  The first 5 laps I think I was lucky to just not get caught up in the crazy stuff that was going on.  It seemed like cars were everywhere, swapping lanes like crazy.  I do some heads up driving and miss some wrecks that I had a better than average chance of being involved in.  Lap 8 finds me 6th, while Artie, who started only one row in front of me was leading.  A few more restarts and I get up to 4th.  The last restart has me following Artie out of turn 2 in second.  You could have tied a rope between us, he couldn't pull away, and I couldn't catch him.  I tried changing my line a little bit towards the end of the race, looking to find something to bring me closer to him, but I ended up losing ground.   It was a strong run to follow up last week's disappointment.


It definitely wasn't hard to figure out there was a full moon Saturday night.  On the positive side, I think we have our brake problem finally figured out, the car was very fast in warm-ups.  And that just about sums up all the positive things for the night.  It all pretty much heads downhill from there.   I started the heat 11th, and immediately missed a jingle in 1 and 2.  We race for another lap before the caution comes out. On the restart the 78 bobbles a little in 3 and 4 and I have a good run going around him on the top.  That is till Sparky spooks him and he turns up the track right into me.  Up in the air and into the wall hard.   Once again I rip out the front end, end up tweaking the frame as well.  Also ripped out the driveline.  We worked out butts off trying to repair the car in time for the consi.  We never really had a chance, it seemed like the consi went out about 15 minutes after the last heat finished.   But I wasn't too concerned if we missed it 'cause I thought the top 10 in points were guaranteed a spot in the feature.   Turns out only the top 5 are guaranteed, and I'm 6th in points.  So we got the car ready and were unable to run the feature.  It seemed like a pretty big deal, until the big wreck on the backstretch in the modified feature.  Thankfully no one was seriously hurt, it was one of the scariest things I've seen at a race track in a long time.  Of course Ronnie was in the middle of it and totally destroyed his car.   


Man, it was a blistering hot Saturday!  No heat races once again due to the 358 races.  Early warm-ups continued to find us with a brake problem.  After making some changes to the brake system this week, we were having a tough time getting all the air out of the system.  We were fortunate enough this week though to get some fast warm-ups a little later in the night, which usually doesn't happen.  (Thanks Howie and Harry!)  The brakes were better, but still not where I wanted them to be.  I ended up starting the feature in 15th.  There was some wicked tight racing for the first few laps, everyone jockeying for position on a pretty slick race track.  I was driving pretty conservatively and dropped back a few spots.  I started to make a little progress after about 5 laps, missing a couple of wrecks by inches along the way.  By the halfway point I think I was running 5th, with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place cars all dicing it out inches from each other and me right on their tail.  I was having a real hard time trying to get by Bobby Knipe, pulling up under him several times but not able to make it stick.  After a lap 15 restart, the guys in front start to get a little antsy, and at one point George Marcus showed me his nose.  That was all I needed to get my act together and start driving like a race car driver.  Made a couple of pretty cool moves, and with half a lap to go, made the pass that put me into second place.  I'm not sure what it looked like from the outside, but from where I was sitting it was a pretty awesome race!


Well we knew that the stellar performances from the last 3 weeks would have us starting pretty close to the front this week.  I roll off 3rd in the heat and end up on the point in 2 laps.  I have a couple of challenges before it's all over, one being the car is dragging the frame rail pretty bad through 3 and 4.  The other is that the tape I put on the windscreen to block the sun is a little too low and I have a hard time hitting my line 'cause I can't see.  :)   We won't make that mistake again.  The rule at the 'Valley is that a feature winner can't start higher that 5th, and that's where I am.  At the drop of the green for the feature I make a run on the inside of the guy in front of me but have to back out as he moves down going into turn 1.  Got to remember my own advice about being patient.  We go a couple of laps before the caution flies for the 1st time.  I restart in 4th and pass a couple more cars before the next yellow.  I restart on the inside of John Hotchkiss and we race side by side for at least two laps before I'm able to pass him for the lead.  Nice clean racing, it was awesome!  We go the rest of the way to the checkers, with George Marcus getting close at the end, but unable to do anything with us.  All that and we get a Snap-On creeper too!  :)