Spring 2000 5/2000 6/2000 7/2000 8/2000 9/2000 10/2000 Current News
We ended up at Utica Rome Friday. Not a trip I would exactly call a success. I got wrecked in the heat, made it out for the consi, but never was able to get the car going. It was an extremely frustrating night, we ended up going home after and stripping the car to the frame to get ready for Syracuse. Ronnie faired slightly better, started 5th, fell back to about 12th, and was working his way back to the top 5 at the 2/3 mark when the head gasket blew. The only bright spot was Jack's performance, ending in an almost photo finish with Brett for the win. How 'bout that Dan Bedell, huh? Kicking Gary Stanton's ass. <g> The weekend turned even sweeter Saturday, when Jack totally dominated the 358 race at Rolling Wheels, once again finishing ahead of the Stanton powered Hearn car, and 3rd place Steve Paine, also Chrysler powered. Sunday was a long day, waiting for the rain to pass. Jack and Ronnie started deep in the field and at the drop of the green, Jack started backing up and Ronnie started heading to the front. We were about 5 or 10 laps from getting lapped when the caution came out, saving our but. Shortly after, Ronnie's good run came to an end with him getting caught up in a major frontstretch wreck. It was at this time that we had Jack hit the pits for a change to soft tires. It looked that that was the ticket as Jack started to the front passing 2 or 3 cars a lap. We ended up making a few more pit stops, to complete the change to softs and to pull the packed mud out of the right rear. We end up finishing a respectable 3rd to Danny Johnson and Steve Paine
Saturday was the rained out race from the Race of Kings. The track was very similar to how it was last week, we were having a hard time getting the car to turn in. We were junk in the first set of warm-ups. Since all the heats had been run the week before, all we had to do was wait for the feature. Fortunately Harry and the boys were gracious enough to give us a second set of hot laps. We were able to make some changes to the car after this second set that really helped make the car much better. We started the 30 lap feature in 6th. I followed Stan into the first turn and he shoved way up to the wall. I slowed up and was able to miss him without getting turned around by the guys behind me. (Thanks Roy! :) ) There was some hard racing up in the front and a bunch of cautions kept sticking me with inside restarts. Fortunately this wasn't a problem this night. The was a big bump going into 3 that if you didn't get just right, the car would just shove. I got Roy off the bottom of 4 because of this. A couple of laps later George got a little loose coming off of 2 and we went side by side down the backstretch. I took him in deep and came out of turn 4 in 2nd place behind Bobby Knipe. The next caution I got a pretty good run down to the green and went low under Bobby into 1 and 2. He pulled up next to me on the backstretch and just got ahead of me and the caution came out again. The next restart was even better, and I took the lead coming out of 2. We had a bunch more cautions, and the starter went to single file restarts. The car was still too tight on entry but wicked fast through the middle and out. We end up crossing the line about a full straightaway ahead of Bobby. 'Till we cross the scales. Wonder boy here didn't tell the boys to put enough fuel in and we missed making weight by 13 pounds and get DQ'd. The good news is that the car was the best it's been all year. Tentative plans have us going to Utica-Rome on Friday for the 100 lap 358 race.
Well the 2000 edition of the 48 hours of Lebanon Valley is in the books. Saturday was a very long rainy, wet day. We started packing the track in the late afternoon Saturday following persistent showers all day long. The amount of rain and the very high humidity made for a very slippery track. And what was already a very busy schedule for us, running in both classes, became nuts, as the track kept re-working the order of events to try and get the whole show in. Of course I waste all my luck in the draw on the way into the track. Normally this would determine your position in the heats, but on this day its only function was to determine what heat you would re-draw for. Of course I pull #1!!!! Sheesh! I end up pulling #6 for my starting position in the first heat. Normally this wouldn't be such a bad thing, but the track conditions just really worked against us. I pass a couple of cars and get passed by a couple of cars and end up 5th. Originally they were only taking 3 from the heats, but they later changed it to 4. That put me on the pole in the first consi. Now that the track has been run in a little more, the car is awesome. We end up checking out and win the consi. Which puts me in the enviable 30th starting position for the feature. :)
I started the Sportsman heat on the inside front row, along side George. We didn't have enough time to change the car over for the sportsman tires, and I ended up being wicked tight. I chase George around for all 8 laps and finish 2nd which will have me starting 6th next Saturday when they run our feature. The track calls us to line up for the 358 feature and we run a bunch of laps under yellow to try and blow the fog off a little. No dice, the feature gets held over till Sunday.
And from one extreme to another, Sunday is an absolute scorcher. Once again the car feels great in warm-ups, my biggest problem is a little too much stagger. I make a couple of small changes before the feature and we're off. Can't see a thing, dust everywhere. I tip toe for a while as I watch Kenny blow past me after a couple of laps and a handful of cautions. Eventually things spread out a little bit and I step the pace up a little. The car is very good and I start picking off cars one by one, running up in the "Roy" zone next to the fence. Somewhere around halfway I'm following a bunch of cars running 3 and 4 wide. Guy Sheldon makes a move on Vic Coffey in turn 3 and they spin, collecting me in the process. We end up with a very broken race car, while running 16th or so.