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Looks like Howard is finally getting a handle on the track it was pretty decent again. We decided this week to try some Goodyear tires. Goodyear made some changes to them this year and we wanted to see if we were missing anything there. I started 8th in the heat, and the car was working perfectly. Took the lead and cruised on for the win. I was definitely noticing some differences between the McCreary's and the Goodyear's, and we decided to try the Goodyear's in the feature. I started 11th and began moving to the front. Did some pretty exciting passing, 3 wide on the high side on one occasion. Just past half way I was around 5th or 6th. The caution came out on lap 14 and from that point on, the tires just seemed to give up. I made it up to 3rd, looking for a away around Jay Casey for 2nd, but ended up loosing a spot to Bobby Knipe at the end. Another solid performance, and fortunately, a light week for the DIRT program. We head to Charlotte this weekend with the Busch team, and if everything works out okay, I should be able to make it back in time for the first heat race on Saturday.
Sometimes you just have to laugh. Spent all week working on a slick track setup, changing the car around pretty significantly. And then it rains on Saturday. Sooo, we sort of compromised and changed about half the stuff back. The pits were a little soggy, but the track was in great shape. The biggest obstacle would appear to be the big berms that they graded at the bottom of both ends of the track to try and keep us out of the infield. I think they got a little too aggressive, but it was the same for everyone. I started 7th in the heat, and it looked like it would be a tough one. 5 laps into it I was only 5th or 6th, there were cars everywhere. Unfortunately someone gets into the back of me in 3 and 4 and turns me around. The guys following did a great job not to run into me. I restart the heat in last and get up to 6th in the 2 laps remaining. We make a spring change and ride height adjustment for the consi. I take the green in 4th and by the time we're out of turn 2 I have the lead. 7 laps later I have over a straightaway advantage over the 2nd place car. We have really made some serious strides this year with the car setups, and I feel that each time we go to the track we get a little bit better. So now the challenge is coming from 21st in the feature. Things are absolutely chaotic for the first few laps, and I was pretty conservative waiting for the big wreck that didn't happen. Till lap 7, that is. A big jingle in turn 3 has the entire track just about blocked by the time I get there. I get slowed down in time to not pile in, but I'm blocked on the bottom of the track. Back to the rear again, with only 13 laps to get it done. There are a few more cautions, and some incidental contact along the way, but I'm able to make it to 7th by the time the checkers fall.
Well ya just had to wonder what kind of track Howie would have for us this week. Looks like the dry weather and persistent winds were working against him again. The track was already starting to dry out by the time the heat races went off. Last week's incident had me on the inside front row of the 3rd heat. I got a good run on Danny Watson coming down the straight to take the green and took the lead as we went through 1 and 2. The last minute changes we made to the car were perfect and we went on to win the heat. When the big blocks got done wrecking during their feature it was our turn to play. A 6th place starting spot had me pretty optimistic about getting to the front. That thought quickly vanished when the outside row didn't get off to a good start. I ended up 5th or 6th by the end of the first lap. I started picking my way up but it wasn't long before things would heat up. Coming off of 4, little Watson gets crossed up. I quickly duck inside and get next to him when he straightens out and slams into the side of me. Unfortunately he decided that instead of holding his line, he would try and run me down into the pit fence. I was fortunate enough to get the car under control, but several cars made it by me before I could gather it back up. Everything seemed okay so I got right back after it. Track conditions were going to make this pretty difficult, it was slick everywhere. As the laps wound down, I kept picking off cars till I was in 3rd with 3 to go. I was able to get under Danny Watson coming out of 4, but ran out of time to try and catch Frank Harper, who got his first Sportsman win.