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7/28/01

Well it was supposed to be a situation where it couldn't get any worse than last week.  I guess we did a little better, but not much.  Started last in the heat again, but with a good car and some aggressive driving I got to the front in about 5 laps.  Howie had our feature in between the twin 20's, so I thought the track might be in a little better shape than what we normally race on.  Turns out, not so much.  I started 14th in the feature and it was a battle right from the start.  A few laps into it, Roy and I got together on the frontstretch and I guess we were lucky it didn't turn into something pretty big.  It felt like all 4 wheels came off the ground.  We both kept going, but the car just didn't feel right.  Turns 1 and 2 were slick as hell if you weren't on top and 3 and 4 were decent about every 3rd lap when the water being splashed from the bottom got run in.  As usual it took way too long for me to get up top where I belonged.   I continued to pass a few cars, and I was up to about 7th or so with 12 or 13 laps down when my left rear went flat.  I spun out in turn 4 and ducked into the pits to get a new left rear.  There wasn't enough time to come from that far back, I think I made it to about 14th or so by the time the checkers fell.   

7/21/01

Man this was a busy week.  We were up in New Hampshire till Friday night with the Busch North car.  And just like most things in racing, it's harder than it looks.  We had a decent day Thursday, top 15 in practice.  Blew qualifying, ended up 18th, but recovered to be in the top 3 for happy hour.  The guys got a bit behind in the race and ended up 14th.  

Saturday proved to be a challenge also.  Tony and Dave were back in town again. Dave was pretty fast in the Smith Brothers car, Tony had motor problems in our car and used the Smith Brothers backup car for the night.  Both started deep in the pack and Dave did a great job moving to the front, ending up in 5th.  Tony, unfortunately had some more problems having rear suspension trouble and dropping out.  Ronnie did an awesome job finishing second, but more trouble was in the cards, it looks like he hurt the motor.

And then there was me.  Once again we had an awesome car.  I started last in the heat and was quickly moving through the pack when I cut down my second tire of the night.  Unfortunately we didn't get a courtesy lap so I had to play catch up to the field and ended up finishing 6th.  That put me on the pin for the consi which we won.  I started the feature deep in the field, 21st.  Once the green dropped, we just started picking cars off.  It was pretty near halfway and I was probably about to crack the top 10 when I got caught up in a turn 4 wreck with Hawley Smith.  We did some pretty significant damage to the front end, and although the guys in the crew did and awesome job trying to fix it, we couldn't get it done before we lost a lap.

7/14/01

Well I guess you could call last night interesting.  First there was all the shenanigans for the "Night of Features".  Not sure how I feel about all that stuff, but I guess if the fans liked it, it's okay with me.  The track was kind of funky last night, lots of bite, but extremely tight at the same time.  This is a bigger problem with the Sportsman than the Mods because the McCreary's we use don't give us much stagger, and that's what helps when the track is like this.  Luckily we had some tires from the beginning of the year that we were able to get some decent stagger with.  I started last in the first B-Main, and just hung around the back for a little while.  That turned out to be a pretty good move, since the guys in front of me we just about wrecking every lap.  Around lap 5 or so I had advanced to 8th I think, without really even passing a car.  By the end of the race I was 3rd, which qualified me to run in the Relay race.  The top 3 from each B-Main ran a relay race and the winning team got $150.  My team gave it a good try, but the format didn't really allow us to be competitive.  I started the feature in 16th after making numerous adjustments to the car.  Once again, the Sportsman drivers were pretty out of control.  We had several cautions in the early laps, and unfortunately I was in one of them.  Lap 3 or 4 and I was bringing up the back.  So I got busy, and got aggressive.  I began working my way through the field and by the halfway point I was 6th.  I grabbed 4th on a lap 10 restart and started working on Frank Harper for 3rd.  A couple of laps later I was able to sneak under him in turn 2, and now I was after Sparky and Bobby Knipe.  There were about 5 laps left, and it seemed like there was caution after caution, which I didn't need at all.  With 2 to go, I was able to pass Sparky coming off of 4 and just ran out of time to make a bid on Bobby for the lead.  All in all, I'm pretty happy that I missed all the carnage in the B-Main, and we need to find a way to add about 5 laps to the Sportsman feature.  ;) 

7/7/01

Oh man, what a night.  There must have been a very full moon out.  There wasn't a single class that went without many major incidents.  I started last in my heat and managed to miss some early race banging that Roy got caught up in.  I ended up coming up through to 2nd.  With my win still on the books, I was handicapped to 16th in the feature.  And that's when it all started going horribly wrong.  :)  It took about 30 minutes to get 3 laps in.  At one point I had moved up several positions, missing an early wreck in turn 3, but promptly lost those spots and more during the next couple of  cautions.  On the restart on lap 3 the 22 car got crossed up coming off of 2.  I thought I had him cleared, but ended up catching him with my right rear as I went by.  I got turned around and hit by several more cars before it was all over.  The damage turned out to be relatively mild, considering.  The boys replaced the broken front panhard bar very quickly and I was able to get back out without losing a lap.  So with 3 laps down I started dead last.  By lap 10 I had made it to 12th or so, and by the end of the whole deal, I was able to pass Artie on the white flag lap to get 6th.  Looks like a fairly long week ahead of us, there are a lot of bent parts to be replaced.

 

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