Not a whole lot to say here. Next year is still in limbo. It looks like I'll be back doing the Sportsman thing. Bryan's still trying to put together some sponsor deals, nothing positive yet. I did buy both of Jack's 358 engines though, so we might make an appearance at a few 358 shows if everything works out okay. Put a few more pics up, some from the last 'Valley race and a couple from Middletown.
Well the Duke gave us his blessing to give Middletown another rip. Jimmy and RJ prepped the car for me while I massaged the motor with a little more valve spring pressure to be able to turn more RPM's. Friday was hot laps and time trials on a track that was challenging to say the least. There was a huge cushion during the mod time trials, the really fast guys were way up top. They worked the track again before the 358's went out, knocking down the cushion and probably preventing me from making a really stupid mistake like, ummm, trying to run the cushion. <g> I went 3rd from last and managed to pull off 14th quickest out of 100 or so cars entered, and ahead of some pretty heavy talent like Bachetti and Danny Johnson. Once again the little Sportsman engine that could did the job. That put me on the pole for the 8th heat on Saturday. When they dropped the green I got a good start and took the lead, but the yellow flew right away. The guys on the track were pointing at me like I had jumped the start, so of course on the restart the guy next to me jumped and they threw the green anyway. Lesson learned there, that will never happen again. So this time I over drove going into one and Andy slipped by me on the bottom to take second. So my 3rd place finish had me 30th in the feature. The track was unbelievably dusty but I was able to stay out of trouble. For a little while. There were plenty of cautions, and I was in more than a couple. The first one I got a get out of jail free card. Should have been wrecked but found a hole and made it through. The next one was not so cooperative. I was in it but avoided any damage. So to the back of the pack again I go. The last one was the worst. Vic Coffey made a bonzai run on me going into 3 and I didn't know he was there. I turned in like normal and the both of us spun to the wall. He hit pretty hard, I drove away narrowly avoiding going a lap down. Back to the rear again. I was able to pass a few more guys before it was over and ended up 15th. I owe special thanks to my one race sponsor, Sue Hearn and Sue Hearn Souvenirs. Hopefully we can turn this one race deal into something bigger for next year. :)
Syracuse, 2001. Done, cooked, over with. I guess the highlight for me would be the fact that I got to take out Jack's backup car for time trials. It kinda goes downhill from there. Tuesday we got through tech with no problems. I took the A car out to shake it down in happy hour, and everything looked pretty good. Wednesday practice found Jack pretty happy with the car. We had a couple of issues with the shocks that we were lucky enough to catch. I tried getting the other car going, but didn't really have any luck, it was lose, then it was tight, just very inconsistent. Jack did a great job, timed 11th. I was deep in the field, no threat to anyone. Thursday was round 2 qualifying. Most of the guys picked up some serious time, but Jack was only able to pick up a few tenths. I think we dropped to 13th on the list. I had made a bunch of changes to the B car, but all was for naught, the set of tires that I had on for my time trial lap were so out of balance that I couldn't see by the time I got to the end of the straight. So that was it as far as the B car was concerned. Friday was the triple 20's. We were 5th in the first one. Took the green, and Jack and Horton got together hard coming out of 2. After the impact the engine quit. Back in the pits, we could find nothing wrong, the engine fired right up. It wasn't till later that day that we figured out that when they hit, Jack's hand or arm came off the wheel and hit the ignition switch. So now we had to fall back on our guaranteed starting spot, 44th out of 47 starters for the Eckerd 200. Saturday was spent prepping the car and watching the 358 race. Sunday came rainy, windy, and cold. The race started about 2 hours late. Jack made an awesome move on the start, working the outside around at least 10 cars. And from that point forward we played out our strategy. Yellow after yellow, cars in front of us took to the pits while we stayed out. On lap 89 we came in with a bunch of cars for our only pit stop. As we passed lap 100, the track started coming to us and we got faster and faster. We were running 6th with about 70 to go when the motor let go in a big way. It was a huge disappointment, I think we would have been right behind Billy when the checkers fell. Everyone on the team did a fantastic job all week, we were well prepared, and the only things that went wrong were beyond our control.