We went to the track Thursday to practice, first time with the Chrysler this year. The car was very good right off the trailer. We tried a few different setups, and were able to get some good notes. Saturday came, and I was pretty psyched after the good showing on Thursday. Unfortunately the track was just like it was the first night, incredibly slick. That made for some frustrating heat races earlier in the evening. I had a chance to try and get 4th in the heat but I didn't push the issue, thinking that the top 5 were handicapped. Unfortunately I wasn't paying attention, and they only handicapped the top 4. So I had the luxury of starting 18 in the feature. Won't let that happen again. We made some changes to the car for the feature and it looks like we went the right way. I missed a big tangle on the first lap and picked up 6 spots. The car was working really well and I was moving up through the field. A few laps later I got a little greedy going 3 wide down the front stretch. I was on the bottom of 1 and 2 and the car in front of me got a little sideways, I get too close and he hops my wheel. The contact ends up breaking the spindle and puts a disappointing end to our night. Definitely looking forward to next week though. Looks like we'll be heading to Charlotte for the Busch testing.
Had a pretty short night Saturday. The track was in much better shape. So was the driver. :) The car felt pretty good in warm-ups, we were in the low 21's with the rest of the fast people.. We made just a few minor changes for the heat race. I started 7th and it took me a couple of laps to knock the rust off. Passed a couple of cars to finish 5th. Unfortunately rain washed out the rest of the night. So I'm qualified for the first feature next week, but have no big block to race. We'll have to see if I can bum a ride or something. In the mean time, I spent most of today yanking out the Pontiac and putting the Chrysler in. Looks like warm-ups on Thursday is the next thing on the agenda.
(the saga continues...) Opening night for the Modifieds, and since we just happen to have the Pontiac in my car, well.... :) Looks like all the wet weather took its toll at the track. I don't think I've ever seen the it the way it was Saturday. The pits were pretty soggy, the track was extremely slick and where it wasn't slick, it was dry and dusty. Warm-ups were pretty much used to run the track in. I started 8th in the first heat and promptly ran into a traffic jam in the 1st turn. Thought I got away okay, but I ended up cutting the right front brake line. It took a few laps for me to get the brakes figured out after that, I ended up spinning out on the frontstretch before I did. I got my act together and finished 6th. Back in the pits we found the tie rod bent, the panhard bar was busted, both torsion arms were bent and of course the tin was battered. It took right up until hot laps to get the car put back together (thanks guys!). We made a few minor changes for the feature, where I started 17th. Once we started racing it was pretty apparent that it would be a long night. I couldn't see the bumper of the car in front of me, it was so dusty. There were a couple of early cautions and I was pretty much minding my own business, just getting ready to try and move up a few spots, when my old buddy Maynard pays a visit. I go into 3 on the bottom and Maynard figures that there's room for one more down there so he drives right over me, doing major damage to the left rear suspension. And that pretty much ended the night. Looks like we'll try it again next Saturday before we stick the little guy back in for the beginning of the Sportsman season.
Sorry about the lack of updates, the last 4 weeks have gone by like 4 days. :)
Friday at Charlotte went pretty well. Jack and Tony were both pretty fast, and the cars looked good. Saturday - what a looonnnggggg day. Spent all morning getting Tony's car ready for that night. Got to the track, then Tony was late, we missed warm-ups and just made time trials. Of course Tony hops into the car, puts his foot to the floor and times 3rd quick. I got to get me some of that. :) In the meantime, Jack had a brake problem in warm-ups and slammed the wall really hard. He hurt the car pretty bad, but all the guys pitched in to get it ready for the heat. The car was never right after that. And... Tony blew the motor in his car in the dash, one of several to pop down there. We rolled out my car and got it ready for him just in time for the first feature. Initially we had thought the Pontiac might be good for Charlotte, but it was definitely not. The combination of that motor and the 4:86 ring and pinion pretty much limited us as far as gear selection. We were average in the first feature, and average in the second feature. Once we got back to the shop we discovered a couple of things on the car that hurt us at the track. Tony did a great job though, and everyone worked their ass off all night long. Got some pics (thanks Tammy!) from Charlotte, more to come...
Obviously not too much new to write about. Once again we're preparing my car as a back up for Tony and Jack, this time at Charlotte. The good news is that we'll be leaving the big block in for the first two weeks at the 'Valley. That should be interesting. The shop is really coming along, Jimmy and Horsey are doing a great job. We're up to two Busch cars now, and it looks like the first race will probably be Charlotte in May. Got some more pics of Tony at Volusia up on the pics page.
Came across some old BGNN pics of Bryan this week, thought some of you all might be interested. Some neat pics of Dale Earnhardt, Terry Labonte, and Ernie Irvin in there. They're on the pics page, under Misc.
Well were back in town, and I suppose you could say the trip had its ups and downs. I guess we provided a pretty decent car for Tony, he was one of the fastest cars at Volusia all week. Of course the results dont show it. Tonys pretty awesome in a DIRT car, I can tell you that. We just need to tone him down a little bit so he can make it through a heat race and the occasional feature. Pretty exciting to watch though. There are some new pics of Tony at Volusia, and of Jacks 2001 Modified ride. By the way, I don't know where all of ya came from, but thanks for checking out this page. Traffic has increased over 600%! Feel free to forward any comments or suggestions.
The Monday night was practice and we had about a half a second on the field. Tuesday, Tony wiped out the front end in the heat race. The boys got that back together for the consi in which Tony promptly decimated the field, and we got in the show. Unfortunately, the rest of the evenings festivities were called off due to fog. That brought us to Thursday, and double features. We started deep in the pack for the first one, and Tony was picking his way through, when he made a move to the outside and banged wheels with Bob McCreadie. That move ended our night, snapping the rear end in half. Everyone jumped in and we were able to get the rear changed in time to start the heat. Tough competition had us finishing second, and we started the second feature in 6th. We threw some stuff at the car to try and make it better, and we definitely made the right changes. Tony took off and by the middle of the race was challenging for second. He ended up making contact with Jimmy Horton, and the right rear started going flat under caution. After a quick trip to the pits we got Tony back on the track. Unfortunately, we werent able to put the same tire on, so Tony had to work the bottom, instead of his favorite line, about an inch off the guardrail. He did a great job coming from the rear and ended up finishing 11th. Friday found us starting 6th in the heat. Tony made a charge to the front then slipped into 3rd for the finish. After much discussion, we made some pretty significant changes for the feature. At the drop of the green, Tony was off. He took a couple of laps to get his rhythm, then started moving to the front. A few cautions here and there, and then were challenging Tim McCreadie for 2nd. Just as Tonys about to make his move, we get another caution. On the restart, Tony and Tim head to the top, and as they come around to turn 1 again, they both miss their mark and slap the wall. Tim looks like he got away without too much damage, but the contact wiped out the front end on the GE car and put Tony out for the night. The decision was made that we should skip the final night, so that Tony would be able to put his best foot forward on Sunday. In the 500 it looked like Tony, Zippy and the rest of the Home Depot guys were playing the waiting game for most of the race, and started to make their move with 30 or 40 to go. Unfortunately, as we all know, he was on of the 19 cars involved in the backstretch wreck. Thankfully, he was just banged up a little bit, and not seriously injured.
And Id like to add my own small voice to the multitudes of others in saying goodbye to Dale Earnhardt. I was never a huge Intimidator fan, although I deeply respected and admired the talent and ability of Nascars larger than life driver. Bryan had the good fortune to meet Dale on several occasions and always came away impressed. Although seemingly cool and aloof, its readily apparent that Dale Earnhardt was not only an extraordinary racer, but an extraordinary person as well. It is impossible to not be affected by the heartfelt emotion expressed by those closest to him as they mourn his passing. All of us in the racing community will miss the man in black. Hopefully hes running hot laps with his Dad and Neil Bonnett somewhere in heaven
Alright! We're loaded and on our way to Sunny Fla.. Both cars are obviously done, Tony's looks great. Mine looks like a blank canvass, hopefully we won't need it for a back up. And who knows, I might even get a chance to go in circles myself. :)
Bobby Chalmers has a great article on Jack Johnson on his RacePro Weekly site...
Found some old 1999 pics, put those up. Added a link on the main page to the new Dealership site, check it out! Florida is gettin' close, we're finishing the cars, getting new tin ready.
Hmmm, looks like the secret is out....http://www.speedvision.com/pub/articles/racing/02NASCAR/010119a.html
There's also something on Jayski...
It seems like there isn't too much to write about, yet I'm so busy I don't have time to update this. :) Got my car back from Pete, he did his usual awesome job. I thought that I would have until at least the car shows to get things back together, but as it turns out, it appears that we may need it sooner. We're preparing Jack's Syracuse ride for Tony Stewart to drive at the 4 shows in Volusia during speed week. So we're busy ( I mean Jimmy is busy!) stripping that car and getting it race ready. In the mean time, we're finishing my car and sticking a big block in it for a backup for Tony. Busy, busy, busy. The shop looks great, still a work in progress though. I'll throw some pics up as soon as I can get some, if anyone's interested. Happy birthday Tim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!