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8/14/04

 Looks like we managed to avoid the big hurricane.  Right away the topside of the track began to peel up.  Apparently they put new clay down and because of the previous 3 days of rain, they never had a chance to work it in.  The motor felt great after getting rebuilt from the big teardown last week.  We actually got a chance to make a couple of small changes while it was apart, and from the way the car went in warm-ups, it looks like they worked.  We left the car alone for the heat race, I started last and tried to stay out of the trouble in front of me.  By halfway through I made my way to the point and won the heat.  We made a couple of small changes for hot laps but when we got back to the pits, the car just didnít look right.  We decided to change the left rear bar, and we roughed in the frame heights to get ready for the feature.  I started 15th and was just bogged down.  I didnít get anywhere in the first few laps.  I finally got going a little bit and the caution came out.  Frankie was fighting for the spot under caution and I let him have it, and because they rushed the restart, I ended up getting lined up about 2 spots back from where I should have been.  They threw the green and I started moving around to find a way around some of these guys.  I think by the next caution I was 8th or so.  There were maybe 5 or 6 laps left and I was able to get up to 6th behind the 16.  I was better than he was, working the bottom, but he never gave me enough opening to take a run at him.  The top just wasnít fast enough to try there either.  So we ended up 6th, not too bad for how it started.

8/7/04

So Friday night we put a fresh set of bars in and put back some of the changes we had undone Thursday night.  I started last in the heat and made it up to 4th.  Nothing exceptional, the track was very fast and everyone was going good.  We made some changes for the feature to tighten the car up and I started 15th.  I got by a couple of guys in the first two laps, and then there was a big wreck in turn 4 that I was able to duck under and went from 13th to 6th.  When we went green I grabbed a few more spots and before long I was second to the 68 when the yellow came out.  The first restart was called back when Artie ran me down to the infield.  He was able to get out in front for the next 3 or 4 restarts and finally we were able to get some green flag racing in.  We were pretty equal for a while but he was getting looser and looser, especially in turn 2.  We ran bumper to bumper and side to side for about 5 or 6 laps till he slid up a little to far in 2 and I got past him for the win.  We went through tech and found out that Artie was protesting us for crank weight and bore and stroke.  We rolled the car over to the back of the clubhouse and started tearing down the engine.  After a late night Saturday and an early morning Sunday the track determined that we are legal.

8/5/04

Well it certainly was an interesting night.  We were pretty quick in warm-ups, but not quite right.  All the changes we had done during the week were quickly undone and then some.  We were a little better in the heat.  I started last and made it up to second.  Going across the scales I left a huge puddle of rear end grease.  Somehow a bolt that had been wire tied came out of the rear and we were lucky that we didn't burn the rear up.  We made some more changes for hot laps, but I still didn't like the way the car felt.  We decided to go over to the scales and check things out and found out that we somehow had a bunch of right rear weight.  If we had more time I would have thrown a set of bars at it, but we didn't.  Jimmy cranked a bunch of wedge into the thing and wished me luck for the feature.  I started 15th and was patient for a couple of laps.  That paid off when a clump of cars got together in front of me and I ducked under and picked up a few spots.  I got a few more on the next turn as wall.  The field had spread out a little bit by now and we got to do some green flag racing.  I moved around a little to see if any other parts of the track were better than the bottom, but the bottom was the hot lick.  I kept picking off cars and got myself into the top 5 before the first caution flew on lap 15.  I picked off the 16 on the restart and set my sights on the 25.  It didn't look like I had enough to pass Frankie unless he made a mistake.  We got another caution with a couple of laps to go and I got under Frank in turn one when he slipped up a little.  We ran wheel to wheel down the backstretch and I sent it deep into turn 3 and took the lead.  After the way the night began I would have never predicted this. 

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