Well after our big adventure last week we thought we'd try to incorporate some new set up stuff. We were too tight in warm-ups so we loosened up the car a bit for the heat. I started 5th and just concentrated on staying out of trouble and finished 3rd. By the time we had hot laps the track started coming back and we were too tight again. Jimmy and I made a few small changes for the feature and we were ready to go. I started 12th and let me tell you, patience was the name of the game. There was side by side racing lap after lap, and plenty of chaos just waiting to happen. The car was pretty good but still too tight up top. I was trying to make the top work until the 68 passed me on the bottom. I dropped down in behind him and followed him through. I think we only had one more caution with about 5 laps to go. I was able to get by the next few guys to second and just rand out of time to get to Artie.
And finally this week you couldn't have asked for a nicer day. Dan took another whack at solving our cooling problem this week and I think he might have got it. We unloaded with a slightly different setup and things were looking pretty good in warm-ups, the car was quick. I started in the last row of the heat and took my time till things shook out a bit. We were able to get to 2nd before it was over. We bolted on the big spoiler for hot laps and that turned out to be too much. We toned that down for the feature and rolled off 14th. I hung out on the high side and the car was a little snug getting in and through the middle, but was still very good. We went several laps before the first caution flew. Some cars got together up top coming off of 4 and thought I had missed the worst of it. Unfortunately we ended up with a flat tire and sheering the birdcage pins. This allowed the rear to cock itself at a severe angle. Jimmy said to go back out and do the best I could. On the restart I hung back a little bit and the car didn't feel too bad. A few laps into it again and I was doing a serious stroke of business. I was passing guys on the outside like they were standing still. And if that didn't work I could still take them on the bottom. Even though the car was crabbing going down the straight it was still wicked fast. With about 5 to go I was in the top 5 and with 2 to go I was in 2nd and closing on the leader. I thought I might have enough time to take a run at him but it was all over when my right rear went down going into 1. Somehow I managed to keep it out of the wall and held it up high so I didn't get hit. I limped back to the pits for another tire and tried to pass a couple of guys before the checkers flew. I think we ended up 16th.
So we were treated to another wicked hot, humid Saturday. Dan had my engine most of the week trying to pin down the cooling system problem we were having. We changed several parts and kept our fingers crossed. We got to the track and initially it looked like we weren't going to have heat races again, but the track ended up changing their mind. We started 7th in the 3rd heat and I got up to 4th before the checkers. The track was pretty slick from being sun baked so Jimmy and I decided to make some pretty big changes for hot laps, and that's what we went with for the feature. I started 9th and immediately got shuffled back to about 15th or 16th in the first two laps when the out side row took off. There were some quick cautions of course and I was able to start picking my way forward again. I did manage to miss some pretty good wrecks by being conservative, and by lap 9 found myself inside the top 10. A this point the water temp needle was trying to make itself dizzy, but the oil temp was holding steady. The track went to a single file restart on lap 9 and I was able to get by a few more cars and was working the 18 pretty hard before the caution came out on lap 14. Now the oil temp was starting to get pretty warm. Bobby moved is line down to protect his position and I ended up finishing behind him in 4th. The engine had been laying down pretty good for the last half of the race from being too hot so I was happy with that. And I finally got some pics posted...
Looks like Howard did some kind of rain dance to get the show in this week. The track scratched all the heat races in order to get the show in before curfew. That meant a lot of sitting around. The car was pretty good in warm-ups so we made only a few minor changes. I started 13th and caught a few brakes to get to 8th in a couple of laps. The track was pretty slick, but my car was working good on the bottom. A few more restarts and I moved up to 6th, then 6th. About halfway through I was 4th, thinking my chances were pretty good. I ran down into 1 on the restart and just couldn't get the car turned at the top of the track. I dropped back to 5th or 6th and it took the rest of the race to make it back up to 4th. I just wasn't good enough up top to make it happen. At lest we have 3 decent finishes instead of wrecks.
Tonight we were the under card for Mr. DIRT 2005. We got the car back in shape but we were a little off in warm-ups. Jimmy and I made a shock adjustment and a few other tweaks to get ready for the heat race. I started 6th and it took a few laps to break free of the guy running side by side in front of me. Once I got clear I was able to get up to 2nd which is where we finished. And due to the stellar performance from the last few weeks I earned myself a 6th place start in the feature. After a few more tweaks to the car we rolled off under the green and it got ugly right away. The second row was all assholes and elbows coming off of 2. I checked up and ducked under the 80 because he looked like he was going to tag the wall but he ended up turning hard left and pinched me between him and another guy. I got shoved back to 8th as the caution came out. On the restart I caught a break and passed 3 or 4 guys in 1 and 2 and another in 3 and 4 to get up to 3rd when the caution flew again. It took me 4 or 5 laps to get past the 250 into second and the rest of the race went green. The 18 had checked out and I was only able to gain a little bit each lap. We didn't run into lap traffic till the very end and I ran out of time to catch Bobby.
Well after getting my butt kicked the last two weeks I guess you could say that the focus this week was to stay out of trouble. It was a "night of features" so there were no heat races for the Sportsman. The car was decent in warm-ups, and when we got done with hot laps later in the night we were ready to make some significant changes for the feature. But at the last minute we found that both front shocks were bent from the accident last week. We got that straightened out and toned back the changes we were going to make. I started 7th in the feature and got up to 5th in about 4 or 5 laps. The 25 and the 80? looked like they got together coming off of 4 and halfway down the straight the 80 slowed suddenly right in front of me. I thought I had him missed but my left front made contact with his right rear and sent my car for a ride. I went spinning down the front stretch and just barely kept the car out of the wall. I could feel that the front end was messed up, but after a quick trip to the pits I fell in at the rear. A couple laps later I was on the outside of a bunch of cars in 1 and 2 and someone slammed into me and sent me into the outside wall. The contact wasn't too bad so I dropped in at the rear again. A couple laps more and there was another mess in turn 4 that I spun out to miss. So back to the rear again. So with 11 laps down we were finally single file and I was able to finally pass some cars without getting wrecked. I made it up to 5th and was working on 4th with a pretty wounded car when I ran out of laps.