After last week's excitement, I was looking for a nice boring Saturday. The weather was wicked humid, and in warm-ups the track had a lot of bite. I warmed up Dave Manney's 358 again this week which was nice. Actually was fastest in warm-ups with it. Our car was pretty good, we made a couple of minor changes for the heat and I rolled off 8th. Got to the 4th turn and everyone got jammed up. I ducked to the bottom and came out 3rd. I chased the 12 and 83 around for the rest of the heat thinking the feature was gonna be tough, it was a very hard track to pass on. We decided to make a shock change to try and make my corner entry a little bit better and it definitely helped when we tried it in hot laps. I started the feature in 15th and took to the bottom berm in 3 and 4 to miss a wreck. Picked up 2 spots and the cautions weren't over yet. We had several more restarts and I was inching my way forward. With about 15 to go I was 5th chasing the 00 and managed to pick him off on the bottom coming off of 4 with 2 to go. Not a bad night considering how tough the track was.
So we left our new cool setup in the car this week and I think we're on to something. The car was very good in warm ups. I started the heat in 9th and before the first lap was over, the was a big wreck coming off of 4 that just about tore the whole right side body off. We was able to keep going and ended up finishing 3rd. Everyone pitched in to fix the body panels and while we had the tin off, we discovered that the engine was leaking some water pretty bad. We patched up the crack in the cylinder head with some JB weld and made a couple of changes for hot laps. The car was real good but so was the track, everyone was fast. We still had some water issues, so we slopped on some more JB and crossed our fingers. I started the feature in 16th and it was tough sledding. I think I worked my way up to 10th or so and had just passed the 87 coming off of 4 when he spun me on the front stretch about 2/3 the way down. The car started to dig in on the left rear and it felt like I was going to go over. Somehow the car landed back on 4 wheels and I was able to drive away. Back to the rear with about 11 laps to go and I was able to make my way to 10th at the checkers. We were pretty lucky it could have been much worse...
Since there were no heat races this week for the Sportsman, Jimmy and I decided to use warm-ups as a test session. We had made a few changes this week and the car was a little better, but still not where we needed it to be. I had a little chat with Wayne Jelly after warm-ups and Jimmy and I talked it over and decided to make some pretty big changes again before hot laps. We changed torsion bars, spoilers and wedge to a combination that we've never tried before. I came in from hot laps and the car was pretty good. A couple of minor tweaks from that point and we were all set for the feature. I started 15th and we got about 5 or 6 laps in before the first caution flew. I had made it up to 8th by being pretty conservative and trying to not over drive the car. We ran a few more laps before the next caution and I quickly moved up to 5th. From that point on it was all green flag racing till the end. I picked off the next 3 cars off in about 3 laps and set sail for Artie, who had checked out and had a pretty big lead. I had about 9 laps to try and catch him, and with the car as good as it was, and the memory of the last two weeks fresh in my mind, I was able to pick up about 5 car lengths each lap, just trying to keep the car underneath me. I closed in to his back bumper with about 3 to go and tried to figure out how I was going to get by. My first try was at the bottom of 3 and 4, but someone had gone real low and splashed water on the track and the front end just shoved. That pretty much took very bottom of 3 and 4 out of play for me. I settled in behind him again and the next lap I snuck under him in 1 and 2 with a great run on the bottom and pulled off the win.