26 Sep 2019 Year in Review

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to update my website as there has been so much going on in life.  Since I fell behind with my weekly updates, around mid-season, I decided to do an end of year review only, instead of trying to rush through each week with a weekly update.

Over the off season, we did some updating to my chassis, to improve the performance of the car.  It was much needed and a huge help.  Thanks to Danny and my Dad for the work they put in on this while I was away in North Carolina for the winter.

The start of the race season was rough because of the weather.  We rained out more than we raced in the first quarter of the season.  

May 11, 2019 – Our first race ended up being a week after the original scheduled opening night.  With a bunch of upgrades and changes made to the car in the off season, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the car felt good.   We didn’t have a good opening night and start to our season.  In the first feature, I had mad my way up to 10th when the 10 car spun and collected me.  I would suffer a broken ball joint and end the race in 24th.

In the second feature, the car wasn’t great as we had to make a repair, with a modified part as we didn’t have the correct replacement ball joint.  On the opening lap, the 34 car would lose his hood, bringing out the caution, and then on the restart, the 9 car would go around, bringing out the caution again.  The car broke loose in corner 1 and I went high on the race track falling back to 16th.  On lap 12, the 10 would spin the 54 bringing out the caution and I would restart in 13th.  The car wasn’t good and unable to turn through the corners, we would end the second feature in 16th.

May 25, 2019 – Spring  Velocity – The Spring special would be one of my best qualifying efforts in the late model.  We had heat races, in the first one, I was spun early in the race and had to go to the back and I drove myself back up to finish 2nd in the race, which would qualify me in 3rd starting spot for the feature event, however, it wasn’t meant to be.  Rain got the best of us again.  This race was to be rescheduled, however, the speedway was not able to secure a date, and the event was a wash.

June 8, 2019 – Finally back at the track again and we were hoping for a good result after the car was exceptional on the last outing.  I started 6th in the first feature, in 2 and 3 wide traffic.  On lap 7, the 57 got sideways coming out of corner 4 which knocked me down into the inside wall, also causing the 14 and 34 to be involved and damaged.  I pitted for damage and restarted 19th  and made my way back to 15th before pulling off on lap 17 due to the damage sustained. 

In the second feature, I would start 17th.  The caution came out on lap 7 and I was up to 13th for the restart.  Another caution would come out on lap 19 when the 97 gets spun and collects the 31 and 39.  Restarted the race in 7th and made a 3 wide pass on the 99 and 23 to finish the race in 5th position.  

June 30, 2019 – this would not be a good day for our team.  In practice, the hub broke and the wheel came off the car, and the end result of this would be extensive damage to the rear end, and this would put us on the sidelines for a few weeks.  With the damage coming over the Canada Day long weekend, and then the July 4th holiday in the USA (Where the parts were coming from) we would miss a few races.  So far not a good start to the season, between the rain outs and the damage on two separate days, the season was no longer about putting together a good full season, but now we would focus on racing with a week to week mindset, putting up the best results that we could each week.

July 27, 2019 – We were finally back on track a month later and hoping for a good night.  We qualified 6th for the night, which was a good start back for us.  In the first feature, the 48 would go around on lap 1 and collects a number of cars.   Lap 6 I would pass the 31 on the outside and a couple of laps he would get back by me, I passed another car to take back 5th this is where I would end the race. 

Started 6th in the second feature, fell back with a messy restart with 3 wide at the front, 31, 9 and 57 I believe, with contact to the 57 causing a flat, I got caught up behind him and fell to 8th.  Lap 6, falling back on the outside when the 10 spins the 69 bringing out the caution.  Restart this time in 10th, with another caution when the 9 spins and collects the 31.  On the restart, on lap 10, I fell back to avoid a wreck and ended up finishing the race in 11th.

August 5, 2019 – I don’t have my notes from this date, but I do know that I had two decent races as I finished 8th in the first feature and 5th in the second.

August 11, 2019 – Tonight we would run two heat races and a 50 lap feature.  In the first heat, it was pretty uneventful.  I started 6th, fell back to 7th when the 10 passed me and then passed the 33 to move back up to 6th where I would finish the race.  Heat 2 was uneventful as well, started 3rd, fell back to 4th.

In the feature, I started the race in 11th and moved up to 9th by lap 10.  As it was a longer race, I was trying to conserve my tires a bit since I didn’t have new tires for this race and was hoping for a caution around lap 30.  This didn’t happen.  The first caution of the race flew at lap 44 when the 3 went around on the front stretch.  On the restart, I was 9th, the 23 got sideways out of corner 2 and I had to go to the outside to avoid him and lost a spot.  There was another caution and the 57 got sideways and I fell back to 11th, made it back to 10th for the finish.

August 24, 2019 – I don’t really remember what happened in the first feature, and I cannot find my notes on this race, but I do know that I finished 6th in this feature.

Qualified 7th for the feature, and was running in 7th when I got tagged from behind in 4 and spun on lap 11.  Restarted last and on lap 23 there was another caution as the 99 went around and I would restart in 11th.  By lap 31, the 23 would spin bringing out the caution again, with me restarting in 9th.  Lap 32 was a bad lap for me, car was a bit out of control coming out of 4 and down the straightaway and I overshot the entry to corner 1 and hit the 9 car, spinning him around and bringing out the caution.  I was not able to finish the race.  

September 7, 2019 – Started 10th in the first feature, on lap 9, the 57 spun the 31 and we would restart in 8th.  Made a pass and moved up to 7th when on lap 11, the 9 spun, and caution comes out again.  On lap 21, I got underneath the 14 and made the pass for 6th. Caution would come out for rain shortly after and the race was called, finished 6th.

In the second feature, I started 6th and got up to 4th, before falling back to 7th when the 25 spun and brought out the caution on lap 7.  Quickly moved back up the 5th.  On lap 14 the 34 brings out the caution for a flat tire.  On the restart the 48 went 3 wide on the restart and made contact with the wall bringing out the caution on lap 16. I restarted 5th.  The 57 broke on the restart and brought out the caution again, with the restart, I was 4th but fell back to 5th for the finish.

September 14, 2019 – Championship night – We did two heat races and a 75 lap feature for championship night.  In the first heat, I started 6th and was spun by the 39 on lap 1.  We didn’t change our tires for this heat and the car was not good.  Ended up finishing 6th.

For the second heat, I started 2nd and finished 2nd. 

For the 75 lap feature race, I would start 2nd and took the lead on lap 1.  Led the field for the first 10 laps before getting passed by the eventual winner, the 48.  I fell back a bit, lap 17 back to 3rd, lap 33 fell to 4th.  On lap 69 the 9 spun and brought out the caution.  I would restart 4th.   On the restart the 31 didn’t get going as there was something on the track, I pulled up along side of him battling for 2nd, and he was sideways through the next corner.  His back end came around and hit the back side of my car, turning me sideways.  I was able to drive out of this, however the 31 and 39 would go around and bring out the caution.  Lap 70, the 14 and 25 would go around to bring out the caution once again. I would restart 3rd and have a battle with the 23 car to the end and would finish 3rd.  My first podium in the late model.

September 21, 2019 – Fall Velocity 250 – We did heat races on Saturday, I finished had a great battle with the 48 in the first heat, getting underneath him at the end of the race, but not able to finish the pass and had to settle for 2nd.  The second heat we would start at the back and finish in 6th.

We ran the feature event on Sunday and I qualified 6th for the race.  This would prove to be one of my most exiting races this year.  At the drop of the green flag, I heard over the radio, “cautions out, 99 car around and gas on the track”.  I would quickly learn that the gas was coming from my car, we had left the gas cap off, and I had to go to the pits to have this put on.  With that mistake, I would give up my 6th place qualifying spot and have to start at the rear of the field.  I am sorry to the 99 car for spinning out in the fuel that I dumped on the track to bring out the caution, but also grateful as otherwise, I would have gone laps down. :)

We started picking off cars and moving up through the field and by lap 45, I had just made a pass to get back into the 6th position, my original starting spot, when the car I had just passed hit my back end and spun me out. :(  To the back of all the lead lap cars I would go again.  By the next caution, at lap 70 the 54 and 24 would make contact, I was up to 5th position and would restart here at lap 70.

Lap 70 would be a long one since on the first restart the 54 got spun bringing out the caution, on the second attempt the 34 brought out the caution and then on the next restart, myself, the 39 and 48 were three wide and I think (not sure as I couldn’t see it) the 48 may have made contact with the wall.

We would restart again in 3rd and finish the race in 3rd!!  This was my first podium finish in the late model, and my first Velocity 250, so my whole team was quite excited about the finish.

We are off now for the season.  We have a sponsor commitment with Mobil 1 on October 19, 2019 when the car will be at the Parts Source Grand Opening in Orillia.  Then we will tear the car down and start the work for the 2020 season, where we are hoping to pick up where we left off.