May 6th, Sunset Speedway Opener
May 6th was opening night for Sunset Speedway’s 2023 season, this year they have combined the Limited Late Models and the Pro Late Models for their regular nights of racing. This came as a shock to us, but a pleasant one as we were unsure what our options would be for the 2023 season as it was clear the number of Limited Late Models were quickly declining. A lot of which were replaced with Pro Late Models, converting to hot rods or just sitting.
There haven't been any rule changes to the Limited Late Model package so we are running our car the exact way it came off the track in 2022. In 2021 we competed without changes to our car in the Velocity 250 Pro Late Model race, we finished 6th in a great field of talent - so for this year I'm looking forward to racing with a great field.
This year there was rain both days we attempted to test, therefore we unloaded on opening night with 0 laps under our belt for the season. When we attempted to roll through tech we noticed the right rear tire didn't look right, we diagnosed some very minor suspension issues, fixed them up and got ready for practice.
Our car felt pretty good in both practice sessions, as far as qualifying goes we were not and will not be expecting much as the Limited should be more competitive during longer runs with the Pro’s. Out of 18 cars to take time (Awesome field by the way!) Saturday we qualified 13th.
In the first feature we rolled off 12th as Billy Zardo was ahead of us and dropped to the rear before the beginning of the race (I think he had to come down pit lane before the green). After the initial start we made a pass on the 23 car to put us up to 11th spot. On Lap 8 we were closing in and looking to make a pass on the 39 when we were spun by the 23 car. I came out of the spin with bumper/ right rear quarter damage, but the 23 car was not sent to the rear with me.
I restarted 16th, shortly after the green flag dropped, the 69 had some electrical issues which led to another caution on lap 8. With the choose cone rule in effect I was able to grab 2 spots on the restart and restart in the 14th position.
By lap 20 I had made my way up to the 12th position and that's where I would end the 35 lap feature.
I was pretty happy with how the car was handling, however the brakes were fading a little.
Between features we would change the brake pads in preparation for another 35 lap feature, which I love double features!
For the 2nd feature we would start where we finished, 12th and this feature would run green to checkered without any cautions. I finished 10th and our brakes were not up to par at all, even worse than the first feature.
Again I was really happy with the car's handling, it's just hard to really push and make moves with no brakes.
We know what we have to do for our next race on May 27th, and we’re excited to get back to it!