clutchchange

14 May LLM – May 13, 2017

We had a great start to the day as we attended the Simcoe County walk for Muscular Dystrophy in Barrie as part of our association with the Laps4MD racing program.  It was great to meet people and talk about the program and racing at Sunset Speedway.

Finally back to racing after a week off due to weather.  The car felt good during practice and I was happy with it.  We went out for qualifying and after the first lap, something was wrong with the car, I wasn’t sure what it was so I just shut it down and coasted back to the infield.  Because of this, I ended up qualifying second last for the feature.

At first we thought it was going to be the transmission because I couldn’t get the car in gear, so we borrowed a transmission from Zardo Racing, but once we pulled the transmission, it turned out that it was the clutch.  We bought a new clutch and changed that in time for the first feature.  But thanks to Zardo Racing for loaning me the transmission if I needed it. :)

In the feature, I started 2nd last and would move up to 19th by the time the first caution came out at lap 11 when three cars would spin, the 14, 57 and 28.   Unfortunately, when I went to change gears, the car wouldn’t go into gear and I had to be pushed to pit road.  It was a super quick caution, they were going back to green just after I got into my pit stall and the crew only had time to jack the car up before the cars doubled up for the restart, and it didn’t allow time for the crew to get the car fixed and get me out before going laps down.  The shifter linkage had come loose after replacing the clutch and the crew had to tighten this and sent me back out.  I would fall down 5 laps, but we finished the race, which is the goal and finished 19th.  It wasn’t the best start to the day.

Special thanks to Branden, Jamie and Jordan for their help fixing the car, as well as my regular crew, Richard and Jerry and of course, my Dad.  Thanks to Branden for helping Richard on pit road, I only have one crew member in the infield during the feature, so the help is very much appreciated.

In the second feature, we started 19th as that is where we finished the first feature.  It was green flag racing until lap 13 when the 48Z car would spin bringing out the first caution of the race.  On the restart, I was in 18th place.  Just a lap later, another caution would come out when the 14, 57 and 28 would spin. The 28 would get his spot back in the line up as he only spun to avoid the caution that had already happened.  I would restart in 14th.

A number of laps later, the 48Z tagged me, which turned me into the infield grass, which I was able to collect and get back on the track.  As I was collecting my car, the 48Z tried to go by me, we ended up three wide, and we made contact when I collected the car.  Unfortunately, it would break the spindle on Billys car and he wouldn’t be able to continue. :(

We didn’t bring out the caution for this, but there was a caution on lap 22 and we would restart the race in 13th place.  Shortly after that, the 46 car would break and was slow on the front stretch.  My spotter said “three wide” and I thought he was saying that someone had already got inside me, putting me in the middle of three wide, and I saw we were coming up on the 46 fast and so I moved up, otherwise we would have drove hard into the back of the 46 car coming to the corner, but I did force the 28 car high up the track and I am sorry about that, but I didn’t want any of us to be involved in a huge wreck and destroy the cars.  Just a lap later, the caution would come out when the 29 would lose a tire.  

I restarted the race in 11th place and in the final laps, I made a couple attempts to pass the 90 car and finally got the pass completed to finish the race in 10th. Extremely happy with two top ten finishes in my first two nights racing the late model.

Again, thanks to everyone that helped get me back on the track, your help is truly appreciated.  We are off next week – it is the Spring Velocity at Sunset, but we have opted to not run this race.  We’ll be back racing on SUNDAY May 28th as a rain date for the races missed last weekend.