Last night was the first race of the season and my first race in the Limited Late Model division. I set my goals realistically, just focused on qualifying for each race, finishing the races and getting seat time in this impressive field of drivers.
We went out for time trials and I did okay. I got a little sideways on the first lap and posted a time of 16.3. I collected myself and posted a much better lap of 15.57 to qualify 18th for the feature.
In the first feature, I was running the car, getting a feel for being out there with everyone. The caution came out fairly early when the 11 car was spun and after the caution, I lined up in 16th. Lap 20 would bring out another caution when another car spun and I would line up in 15th.
We were running side by side for position when another car came underneath me to make it three wide and we hit, causing my car to get out of shape. While I was collecting my car, the 28 went underneath me and unfortunately, we made contact. No damage to my car except a bent rim, I know there was more damage to Paul than that unfortunately, we collected the cars and continued on without caution. We fell back to last place but were able to work our way back up to 15th at the end. I was extremely happy with the finish for my first race.
In the second race, if you are outside of the top 12, you start where you finished in the last race, so I started 15th. There was an early caution on lap 3 with many cars getting a piece of it. We restarted in 13th when a caution came out a couple of laps later on lap 5 for the slowing 31 car. I had lost a spot and would restart in 14th. We raced until lap 14 when the caution would come out for the 25 car in the grass in corner 2. There would be two more cautions on lap 24 and then the final on lap 33. With a two lap race to the end, I was cautious as many times this can breed more cautions at the end of the race while everyone fights for their final positions. I was lined up on the outside and this was good for me as I prefer the high line and my car works really well out there. I made a couple passes on the outside and ended up finishing 10th in the second race.
Earlier in the race, I got into the back of the 54 car and can’t apologize for that enough. Sorry Danny, that was totally my fault and I did not mean to do that.
This was well beyond my expectations for myself and my team for our opening night in the premier division. We had a great night and I look forward to getting back and seeing what we can accomplish next week.
Thanks to my amazing crew, sponsors and friends and the support they give me each and every week. I couldn’t do it with you.
It was great to work with Daniel Bois today. This was the first chance that I had to work with Daniel and I am so happy with the way we worked together and can’t wait to do it again. Daniel is a great driving instructor and I feel he’ll help me achieve my goals for 2017.