05 Jul Things happen fast….
July 1, 2017 – The car felt really good in practice and when we went out to qualify, the car was fast and I was mostly happy with it. We had a good qualifying run and qualified 11th for the first feature.
I started feature 1 in 11th position. Thankfully I was starting on the inside row because on the first lap, the outside row stacked up starting with the car sitting on the outside pole. A number of cars were involved, right from the front to the back of the field.
On the restart, I would start in 9th position. On about lap 8, I was put in the middle of a three-wide situation and fall back to 10th position. The car was way too tight for the rest of the race. I would finish the race in 10th position.
Between the first and second feature, we decided to make some big changes to the car and see how it felt. After we made the changes, we found that I would actually be starting the second feature on the outside pole. We may not have made such big changes if I had have known that we would be starting on the front row. But we decided to leave the changes in the car and hope that we went in the right direction, and not too far.
Starting the feature, I knew that I needed a good start or I was going to end up getting trained by the inside line. I actually did get a good start, and anyone who knows me knows that starts are one of my weaknesses. If you jump the start once, you get a warning, if you jump it twice, you go to the back. I didn’t want to end up jumping the start. I got a good start, was ahead of the pole sitter coming to corner one and then blew the corner and gave up the advantage that I had, which I believe would have allowed me to clear the leader and get out front. So, instead, the train on the inside started.
I ended up falling back to 8th position before I was able to find an opening on the inside. A few laps later the 10 car would get underneath me before a caution came out on lap 9. I would restart the race in 8th position.
While coming down the front stretch, I went to go up to the outside wall, not knowing that the 11 car was just starting to pass me on the outside. Unfortunately, things happen fast in racing! Before my spotter had a chance to tell me Chris Morrow was coming on the outside, I moved up the track, caught the front of Morrow and ended up nose first into the wall, and would then hit the side and back end off the wall as well. Neither Morrow nor I had to stop, but a caution was thrown fairly quickly as there was debris on the track.
Initially, the flagman told me to take my position back, then another put me scratch. I was confused about the different information and stopped to discuss it with the starter and they advised that as the caution was brought out due to debris from my contact with Morrow, I was an involved car and would need to start at the back.
I didn’t pit as the tires were all up and under caution, it felt okay. Not much they can do in the pits anyways without going down laps so we stayed on track. The car was absolute garbage after hitting the wall, but we completed all the laps, which is my goal this year, and we finished the race in 16th.
While we were going over the car on Monday night, I found that we had broken the panhard bar mount and that the rear end was bent, so in the end, I am glad that I was able to hang on to the car and finish the race. So, we have some work to do this week. The new mount was hard to find and we had to drive out to London last night to pick one up. Thanks to Derrick Tiemersma for giving me an alternate to use.
Big thanks go out to Chris Morrow. When I came up in front of him, he backed out of it instead of driving right through me and I appreciate that. I appreciate even more that when we talked after the race, he understood that it wasn’t intentional and that my spotter made an error, and in turn, so did I. Thanks for everything Chris and for being a good sportsman.
So overall, with a 10th and a 16th place finish, we seem to be continuing the way it’s been each week with one good finish and one not as good.
We race again July 8, 2017, and my sponsor, The Mortgage Station, is sponsoring the race night at the track. We will be in the VIP area throughout the night. Amazing for The Mortgage Station to support me in racing, as well as supporting the track by sponsoring a night. They truly are about giving back to the community.
July 9, 2017, we will head down to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park for the Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix. Honoured to be invited to attend again this year and can’t thank Mobil 1 and Imperial Oil enough for the opportunity.
Now off to the garage to get this car fixed for the weekend!
**Photo credit: Ashley McCubbin