18 Sep It wasn’t the ending we wanted, but there was a positive!
We were hoping for a good end to the season, since the last few weeks have been bad. It clearly wasn’t meant to be. Dad and I have both been too busy with work and I just started college, so the car unfortunately has to come last.
We made some changes this week to the car and thought we had things figured out. We went out for first practice and the changes that we made were finally the right changes and the car felt great and was fast. But toward the end of practice, I let off the gas in the corner and when I went to get back on it, there was a problem. I had a bad vibration in the car and there was no power. I shut the car down immediately and took it back to the pits.
We took the hood off, and hoped for a small miracle that it wasn’t something that was going to end our day. We had some help from Jamie and Paul from the Maltese crew as well as Paul Sr from the Geotz crew. First off, thank you to everyone that helped us, you are all amazing and I appreciate you all so much. Unfortunately there was no good news to be had. We had definitely broke something in the motor and that would be the end of the #2 car for the 2017 season.
My Dad was supposed to run the car next weekend at Velocity and I feel so bad for him that he won’t be able to do this now. It was something that we planned all year for him to do and I am so disappointed that he won’t be able to. It would have been his first time back in a late model since 2004 and I was really looking forward to seeing what he could do in the car with this incredible class of drivers. I was only 5 when he stopped racing late models, so I don’t really remember that.
On a positive, Nick Geotz said that I could use his back up car for the night. This was exciting for me as, anyone that knows Nick knows that he has amazing equipment and I was excited to get in this car. And it did NOT disappoint.
I took the car out for a couple of practice laps to get a feel for the car and how different it is from mine, then we went and qualified. I was still adjusting to the car, how different it was to drive with the seat placement and how much closer the wheel is in this car than mine. We just took it easy in qualifying.
For the first feature, we would just run a few more laps to get the feel of the car, then park the car for the remainder of the race. This is Nick’s back up car, so if anything were to happen to his primary car during the first race, this car needed to be available to him for the second feature. I just took the car out for 5 or 6 laps to log a few more laps in it and then parked it. Nick lead the feature from lap 1, as he was fast qualifier, until lap 31. He was coming up on the rear of the field with the 11 and 81 in front of him side by side. The 81 and the 11 could get together, causing the 11 to hit the wall and bring out the caution.
This was not what Nick needed. With a four lap shoot out, he had to hold off the 10 car in order to get the win. It was a great battle up front, but unfortunately for Nick, the 10 would get by and take the win.
For the second feature, Nick gave me the okay to race the car. I was starting last and wanted to take the first few laps to let everyone sort themselves out. I was racing someone else’s car, a much better car than my own, and I wanted to give all my respect to the car, and to Nick, to make sure I didn’t damage it. After a couple laps when I felt comfortable, I raced the car a little harder and was feeling pretty comfortable but when I came out of the corner, something didn’t feel right. Because I have too much respect for Nick and Paul Jr (Who will be racing the car soon) I didn’t want to break anything or damage the car, so I decided to just pull off and keep the car safe. I was only 4 points behind and could have moved up a position potentially, but decided that it wasn’t worth potentially damage the car when Nick was good enough to let me use it.
Congrats to all the Champions this weekend – Gord Shepherd, Jordan Howse and Cameron McGlashan – the Mini Stock Championship was by FAR the most exciting finish as no one knew that McGlashan was going to slide in there and pick up the championship. Congrats to Nic and Daniel Montanari on their great seasons as well as Nick Geotz and Rick Spencer-Walt for all finishing in the top 3 in their divisions.
Congrats to, I believe, Daniel Montanari on winning the Mini Stock Rookie of the Year and Chris Allard on winning the Super Stock Rookie of the year. I am honoured to be Rookie of the Year for the Late Models as well and look forward to sharing that honour with you both at the banquet in November.
Good luck to everyone at Velocity. Unfortunately Dad won’t be racing, but we will be there to crew for the Geotz team that weekend.