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Highlights of the day:
LB had two excellent practices where he learned the
track, posted his fastest time of 15.092 (6th fastest car in both practice
sessions), and had no mechanical issues.
Thompson Speedway 5-20-12 race report.
Preps for this event included moving components for weight balance, many adjustments, and even building some shelves in the car trailer. With every event we continue to be better prepared.
Once at the Thompson Speedway, we prepped for the first round of practice, I head out and give the car the shake down, all pretty decent. The car stalls again as I head towards the pits from the infield, I hit the starter switch, and crap, a tooth breaks on the ring gear.
After being pushed into the pits, another major project is under way. Jonny, Jimmy, Rob, and Alan begin pulling the transmission out of the car, while I head out in search of the needed Flywheel / ring gear. I find one from Jack Bateman (thanx Jack), and the crew makes the swap. We lose the rest of practice session, and part of the second session, but do make it back onto the track to make sure everything is OK.
Time to prep for the heat race, in which I must start on the outside pole. Why not there when I need to qualify to make a race???? With limited practice time, I decide to take it kinda easy the first couple of laps. I lose quite a few positions, but then settle in and run off the remaining laps.
After the heat race, I decide I can fit in a spotting task to help out friend Todd Ceravolo in his Sunoco Mod. I get a few looks as I head to the spotters area in my fire suit, but Todd would have a great run. Todd Starts 5th, runs to the front quickly, and paces the field. Late in the race Ryan Preece is able to run with Todd, but can’t quite mount a serious bid for a pass. Heading down the back straight for the last time I tell Todd to go for one more quick half lap, Todd gasses his Pettit engine just a bit too much off of turn 4 and breaks the tires free a bit.
Ryan appeared to be just trying to keep it really close, riding right behind Todd’s left rear corner, and when Todd bobbled, he could not avoid the contact that sent Todd to the grass. It sure didn’t look intentional to me. Spotters opinion….. Todd saved it to come in 5th. It sure felt better to me than finishing 5th a couple of times last year, when only 5 cars were running at any speed at all. The 16 car looked so much better than it did most of last year.
The features for all divisions dragged on quite a while. It seemed we sat in our cars for a week waiting. And then the “in car intros”. They are nice, but add to a long day. I just wanted to get this first race under way I suppose. The race finally starts, I get a few “how do you do” nudges, but start to get the 73 going after a few laps. I started the race in 26th, lost a few spots, then started gaining back a few. I was in 21st at one point during one of many cautions. Soon after, I felt a few engine misses on the straights, then it was OK etc. then all of a sudden it just quits. One big backfire / boom through the exhaust while on the front straight. I manage to get to the bottom and roll towards the pits.
I cannot refire the car, and have no clue what happened. Jonny quickly spots the coil wire has fallen off, possibly had been bumped during the tranny removal work. He removes the panel, reconnects it, reinstalls the panel and I am off towards the track. I blend in and had only lost a lap (as they had just restarted the race). A lap or two later another caution. Even without the Aaron’s Sponsorship, I hear we are getting the lucky dog free lap back pass. I have no idea where to line up, we cannot hear the officials (if they even ever said where). When the race resumes, the big one happens up front. I had just firmly planted my lead foot to get all I could from my Jack’s Competition Engine and I tried like heck to get the car stopped. I could not get it wooooooed down before running into another car, as the entire track was blocked. Broken RF suspension. Our race day was over at Lap 22.
We get towed to the infield, and grab our pom poms to cheers for cousin Mike in the mighty Holdridge number zero. Dale and Matt know how to turn a mean wrench. And Mike, sure can wheel a race car. Mike had had a flat tire at the start of the heat race, started way in the back, had had to dodge the wrecks, pitted a time or two, and still was running near the front by mid race. What a show he was putting on! He once again gets a 4th place finish driving a damaged car. Nice work Mike , Dale, Matt, and Spotter John Cleary.
We fully expect to have all the damaged parts replaced in time for Seekonk race on June 9th. I feel that I am actually ready to race the car now, so do not be surprised if we run quite a bit better in the very near future.
Thanx to my Spotter Kim, crew members Jon, Amy, Rob, Jimmy, Laurie, Alan, and Jen for all the help and support.
See everyone at Seekonk on the 9th
See many of you this Friday at Stafford as I will be Spotting for Bobby Santos in the Tinio 44. Once the mod is repaired, we may finally get the sportsman car into the shop. A guest appearance at Thompson Speedway could soon follow. Send boxes of well wishes, sleep, money or race parts to our Moosup shop ASAP!
Our 8.9 compression rules engine $1000
3 race old Larrys Auto Machine SK engine with engine plates, VDL carburetor, clutch and flywheel, scatter shield, headers, $12,000 or best offer.
Nat’s Sportsman open rules engine. Used only at world series. Brand new block, new head castings. $8000 or best offer
If engines for sportsman car sell. Best offer on the 73 car
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