CANNOCK MOTORSPORTS

Go Fast, Turn Left

The Lord of the Valley!

9/11/10

Oakland Valley had a special 50 lap charity race on 9/11. As soon as I heard about it I knew I had to try it.  The day was set up like this: practice, time trials, 50 lap feature (2-25 lap sessions with a mandatory pit stop).  Since we are a 2 man team that means one had to be the pit crew. John, being the great guy that he is, volunteered.  The boys and I came up Friday night and stayed at my sisters. John came over and we worked on the car, going over it from top to bottom. I had changed a few things on the setup and put a lot of new things on it to make a huge run for the checkers.

Saturday started early.  We were at the track by 1045, unloaded by 11 and ready to go.  The practice session started great. The car was handling better than  it had in weeks and was fast.  About halfway thru the practice John and Richie (the flagman) waved me off. I pulled into the infield and was enveloped in a cloud of smoke.  The damn crank seal blew out.  By chance I had just got 2 of them so John went to work.  Of course the clutch wouldnt come off and I had to go to the drivers meeting (not that I could have really helped John anyway, lol).  I couldn't concentrate during the meeting all I was thinking was about the damn clutch.  When I got back to the pits John was putting everything back together getting the car ready for time trials.  He saved the day for the first time.

The time trials started and I went out last,  I couldn't believe it but the car was junk. It wouldn't turn and I qualified last. I was pissed!  I thought something had broken so John and I went over the car quickly but found nothing wrong.  We made a few adjustments, we decided to swing for the fence, and off we went.  John took his spot in the pits and I went to the starting grid.

The race started ok.  It was so dusty I couldn't see past the car in front of me.  I looked for my marks and went to work.  I passed the 2x.  The 54. The 17. Damn the car feels ok!  I snuck up on the 18 and 32 but they spun in turn 2.  I narrowly missed that but all of a sudden I am in third!  I followed the leaders for a few laps and got past the 10jr for second.  This is how the first half ended. From 8th to 2nd with no brakes.  It was shaping up to be an interesting race!

I pulled into my pit stall, turned the car off and waited for John to do his magic.  They blew the horn and the crews went to work. I felt the car go up but it was taking a while. Out goes the first car.  Then another, and another.  I was fit to be tied.  What I didnt realize was as John was working on the tire he noticed that the shock was stuck on the spring which would have ruined the handling.  As he fixed that problem the battery from the impact wrench fell off. Lol. John was beside himself that we went out 5th from 2nd but if he didn't take the time to fix that spring we would have been done right there.  He saved the day for the second time!

We restarted the race single file. I moved up to 4th because the 17's lugnuts were loose and he had to go back to the pits to get them tightened.  The green drops and off we go.  The track was still dusty and it was getting hard to swallow from the dust.  After a little back and forth I got by the 32 and set my sites on the front runners.  The car was feeling good but if I didn't hit my marks she made me pay.  I caught the 21 and worked inside of him coming off turn 3.  As we got between 1 and 2 I drifted up and got into him pretty good. I tried to stay off him but rubbin's racin. A few laps later I caught the leader. I looked outside. I looked inside. I had plenty of time so I was trying to be patient and pick the best time.  Once again coming off 3 I got inside him (the car was strong coming off the turns) and I passed him between 1 and 2.  I had about 15 laps left and thankfully the race stayed green.  I had a straightaway lead built up when the checkers flew!  I couldn't believe it, from last to first! I made 13 passes on a one lane track, it was the best driving I have ever done.  I was so excited I forgot to take my victory lap!  When I got to Victory Lane I couldn't get out of the car quick enough!  John, Zac, Jake and Becky were all there to help me celebrate, what a great day!  I still can't believe that we won!  Thanks John, you saved the day!

 

Back in the Saddle Again!

We at Cannock Motorsports have been MIA for awhile.  Both John and I have been dealing with personal matters and racing has taken a back seat to life up til this weekend.  Finally we got back behind the wheel on the quest for the checkers and it felt great!!!

Our nights started off pretty different. Johns alter ego "Johnny Raincloud" showed up again to start a frustrating night for John.  He started on the pole in heat 1 and was spun out on lap 1 in the first turn!  He was not pleased and had to start in the rear.  He then got tangled up a few times back in traffic.  Lets just say John was none too happy when he pulled into his pit after the race.  The second heat was much like the first.  He started in the back and got banged around so bad he bent both tie-rods.  He had to be calmed down after that one!  He has had such a frustrating year to this point and every time he seems to be primed to break the "Johnny Raincloud" hex something bad happens.  It did get better for John...

I had Kevin V. replace my valve springs before warm ups and it took a little longer than expected so we missed warm up #1.  Usually this would not be that big a deal but I changed a bunch of stuff this week and really wanted a chance to test the car out.  I was lucky, because when I took it out for warm up #2 I was really happy with it and had to make just a few minor changes before the heats.  I started seventh but when John and the 2x spun I automatically moved up to 3rd.  I got past Kevin on the start and was trying to catch his brother Steve when Kevin got into the back of me and spun me in front of the pack.  The 4 clipped me but we were ok and still running strong.  I was back in seventh again.  On the start the 4 and I passed a couple of cars but got tangled and let Kevin slip past us. It was off to the races.  I passed the 4 going down the backstretch with 4 to go.  The next time around I dove under Kevin in between 3 and 4 and bumped him wide to set up the pass. Rubbing is racing and I know he will get me back asap. Lol.  Now with 2 laps to go I was behind the 316 heading into turn 3.  I gave his bumper a love tap which sent him wide and I snuck under him. We banged doorhandles a bit but I got by him for 3rd with one lap left and thats where I finished. From 7 to 3rd in 3 and a half laps that was fun.  In heat 2 I started outside the 316 in spot #2.  He led the first couple of laps and then the cautions came.  I tried to get past him on the outside but we bumped and slid wide.  There was another quick caution and we lined up 1/2 again. This time I powered past him going into one and won going away.

The feature saw me starting 3rd and John 7th.  Going into turn 3 the leaders crashed leaving me in first, Kevin second and John 4th.  I took off on the start and after the 4 tried a few times to get by me I found a rythm and started stretching my lead.  John had rebounded nicely from his earlier issues and was running a strong 4th.  We ran 20 green flag laps and I took the checkers with over a straight away lead.  John had caught the 4 and would have had 3rd in another of couple laps but he was feeling good about finally kickin Johnny Rainclouds butt and sending him packing! Great job John!!!

That win was for you Mom! I love you and miss you.

July will be sporadic for us once again.  If you were thinking about coming to see us race please check with us to see if we will be at the track that weekend.                                                  

            

2010 Opens With the Checkers!

I couldn't have scripted the first weekend of the 2010 season any better.  Actually, if John had been racing instead of wrenching that would have been great but I digress.  I woke up Saturday and it was pretty cold out. My first thought was, "Screw this, we aren't racing today."  After I stared at the car and felt that itch I decided to check the forecast. 60 and sunny. Ok by the time I was gonna get to the track it would be nice and we could get thru the colder night hours.  Off we go...

We get there right before we go out for the first practice. Zac and I unloaded the car and they called us.  I didnt even put my gloves on, just jumped in and went. Lol. The car was good and I was happy with it so nothing had to happen until the heat.  I started in last because I drew a high number (but I was on the pole for the second heat). I looked at the line up and figured I could get up to at least 4th (there were 7 cars) by the time it was over.  The starts were ridiculous and the 18 got sent to the back (not his fault but s--t happens).  There's 1 car.  We start and I pass a couple more.  The leader hits a cone and gets put back now I'm supposed to be first but they put me in third behind the 4 and 37.  I clear them both and I can't believe I'm in the lead.  Sometimes the sun shines on you.  I win Heat #1.

Heat #2 starts with me on the pole.  I'm nervous because I know that if I win this race I will start on the pole for the feature and will have a great shot to win it.  The 37 gets by me on the start but washes up coming out of turn 4 and I pass him.  I run a clean race and win heat #2.

It got pretty damn cold and it seemed to take forever to start the race but the feature was finally here.  I was really concerned that the car was going to be too "tight" because the track was getting more grip but I was afraid to touch the cars set up because we were so fast all day.  I was right, the track was tight but I got a good start and built up a good lead until 5 to go.  The car got worse and worse but I figured if I hugged the cones they would have to spin me to get by me.  Sure enough with two to go the second place car slams into my back bumper.  I was surprised but determined to get the checkers.  The hit actually gave me an advantage in momentum and I hung on for the win!  It was by far the best night I have ever had racing!!!

I want to dedicate this win and this season to my Mom.  She is, by far, my number one fan and supporter.  She hated the idea of me racing at first but has since embraced it to the point where she always sends a "good luck" email on Friday nights.  Thanks for everything Mom, I love you.

NJ Motorsports Park

10/3/09

For the first time since the Slingshots started they were going to run a road course.  This sounded like a lot of fun to John and I so we decided to give it a try.  Going from dirt ovals to and asphalt road course means a lot of changes to the cars.  It broke my heart to change the setup in the 21 after being so good the week before but this road course sounded intriguing.  The facility was amazing.  Huge, sweeping tracks.  Big dollars.  30 or so Porsches were running on the big tracks when we got there.  It must be nice, taking your $100,000 car out to the track to race on the weekends.  There is an airport right next to the track that houses a bunch of restored WW II airplanes that were awesome.  It was really weird standing in the pits watching a B-25 bomber land or during hotlaps trying to race and watch WW II fighters flying in formations high above the track.

The day was run in a timed format.  20 minute hotlaps. Ten minutes in the pits. 20 more minute hot laps when we would get timed to set the starting grids.  The car was super fast right from the start.  It was so different but so great!  I was the 4th fastest car out of 14, I was psyched.  John was having some troubles with his brakes.  They are manual brakes and this track was made for hydraulic brakes.  He went into turn one really hot, overshot the turn, went thru the grass and hit the SAFER barrier.  John would rebound well...

I started the first heat on the outside pole.  I got behind the leader going into the first turn, nudged him wide, took the lead and led the first ever road course lap for the Tobias Slingshots!  Thats when the train came off the tracks. Lol.  I went to high into a turn and one car got under me and Randy Smith got next to me.  I was feelin my oats so I decided to challenge him rather than being smart and settling into third for the moment.  We touched and my rear wheels came off the ground, the chain came off and I over revved the motor bending the push rods in the motor.  Done.  I got back to the pits and Kevin VanValkenburg jumped to my aid.  He changed the rods and got me ready for the feature.  John was in the second heat and was nursing the 121 around with little to no brakes but he is a smart driver and was setting himself up for the feature.

I started the feature last and John 12th.  I was on a mission to get to the front.  I started passing cars left and right.  I knew winning wasn't gonna happen but I wanted a top 5 finish.  John was hanging in there and cars started dropping out.  I worked up to fifth and was inching up to the fourth place car when my car got real loud.  I thought I blew the motor but the muffler had falled off because I didn't put it back on correctly.  IDIOT! Meanwhile John was making laps and watching cars drop like flies.  He soldiered on and finished seventh with me finishing one spot behind him in eighth.  Smart driving John!

We had ups and downs at NJMP but we are looking forward to doing it again in 2010!  We are diggin the asphalt!

Finally!!

December 22, 2009

Desperate times call for desperate measures and believe me after getting killed every week I was ready for some changes!  With 3 races left on our schedule I threw out my old set up and took a last gasp effort to salvage the season.  The first stop Sydersville:

9/4/09

Snydersville is a great little track in the Poconos that runs on Friday nights.  I left work early, jumped in the truck that was already packed and waiting for me at the train station and got to the track by 5pm.  Steve and Kevin showed up a little later with their new garage on wheels, a huge, VERY RED, 40 foot race trailer.  Sweet!  I pulled a great number and started third in the heat.  The car was really hooked up.  The new set up seemed to be working great.  I blew by the track champ but couldn't get by the leader.  I was very happy with second place!  Just after I took the checkers I lost power.  I had no idea what the problem was until a track official told me I broke the chain.  Actually the axle had shifted and the chain came off the hub but was still intact.  I got the car back together and hit the grid in second for the feature.  I gave it a good run but second was where I started and finished. After the season we had this was just like a win!

9/26/09 - Oakland Valley

Inspired by the success with the changes at Snydersville I decided to finally try the "Big tire" setup at OVRP.  What the hell, right?  I tried one tire in the first warm-up and wasn't totally happy with the way the car handled.  I tried a different tire and made some other adjustments and the car seemed to respond positively.  We were still in new territory so I was a bit nervous in the first heat.  John and I started 1,2 with RJ and Ron Smykla behind us.

At the start RJ hooked my bumper and sent me up into John. Luckily we didn't crash but now RJ was in first with John and I in hot pursuit.  I got by John and set my sights on RJ.  The car was working great and I reeled RJ in.  Coming out of turn two I kept low and pulled along side RJ.  I was shocked how hard the car was pulling off the turns, it was super fast!  Going into three RJ and I were side by side.  he had to back off and I took the lead and never looked back!  I won by almost a full straight and John ended up fourth.

In the second heat I started last and knew I had to finish third or better to start on the pole for the feature.  Eighth to third in 8 laps, thank god the car was a rocket.  The first lap saw me pass two cars right away and then the caution flew.  I got by John and was racing Charlie hard.  I was on the outside going into 3 and the car ahead of us spun in four.  I held my line and Charlie had to slam on the brakes to keep from hitting him.  I made it to third by halfway!  I wanted to play it safe but Charlie and RJ were trying hard to get past me.  I was holding them off and wanted to try for second but decided not to risk it.  Third it was and Pole for the feature!  Mother Nature then took matters into her own hands.  The skies opened up, the feature was cancelled and I was declared the winner!  Not exactly the way I wanted to win but after a crappy year I would take it anyway I could get it!

Up next, New Jersey Motorsports Park...

 

 

2009 Wrap Up

December 22, 2009

A day after winter officially started and with 2009 rapidly coming to an end I figured it was time to get this together.  2009 was a very odd year for Cannock Motorsports.  We started the year with the mindset of getting back to having fun.  No drama, no renting, no points racing, just climbing in and hammer the gas trying to get the checkers.  We raced less (thanks to the economy and various states of mental and physical ailments), got our butts whooped by RJ and Kayla Smykla pretty much every week, thought about packin it in mid summer but rebounded with a strong finish and positive outlook for 2010. 

As usual we made some new friends this year and really enjoyed spending time with our old friends at the track.  One of the best days was with Becky, Rich, my Aunt June and Uncle Bud, John, Wendy, Kaitie and the Van Valkenburgs and their family the day we rented the track.  When I win mega millions we will do that all the time.  We met Matthew, who is officially our youngest fan.  You can see pictures of his day at the track in the Photo Gallery.  We rented the car only once to Meghan McGregor (she was slated to rent it last year but the weather didn't cooperate so we owed her a shot).  She is an up and coming 16 year old who was very fast in her first time behind the wheel.  She is currently searching for a Slingshot of her own for the 2010 season.  I am not looking forward to racing against her, she will be tough to beat.

I have to send kudos to John Leiby, Roger Guest and another friend who will remain nameless.  Those three kept me and John pushing when we were ready to pack it in and with their help and encouragement we came on strong at the end.  Thanks guys, you are class acts!  Also Steve and Kevin who kept racing fun, we had a lot of laughs in the pits this year and we will miss them very much in 2010.  Good luck in whatever car you decide to destroy next year Kev and thanks for taking Steve away from us, ass! Lol 

Congrats to: (in no particular order) 

The Smyklas.  RJ, Kayla, Ron and Jesse - Thats was an amazing season and you definitely had us close to throwing in the towel.  Total domination every week, impressive. 

Charlie and Randy Lawrence and their crew chief Chris who won the Empire Tour and were the only team that would consistently pressure RJ and Kayla. 

Tyler Pirone who got his first Senior Slingshot win and will be a strong competitor in 2010. 

Matt Reilly on his National Championship. 

Kaitie McCardle with multiple victories.  Good luck in the Speedstr next year.

Kyle VanDuser on kickin ass at Accord and taking home the Sr. Championship.  The same goes for Jesse and Jimmy Leiby who dominated Accord in their divisions.

Vinnie Zazzero on winning at Hamlin.  If you win there that is saying something!  Stay there next year, we don't want any more competition! Lol

Joe Kata on a strong Senior year.  Good luck in the Sprinter!

Anthony Perrego who was five points away from a Spec Sportsman Championship at Accord.  Remember his name, he will be on TV running with the big boys one day in the not to distant future.

Vern McLaughlin on another strong season at New Egypt and a great Turkey Derby win at Wall Stadium!  Good luck in AC I hope you bring home the checkers!

John and I would like to say thanks from the bottom of our hearts to our friends and family for their support and encouragement.  They must get sick of our one track minds!

Happy Holidays!  We hope 2010 is great for all of you!

Congrats Becky!

John and I would like to acknowledge our sponsor BK Photos!  BK is of course our good pal, Becky Eakley Kosch and she was just named "Photographer of the Year" by Speedway Entertainment (they run the Slingshots).  Most of the great shots you see on this site are Becky's and we appreciate the support she has shown us both with the lens and in the pits. Love ya kid!

   

John is the Mann!

July 20, 2009

Hi all!  After a six week hiatus Cannock Motorsports was back on the track this week at OVRP.  The last time we were there John, myself and the VanValkenburgs (20K/32) rented the track out on a Sunday for testing.  Let me just say what a fun day that was.  We had a BBQ, 2 twenty lap features in which John won the first and was second in the last, a powder puff race that was decided in the last turn of the last lap and even my Aunt June threw a helmet and suit on, climbed behind the wheel of the 121 and took a very long practice LAP. Lol.  She did great! We rented the track because we were trying to figure out how the fast teams were making their "big tire" set up work so we set up the 21 with our version of that set up and John was playing mad scientist working on his own super secret set up.  We figured whichever was faster would be the one that we would try.  Well, John's was faster and this week he proved it.  He started 3rd in heat one and fourth in heat two and raced his way to 3rd place in each.  In heat two I was ahead of him and felt a tap from the car behind me I figured it was John so I pulled out of the way, he almost ran me over he was going so fast!  Good driving John!The track conditions were horrible and they don't look to getting better anytime soon.  John's new setup has his car handling great no matter what the conditions and it showed in the feature.  He started on the outside of the third row, not the best spot on a dusty one lane track.  He quickly muscled the 121 into position and got into the dogfight.  He fought his way up to 3rd place and was running with the leaders when the checkers flew.  A post race inspection shed light on a couple of tweaks that he can make to make the 121 handle even better.  Hopefully soon he will be in the Winners Circle!

Keep digging John you are gonna hit paydirt soon!!

Growing Pains

April 25, 2009

Week 2 has come and gone with similar results to week one but the outlook is better than a week ago.  Last week I was ready to pull my hair out of my head trying to figure out how to get faster.  Everytime we pulled off the track John and I were working on the cars.  Change after change with little to show for it except greasy hands.  This week was TOTALLY different in that respect.  We came in with totally different set ups that worked pretty good right off the bat.  Yeah we were finally in the ballpark!  With minor changes here and there we were sitting around most of the time.  Our old pal Roger Guest stopped by for a visit and had some great ideas on setting up the cars and they were FANTASTIC!  Thanks Roger, we miss you out there trading paint! I did pretty good in my first heat finishing 3rd.  I was in third in my second heat with two to go and I screwed myself.  I almost spun and Charlie and Joey slid by me.  I was PISSED!  Stupid mistake.  The track was loose and it got me.  John did well with a fourth and a fifth.  Our starting spots have been mid pack so we were fairly happy with this.  At least this week we felt competitive.

In the feature I started eight and John tenth.  We had a good start and were racing in a tight bunch for the first part of the race.  Then I almost spun again and John spun avoiding me.  Sorry dude!  That summed up the feature for us.  We went on to finish eight and ninth but we know that we are pointed in the right direction now!

Friends of CMS Kickin Ass!

A few of our friends have started off the 2009 season with a bang! 

Kaitie McCardle won the first Slingshot tour race of the year at Bridgeport.  This is her second win in a row at the fast 1/4 mile track.  Congrats Kaitie and Dave!  Kaitie is also going to run a Speedtr a few times this year.  One step closer to the big time!

Vern McLaughlin had all three of his cars finish in the top 10 at New Egypt Speedway with Vern running a strong second and the Butler Bros. running 5th and 7th.  Can you say dominate? Go get em boys!

A big congrats to Anthony Perrego who won his first Crate Sportsman race at Accord Speedway.  This kid was kicking our asses two years ago at OVRP and now he is paving his way towards a career behind the wheel!  His Dad tunes his ride and gives encouragement (wink!). Together they make a formidable pair!  Great job guys!

Finally a round of applause to Damian Bower who took his first checkered flag in his Slingshot at Shellhammers.  I met Damian and his father Scott at Hamlin the first couple of times I raced.  I had absolutely NO clue (compared to having just a little clue now) what I was doing and Scott offered his help immediately.  Damian had some big wrecks last season but got the experience needed to run in the front.  Congrats guys!

Kudos to all and hopefully I will be able to add more columns like this all season!

FINALLY! A good night for CMS!

May 16, 2009

After a week off John and I were really dying to hit the track.  I kind of like racing every other week, it gives you lots of time to get the cars prepped and saves money but it makes you antsy as well.  We have been getting our butts handed to us each week by the 3 and 29 which has made John and I try everything under the sun to get faster.  There is not one thing on our cars that is the same as last year.  Nothing.  Finally this week we saw some positive results from all of our tinkering.  I tried a really weird setup for the first practice and quickly abandoned it.  More on that if I ever get it to work.  John was low on power so a quick change of plugs and fuel filter was on tap.  My car was pretty good during the second warmup but John was a little loose.  More changes...  The first heat saw John start 9th and me 11th.  John got tangled with the 85 but he saved the car.  It broke his momentum which allowed me to get under him on the backstretch,  He saw me and didn't try to slow me down.  Thanks bud!  I got by the 85 the next lap and we ended up finishing 6th and 7th.  John kept adjusting but we were pretty happy with my car so I left it alone except for an air pressure adjustment in the rear tires.  I started on the pole for the second heat and John started 3rd.  Thats the first time we have started that close to the front all year.  I jumped out front and won by half a straight and John fought an ill handling car to come home 5th.  Same story in the pits. John tinkering and me playing with air pressures.  I started the feature on the outside pole and John started 8th.  Both of us on the outside. UGH.  I got a great start and got right in behind the leader.  We got past halfway and the yellow flew.  John tapped the 85 (who was actaully spinning by himself) and was sent to the rear.  I was hanging on to second with the 29 breathing down my neck.  While I was trying to hold on to second John was slicing and dicing his way back to the front.  I finally gave up second and held on for a third place finish.  John drove his ass off and got all the way back up to 5th!  Yeah John!  CMS in the top 5!

We aren't perfect yet but we really needed something to show for all the work that we have been doing and Saturday night we got that!  We are itching for next week already.

Meghan MeGregor joins the CMS Family!

We have a new addition to the CMS race team. 16 year old Meghan McGregor, a soap box derby stand out, took her turn behind the wheel of the 121 this week.  John did a great job of getting the car ready and giving Meghan the low down on how to get around OVRP.  You could see Meghans confidence build with each lap.  She did well in her warm ups and gave John real good input on what the car was doing which helped John hook the 121 up for the heats.  As per usual OVRP makes new racers start in the rear of the field.  This didn't deter Meghan at all.  She did well keeping the car on the track in her heat (even going 3 wide at one point almost stopping Johns heart) and completed task #1.  DON'T GET LAPPED!  During the downtime she was pretty much jumping out of her racesuit waiting to get back on the track.  She watched what John was doing to the car and he explained why he was making the changes and what she should expect from them.  I showed her all the little things you have to do each time you come off the track.  She was a great pupil.  She also had a great fan club in attendance.  Her mom, dad and even her puppy came to cheer her on.  Her Mom spoiled us and brought some kick ass chili and meatball heroes for us to enjoy.  They were DELICIOUS!!!  We gave her another goal for the feature: PASS 1 CAR!!!!  When the green flag dropped she started a race long battle with the 5.5.  She held her own and passed him even though he did everything in his power to keep her back.  Eventually, as the laps were winding down, he got so desperate he spun Meghan out!!!  She came across the line ahead of him and was grinning from ear to ear when she took her helmet off.  She actually passed 2 but thank God I passed her back or else I would have never heard the end of it!!  Here is how Meghan's night unfolded, in her own words:

Racing Johns car was the most amazing thing in the world, you havenít lived until you race a car with an engine in it.  I donít think the smile ever came off my face. The heat races are the best because I was just figuring it out. I was so happy when I did not hit the wall when they had me 3 wide. The best part was in the feature when I passed the 5.5 and you, too bad the caution came out.  Me and the 5.5 car had a fun race, after I passed him and would not let him past me, he must have gotten mad, he spun me out. Racing a slingshot is so much different then racing a soap box derby car. Much faster and you get to slide around the corners and bump people. It was so fun to meet new people. Fred showed me how to grease some things to keep them loose and ready to race. The thing that made my day was when I did not come in last or get lapped the last heat and in the feature. I liked it sooo much, I asked my mom to have a slingshot. She said yes!

 

Well it looks like we are going to be battling Meghan on a weekly basis soon enough.  Congrats Meghan!!

 

 

Mixed Bag

May 25, 2009

I woke up to a beautiful Saturday morning.  Bright sunshine, nice breeze, a great day for racing.  I loaded up the car and the boys and off we went to OVRP.  As we got closer and closer to the track the skies got darker and darker.  We got there, unloaded the car and thankfully put up the canopy because not 10 minutes later it started raining.  Just a few showers but enough to delay us for a bit.  What a difference a 2 hour drive makes.

This was kind of how it went for John and I on Saturday.  I got the sunshine and he got the showers.  We raced in different heats and in opposite spots.  He started on the pole in his first heat and last in his second.  I started last in my first heat and first in my second.  John ran a tough race but the 3 and the 29 were in his heat so you know he had his hands full.  He held the lead until a "mystery" yellow got tossed.  This allowed the 29 to catch up from a half lap deficit (after an earlier spin) and allowed the 3 to slide into second off the restart.  One lap later the 3 was in first and the 29 was ripping by cars like it was burning jet fuel.  John fought the good fight but eventually ended up 3rd.  Not bad but not what he wanted.  In the second heat he started last and battled a loose car to finish fourth.

In my first heat I was driving over my head once again.  I got up to fourth and at one point had a decent shot at third until I blew the entry into turn one.  I went wide and the 32 pulled far enough away to keep third.  I was lucky I didn't get passed.  I was none to pleased with myself.  In the second heat I kept telling myself to be smooth.  Smooth is fast. "Hit your marks, dumbass."  The stuff said aloud inside my helmet would make most of you laugh, except for my mom who would be appauld. Lol.  I had a great race and I won going away.  2 checkers in two weeks now let's just be there when it counts!

In the feature I lined up 5th and John 6th.  We had a good start, I moved up to fourth and was behind the 10 when he hit a cone, knocking it onto the track causing a yellow.  Now per the rules the car that hits the cone is supposed to be sent to the back.  He wasn't and John was which is ridiculous.  A few laps later the 10 spun in front of me, I checked up, got hit, but was able to speed away losing only a few slots.  The 10 and 18 were done for the night.  I was back in seventh and John was right behind me.  On the start I quickly passed the 396 and was following the 690 into turn three when he got tangled with the 32 (I think, it's really hard to remeber every thing that happens when you are reacting to things rather than planning things) I started to get caught up in it but I hit the 690, straightened him out and away we went.  The 4 pulled off wth a flat so I started fourth, outside of the 690.  John was supposed to start 5th but as I went to the outside the 396 moved up and took the 5th spot on the much preferred inside line.  John tried to get the starters attention but couldn't so not only did he lose a spot he lost the inside lane which hurt him.  At the drop of the green I drag raced the 690 into one and held my own on the outside.  I cleared him halfway down the backstretch and took off after the 3 and 29.  John was stuck in the middle of nonsense, struggling to break free of the pack.  I never had a shot at first or second but am pretty happy with third place.  John was definitely capable of a 4th place finish but ended up sixth because of the bs on the restart.  Both cars are a litle tweaked but we have off next week and are going to get them ready this Saturday for June 6 when my family will be there in force.  My parents, sisters, nephew, it should be fun. 

Have a great couple of weeks!

Crash, Boom, Bang

June 6, 2009

John and I had had plenty of company this week!  My parents, sister, nephew, his girlfriend, 2 great nieces, Uncle Bud, Aunt June, Wendy, Kaitie, Zac and Jake were all at OVRP rooting us on.  After a week of pouring rain I was shocked to see how dusty the track was.  The cars felt like they were on ice during the early part of the day.  John got his car better faster and ran a great first heat race.  He made a strong move in turn 3 diving under the 32 and doing a picture perfect slide job taking the second position and holding it to the checkers.  My car was still way too loose and I finished fourth (last).  There was a horrendous crash during this heat.  The 6 (he was the 5.5) hit the turn two wall with such force that he was launched a couple of feet into the air and thrown back across the track.  John and I almost got caught up in it but we got lucky. This time.  The driver of the 6 said he never saw the wall through the dust.  The car was badly damaged but with some help and a hell of a lot of elbow grease and determination he got the car ready for the feature.

In the second heat I started on the pole and John started third.  I was really sweating it because I wanted to win in front of the family.  I was lucky.  John had changed a few things on my car which had it handling much better and I ran away with the win.  John ran a hard race and finished third.  John was building a real strong weekend run.

John started fourth and I was sixth.  I snuck by him off the start and we were dicing in the pack, running strong.  I was behind the 87 going into 3 and John was right on my rear bumper.  The 87 spun in front of me and I spun trying to avoid a direct hit.  John didn't see me spin and T boned me wide open.  The impact crushed both my side rubrails.  John got plowed into after hitting me and the impacts ripped his front rubrail off the car, caved in both side rubrails, ripping the welds on one and had the rear bumper caved in.  We both had pretty good body damage as well.  I kept moving but got a cone wedged under my wheel so I had to stop and get it pulled clear.  I caught up with the end of the pack but John was still sitting at the point of impact.  He had his bell rung pretty good and was just getting his wits back together when we came back around.  He went to the back and continued to race. Next time park it John!  We ran hard but finished seventh and eigth. 

I am proud of how we have been adjusting and adapting to what is being thrown at us.  It's been a lot of fun so far this year.

Thanks to our families for all the support this week and to all of you throughout our racing "careers."