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Sept. 26, 2015 – Saturday Night “Championship Night” – Finished 8th – Season Points 5th

Heats: Started 2nd (of 7 cars), Finished 3rd

Feature: Started 6th (of 22 cars), Finished 8th (Finishing Order: 88, 13, 06,78, 27, 47ct, 72,51, 2ct, 2, 47, 43, 98, 66, 15, 9, 85, 51ct, 04, 7, 3, 20)

Comments: Tonight’s racing brings to a close the 2015 points season and we’ll have a couple of races later in October that are non-points events. Today is cool and partly cloudy which should make for a fast race track tonight. The big unknown for the 51SK crew today is whether or not the chassis will handle like it should. We’ll know more after a couple of practice runs. If it’s still off (something is bent), and we’ll simply get what we can in tonight’s race and then rotate to our “B” car for the last 2 races of the year.

Practice round 1 was utterly terrible (bench chassis?). I changed a shock and a couple of other things and strapped on sticker tires then we went out for practice 2…..a totally different car. Big question remains is the change due to tires OR is it chassis changes? We’ll find out quickly during heat race starting outside the 78 who’s on the pole. Here are the top practice times for today (13 of Christopher was driven by Keith Rocco just for practice as Christopher is in Louden, NH racing in a tour race):
Practice Lap Times 9-26-15
7:00pm – Heat race was OK. The initial start wasn’t a good start for the 51 and the 88 of Rocco dove under the 78 on the back chute. Car was remarkable stable so perhaps our handling early today and in last week’s feature was just a tire issue OR the shock we changed. Feature lineup will be a challenge with some slower cars in the front row and temperatures diving into the 50’s. I’m expecting the track to get free with the colder temps so we’ll intentionally make some adjustments for that change in track conditions.

10:39pm – Feature race was not good – chassis just wasn’t where we needed it to be.  Big wreck happened on lap 4 with 5 cars wrecked in turn 3 – Rob restarted 3rd. The car just got free on corner entry and that was the end of us running up front. There was another caution with 4 laps to go I believe and Rob restarted 5th and finished 8th.

We end the points finishing 5th in points (88 of Rocco wins his 3rd consecutive SK Modified championship, 27 of Chadwick finished 2nd in points, 13 of Christopher finished 3rd in points and the 78 of Monahan finished 4th in points). We’ll be back later in October for Bemer’s big show and will look to have fun in both the Tri-Track Tour event and the SK Modified race.

Thanks to all of our sponsors and fans and we look to return in 2016 with better finishes and consistency.


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Sept. 19, 2015 – Saturday Night Races – Finished 7th

Heats: Started 3rd (of 8 cars), Finished 5th

Feature: Started 13th (of 25 cars), Finished 7th(Finishing Order: 13, 27, 68, 06, 7, 04, 51, 78, 44, 2, 85, 66, 40, 88, 9, 3, 17, 47ct, 98, 2ct, 43, 15, 72 20)

Comments: Partly cloudy day with temps in the 70’s should make for some good racing tonight. Million dollar question is how will the 51SK handle today after all of the damage from last week’s double features events. I was quite surprised to see how much damage we had after the racing last week. Hopefully, we’ve got the chassis back to a decent baseline that we can quickly tune to the track conditions tonight. We’ll know what we’ve got after the first few laps of practice this afternoon.

Practice rounds were OK – not perfect, but pretty good. We’ll make a few adjustments going into the heat race.

5:57pm – Heat race was bad from the start. The 15 who was on the pole who was 1/2a second slower than the top running cars didn’t make any headway even with Rob pushing him down the chutes. The entire outside row cleared him before Rob could pull to the outside groove and run. Why would you want to start on the pole and get run over? I have no idea why he would like doing that. That 5th place finish cost us our handicap and puts us behind the 8 ball with a start outside the top tier of cars. Rob will have his work cut out for the feature.

8:17pm – Feature race we just had a bad car (way too tight in/out which scrubs off speed). First caution came with 30 laps to go and Rob restarted 7th. Car was OK up to that point, just a little tight. Next caution came with 26 laps to go when the 78 spun coming out of turn 2 – Rob restarted 6th. Next caution came with 17 laps to go and Rob restarted 6th again. Final caution came with 2 laps to go and Rob restarted 7th. We’ll go through the front end and figure out what’s making the car so tight. Hoping to close out the points season next week with a podium finish for our fans and sponsors.


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Sept. 12, 2015 – Saturday Night Races – Double Features – Race #1 – 3rd, Race #2 – 8th

Heats:None – Lineup Based On Handicapping the top 12 in Points

Feature 1 of 2: Started 4th (of 27 cars), Finished 3rd(Finishing Order: 7, 47ct, 51, 27, 88, 06, 72, 44, 13, 78, 98, 04, 15, 17, 85, 38, 43, 51ct, 25, 68, 71, 2, 49, 01, 47, 66, 6)

Feature 2 of 2: Started 4th (of 26 cars), Finished 8th (Finishing Order: 13, 88, 06, 27, 38, 68, 47ct, 51, 44, 25, 72, 17, 43, 85, 47, 7, 98, 15, 51ct, 66, 04, 71, 2, 78, 49)

Comments:Partly cloudy today but more of a concern is threat for rain in the early evening. Practice rounds were pretty good – car was close to being “back” after last week’s wreck and right front suspension damage. With the Tri-Track modifieds and NEMA cars running today, there’s a ton of rubber on the inside groove and there is very little put down on the outside groove. That’s going to make starting on the outside row and passing on the outside more of a challenge than normal. Starting lineup is as follows:

7 – 47ct
44 – 51
27 – 06
72 – 78
88 – 13
98 – 15
17 – 04
85 – 2
93 – 47
49 – 51ct
25 – 01
38 – 68
71ny – 66
3

Feature #1 race was a challenge. First caution came with 18 laps to go and Rob restarted 3rd. About 5 laps later, 44 was dumping water and Rob restarted 3rd again. On the restart the 7 who was the leader didn’t get a good start (we thought he got jacked up a little by Rob and the car behind him, but the in-car video showed that was not the case) and that gave the lead to the 47 who never looked back. The car was inconsistent – snug early then free on entry later. That’s not what we want so we’ll adjust the chassis a little.

9:23pm Feature #2: Rob started 4th. The race was a challenge early as the outside row went backwards and Rob was back to 8th before he could make any headway. With a caution with 26 laps to go Rob restarted 6th. On lap 7 coming down the front chute, the 78 of Monahan must have thought he was clear and he came across Rob’s nose to make contact with the front chute wall and that collected Rob who had to pit with damage. We changed the right front tire and adjusted toe as best we could before we had to get back out on the lead lap to resume the race restarting 20th with 23 laps to go. There was a quick caution not one lap later and there was trouble in turn 3/4 and Rob into another car and had the spare right tire go down and so we had to change the right front again! There was a quick rain delay forcing the cars to pit but we couldn’t work on the cars until the red flag went back to yellow. We tweaked the right front tire toe again. With 11 laps to go Rob restarted 13th. There was some really crazy moves with drivers hitting each other under caution mid-pack. With 7 laps to go Rob restarted 8th. The final caution came with 4 laps to go and Rob restarted 8th, but then there was a red/checker due to the rain so the race ended there. Here’s in-car video of the wreck with the 78 of Monahan:

Here’s Sid’s View of both races:


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Sept. 5, 2015 – Saturday Night Races – Wreck – 12th Place Finish

Heats: Started 2nd, Finished: 3rd (of 7 cars)

Feature: Started 6th (of 21 cars), Finished 12th (Finishing Order: 88, 13, 72, 06, 51ct, 7, 78, 44, 17, 47, 98, 51, 47ct, 15, 85, 66, 27, 04, 6ma, 3, 55)

Comments:Gorgeous day for racing today with crisp morning temps and mostly sunny conditions – 0% chance of rain! We’ll be looking for the absence of bad luck like we had last week. Practice rounds were marginal as track surface was not good. Car was not as good as we hoped so we’ll continue making adjustments through the heat race into the feature.

6:40pm – Heat race was mediocre. Car was tight and Rob just couldn’t make the outside groove work.

8:18pm – Feature started out OK and there was a lot of side-by-side racing up front. Rob was making headway in the inside row but then in turn 3 and 4 something happened with the 27 who spun sideways in the low groove and Rob just couldn’t get him cleared and there was contact with the right front tire. Rob pitted and we found right front damage (broken strut rod and sway bar link). By the time we changed the strut rod the race went green again and Rob was caught in the pits until the next caution came putting us about 6 laps down. Rob finished the race and there was 1 more caution I believe. At least the damage is just bolt on parts. We’ll be back next week for the double features event looking to perform at a higher level.


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August 29, 2015 – Saturday Night Races – Finished 6th (After Starting 18th)

Heats: Started 3rd, Finished: DNF (of 8 cars)

Feature: Started 18th (of 24 cars), Finished 6th (Finishing Order: 78, 13, 88, 27, 72, 51, 04, 44, 98, 47, 43, 77, 17, 15, 66, 85, 3, 6, 2, 49, 21, 20, 7)

Comments:Outstanding sunny cool day for racing. Dry and cooler temps later this evening should make for lot’s of power and much better lap times unlike the conditions we had last week. Car was fastest car during practice rounds and Rob was very happy with the handling.
8-29-15 Practice Times
Starting 3rd in Heat race, Rob is looking for heat win #9. Hoping the car is “there” for him to get it.

6:41pm: Heat Race was going great – Rob got the lead and then drove away with a 4-5 car length lead. With 4 laps to go, in the middle of turn 3 and 4 the car snapped sideways and Rob made a great save. Then Rob pulled down to the low groove as we were not sure what broke. Rob decided to pull to the infield to prevent damage to the car. After pitting, we found the radiator cap had come loose and apparently, there was water coming out from under the cap (not at a rate that was visible) and it was landing right under the right rear tire! Needless to say, that was a big disappointment and loss of potential points and starting position. Rob starts 18th of 24 cars.

9:03pm: Well starting near the rear of the field is not something we’re used to. First caution came with 30 laps to go when 21 had an issue in turn 4 and came to a stop – Rob restarted 12th. Car was quick on the outside, but there was a lot of side by side racing in front. Next caution came with 27 laps to go and Rob restarted 10th. Final caution came with 22 laps to go when the 6 of Dennis Gada (who was filling in for his son Joey who was in the delivery room for his baby daughter’s birth!) – Rob restarted 7th. There was some hard racing and Rob continued to work the outside but then the 04 if Izzo became an issue as he pinched Rob off into the front and back chute walls multiple times. His spotter will soon learn to inform his driver that there’s overlap by a car on the outside – net result of doing that often is the car pinching the car to the outside off gets hooked and normally hits the wall a ton needing a front clip. Rob backed out of the throttle multiple times but then stayed in the throttle and hit the back chute wall and finally made the pass. There was just no time left to catch the front runners. We made lemonade out of the lemons we had from the heat race issue. Next week, we’ll be back on top of our game and hope for a better finish.


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August 22, 2015 – Saturday Night Races – Heat Win #8 – Finished 6th

Heats: Started 4th, Finished: 1st (of 9 cars)

Feature: Started 4th (of 19 cars), Finished 6th (Finishing Order: 3, 88, 6, 27, 72, 51, 78, 47, 44, 43, 2, 98, 17, 15, 04, 66, 3, 7, 55)

Comments:Partly cloudy and temps in the upper 70’s – low 80’s sets the stage for another great night of racing today at the Speedbowl. We’re bringing a slightly different chassis package to the track today and it will be interesting we the car performs better OR if I have to dial out the changes. We won’t really know the results until after the heat race as the 2 practice runs are really used to dial the car into the day’s track conditions.

5:15pm: Temps up in low 80’s and humidity being elevated will rob cars of power tonight plus it’s pretty uncomfortable thrashing on our car when the sun isn’t in the clouds. The chassis was really bad in first few practice rounds and we’re not really sure why. We took out changes that we did at the shop and that still didn’t help much in the 3rd round of practice. Car is just plain tight into and in the middle of the turns. Did more changes and I sure hope the car is better. Total of 8 changes to try to get the car back into the ball park where we should be.

7:05pm: Perfect! Heat race was awesome and the car turned on a dime. Rob built a 3/4 of a chute lead on 2nd place car and I did all I could to try to get him to slow down. We’re looking to carry the handling into the feature where we start 6th of 19 cars tonight. There’s not much of an outside groove – 1st SK Modified heat saw the field stretched out single file. Our heat got to be close to the same thing. Looking at the lap times, Rob’s lap times backed up the speed as he turned a 14.263 second lap and the next quickest car was the 78 of Monahan who was 2nd quickest with a 14.415 second lap.

8-22-15 Heat Win 8

8:42pm: Feature was a challenge. Early on, the outside row came backwards (Rob fell back to 9th by lap 2) and inside row had the advantage. First caution came with 1 lap complete and Rob restarted 7th. Field got strung out and there really wasn’t much side by side racing. 2nd and final caution came with 5 laps to go and Rob restarted 7th. Finished the race in 6th. The issue turned out that the tire stagger grew much more than expected. Car is in one piece so we’ll go through it and hope for a better finish next week.


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August 15, 2015 – Saturday Night Races – Heat Win #7 – Finished 2nd

Heats: Started 5th, Finished: 1st (of 9 cars)

Feature: Started 4th (of 18 cars), Finished 2nd (Finishing Order: 13, 51, 78, 88, 27, 6, 04, 77, 44, 98, 15, 66, 72, 49, 3, 2, 47, 20)

Comments:Another great day for races – mostly sunny and high 70’s with low humidity should make for some good power later in the evening when temps drop. Our goal this week is a simple one: to “suck less” than last week. Some would be happy with a 4th place finish, but we know that’s far from a good performance for the 51SK crew. We’ve got the car AND driver and should be performing at a higher level than we have lately. We made some pretty big chassis changes this week so it should be interesting to see if they result in better on-the-track performance. If they don’t, I’ll just dial them back out of the car.

5:13pm – So much for low humidity and cool temps (mid 80’s by mid day) – clear sky and muggy conditions made track very slow during practice. We had a small distributor issue that was quickly solved. Only 4 cars of 18 were turning laps in the 14.6’s – 88, 72, 13, 72 and 51. Starting 5th in our heat and it looks like it will be a challenge as our heat lineup is the 15, 98, 44, 72, 51, 6, 76, 27.

Heat race was pretty good as Rob was able to power to the front with some good clean moves down the back chute off turn 2 to take the lead. Care was pretty good – we can dial it in better. Feature lineup is going to be tough starting 4th as there is really no outside groove yet. Here’s the starting lineup:

04 – 72
13 – 15
78 – 6
98 – 88
27 – 3
15 – 47
98 – 66
44 – 49
20 – 3

8:52pm Feature was a battle. There was a long green flag run early in the race. Car was pretty good. First caution came with 22 laps to go and Rob restarted 3rd behind the 13 of Christopher who was in the lead and the 78 of Monahan who was in 2nd. Next caution came with 3 laps to go and the front row was the same, Rob was still in 3rd and the 88 of Rocco was on the outside in 4th. Just before caution, 72 got black flagged for overheating while running 3rd with Rob in 4th – in-car GoPro camera was picking up fluid on its lens and Rob was indicating the car suddenly was getting very loose (he didn’t know who, but it was the fluid being dropped by the 72). On the restart with 3 laps to go, Rob almost got a nose under the 13 in turn 2 when he moved up the track to protect the lead, but Rob couldn’t make it stick. We’re happy with the performance and will be looking for a better run next week.


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August 8, 2015 – Saturday Night Races “Wings & Wheels” Event – Finished 4th

Heats: Started 2nd, Finished: 3rd (of 8 cars)

Feature: Started 5th (of 22 cars), Finished 4th (Finishing Order: 27, 6, 88, 51, 72, 78,77, 44, 47, 13, 25, 21, 98,15, 49,85, 2, 66, 01, 36, 3, 04)

Comments:Partly cloudy – but nice day for racing with low humidity. The car was OK for first few laps of Practice 1, but then Rob pulled down to the low groove with a problem. Turns out that a plug wire came off the distributor. Second practice – Rob confirmed the car was up to speed (3rd quickest):

8-8-15 Practice

Heat race was uneventful – car was too free off turns so we will tighten the car up for the feature.

Feature was a disappointment plain and simple. Car was tight in the beginning of the race and then got very free on corner exit despite our efforts to tighten it up. First caution came with 28 laps to go and Rob was the leader at that point (36 hit turn 4 wall bringing out the caution). With 27 laps to go, Rob restarted 2nd outside the 27 – the car was tight at that point. With 14 laps to go Rob restarted 4th. With 12 laps to go, Rob restarted 4th again. With 11 laps to go, the 47 spun on the back chute and Rob restarted 4th. Despite the ill handling car, Rob was making the best of what we had. The 13 and 88 were coming. With 7 laps to go, the 13 got 4th and Rob fell back to 6th. With 5 laps to go, the 13 and 21 got tangled up in turn 1/2 to bring out a caution and Rob restarted 4th again. The good thing, is the car is not damages, the bad thing, we’ve got our work cut out and we need to get better handling in the corners in order for better finishes.

Here’s Sid’s view (set to start at beginning of SK Modified race – some cool drone footage of the track is at the beginning of the video):

Here’s in-car footage of the race:


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August 1, 2015 – Saturday Night Races – Heat Win #6 – Finished 13 (Problem 2 Laps To Go While 2nd)

Heats: Started 4th, Finished: 1st (of 10 cars)

Feature: Started 6th (of 19 cars), Finished 13th (Finishing Order: 78, 27, 36, 13, 66, 72, 6, 98, 44, 04, 43, 51, 88, 7, 15, 20, 3, 85)

Comments:Great day for racing with mostly sunny skies and minimal chance of passing shower in the early evening. Primary goal for today is to finish with a top 5 or better. Practice rounds were OUTSTANDING and we’re happy with the feel/performance with the chassis changes we tried out. Test will really be performance in racing conditions for Heat and Feature race. Rob was 2nd quickest today in practice.

Heat race was pretty good with Rob racing hard with the 78 for the lead. Caution came with 3 laps to go. Rob got the jump on the restart after the 78 cracked the throttle and he drove it home for the heat win. Lap times were pretty good also:
Screenshot_2015-08-01-19-44-49

Feature started out pretty good and Rob was up to 3rd by the time the first caution came on lap 5. Rob than was up to 2nd by lap 6 and ran in 2nd until lap 12 when the 27 got by. Then there was a big wreck with about 15 laps to go when the 88 of Rocco got loose coming out of turn 4 and he hit the front chute wall collecting the 7 and 13. Rob restarted 2nd I believe and ran hard but the 72 got the inside advantage and Rob then got cleared to fall back into 3rd before another caution came with 2 laps to go. Going into turn 3/4, I’m not sure what happened but the right front of the 51 got into the left rear of the 72 who was in second and he spun and Rob found he had damaged the right front spindle forcing us to pit with 2 laps to go. We were going to the rear anyway for contact with the 72 – we never made it back out in time to rejoin the field before the race went green. I guess the only good thing is the car was pretty good and the bent spindle is just a bold on part we’ll replace this week. Hope to do better next week.

8-2-15 Update: Figured out what happened last night – Rob got hooked by the 44 (getting into Rob’s right rear with his left front) then the 44 jacked up the 72 to finish him off. Here’s 27 in-car camera footage played at 1/4 speed showing contact:

Here’s Sid’s highlights form last night:


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July 25, 2015 – Saturday Night Races – Finished 3rd & Took SK Points Lead

Heats: Started 3rd, Finished: 2nd (of 8 cars)

Feature: Started 8th (of 23 cars), Finished 3rd (Finishing Order: 27 6, 51, 36, 78, 04, 13, 43, 77, 72, 4, 66, 01, 44, 98, 62, 15, 49, 3, 7, 85)

Comments:Great summer weather today! Zero % chance of rain and temps in high 70’s and we should have a great track for racing tonight with two grooves for side-by-side racing. Practice rounds were pretty good. The track is a tad slow though.

Heat race was uneventful. Car was decent but tad loose on corner exit so we’ll tighten it up for the feature. Starting lineup for the feature is outside – Rob will probably get taken backward early by the O4 in the outside row:
44 – 7
72 – 04
27 – 78
6 – 51
36 – 43
13 – 12
01 – 77
4 – 85
3 – 15
66 – 22
1 – 49
98

Feature was tough as there was hard racing up front. With about 10 laps complete, something happened between the 2 cars in front of Rob and I cleared him low and we just missed getting involved with the wreck – Rob restarted 5th. Then there was hard racing to the checkered. At one point, the 72 (inside) and Rob (outside) were racing hard and the there was enough contact coming out of turn 2 when Rob was 3/4 complete with the pass and Rob got crossed up but saved it. We’re happy to end up with a podium finish tonight and Rob assumed the SK point lead since the Keith Rocco was hot here due to his Modified Tour obligations.

Here’s in-car GoPro footage of race:


Here’s Rob’s podium interview.


New Speedbowl Website is here: