Competing Weekly At The New London-Waterford Speedbowl In NASCAR Weekly Racing Series
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Heats: Started 2nd (of 11 cars), Finished 3rd
Feature: Started 4th (of 27 cars), Finished 12th (Finishing Order: )
Comments: Nice weather for late October. Finale race is a 75 lap event with a $5,000 purse for the winner. Adding to the excitement is the fact that Al Stone who’s multi-time Sportsman division champion and point leader going into next week’s event, he’ll be running our 2nd car.
Practice rounds were pretty good and the car was stable. Al’s car was a tick tight and we’ll address that for the heat race. Rob’s heat race was a little frustrating as the 2nd place car who was the 81 of Owen was completely sideways in the middle of the turns and then he dropped down the track repeatedly closing the door on an inside pass. Late in the race, a charging Ryan Preece was able to make an outside pass when Rob was being conservative with the pressure on the 81. Al Stone almost won his consi race if it were not for being pinched into the back chute wall by the leader.
Here’s the starting lineup for the $5,000 to win race:
Feature started out well and Rob was holding his own. Rob got up to 2nd. As the laps came off the board, we learned the car was tight into the corners and that’s not good. As the race wore on, we decided to pit out of 4th place with 33 laps to go to adjust the handling thinking we’d be able to come up from the rear. A wreck came bringing out a red flag (31 went hard into the turn 4 wall taking out the pit gate) and the raced got red checkered with 14 laps to go. The officials reverted a lap for the finishing order (we were 9th at the time) but we were put back to 12th and were moving forward and could have gotten a top 5. Oh well.
Heats: Started 3rd (of 8 cars), Finished 3rd
Feature: Started 7th (of 27 cars), Finished 6th (Finishing Order: 88, 25, 59, 6, 27, 51, 21, 13, 31, 94, 94, 98, …………..)
Comments: Wow…car was outstanding in practice and we tied the 13 by turning a 14.162 second lap which is quick time for the day so far.
Heat race we’re starting 3rd behind the 22 and the 32 (outside pole) and 31 of Monahan to the outside will make the heat race a challenge.
Heat race was uneventful and Rob settled into 3rd to save tires for the feature.
Feature started out with a quick caution just 1 lap complete and Rob restarted 6th. Next caution came with 32 laps to go and Rob restarted 5th. The 22 was coming backwards from his pole starting position. 1 lap later Rob was inside the 22 who was coming backwards on the outside and he turned hard left going into turn 3 despite Rob having a wheel inside. Either he ignored his spotter OR she just didn’t make the call. Rob was sent to the rear as an involved car so he pitted to tighten the car up a tad.
Next caution came with 21 laps to go and Rob was up to 13th and making great headway/moves through traffic. Next caution came with 7 laps to go and the 94 was being his usual menace blocking traffic. The guy just can’t pick a lane!! Then we had the 22 of Gunning still losing his mind over the earlier incident and then he got tossed by the officials. Another caution came just 1 lap later and Rob restarted 10th. With 2 laps to go there was a final caution and Rob restarted 7th. Some minor rear tin damage, but other than that, we’re bringing the car home in one piece. Next race is the season finale race Sunday Oct. 23rd!
Here’s Sid’s view of the race:
Heats: Started 3rd (of 8 cars), Finished #Black Flagged
Feature: Started 20th (of 24 cars), Finished 10th (Finishing Order: 25, 6, 94, 21, 88, 22, 72, 9, 13, 51, 94, 40, 98, 66, 81, 49, 32, 15, 3, 29, 27, 81, 1, 31)
Comments: Wow….the following is a rare statement I haven’t heard in a long time from Rob…. “best handling car I’ve ever felt”. Looks the the reversion chassis changes are what the chassis needed. Track is fast and Rob is 2nd quickest to 88 of Rocco (who’s currently just 1 point out of the National Championship position):
Wow! Crappy heat race thanks to SHITTY OFFICIATING
a) leader breaking loose on his own coming out of turn 4 (as Rob was making an inside pass) and with his left rear tire going down then he spun in front of the field – Rob went to the infield to avoid him. After race 22 came over and apologized for tire going down.
b) After restarting in the rear with 8 laps to go, Rob racing from the rear gets inside advantage on 98 going into turn 3 and 98 spotter must not have called for car inside. 98 spun and we were black flagged!
After the race we questioned the call when an official, Chris Williams, was driving by our pit stall. He said “you dive bombed the 98 going into turn 3”. He had the gall to then say “it’s always like this when we make a call against you guys”. I was shocked by the statement and then asked “when was the last time we questioned a call made by the officials?”…. Williams then responds ” last year”. I was thinking OMG, that’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. Joke is the team of 7 officials got it wrong while even the announcer got it right when he called out on the PA the left rear tire was obviously going down on the 22 Erin.
1st crap call they tried to make us go to the rear (but Rob avoiding any contact and going into the infield took care of that) . The 2nd crap call to throw the black flag forcing 51 to start in the rear certifies the incompetence of the current officiating crew in MY mind! I know bad calls happen and we normally suck it up without complaining, but this time warranted a chat and to get attitude back is disappointing to say the least. When I asked many experience drivers, crew members and even media people about when the last time they ever saw a black flag for a racing incident (not mechanical issue) and not one could say they ever saw that happen. Instead, they customary action taken if the contact is deemed rough riding is to score or send the offending driver at the rear of the qualifying event, not black flag making them start at the rear of the field.
Feature, well starting in the rear is not a cake walk. First caution came with 25 laps to go and Rob was up to 14th. Next caution came with 23 laps to go and Rob restarted 15th. Next caution came with 20 laps to go and Rob restarted 11th. The 94 was taking up both racing grooves all the way to the end of the race holding back 3 rows of cars with its amazing skill at blocking the entire field! The officials were making calls to his spotter telling him to pick a lane but they did nothing to cure the problem (i.e. say we’re no longer scoring him OR use hell, why not use the black flag again for the 2nd time!). With 4 laps to go Rob restarted 8th.
Had to be one of the worst SK features of the year with countless caution laps. At least the car is in one piece and we can come back next Saturday for our last Saturday night show of the season (finale race is in October).
Heats: Started 3rd (of 7 cars), Finished 2nd
Feature: Started 5th (of 23 cars), Finished 11th (Finishing Order: 59, 13, 25, 32, 31, 6, 88, 27, 21, 81, 51, 22, 9, 94, 94, 66, 3, 1, 41, 92, 81, 29, 49)
Comments: Despite the Hurricane roaring up the east coast basically ruining many coastal residents Labor Day weekend plans, the weather was perfect for racing tonight. The track conditions were really good with cooler overcast conditions and the lap times were best of the year so far for many cars. Rob was 3rd quickest in 1st round of practice and 4th quickest in the second.
Heat race was expected to be a challenge and it unfolded like we expected. The 84 of Gaydosh started on the pole (without a single lap of practice since he showed up to the track late) and the 22 was outside pole. The 94 just couldn’t pick a lane and Rob got inside advantage a couple of times but he lifted since it wasn’t worth pressing the issue only to find out that the 94 couldn’t maintain car control – that would cost us our handicap position.
Feature race has Rob starting 5th of 23 cars. 94 is on pole again, but he’s got the 13 of Christopher on his tail so that should open up an inside pass by Christopher fairly quickly.
First caution came with 27 laps to go and Rob restarted 3rd. Sounds good, but it wasn’t since the car was uber free on corner entry. Not sure why as the car has been great on entry up to tonight. Next caution came with 18 laps to go and Rob restarted 5th. Final caution came with 6 laps to go and Rob restarted 8th. Not much to say as Rob did his best will the ill handling chassis. Hope to figure out what made the car so free so we can get back to the front and stay there next week.
Heats: Started 2nd (of 7 cars), Finished 3rd
Feature: Started 5th (of 22 cars), Finished 2nd (Finishing Order: 31, 51, 21ct, 25, 81, 22, 27, 6, 13, 32, 9, 66, 1, 3, 47, 88, 98, 20, 15, 21, 94)
Comments: Back to baseline setup after last week’s pan hard failure/DNF. New setup is in car and we’ve got to dial it in. We missed our first practice due to a problem with shifter (after transmission change mid-week). Our only practice was pretty good, but the car had a different character with chassis changes. Heat race was OK except for initial start when the car didn’t want to turn coming out of turn 4 so that put Rob in a position where he had to work from 3rd place. The top 3 cars checked out and Rob was actually fastest of all cars in race trim during the heat races with a 14.436 lack to edge out the 6 of Gada who was 2nd quickest.
Feature race should be interesting with the 22 on the pole again and the 9 outside pole. Diego is in his brother’s 31 chassis starting 3rd and he was quick during practice but not very fast during heat race. Hope he picks up steam for the feature.
Feature started out OK as the car was good and Rob got up to 2nd quickly and had a 8 car length lead before the first caution came with 31 laps to go. Started outside in 2nd but the same thing happened with the handling – car didn’t want to turn….but it worked out OK as Rob powered back on the outside to clear the 3rd place 22 car and he got back into his groove chasing down the 31 of Monahan. Next caution came with 20 laps to go when the 88, 47 and others wrecked on the front chute and no change as Rob was still 2nd. Race ran green from there to the checkered and the 31 was just too fast and our setup was a tad snug for race conditions.
Heats: None – Time Trials set the field for 2nd feature
Feature 1: Started 9th (of 22 cars), Finished 6th
Feature 2: Started 2nd (of 28 cars), Finished 18th (DNF)
Comments: Practice rounds were pretty good with 51SK up near the top of the speed charts for practice/scuff sessions. Time trial we were 5th quickest of 28 cars that qualified.
Feature 1 started out OK. Rob restarted 5th at the first caution with 34 laps to go. Next caution came with 31 laps to go and Rob restarted 8th. Cars were 2×2 in front and there was no where to go. Next caution came with 28 laps to go and Rob restarted 7th. Next caution came with 24 laps to go after something crazy happened with the 78 (contact from 88) but he went airborne and landed on the back of our car! He completely caved in the rear tin, but there was no apparent structural damage so Rob stayed on the track to restart 6th. Contact was made and Rob spun with 19 laps to go and Rob restarted in the rear. Next caution came with 13 laps to go and Rob was up to 13th. Rob ran hard to finish 9th before the checkered flag flew.
Team worked hard to rework the damaged body and get the car ready before the 2nd feature. We finished just in time. Thanks to a good redraw after the time trials, Rob got an outside pole position starting position for the 2nd feature. First caution came with 34 laps to go and Rob restarted 2nd again outside the 72. Both Rob and Paul were running hard and they checked out ahead of the field before the next caution came with 30 laps to go and Rob restarted 2nd again. Rob actually laid down the fastest feature lap for the night during the feature on lap 5. On the restart, Rob let me know that something was wrong with the transmission shifting so he had to restart in high gear. Next caution came with 30 laps to go and Rob was the leader after the 72 pitted (not sure what was wrong). Next caution came with 28 laps to go and Rob was still the leader with the 88 of Rocco hot on his tail. With 23 laps to go, there was a HUGE front chute wreck (video below) on the front chute were the 17 of Adam Gada ended up upside down on top of the front chute wall. Rob restarted 2nd since the 88 got the lead just before the caution. On the next lap, the 47 got into the right rear of Rob on turn 1 corner entry and that caused Rob to chase the car up and then other contact caused Rob to slide sideways bringing out a caution. Unfortunately, we learned that the car was damaged and we had a DNF due to a pan hard bar failure (broke in half – perhaps due to the race #1 contact with 78?). We’ve got a lot of work this week to get the car back for next week.
Heats: Got scrapped due to long delay for turn 2 gate repair after a mini stock wreck.
Feature: Started 9th (of 22 cars), Finished 6th (Finishing Order: 88, 21CT, 13, 6, 27, 51, 21, 9, 78, 25, 47ct, 22, 98, 94, 94t, 66, 3, 72, 81x, 32, 41ct, 17)
Comments: After thinking last week was the hottest day of the year, I was wrong! Even hotter being 108 degrees in our pit stall today!
The practice rounds were good in the sense that we found that last week’s ill handling was actually a bad set of tires. When we put new set on, car was “there” at the top of the speed charts 2nd to Rocco (who has blistering fast lap):
Without heats, it was a crap shoot on what to do for feature setup. Initially, there was simply no where to go and the cars were 2×2 and actually, the inside row was coming backwards! First caution came with 27 laps to go and Rob restarted 10th. Car was good, but just needed a little room to make some moves. Next caution came just 1 lap later when the leaders wreck in turn 3/4 with 26 laps to go and Rob restarted 5th. Race ran to the checkered from there. The 9 held Rob up for a while and then it was too late to make any further moves since the car was just a tick tight off corner exit.
Being that the car is really close and stable, I’m happy overall despite not achieving a podium finish. We’ll look for better performance next weekend when we have double features! Make-up race we know we are starting 7th and we time trial for the 2nd race next weekend.