Heats: Started 3rd (of 8 cars), Finished – DNF (Wrecked on 3rd lap)
Feature: Started 18th (of 24 cars), Finished 7th (Finishing Order: 27, 04, 06, 13, 21, 8, 51, 88, 47, 32, 54, 94, 9, 98, 44, 15, 49, 55, 19, 72, 78, 81X, 22, 3)
Comments: Practice was not very good – track is slow due to hot conditions. We straddled the sweep spot with the chassis – first round we were free, second round we were tight. We’ll see if we can hit the sweet spot during the heat. Our goal for the night is a top 5 and to have a better handling car than last week.
Heat Race was a disaster – on 2nd or 3rd lap Rob was 3rd behind the 78 and 22 and the 78 seemed to make an aggressive move in turn 1 and 2 which got both cars sideways and the 22 came down the track and creamed the right side of the 51. It took out the right side nerf bar and tore the rear end out of the car (RR shock, trailing arm bracket, both rear tires were cut down). We quickly checked the rear for being square and determined only the brackets were bent – the tubes were straight. We thrashed on the car and a big shout out to CJ of 88 Roco’s crew and Steve from Ed Pulio’s crew as they didn’t hesitate to jump in and help. Good thing we decided to fix the car vs. go get the backup car as the features went fast.
Feature strategy was simple – run hard and pick off one car at a time. First caution came with 21 laps to go and Rob restarted 12th. Car seemed good and stable. Next caution came with 16 laps to go and Rob restarted 8th. With 13 laps to go, the 94 (who had been leaking fluid earlier) brought out a caution when he spun in turn 4 – Rob restarted 10th. Final caution came with 2 laps to go setting up a green white checkered restart/finish. Rob ran hard and on the last lap going down the back chute for to the checkered flag, he was on the 72’s tale and Rob then got a shove from behind (I believe it was the 88) and the 72 spun to the infield and then Rob and the 88 raced hard to the checkered with Rob edging out Keith for 7th.
I guess we have to be happy with that finish (except for the 72 being spun) as we had a pretty beat up race car that performed remarkably well after the heat damage.