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.
We’ve got something to build off of since after the race, we learned that Rob was quickest tonight….but just not quick enough.
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.
Comments:Overcast day after morning showers – chance of rain increases to above 50% after 5pm so it will be interesting to see if we get the races in today. Radar looks good right now
5:21pm – So far weather is cooperating as rain is in NY so we should be OK for tonight’s feature events. The practice sessions were pretty good. Our issues tonight will be we’re running left front tire with 160 laps on it (due to last’s week’s penalty (see last week’s update for details) and we just found out that we were also given a handicapping penalty (see rule 1.5.2.c) where we are given a win for last week and that puts us dead last in top tier of cars. Rob will have his hands full trying to get up into 4th or better for a top tier handicap (which should mean a 12th place starting position in the feature). Here’s the lineup for both SK Modified heats:
6:30pm: Heat race was uneventful and there was really no where to go. We’ll hope for the absence of bad luck and with a stable fast car like we have had, Rob should be able to battle and race his way up into the top 5 or better despite running older left front tire than others have.
8:41PM: Feature was really a challenge since the outside lane had speedy dry around most of the track from when someone blew a motor during the race before us. Early on, the car was tight. There was really no where to go with cars stacked up in front. First and only caution came with 19 laps to go and Rob restarted 9th. After the green flag came out, the car was oddly loose in and out – not sure why. Rob ran hard but we didn’t have the handling tonight to get by the cars up front. On the last lap, the 6 got into the 27 putting the 27 into the turn 3 wall – the 6 was then penalized. The 13 of Christopher pulled down his first SK modified win here at Waterford in 11 years. Next week, we’re looking for a better run and for the playing field to be leveled with us being on same quality tires as the rest of the field. It will take 2 more weeks for our handicap to be back to normal.
Here’s unofficial SK points and handicapping after tonight’s race:
Don’t forget about THIS week’s special for General Admission tickets – just $5 for folks who live in towns starting with the letters R – Z – that’s a great deal since it’s a tour race event!!:
Comments: Partly cloudy day, but nice enough without the threat of weather. Practice rounds were great and we’re glad to say our carburetor or ignition issue that persisted last weekend is now solved. Rob laid down the 2nd fastest SK Modified practice lap time with the 88 of Rocco being at the top of the speed charts.
Heat race should be a challenge as Rob needs to finish in the top 5 to get his handicap. After last week’s 2nd place finish, our handicapping is going to put us starting near the end of the top tier of cars (around 11th or 12th). Heat race lineup is as follows:
Feature race was tough with outside row 8th place starting position and the cars that had the worst finishes last week starting up front (due to handicapping rules). The first caution came quickly on lap 1 and Rob restarted 8th with some damage to the front bumper. Next caution came and Rob was up to 5th. There was some hard racing up front between the 47CT and 13 – instead of laying back, Rob staid tight running with the leaders and that forced the 13 of Christopher to run the outside trying to get around the 47CT but he just didn’t have the car to take the lead. The final caution came with 4 laps to go and Rob restarted 3rd with the 41 of Jordan in the lead and the 13 of Christopher in 2nd. Jordan was able to hold off the 51 and take down his first SK win at Waterford.
Update 5-11-15 Tire Rules Infraction: During post race inspection, an unregistered tire was found on the left rear of our car. Officials and I as the crew chief checked the registration slips, I then invited the officials to our trailer and inspect ALL of our tires including unused inventory and even shared our team’s track notes with them. It was found that instead of registering 8 new tires on opening weekend, I made a clerical error and only 7 new tires were registered (instead of 8 new) and the 8th tire I submitted for our initial 2015 season inventory was in fact an old 90 lap tire used in the 2015 racing season finale/used in practice on the previous day Friday May 1st. The old tires were dismounted Saturday May 2nd so we could mount our new tires. Somehow, when I was recording our 8 new tires, I recorded one of the old tires and I left off our registration slip 1 of the new tires! Since 8 new tires were legally purchased, the 8th new tire showed up as an “unregistered” tire during last Saturday’s post-race inspection creating a rules infraction.
We understand that “rules are rules” (excuse my sarcasm, but the race officials can’t really apply common sense since a rules violation did in fact occur) so the 51SK was given a 1 lap penalty and the unregistered tire was taken….Talk about a kick in the balls after a great run. We might as well flush the 51SK’s season down the toilet for my stupid clerical error.
For the record, there was:
1) No competitive advantage (all teams had access to new tires being just the 2nd week of season),
2) No illegal part being used in competition (i.e. an acid dipped intake manifold used by the 13 team in the opening event),
3) No misconduct by the driver or any team member on or off the track,
4) No intent (i.e. unapproved tire change during a race) and the paper trail clearly shows there was no attempt atcheating
5) There was an abundance of evidence proving the team only registered 7 new tires and 1 old 90 lap tire in error after legally buying 8 tires to begin the season
We’re supposed to “understand” and appreciate the ruling – I wish I knew how to not let my error and subsequent penalty bother me. We’ve been doing this for 28 years as a team and this is the first time we’ve had a rules violation penalty. To all of the 51SK modified fans, I’m sorry for the error and thank you for your support.
Car has been great so we ran only one practice. Starting on the pole for first heat race.
6:21pm – Won our heat race by about 10 car lengths ! The car was good and only issue was an ignition issue we found with our Rev limiter. We went back up on our carburetor jet and hope for better performance during the feature.
10:29pm – I’ll add details later, but we finished 3rd (officially finished 2nd after DQ – see update below) and are in tech (intake manifold is being inspected). Performance was great except for Rob indicating we still need to figure our a carburetor issue that persisted during the feature race.
Here’s the In-Car GoPro Video Action from the feature race:
Engine torn down after tech inspection (intake manifolds):
51SK laid down the fastest lap time for feature (HERE are all times) :
10:47pm – Something is up – chatter that someone got DQ’d…. We are waiting for inspection to be finished.
11:30pm – We’re leaving track still not knowing if there’s a penalty for a rules infraction. Talk was of a potentially illegal intake manifold on the 13 of Christopher who finished 2nd. The officials made the 36 of Lutz (who was on standby) tear down his motor so it seems like they really had an issue with one of the top 3 competitor’s. If they roll over and don’t issue a penalty, then making Lutz tear down his motor becomes a bad call on the officials part.
UPDATE: The 13 of Christopher was DQ’d for an illegal intake manifold and that moves Rob up to an official 2nd place finish with the 36 of Lutz rounding out the top 3.