It was another up and down weekend for us (or down and up, however you look at it) this holiday weekend on the racetrack. With Friday night’s action at Luxemburg Speedway canceled due to rain showers, our plans changed and we headed up to Thunderhill Raceway on Saturday night.
I started outside pole for my heat race, and quickly took the lead over Keith Peterson on lap 1. The track was very heavy with the on and off rain showers that persisted throughout the early evening hours falling on the surface. We set the car up to dig as much into the track as it could, and it was paying off. I bounced through the ruts in turns 3 & 4 and lost some of my lead over Brad Lautenbach, and he was able to reel me in on lap 6. I went on to finish 2nd, giving me a 2nd row starting spot in the feature.
When the green flag dropped for our feature, I got the short end of the stick, as the outside polesitter did not get on the gas in the early going. I tried to make the pass to his outside, but couldn’t make the move quickly enough and watched 6 cars go past to my inside. By the time I actually got back into the racing groove, it would have taken a valiant effort to get back into the top 5, putting a lot of abuse on my equipment. I chose to head to the pits about 5 laps in, which might have saved me from being involved in a melee about 3 laps after I pulled in.
Mother Nature didn’t want to play nice on Sunday afternoon as well, as we made the trip to Seymour Speedway for the 3rd time this season. The show was paying extra money, and brought in a boatload of cars (158 at final count). We waited out the rain showers, and had to pack the racing surface back in for about an hour. The end result was a very fast track for all the heat races, and that carried into the features as well.
I drew a 12 out of the bucket, putting me on the pole for the 3rd heat race of 4. I got off to a shaky start, as I started too low in turn 4 in a patch of clay that was still slimy. I recovered from that early mishap to finish 3rd, transferring me to the feature.
My redraw chip put me on the outside pole for the feature, and it took us three tries to get a lap in. All three starts I took the lead on the outside groove, and pulled out to a nice lead in the early going. A caution bunched up the field, and I lost the lead on lap 9 to Eric Mahlik. I kept my car near the top groove throughout the race, but the track started to slick up just enough to make my car a little bit loose through the corners. One more restart put me on the inside, and I was able to secure an 8th place finish, which is my highest feature finish at the track.
We will be taking the upcoming weekend off from racing, and returning to action on September 16th & 17th for Luxemburg’s Fall Classic special. After that, we will finish out the 2011 season at Seymour on October 1st.