7/15/12 – Winchester Speedway

Photo courtesy of Phil Taylor

I’m sitting at my desk, just three days after our second trip to Winchester Speedway, and all I can think about is how much fun we had. It was really a great weekend that FINALLY ended with a solid finish.

I never expected for us to be back at the race track in less than two months after our engine troubles at Anderson Speedway on May 15th. I can’t thank Bill & Kathy Schumaker with Schumaker Performance, Steve & Leslie Harley, and my parents for everything they’ve done to make it all possible.

We got the engine back on Friday night and immediately started working on getting it ready to put it back in the car. We finally got it fired up on Saturday afternoon just before Bill & Kathy came over to make the final adjustments. With the engine fired up and ready to go, we spent the next 4-5 hours setting up the chassis in preparation of the high-banks.

Sunday at Winchester Speedway was “Family Fun Day”.  In the downtime between qualifying and the heat races, we visited the grandstands to sign some autographs and mingle with the kids and  families. One of the kids I met was a young man who was sporting a big, green mohawk. Needless to say, he was easy to spot in the grandstands as I was driving 100+mph down the front straightaway. I think I picked up a new fan!  🙂

The car drove very well all day. We had a hiccup during qualifying which forced us to “scratch” our time. The series has a 3/10ths rule, which means if you run .3 seconds faster in the feature event than you did in qualifying, you’re black flagged and have to fall to the tail of the field. This prevents sand-bagging. If you “scratch” your time, you give up your starting position and elect to start at the tail of the field. If you “scratch”, the 3/10ths rule doesn’t apply.

Since we “scratched”, we started the heat race at the tail. With the caution coming out 4 or 5 laps into the race, we elected to make a pit stop to change radios. This was actually pretty cool because we could have parked it–after all, it was just a heat race. But I wasn’t going to give up. Not for my team. We had a really good car, and I felt like we could drive it back up to the front. After two pit stops, we finally got the radio changed and was ready to rejoin the field for the restart of the race. We drove all the way back up to 4th position, and I was very happy with how the car was driving.

In the feature, we immediately went to work passing cars as the field was still bunched up at the start of the race. I spent the majority of the race running down the 3rd place car but could never get to his bumper to make the pass. We finished in 4th place–WAY beyond our expectations.

We had such a great time at Winchester Speedway this past weekend. That track can be treacherous, and we’ve been advised to race the race track and not the other competitors–which is exactly what we did.

We have 7 races left in the 2012 season, and 4 of them are at Winchester Speedway. Needless to say, I can’t wait to go back!

The next race will be on August 11th at Anderson Speedway.

Until next time,
Josh #09

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Posted in Race Summary, Racing

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