|USG EVENT NIGHT (JULY 28, 2007)
FIRST MECHANICAL FAILURE IN THREE YEARS!!!
I'd like to thank the LeftTurn Motorsports racing team (Joel, Todd, and Joe for all the hard
work over the last six weeks in preparing for this weekend's show. The good news is that
the car was performing better than ever - we just need to find those last 2 tenths and
we'll be wicked fast.
We went into Saturday's show with pretty high expectations because of the last few
performances and even though it was the hottest day of the season so far, I was not
disappointed with the car. The chassis was working well in the heat and we had made a
few minor adjustments that appeared to be working. We ran into a bit of a push in the
later practice, but decided the track would come to us as the day went on. Practice times
were not too far off and we were hanging in at the 4th position.
Qualifying went off at around 3:00pm and the car still had a bit of a push on exit. After
riding the push out of turn 2 on the first qualifying lap, I just about put it in the fence
coming out of 4. Of course, when you blow the turn 4 exit, you pretty much tank
qualifying and we ended up 5th with a 13.785. The qualifying order in front of us was
Lance Tatro(13.415), Dave Tuey(13.472), Kenny "Caterpillar" White(13.555) - just
kidding, and Kevin Hays (13.689).
Kenny White pretty much marched off with the Trophy Dash win while Kevin Hays and
Dave Tuey got together in Turn 3-4 on the 2nd lap. Tuey ended up pulling off with a
broken shock and RR birdcage damage, while Kevin continued on. Lance Tatro ended up
As we were pushing out for the heat race, I noticed something of a clanking noise while
rolling down the pit lane. Originally I though it was just the left rear tire scraping due to
the stagger, but this seemed a little more pronounced. Apparently when the car dropped
into gear to be pushed off there was a pretty loud pop, but with all the commotion, I
didn't hear it. Everything felt pretty tight on the chassis while we were weaving around
under the yellow, so I decided to go ahead and run. We started on the outside pole next
to Donnie Large (welcome back!) and with Kenny White behind us. As we were going into
turn 3 I got a big boost from the #1 push-cat and off we went. The car was still pushing a
little bit but were getting better, and at the end of the heat we ended up 2nd behind
White. We were running 13.6's in the heat and I figured we were in a pretty good position
for the main - once we figured out what the rear axle noise was.
After the heat race, we started looking closely at the rear end - there was nothing wrong
with the quick change gears, but the noise was persistent. After noticing the amount of
metal in the gear oil and the fact that the noise remained whether the car was in gear or
out of gear, we determined it would not be wise to continue to race and parked the car for
For the main event, Kenny White led wire to wire with a late race challenge from the 6 car
of David (AARP) Tuey. It looked like David had the pass a couple of times, but I think he
might have had a little too much of a 'foot-full' of race car. Anyway, it was a great race
and Congratulations to Kenny - I'm still going to get you a CAT sticker though...LOL
As for the 18, after disassembling the rearend this morning, it looks like we made the
right decision as there were 4 broken teeth on the ring gear and the pinion shaft carrier is
broken in half. For all intents, the rear end is destroyed - we're just thankful it didn't
come apart on the track!
We have a big challenge in front of us to finish the season, as we will need to locate and
set up a completely new rear end, rear axle, and braking and suspension assembly, but
we WILL be able to do it, and I'd like to thank everyone on the crew for their efforts. And
a big thank you to all the fans for coming out to the races and we hope to see you on