|BOOTS & BIKINIS NIGHT (AUGUST 04, 2007)
GETTING BACK IN THE GAME
locating parts, getting 80's technology upgraded to the 21st century, and getting it all put
back together in the space of a week... nevermind the rest of the routine maintenance.
Many thanks to Todd and Joe for all the crazy hours leading up to the show Saturday. I
was pretty amazed that we got it into the trailer Friday night (even if it was 1:00am). On
to the show...
After spending all week putting the guts of the car back together, I was going to be happy
if it fired and nothing fell off. The farthest thought from anyone's mind was how hot it was
going to be Saturday, and we were pretty satisfied that the car took off and we didn't
have gear oil flying all around. The great news was that we had the highest car count of
the year! Once we got into practice the track was pretty slick (it was 108 degrees) and
everyone was running in the high 13's. We were in the game and the car felt good. In
the second practice we got bottled up with traffic and didn't get to try much. It was so hot
nothing would have made much difference anyway, although the motor was running at
190 - 200 degrees which was a good sign.
Qualifying went off as usual around 3:00pm. The push we had last week was resolved,
but we had a little error in the fuel level and started running out halfway between the
finish line and turn 1. Needless to say, qualifying was pretty bad and we ended up 5th
with a 14.149. Grandpa Tuey was quick time with a 13.561, followed by Lance Tatro
(13.656), Kenny Kinchen(13.713), and Kenny White(13.751) - not bad for a
push-CAT...LOL. Anyway, we were still happy the car was together...
Tatro took off and won the Trophy Dash with Kenny Kinchen and Mr. Tuey in tow while
Kenny White pulled off the track with what was to be a busted rocker arm. Rotten luck
because they have been running pretty good when things stay together.
After qualifying, the track decided we weren't going to run heat races so we got to sit
around and try to figure out what kind of race track we were going to have for the Main
Event. The car had been pretty friendly all day, so we didn't make too many adjustments
and made sure we had enough fuel. On lap 2 of the main, Larry Hinz went into the Turn 4
wall with a broken front axle and we rode around under the yellow forever while the
wrecker crew figured out what they were going to do. During the yellow flag the car was
at 200 or 205 depending on how close I got to the other guys, and there was no real cause
for concern. Once we got back underway, we had a good fight with Willie Northamer (29)
for a number of laps and then Willie and I started chasing down Kinchen in the 77. Tuey
and Tatro were having their own war farther up and our car was starting to get a little
loose (after driving around the bottom like a knucklehead). Finally on lap 22 I looped it
off Turn 4 and slid into the infield. About then I realized we had the water temp up to
around 240 and climbing quick since we were sitting still. By the time the push truck
came over, the pressure cap popped and we were done for the night. Tatro went on to
win followed by Dave Tuey (I thought the yellow would help you - really), Kenny Kinchen,
and Willie Northamer. After much discussion, we think we determined what caused the
heating problem and have put in the fix for August 11th.
Finally, congratulations to Jeremiah Bearden for making his first race and a big THANK
YOU to Jimmy T for fighting off the black widows and finding the replacement center
section for us - that pretty much saved our race season so thanks again. I also want to
thank all of the 360 teams for offering whatever they had to try and get us back on the
track. Oh yeah - let Willie N know we rent those master cylinders by the day.
And of course, a big thank you to all the fans for coming out to the races and we'll see you
on August 11th.