The third consecutive week of running our supermodified was not nearly as tough the last couple, but we're still glad to see a little break. We usually count on 40 to 60 crew hours for prepping the car to race. When the prep time gets condensed into the space of a week, everyone gets a little on edge - nevermind throwing in equipment malfunctions. Thanks to everyone on the crew for making the effort as it looks like we got right back on point after the major rearend crisis. We're still 100% on getting the car into the trailer before Saturday morning (at least before sunrise - LOL).
Our major concerns for the week leading up to Saturday were to make sure we got the new overheating issue resolved as well as making sure the motor was not hurt too bad. The rearend appeared to be rock-solid, but got a lot of scrutiny anyway (the last time I put one together was 2000). We determined the heating issue was a result of missing on our carburetor adjustment for weather, so we made the appropriate adjustments and the motor appeared to be fine.
Practice was pretty normal - we had old rubber on the car and were slipping and sliding all over (as was everyone else), but all systems were good and the car was running 190 with outside temperatures at 96 degrees. We put on new right side rubber for the second session and the car came to life. Dave Tuey and Lance Tatro were running in the stratosphere (13.1s), but we were running 4th (13.604) behind Kenny White's (13.368).
Qualifying went off later than usual because practice had started at 1:30 instead of 12:30, but I don't think anyone minded much. We made sure the fuel level was right this time and got into line. The car felt really good in qualifying and the driver didn't make any huge mistakes and we ended up with a 13.523 - one of our best Q times ever at Madera! It was good enough for 4th quick and got us into the Trophy Dash. Fast time went to Senior Tuey (13.415), followed by Kenny Cup-O-Noodles White with a 13.476 (ask Don Large about the nickname), and Lance Tatro (13.489). The top 4 within .108 seconds - not too bad gang. By the way - congrats to Kenny W - and Gene Kawahata for getting that motor back together in a week.
The Dash had us on pole and Tatro on the outside with Kenny and David in 3rd and 4th. The bottom was a lot better than last week, but still nothing to compare with running up top. Lance T and Dave checked out at the green flag and thats how we ended up - Tatro, Tuey, us, and White.
After missing heat races last weekend, Kenny Shepard came to us and asked if we wanted to run heats - everyone agreed we needed the heat races to make adjustments for the Main as away we went. Since we were making a number of chassis adjustments and re-jetting the carburetor it worked great for us. As soon as we pushed off, I realized we had a problem. The car was not running well at all and fuel was pouring out of the air cleaner when we turned left. I pulled in immediately and we got pushed back to the pit area. Once we got the carb back apart Eagle Eye Hinz (Larry of the busted up #4 car) noticed the jets might have been in contact with the float... sure enough, they were barely touching, but it was enough to keep the float stuck open. Everything got adjusted and we were ready for the main.
We started the Main event on 3rd position and got up top as quickly as possible since I didn't want to wipe out the tires right away. Once again Tuey and Tatro took off and we had a bit of a fight with White for a couple laps until I slipped a little coming of turn 4 and lost a few car lengths. As the race went on we started catching Kenny Kinchen (77) and with about 10 to go got in pretty tight. We had a pretty good fight for a while, but it seemed like every time he got loose, we got loose and couldn't make any headway. The race went Green to Checkers and it ended up Tatro, Tuey, White, Kinchen, and us. Not as good as I would have liked, but the car is back on point. No heating problems, and the chassis was about one adjustment from being very fast.
Last, congratulations to Jeremiah Bearden (J-Man) for finishing his second race ever in the "Super Cart", and thanks to all of the 360 teams that have made the effort this year to get us back on the racing map. These winged wonders are AWESOME to watch - ask a fan! Of course, THANK YOU to all the fans for coming out to the races and we'll see you on September 15th.
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