Wow - race season is here again. Over the winter we managed to come up with just enough updates to keep us on the edge of getting the car together for the first race. A few chassis updates and a completely new motor program were the main goals going into 2008. The chassis updates were completed without too much trouble (a thank you to Jim Tartaglia for his welding skills), but the motor program was a bit more complicated. In any case, the motor landed back at the race shop on Tuesday night and the mad dash began. The 2 stage wing had MAJOR repairs completed (don't ever lend one of those out) and showed up Thursday, The freshened magneto didn't show up at all... Again, special thanks to Jimmy T for letting us borrow 'Old Faithful'. Anyway, the car was on the ground at 1:00AM and we found a major malfunction with the new front axle at 1:05AM. By the time everyone's blood pressure came down it was 1:30AM and we decided to change back to the old axle. We got everything changed in an hour and the chassis set up got underway. The car finally rolled in the trailer at 5:00AM and we had one tired crew. After a few hours of sleep, it was off to Madera!
On to the race... Well we got to the track and got set up and ready to fire the car. It fired, but not well. We discovered the mag was not exactly timed correctly (I do not recommend timing a magneto after 12AM). Once Gene Kawahata got us on the right page, all was well with the mag - Thanks Gene! We were able to fire the car in the pits, and it was perfect. No leaks, and nothing fell off!!!
Practice was fairly uneventful - we cruised in the first session just checking gauges and looking for trouble with the motor. In the second session we opened it up and WOW, what a difference! We were running in 13.4's and holding our own with the big guns. The chassis was perfect and the car would go anywhere.
We fooled around with the tires a little bit for qualifying, but were too tired to do anything significant. The driver had a little error and the motor sounded funny. We ended up 5th for the Main with a 13.681
It looks like Madera will not be having heat races this year, and we're actually a little bit disappointed since we used a lot of the race data to help us for the main events. At least everyone on the crew got to take a nap :)
For the Main, we started 4th and had a good battle with Kenny Kinchen right from the start. One thing for certain is the new motor can hold its own out there. A little slip and Kenny got into 3rd clean. By that time Jeff Gardner in the 2 and Dave 'The Borrower' Gassett in the 78 had checked out. The next few laps were a test of our left side nerf system and the stoutness of our torque-arm/panhard brackets. I believe Kenny 'Crash & Smash' White thought our nerf was sticking out past the left-side tires and he was trying to make sure the car came off the track totally legal (by the way - THANK YOU to Ken Coventry for being our Tech Official this year!). Anyway, Crash and I tangled for a few laps and he eventually got by after we got out of position due to a lapped car. The next 10 laps or so were the most fun I've had since returning to Madera. Senior Tuey ran up on the inside and showed a nose and we were off. We managed to keep the 6 at bay for 11 or 12 laps until I slid just a little bit and POW he was by. The last 7 or 8 laps were pretty quiet and that was it. The finish was 2, 78, 1, 6, 5, 18, 72, and 26.
A Green, White, Checkered race to start the year - not too bad! The race time was just under 7 minutes, and there was a 5 second separation between first and last at the line. We ended up with the 3rd fastest lap of the night at 13.653 and all-in-all it was the best 6th place run we've ever had.
A gigantic thank you to Joel, Todd, and Joe for the hours and hours of work, and I think we may be onto something...LOL
Also, a big thank you to all the fans that braved the cold to come watch us play :)
Be sure and tell Madera Speedway who you're coming to watch! (Fan Survey)