Well, we made it to our first back-to-back weekend after thrashing to get to opening day. Fortunately the car did not require a lot of major attention to get ready for this race... just the usual valve checking and some other motor stuff that goes with setting up a new power plant. The filter looked great after the first show and I think we have a pretty reliable piece ready to go for the year. We made a few alterations to the decidedly dated side panels of the wing, and after making a few adjustments to the chassis setup and giving Todd a couple of classes in tire mounting, we were ready to go. A qick run-through on the chassis setup and we were loaded back in the trailer by 1:00AM - later than usual, but far better than 5:00, right gang? The car got to the track so early Saturday, we had time to fool around trying to park for 20 minutes...LOL. Also, another big Thank You to Jim Tartaglia for letting us borrow 'Old Faithful' for a second week - it seems our mag is being rebuilt on Pluto. It is supposed to return to Earth this week, but we'll see...
For the uninitiated, Super Saturdays at Madera are combined shows with the 360 and 410 supermodifieds on the track at the same time. While this sounds certifiably insane (the 360's are around 500-550HP and the 410's are around 10 million HP), it is pretty exciting to watch, and real exciting to drive in - occasionally unnerving, but a lot of fun if you get into the 'David & Goliath' thing (and I'm not talking about David Gassett - who, by the way, is no longer 'The Borrower', but still needs to get a tool box with more than 2 drawers - LOL David, thanks for the gears). For the record, we had 9 410 supers and 8 360's in attendance Saturday.
OK, enough goofin....
Practice went pretty good - we were on old rubber for the first session and cracked off a 13.663 which was only good enough for 6th in the 360's, but we did manage to do a cool full power spin coming out of turn 2... Of course, it was the old rubber according to the driver. In the second session we got mixed in with the 410's and managed a 13.526 which was good for 2nd in class and 8th overall. Still not as fast as we would have liked, but no complaints. Lance Tatro was the guy to catch with a 13.430 in the first session and a 13.456 in the second session.
The wasn't anything that we really wanted to change for qualifying, so we made sure we had tires set and fuel for weight and off we went. The car felt like it had a bit of a push and I thought I was braking too much - when we came off the track I didn't see us on the board which meant we were slower than 5th - bummer. There was a little bit of agitation and minor grumpiness until someone said congratulations on making the dash - the board had not updated and we timed in 4th with a 13.563.... COOL!!! Old Man Tuey was quick with a 13.375 followed by Kenny (I won't say it) White at 13.449 and Tatro with a 13.469.
For the Trophy Dash we were on pole due to the full invert with Lance T on the outside. The car hooked up great coming off turn 4 and we barreled into 1 with the lead... Coming out of turn 2 the yellow was on and I thought they were calling the start back until we got onto the front straight and saw Tuey in the wall - apparently the rear brakes bit really hard and David ended up smacking the wall with both right side tires at about the same time - ouch! On the restart we got another good run out of 4 but held the car down to low and gave Mr. Tatro way too much room. He took off around the outside and we couldn't quite get caught up. The finish ended up being Lance T, us .224 seconds behind, and Kenny W.
This week the speedway decided to run heat races and mix up the 360's and 410's. Our qualifying time put us on the outside pole for Heat 1 with the #2 of Mike Johnson (driving for Donnie Large) on pole and the 410's of Mike McCann(14), Ernie Coppo(8), and Martin McKeefery(27) bucking and snorting behind us. At the start we blasted into 1 and came out in front of the pack. Going into the second lap, Coppo got underneath in 1 and decided he was clear about the time we were wheel to wheel coming out of 2. We had to brake in order to save the car which cost us some time and let him by way too easily. The next couple laps we had a great fight with McKeefery until I slipped the car a little bit coming out of 4 and he got by. We spent the last 4 laps battling with McCann in the 14 - he had way more power, but our car was positively hooked up in the corner. We finished the heat in 3rd with probably the best racing we have done since returning to Madera Speedway - and we finished in front of a 410!!!.
We started 12th out of 17 for the Main Event, and found out early on we had not quite made enough adjustment for the cold weather. The car was a little loose at the start and got worse as time went on. Of course, the long yellows and the one red flag didn't help much - the best we could manage was a 13.854, but the car did roll onto the trailer, and it looked OUTSTANDING (thank you to Chris and Erin whose inaugural involved a couple of rags and all manner of polishing stuff). We stayed out of the way of the White, Gassett, and Large mess, and got to see first hand what KK (360 #5) and Lance T consider 'close racing'...lol. And of course, Troy was rippin' fast in the main - congrats. We ended up 4th in class and 9th overall, and moved from 7th in 360 points to 3rd!
Big thanks to the LTM gang - Joel, Todd, and Joe - we couldn't get to the track without you guys, and we have 3 whole weeks to the next show!
Also, a big thank you to all the fans that braved the cold (again) to come watch us play :)
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