Coming off a great run on the 5th, the LTM race team was pretty confident going into the Gerhardt Classic. We made a few aero adjustments over the break and got some painting done. Everything looked pretty good... Heck, the car was even in the trailer at 1:00AM (sort of). Also, yet another big Thank You to Jim Tartaglia for letting us borrow 'Old Faithful' for a THIRD show - the good news is that the mag FINALLY made an appearance this week - sheesh. On to the mayhem...
Practice was pretty good - the wing appears to work as good as expected and even makes a funny sound at the end of the straights... kind of a whooshy sound (whatever). We were at a 13.777 which wasn't bad for old rubber - and it was the hottest day of the year so far. Grandpa T. was quick again with a 13.370. In the second session we put the new shoes on and were good for a 13.633. Kenny White was quick with a 13.321, followed by Birgee with a 13.352.
The car felt a little loose all day, and we made a couple of changes going in to qualifying that should have helped, but just ended up doing a bunch of nothing. The car felt all over the place and we ended up with a 13.528 - better than I would have guessed, but nowhere near the 13.250 of Kenny White (congrats on Fast Time). Dave T was 2nd with a 13.265 followed by Kenny Kinchen's 13.402 and Birges' 13.441.
Since we were in a big fight with a loose racecar, we were more than glad to hear we had heat races. One more opportunity to fix the beast would certainly help. We were supposed to line up 2nd row inside, but Gassett declined the pole which moved us up for the start - not exactly a great spot to test how the car was working, but oh well... The highlight (I guess) of the race was when Jim B decided we needed to make it 3-wide in turn 3 on the first lap... something about not having seen too many 3 wide exits out of turn 4 and the fact that it was a flippin' heat race was reason for prudence to prevail... I did chuck a water bottle at Goofball B later on, though. Bottom line was that we still had a jacked up car and didn't make much headway for the Main.
For the Main, we decided to throw the entire chassis book (and whatever else was handy) at the car. I told the gang if it all worked we would probably blow through turn 1 at the start and end up in the pit concession stands. However, as I found out during warmups, we had not really gone anywhere and the car was still stepping out all over the place - great... Gassett dropped out of the pole spot and we got to move up again. As you can imagine from the photos, the start was something else, and we spent the rest of the race just hanging on to the wheel... LOL. We ended up coming in with 4th due to attrition and fell from 3rd to 5th in the points race - ACK! The good news is that we figured out what the problem was and should be back on track for the Vukovich - Time to catch another 410... :)
As Always, Big thanks to the LTM gang - Joel, Todd, and Joe - we couldn't get to the track without you guys, and we have 2 weeks to the next show - but no fabrication!!!!
Also, a big thank you to all the fans that came watch us play - stop by and say HI! :)
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