The May 10th show was nothing to talk about - the car was still having heating issues and the chassis was fouled up, but at least we rolled into the trailer in one piece and had some ideas to cure what was ailing the machine. After some work int he shop and an afternoon practice las week, we figured we were going to be on the right track. The car was in the trailer on Thursday night (!!??!!) and we got to relax on Friday. Saturday was slated to be our hottest race day of the year (so far) and we believed we were more than prepared. OK, now on to the show...
Practice was okay - we were on old rubber for the first session and the track was pretty slick which resulted in a pretty cool spin going INTO Turn 1 - a first for the driver...lol, and not an exceptionally fun place to loop the car. JHeck got some outstanding photos of the maneuver (to be posted later). After that, the car was still a bit loose and we were off the pace by about 3 tenths. For the second session we put on new rubber and made some other minor changes which picked up a couple tenths, but we were still off with a loose exit. We had the surprising opportunity to make a third run and we our best impression of a NASCAR pit stop, taking measurements, adjusting tires, and changing the chassis in under 5 minutes :) and we were out once more. The car was dramatically improved and were back on track.
We made a couple more changes going in to qualifying that actually helped, but the driver was way off the mark and we ended up with a 14.059 - our slowest of the year.
In getting ready for the heat race we discussed a few other chassis options and made a couple more changes that turned out to be exactly what we needed to tighten the car up. In warmups for the heat race the car felt perfect and was drifting out of the turns perfectly. Our poor qualifying time put us on pole for the heat race and lined up the 26 of Donnie Large outside. As has been the case all year, pole position is not the best spot to start a race unless you can get a big jump at the start.... Donnie and I came off 4 dead even and went into 1 in a dead heat. A freight train was stacked up behind the 26 and we couldn't get off the bottom for the rest of the lap. Going into lap 2 we were open high so I moved up and heard a 410 coming. The 36 of Bobby Dalton pulled up on the inside halfway down the back straight and when we got to 3 he made a right turn OVER our left front wheel. The 36 dismounted the left front, bounced down and across the left nose wing, over the nose itself, and collected the right nose wing before spinning down to the bottom of turn 3 as we went into the turn 3 wall and I watched the right front axle snap off from the impact. The car slid to a halt against the wall and the yellow was out. After exiting the car and a very brief survey of the damage, I helped to track workers coordinate getting the car off the track (A big THANK YOU to those guys... I don't know how you manage to put up with irate racecar drivers as much as you do, but kudos!), and that was it. The LeftTurn Motorsports team was done for the day due to an incredibly poor decision by a driver that should either know better or not be racing a super. There is a lot more to say about this incident, as I believe there is a lot more to it than simply driver's stupid decision, but that will be posted later on.
As always, Big thanks to the LTM gang - Joel, Todd, and Joe - we've just about got the car back on track if we can keep from getting smashed any more
Also, a big thank you to all the fans that came watch us play - stop by and say HI! :)
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