It's mid October, and that means racing is officially done for the year! (Up here of course) The team wrapped up the season with two big races, both of which we got good finishes in. Lets start with the Thunder Road season ending Milk Bowl.
Friday and Saturday was full of practice. Friday saw the team at the top of the speed charts in every practice, and we started off Saturday first in the first practice. By the next two practices, we dropped a spot each time, but still maintained around the same lap times. We got to sit and watch the PASS race before our qualifying, and to put it nicely, the track stunk. The Hoosier rubber they left on the track was not working for our tires, and when we went out to qualify it was like a skating rink. When all was said and done, we had the top spot until the last round of qualifiers went out and we were topped by the eventual winner of the event.
The first segment took place when it was cool and dark, but the car maintained the speed it had all Friday, and through a few attempts to pass on the outside and a couple restarts, we had to settle for 2nd in the first segment.
Day two was much of the same compared to Day one. We had speed all practice, but this time the field was inverted and we had to start in the back of the field. It was a battle the whole race, but one poor lane choice in the middle of the race let the two cars we needed to stay ahead of by, and saw us getting boxed in behind slower cars before attempting to make our way back up through the field. Segment two ended with an 11th place finish, which put us 4th overall when all was said and done. A couple positions ahead and we could have had 3rd, but considering the way the year started, 3 top 5's in the last 3 races of the season at Thunder Road was not something to hang our heads about.
--FAST FORWARD TWO WEEKS--
Oxford Plains invited us over for an open challenge, which brought 33 Tiger cars from the surrounding tracks to give it a shot. This track was flatter and longer, which posed a threat to the Thunder Road regulars used to relying on the banking to help them turn. We softened the whole car for this race, and after the first practice saw ourselves sitting 18th quickest. After the next two practices, we had made it up to 11th quickest, and the car felt drive-able. We had to draw for starting positions for the heats, and we drew a 28, putting us first in the second heat. We led the race wire to wire, and had to fend off only one true challenge through the 10 laps.
Gaining a plus 1 for the feature (because we started and finished first), we started 9th for the 75 lap challenge ahead. It was a tight race for the front half of the pack, and we quickly found ourselves running 5th place. The first caution came at lap 57 (followed by 3 more in a row on the same lap), and bunching us all back up with lapped cars made passing pretty challenging. A couple more cautions and a bad restart saw us falling back to 6th, where we finished the race when the black and white flag flew. Out of 33 cars the hope was for a top 10 (and to not wreck), and both of those things were accomplished!
The last few things left on the season are the WMMP and Thunder Road Banquets, where a short write-up will be done on those. Once those are said and done, some monthly updates will be posted to let you know what we are up to in the off-season.
Thank you all for following along with these write-ups. We hope to really hammer them down in a timely manner next season, but you always have to start somewhere with things like this.
You'll hear from us again in a couple weeks!