Hey all! Long time no talk.
It's been a few months, but here we are finally into the new decade, and what a roller coaster year 2019 was. We raced at 3 different tracks and worked on cars at 4 different tracks.
We'll start off with our primary track at Thunder Road
We started off the first race of the season with a bang, finishing 4th place and gathering our first good start to a race season. That good finish quickly turned into a bad one, as we got disqualified for a chassis infringement unbeknownst to us from the chassis builder, giving us 1 less race than everyone else. We fixed the car and followed up the next race with another poor finish of 26th out of 28 cars, leaving a sour taste in our mouth right at the start of the year. The next race had us finishing 11th in the 75 lap Triple Crown race #1, and that was followed up by a 15th, a 6th, and then a 21st. At this point we were barely inside the top 20 in points with one third of the season already finished.
The year had looked bleak and we had our heads down, but we kept plugging away at the car finding speed whenever and wherever we could, and finished 12th, 8th in the 2nd 75 Lap Triple Crown race, and 5th the next race. We had made headway in the points standings finally, but still had more to make up. We had finally found the speed we were looking for heading into the biggest points race of the season where everything was worth double. We had a good car, but a bad lane and green to checkered race, finishing 16th.
The speed continued to carry into the last 5 races, with a 7th place finish, 12th place finish, a near win that saw us lead 30 laps and break a wheel with 7 laps to go and STILL come back to finish 10th, and finally on the final Thursday Night race we got ourselves a win: our SIXTH win in 4 seasons! Then we followed that up with a 2nd place, and finished the points season with an 11th place finish.
The Milk Bowl was our last shot at racing our home track, and with bad rubber on the track we still managed to qualify 2nd for the first segment. We ended up finishing where we started on day one, and day two proved to be more of a challenge. We waited one lap too long to make a pass on the outside and lost the overall lead, and finished the 2nd segment in 10th, giving us a 4th place overall.
When all was said and done, we had crawled out of the "pit of despair" and made it into 10th place in points by the final race, and capped off arguably the hardest season of our racing tenure so far.
We also spent some time at White Mountain Motorsports Park in the tiger, and made our late model debut there as well. We participated in the Triple Crown Series, and tried a couple extra races on top of those. The first two races saw us with a good car once again, but some unfamiliarity with the track made it so we just couldn't keep up with the weekly runners, and we finished both of those races 6th place. We also went over for the 444 race, and finished 5th in that, then followed up the last two Tiger races with a 7th and 4th place.
The late model was the biggest challenge, with set-up and driving style being completely different from the Tiger. We hit the track for the first time with absolutely no expectations of having any speed, and ended up being the 7th quickest out of 16 cars. We started last (9th) in the heat race, and passed some cars and ended 6th. When it came time for the feature, we started somewhere in the middle of the pack, and got involved in a wreck on lap 0 in turn 2, effectively ending our night right then and there.
When all was said and done, it was still a great experience, and we turned some heads in the process.
We wrapped up the 2019 season at Oxford Plains Speedway for the ACT Flying Tiger Invitational, where over 30 cars showed up, and we did our best to show out. We had to draw for starting spots and ended up pole for our heat race. We finished where we started, and lined up for the feature in 9th, and wheeled the car the whole race to a 6th place finish at the end of the 75 laps.
Our season ended with a win, 5 top 5's, and 12 top 10's between all tracks. We had a great two banquets for our 10th place overall at Thunder Road and our 3rd place overall for the WMMP Triple Crown Series, and capped off the racing part of our year by making a trip to PRI in Indianapolis, making some good connections and getting exposure for our little state of Vermont.
The turn of the year (and decade) means crunch time starts soon for working on the car, which means less free time and less sleep, but we couldn't be more excited for the new season to come. Stay tuned for any sponsorship updates, and other potential announcements along the way leading up to the 2020 season.
All of us at Bouchard Motorsports wish our fans and supporters a happy and prosperous New Year.
We look forward to seeing you all in the next few months!