July 3, 2014
We brought the car out with some expectations after the new setup produced better corner speeds but had a bit of trouble coming off. The changes to help the forward bite was suppose to get the car better. Well, that did not happen. We actually went backwards and made a few too many changes. Something caused the car to only pull on the right rear. We were pretty disappointed with the car in the make up feature. We tried a few adjustments and the heat race was not better, the car was just not handling. We husttled to the B-Main and with the help of Cory Mader of the 55 car, they made some changes while I was in the car. At the line up, the track decided to take a break and pop the fireworks. We decided to pop the cork and load the car and go home. The car was not right and the only thing we were going to do was either damage the car or damage someone elses and these cars are too expensive for that. So back to the drawing board and see if we can find where we made the mistakes in the setup.
We are taking a few weeks off to enjoy the summer up here in Wisconsin. Maybe a fresh start is what we need. We are going to roll out the bikes, motorcycle, kayaks, boat and anything else we can think of to enjoy this nice 70 degree weather. This racing stuff gets very frustrating when you do not see the results of all the hard work you put in.
June 10, 2014
We showed up Tuesday for the George Rhoe Classic at Rice Lake with 24 modifieds. I could make up all kinds of excuses, but that is not the way we do things at Big Moose Motorsports. Simply put, I made a mistake on the scales Tuesday morning and made the car severely loose. With all the changes we have made over the past 3 weeks to get the car to turn in the corners, I inadvertently made the car very bad on setup if that is possible. After showing up after Sundays races with a bit of hope that was vanished quickly in the heat race. We were unable to hot lap due to so many cars that showed up. So we were outside row 3 on our 2nd Heat race and the plan was to run the top. I went into the turn 1 and put the car in good and as I applied the throttle, the car quick spun so fast it was amazing. So, let's try this again. So on the restart, it happened again. Thinking something was broke in the rear end, we took it to the pits to work on it. After an extensive search, we found nothing. We changed shocks, tires and tightened the car up as much as possible. We did notice the car was leaning to the left pretty bad and that should have been the clue. The springs were fine. We went to the feature starting dead last. It was about the least amount of fun that I have had in a car. The car was so ill handling that I had to put several turns of front break in just to keep the car from spinning. In retrospect, I should have parked it but I was determined or a bit pissed at that point to park it. We missed a few wrecks and came home a respectable 14th. The drive home was not a pleasant experience. When you have a bad night, your mind tends to go through everything to try understand why or what went wrong. After a long night, I was up early the next morning with the car on the scales. Without divulging the stupid stuff, we will just say mistakes were made and leave it at that. Hopefully, when we return to racing after this weekend off, we will get back on the positive side and continue to improve.
We are taking the weekend off with my son in town from college, but we will return to racing next weekend. Again, we appreciate everyone coming out and supporting all the racers.
June 8, 2014
With rain claiming the past few weekends at Rice Lake, we ventured over to Eagle Valley to get the bugs out of the new setup. We have been working with Jason Grimes who is very successful with his Hughes up in North Dakota. Jason showed me quite a few things on the setup to apply to a bigger person that is working to bettter turn the car in the corners. Since the setup is new, it will take a few weeks to get it where it is comfortable for me to drive and hopefully we can start being a little more competitive up here. At Eagle Valley, Gerry transformed thet track in 3 and 4 by moving the tires down the track about 20 feet. Eventhough the rain came earlier in the week and hampered him a bit, he did a great job getting the track ready for Sunday night racing. The track was a little dicey in that it was slick in 1 and 2 and soft and tacky in 3 and 4. With that said, we rolled around the back trying to stay out of everyone's way working on the new setup. Trying a new entry point, I spun in 1 and 2 and brought out the caution. I was trying to avoid a wreck in front of me in turn 1 and 2 again, and spun the avoid them. I was hoping that they saw this and did not send me off the track for a 2nd spin. Fortunatley the track official did see this and put them in the back, so with that I decided to try a few laps and race with the setup. It was not bad, I passed a few cars and stayed not to far behind the leaders and then I bobbled badly coming out of 1 and 2 again, so I decided to hang back and work on that corner and not press it. By in all, it was a good night. The car felt good. I could feel the car turn in the corners with side bite and I had forward bite coming out of the corner. I have not felt that this year. The new setup seemed to improve the car which was exciting. Jason is sending me some new shocks for the right front that should improve the car a bit more along with a left rear brake floater. I am having to learn to drive the car a bit different and that will take some time but at least we are starting to see some improvement with the car.
We turn around quickly and race this Tuesday at Rice Lake with the George Rhoe classic for Super Stocks. We will work a few things out today and hopefully the car will have a better showing ar our first race at Rice Lake with the new setup.
May 24, 2014
All we can say about last night is that it was a learning experience. After having the car too tight to start the season and having difficulties turning the car in the corners, we made the mistake of making too many changes this week. During the week we found some issues causing us to be flat in the corners and not rolling over properly. If we would have stopped there, we would have been ok, but we over thought some things and made the cardinal mistake of making too many changes. We knew in hot laps, we had problems. We went out in the heat race and as we were racing hard for the lead, we were simply too loose and spun the car in turn 4. After that spin, I could not even push the car as it was on the edge of spinning again. In the pits, we made a few changes to tighten the car up, but it simply was not enough. We were able to go around the top of the track which on that night with the sprint cars, was not the place to be. The track was like asphalt and very dry slick and the bottom was the best place to be. I tried a couple of laps down there, but washed out pretty hard and just ran around the top trying to stay out of everyones way and not spin the car again. We have been on the phone today and think we have it settled on what to do. Even though we were extremely loose on the middle and exit, I was pleased on how the car entered the turn. Hopefully, we can get this solved because it is very frustrating not being able to race. If we can get the car close to the middle and not on the extreme end of loose or tight, I think we can be competitive. If the car is not right, the competion is too high up here to miss that bad. Anyways, as we started this off, it was a learning experience.
May 10, 2014
You can say this was not a wasted weekend but not where we wanted to be. We started at Rice Lake Speedway on Saturday night with a nice car count of 26 cars from all over the area. The heat was alright but we were spinning coming out of the corners. Without practices up here, we are trying to figure out the right gear for the track condition with this new motor combo we are running to start the season. After the heat race, there was some confusion with the Speedway on whether a B main should be ran. After some conversations, they decided to run it. This caused us to be a little late to the track and we were not able to make the gear change. We were running OK and passed a few cars and was moving forward a bit when I looped it in turn 4. The traction broke and around we went. That basically ended our night. We found out later, that the track owner said there should not have been a B main ran. Unfortunately with the miscommunication, the track was unable to get the Modified A main due to rain. Kudos to the track for getting the Raceivers in as that main the racing a lot better for the drivers and hopefully will speed up the show for the fans.
With the wife out of town, we ventured over to Eagle Valley Sunday night to check out the track. We were going to practice there, but again the weather up here has played havoc with that plan. So, we hot lapped and took it easy. I put in the smallest gear that I have and it appears that it is still too much gear for this motor. Kevin Stoa sure builds a kick ass motor. The track has an issue in turns 3 and 4. It has been there for a while. Two years ago, I damaged my frame hitting the middle area rough patch. Gerry indicated that the track was in the works to modify the turn to take the speed down and flatten things out. In the heat race, I was a little cautious and wouldn't you know it in the fourth lap, I hit that middle area. It shook the car and this is not funny, I hit my knee on the shifter. It hurt so bad it brought tears to my eyes and caused me to wiggle pretty hard as I left off the gas. At the time, going fishing seemed like a good idea. The shifter issue will be fixed today! Anyways, on to the feature and it was pretty much the same. Hit my knee again and decided it was time to go home. We will be back later in the Summer when that turn is fixed. So, if you look at the weekend, it was a glorified practice session. Oh well, you have those type of weekends. We are going to make one more change and hopefully that will get a little more traction in the corners for this upcoming weekend.
May 3, 2014
With the weather being about the same as last week, we assumed the track would be similiar to last week and a bit rough. We all know what assumptions can do to you. The track made me look a bit foolish for the hot laps and immediately spun the car out in the first turn. With that nice piece of information, we made some changes in the pit and eventhough we were outside the first row for the heat race, we were a bit cautious due to the setup. We ran OK, but we are still spinning the tires coming out of hte corners. For the feature, we made a gear change and tightened the car up a bit. We were not satisfied with those changes as it appeared we just ran around the track for 20 laps. We understand that we need a little patience with the lack of practies due to weather conditions and the new changes to the car. We will continue to plod along until we get it right. We are getting closer, so the plan is to make small changes until we get comfortable with the setup of the car.
Our plan was to be at Eagle Valley on Sunday, but we experienced a small motor issue as we were heading to the pits Saturday night. Stoa had me check a bunch of things and we are satisfied that we got it straightened out. So, we will race double duty this weekend. Also, we would like to give a shout out to the crew at Rice Lake Speedway. Compared to opening weekend which was understandable, the track Saturday was very good and I know Mitch and Dave and their crew worked very hard for us and it was greatly appreciated.