June 6, 2015
We are finally racing. After several months working on the car, we have finally something that is fast and that we can drive. A special thanks to Cory Mahder for helping me getting this thing pointed in the right direction. With the rains coming, we had 16 mods show up with two heats. After playing with my entry and messing around on top, I finally got to the bottom and finished fourth in my heat. I took a little heat from friends and family for being up top when the car is much better in the middle or on the bottom. With that finish, we drew the pole for the feature. With Dave Cain on my outside, it was fun. We had two quick restarts and Dave schooled me on one, but I fought back on the second. Unfortunately, on the third restart coming out of two, the third place car decided to push me out of the way. It was a racing deal but we banged together causing my left front tire to go flat causing me to loose control in turn 3 and 4. As you might have thought, when a leader spins out it causes all kinds of hell. Unfortunatley, a few cars were pretty well used up including mine. It is not fun to be in 2nd and then on the hook to the trailer. The good thing is that we are getting to where we want to be and we take that as a positive for the weekend. The other stuff, we will keeop our eyes open and see what happens. This is no place for retalitating but you can not get pushed around either. We spent the last two days getting the car ready for tonight. In the end, we lost two wheels and tires and a tie rod. So we were fairly lucky. We also found a problem with our carb so that should help us also. Well we have to get ready to leave for tonight.
May 18, 2015
We finally have some good news to report. We spent all week at Corey Mahders shop. Corey offered to go through the car and see if there were any issues. He found several items and all of them were in the left rear and have been there since we purchaed the car 3 years ago. Two of the issues wer major and was causing some of the issues with the handling of the car and the others were minor but still had to be fixed. We worked all week starting when Corey and his dad got off work until about 11pm finishing up on Thursday night when we loaded the car at 1am. I would like to thank Corey and his dad Ron for their gracious help and trying to find out the issues that we have had for a while that just seemed not to go away regardless of what we tried. Again, thanks a lot.
It was fitting that Corey and I were the only mods on the speedway for hot laps and the car felt good with out pushing it too much. We were also in the same heat race. With basically a new car, the idea was to put 10 good laps on the car and not worry about where we finished. It turned out, evern though we were not pushing it too hard, we ran the fastest laps of our season eventhough we were lugging the motor on the fast track. We dcided for the feature to make no changes and get more laps. We did up the gear and the car was much bettter coming off the corner but the car was tight through out the race on a slick track but nothing like it had been earlier in the season. We made out goal of getting a good 30 laps on the night with no damage. We will make some small changes and get the seat time to improve our finishes going forward. For the first time, I was able to drive the car where I wanted to and not have the fear of either plowing or spinning out. We are now to the point of making small improvements and hopefully start to improve our finishes going forward. We may take the car to superior for practice if the weather holds up.
May 11, 2015
Rice Lake had 26 modifieds show up for this weekend. I was to start inside row 2 of the fourth heat next to Kevin Eder. After hot laps, I knew the car was off. It was quite good in hot laps which was not a good sign when the track was very greasy. As we started the heat race, we went into corner in turn 1 and 2 and the car shot to the wall. How I did not hit Kevin, I have no idea. I straightened it out and the same thing happend in turn 3 and 4. I pulled to the infield and took it to the trailer. The car was pushing so bad, I could not control it in the corners. We had a lot of difficulty Friday getting the care to scale properly. Usually it takes a half hour or so, but we were dealing with a lot of strange numbers and all we had done was stiffen the left rear spring. So, after a lot of thought, it was apparent something was wrong with the car. We suspected maybe a bent rear end or something. We could have thrown some things at it to make it better, but the risk of tearing our car up or someone elses was simply not worth it. After a debate, we decided to fore go the B Main and put the car in the trailer. It turned out to be a smart decision as the B main was cancelled and all cars were put in the feature and as it turned out there was a big 10 car pile up. So things work out for a reason I guess. Right now the car is not right and we have to find out why. I am not a good enough driver with my experience level to take that ill of a handling car and try to drive it. We took Corey Mahder up on his offer to go through the care extensively and see if we can find out what is wrong. We currently have the car at his shop. We worked a little on it last night and found some issues in the left rear. We are working on it tonight and tomorrow night with a possible practice at Cedar Lake on Thursday if the weather holds. I appreciate Corey and his dad taking the time to work with me on finding the problems and hopefully getting the car back on the track. The start of this season has been disappointing as we have not been able to get the car right or even back to where it was in August of last year. We will keep working on it, but we need to start making positive strides.
May 3, 2015
After last nights race, all we can say is that it is truly a struggle at this point. During the winter, we made a few changes to reduce weight in the car with the idea of being a bit faster. For some reason, the car has come out very tight. After going through our notes, we noticed that our geometry of the car was way off from where it was at the end of last season. We spent this week trying to get the car back to where it was last season and helping to free it up. Again, we thought we made some good moves. Once we arrived at the track and had a very nice draw for the pole of the 3rd heat, we were hopeful until the track decided for some reason not to hot lap our class. A lot of the drivers were not happy. You make changes throughout the week with the expectation that you can shake out the care a few laps to see if you like or dislike those changes. Oh well, everyone had to live with it. It did not bode well for us. We went into the first corner so loose it was amazing that we came out of turn 2 with a share of the lead. That only lasted to the next corner when the car looped so fast that I did not know what happened. It turned out we softened the right rear too much and the car rolled over too far causing it to spin out when I hit the gas. We know this because as I started on the back after the spin, it did it again in the same corner. Being just a bit pissed at that moment, we decided to eat a pretzel and calm down a bit. We changed the right rear spring, went down in gear and went back out for the feature. Starting in the back the car was OK. Not great, but OK. We passed a few cars and was hanging in the back and then the car went goofy. That is all I can say. I believe something broke and we ended up pinned to the wall coming out of turn 4. Guess where all the cars were running? Up top and bearing right for me. Fortunately, I was told that Buzzy was able to lock it down and not run right over me. As a racer, everyone hates to be in the way and they absolutely do not want to cause a caution or someone else to tear their equipment up so we were very fortunate in that regard. We limped around the track and put it in the trailer. The only thing that was learned this weekend, is that the car was free finally going in the corner which was a positive step.
Right now with my bad back and poor attitude, we are deciding if we should take a few weeks off and enjoy the opening of fishing season. It is very frustrating to work on these cars and show very little for the hard work espcially when you are doing everything by your self. We are thinking there are some ssues with the springs or something because the weights are just off. At this time, what we need is a good old fashion practice session, but I don't know if that is going to happen or not. The whole goal of doing this racing thing was to have fune. Right now, we are not having much fun at all. Sorry for the drab report and hopefully it is early and things will get better.