Quarter Midget #67
Racing Log 2001
These are installments 6 - 10 of a week by week log of our experience in the 2001 season in the Sr. Honda class. They are taken from e-mails that I have sent to my friends. The logs are arranged in order with #1 being our first experience.
- Racing Logs 1 to 5
- Racing log #6
- Racing log #7
- Racing log #8
- Racing log #9
- Racing log #10
- Racing Logs 11 to 15
- Return to Joey's Racing Page
Racing Log #6
Racing Log #6
Last week we hit the bottom of the barrel, last out of 30 cars. This week we need to do better. Some of the problem was Joey's driving, part was Joey's racing and part was my setup. We had problems everywhere. I planned to practice Thursday and Friday for Saturday's race.
Joey and I watched the video of his last race. Each restart showed Joey giving 2-4 car lengths on the start. The other cars were right on each other's bumper and Joey was hanging back. I told him he had to stay right up with the other cars. He said he was trying, but the tape told another story. I told him that it was OK to floor it in turn 1-2 when the flagger had given the one to go. If you need to slow, then tap the brake and keep the gas down. Joey seemed to understand. The tape really helped in this case.
The car had a bad push last race. This meant that too much weight was on the right rear and not enough on the right front. The push slowed Joey's laps and it made it difficult to turn the car under the competitor's car to make a pass. I need to make the car handle correctly so Joey can do his job. I moved the rear tire out and kept the springs at the same settings. This helped some, but our times were still off. The car did not look loose or tight to me. We managed a few 6.4's but most of our times were in the 6.5's and inconsistent. I tried changing the gearing to get more power, but it did not improve our lap times. All in all we put in 127 laps and we were no better off than when we started.
Joey with a bad push coming into turn 4
Joey and I were very frustrated on the way home. This week was the spring qualifier at Oaklane and we were not going to have a competitive time. In fact 6.5 seconds is more like a good time for a Jr. Honda. Joey looked to me for answers and I told him I did not know. I planned to practice tomorrow, but I could not think of anything that I could improve with practicing putting down bad laps.
I shared my frustration with Patti. She suggested I contact Nick Schlauch, the guy that built the car. I wrote Nick an e-mail detailing my setup including the weights on each of the wheels. The next morning I had a list of suggestions in my inbox. Basically the car was still too tight. I called Nick at the shop and discussed it further. Nick's son also races Sr. Honda with the identical car. He had watched Joey race and said that he was hitting the apex of the turn too late. This started to make sense to me...
The car was reluctant to turn since it was too tight. This caused Joey to compensate by taking longer to get into the corner. He had to try and turn coming out of the corner, which would make the car look loose coming out. All the time he was scrubbing off speed with the front tires. Loosening the car up would not improve things unless Joey would take advantage of it by running a better line. I think I get it.
5/11/01 More Practice
Now that I had a plan for improvement I made a decision to practice on Friday. I left work early and had the car adjusted and loaded into the truck. Joey was initially disappointed to have to practice again. I explained that I spoke with Mr. Schlauch and told him what he thought the problem was. I made a track diagram and showed what line he was driving and how it differed from the correct line. Slowly he got the picture and he started to get enthusiastic about practicing.
When we got to the track he hopped right into the car and we went to work. I put Joey on the track and he started getting 6.5 laps. I gave him hand signals to get in sooner for the turns and he got into the 6.4s. I adjusted the springs more and more to loosen the car up. Each time I encouraged him to get into the corner earlier. Our times came down and the consistency improved. Finally we got down to the 6.3s. Not exactly a class leading time, but the best we have done this year.
Nick Schlauch came by the track and discussed his line. I pulled Joey in and I relayed Nick's suggestion. Joey went out and improved his time a bit more. He even started to get more consistent.
I pull Joey off the track for the last time and praise him for good effort. He is pleased with the results too. As I show him the stopwatch I realize I have put 97 timed laps on him without letting him out of the car for a break. I could tell from his driving that he was a bit tired, but not exhausted. Our weekly practice has paid off as he has the stamina.
We all leave the track happy. I thank Patti for prompting me to call Nick Schlauch and ask for help. Without his help Joey and I would be lost.
[This prompts a little joke: Why does it take millions of sperm and only one egg to make a baby? The men never ask for directions.]
5/12/01 Spring Qualifier
On qualifier days the normal schedule is to have controlled practice sessions before timing begins. Unfortunately, since so many cars showed up and the forecast called for a passing line of showers the race director started timing without practice. I was so very glad we practiced yesterday.
It is our tradition to do a cursory safety inspection for all cars before the qualifier. I was deputized by the safety director and went forth to check the brake and throttle operation on about 80 racecars. I also had to check for a 2" access hole, which was required by the QMA this year. I found 2 cars without the required hole and one with a 1.75" hole. I also found a couple of cars with questionable brakes and throttle action. It is funny what you find when you look.
The cars are timed individually. Each car is alone on the track and gets 10 warm up laps then 3 on the clock. The best of the three is your official time. Timing is done by class, so Joey had to wait a while. After lunch I got the car ready and we pushed up into our place in line. Soon enough it was our turn and Joey hit the track. I could see that he was focused on the task at hand. He slid it around to warm up the tires and fell into the groove. With each pass his time improved and he was looking good. Joey was good and warm when his 10 laps were up and he started timing. His times were: 6.3354, 6.3695 and 6.3677. Not class leading, but good for us. Most important they were consistent. Something I had not seen earlier in the week.
The track was fast today and the Sr. Honda lap record fell twice. The first kid had the record for about 15 minutes when another kid beat it by 0.002 seconds. The new record is 6.08 seconds.
The skies threatened, but the rain held off until after all of the timing was over. This is a good thing since if there were rain the whole class would have to retime to be fair. When the rain did fall it was during intermission and caused about an hour delay in the program.
The timing results determined the order of the line up for the main races. The fastest 8 goes to the A main. The second fastest 8 go into the B main and the remaining 11 make up the C main. The 1 and 2 finishers in the C main transfer into the 9 and 10 spots in the B main. The 1 and 2 finishers in the B main transfer into the 9 and 10 spots in the A main. This is how the Grand National races work. In theory the fastest kid will be the winner of the A main. Joey timed in 17 out of 26. This put him at the back (10/11) of the C main for the start. Bummer.
The beginning of the race went our way. Joey was originally lined up on the outside row, but the 1 car did not make the start, so everyone moved up one, which put Joey on the inside where he likes to start. Our discussions on starting must have sunk in because Joey as right there for the start and made a pass coming onto the front straight. There was a tangle in front of Joey and he managed to drive around it. He moved up two positions for the restart.
Joey made another good start and passed another car. Three cars spun out together right in front of Joey and he swerved right around the whole mess. Cool. Joey was in 4th for the restart. Joey was catching up on the leaders when two of them got a bit sideways. Joey let off the gas and BAM; he was hit from the rear and spun. It was clearly the fault of the other driver, but the judges did not make a call. Joey was put to the rear for the restart.
This setback took the wind out of Joey's sails. Joey got only a modest start and started to race his way up. He had a devil of a time passing this slower kid. He was running a slower line and Joey could not get inside. While Joey was struggling the leader came by and passed both of them. Joey then passed the slower kid and went on to re-pass the leader. He was back on the lead lap! Joey caught up to the next kid and started a really good pass when the other kid came down on him and caused them both to go to the wall. Luckily it was a light bump and nothing was bent. It was clearly a good pass (per the video) but the judges did not make a call.
Joey went back after the restart and tried to pass this kid again. The same thing happened and Joey pounced on the brake and let the other kid have the corner instead of having another wreck. Good judgment. Joey continued to try to pass, but we ran out of laps. We finished second to last in the C main.
Unlike last week I was very happy with the results. Joey raced well, but we had two bad calls. Joey showed good judgment on the track. The car is handling better and I think I understand the setup. Joey was able to pass the leader, albeit to get his lap back. The post-race video showed Joey's good racing and I pointed it out to him. We are both encouraged to try again this week.
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Racing Log #7
Racing Log #7
Joey not too excited about practicing. We discussed the racing line and how he should enter the corners earlier. I did not think I was getting through to him, but who knows. At the track it was damp and 60°F with almost nobody there.
I put Joey out on the track. It took a while to warm up due to the dampness in the track. It still warms my heart to see my son do controlled slides to get the tires hot. This was a difficult skill to learn and it is great to see him in action. Once his tires were war
m I could see Joey's line was off and his times were 6.4s. Not too impressive and I could see he was just putting in time.
Since there were no other cars on the track I had him stop on the track and I pushed him around while I discussed the line. When he got to the critical points on the track I stopped and placed the car on the line I wanted him to run. I also pointed out the physical markers he could use to gage his line. After 2 laps of pushing (pant, pant) I told him to try it himself. Our little exercise helped. Joey tweaked his line (6-12") to the way I wanted. His times went down to the low 6.3s with and occasional 6.2. Cool.
Soon Joey got bored on the track as he was just turning laps. He came in and told me he wanted to be out with other cars. I gave him a break and told him to go play. A few other cars got out on the track, but Joey was taking a break while they were out and they came in when I had Joey ready. Oh well.
I was happy with the practice. I could see that a tweak in Joey's line made an improvement. It was good that I had a chance to be out on the track with him.
It was a light turn out for racing, "only" 140 cars. The race director and others did a great job getting the show going. It was warm and a bit humid. The air temp was 85°F and the track was 130°F. I was concerned about the track temperature. I noticed the other Sr. Honda cars were running the soft tires yet. I was worried that they would get greasy late in the race with the warm track. I decided to risk it.
Joey pulled the #2 starting spot in his heat. The start was a thing of beauty. Joey stayed on the outside and ran past the #1 car. Unfortunately, the #3 car went low and got the lead. Still Joey was looking good, he did not get "clothes lined" and run to the back and he was right on the tail of the leader. Success only lasted a few seconds, as one of the rest of the pack did not make it out of turn 1 prompting a yellow flag. Joey's restart was good, but he did not get a jump on the leader and lost some ground. The rest of the race went without incident. Joey raced well but a few cars managed to pass him. He finished 5th, which put him in the B-main. This is an improvement over the last few weeks. The soft tires did not get greasy, but they did wear quite a bit. I figure 130°F is about as high a track temperature as I dare run with the soft compound.
This was a "B" schedule race night where the Honda cars race late in the program. The last B schedule race had Joey racing at 10:00. The race program moved along well tonight and Joey's B-main race went off at 8:30. This is his normal bedtime. Joey was quite up for the race as he was starting #5. He likes starting on the inside. Joey raced well getting good start and sticking to his line. There was a 3-car accident in front of him and he did an amazing getting around the mess with only an inch to spare. This is a good thing.
Joey raced well, but the faster cars in the back managed to pass him and he ended in the back. Once he was in the back Joey started to work on the cars in front of him. After a lot of work he passed 3 of them to finish before the race ended. His passes were good and I could see he is thinking out there.
7th in the B-main is a good finish considering the difficulty we have been having. A review of the racing videos confirmed that Joey was driving well, but the other cars were faster. Joey could be a bit more consistent in his line, but he seems to be running the same line as the others, perhaps even better. Joey gives the passing cars 2 feet of room when passing. The best drivers only give 2 inches.
Our apparent lack of speed in the class has me concerned. There are three components to going fast: driver, chassis and engine. I think I have the chassis rolling free and set up right. That leaves the driver and engine. I am not sure which. I have arranged to get a "professional" driver to take a few laps in Joey's car to see how fast the car can go. The other driver regularly runs the same Schlauch car with the same set up and can run about 0.2s faster than Joey. If a driver change does not get the speed I may be looking at a professional engine rebuild, or a new one.
Next week is the States race at the Honeybrook track. This is a nationally sanctioned event with all the technical procedures. I expect 40-50 cars in the Sr. Honda class. It should be interesting. Pray for dry weather.
PS. Last week one of the Jr. Honda kids had a wreck where he flew over the wall. I was judging the race and I saw the car pop up and slide along the wall just below my feet. The car slid for about 10 feet before falling outside the wall and getting lodged between the wall and the scoring tower. The track photographer caught the action in a sequence of three shots. You can see them at: Justin's Crash By the way, the kid was not only OK, he went on to finish the race!
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Racing Log #8
Racing Log #8 Region 2 States Race
The Quarter Midgets of America (QMA) sanctions 3 types of races per year: Qualifiers, States Races and Grand National Races (a.k.a. Grands). Each track can run a qualifier where every car goes through the official timing procedure. One track in each of the 14 QMA regions hosts a states race. The states races are run in the same format as the Grand National races where there is qualifying then progressive racing up to the A-main. Once a year there are three Grand National events, Eastern Grands, Western Grands and the Dirt Grands. Participation in a states race qualifies you to race in the Grands races. If one is unable to participate in a states race they can purchase a $150 "hardship" waiver to buy there way into the Grands.
This year the Eastern Grands are at the Oaklane track. Team Dille plans to participate so we needed to race in the states race. Lucky for us the region 2 states race was at the Honey Brook track, only 75 minutes from our house. With our recent performance I had no high hopes of a high finish, but I did want to give Joey the experience of racing in the Grands format and avoid the $150 fee.
The Honey Brook track is flatter and has narrower straights than the Oaklane track. The track records are about 0.5s slower and the cars require a different set up. Over the week I e-mailed Nick Schlauch to discuss chassis setup. I then carefully made all of the necessary adjustments to the car, including gearing and offset.
The States race is a 2-day affair held on Memorial Day weekend. Practice qualifying and the lower mains are scheduled on Saturday. The A-mains, technical inspection and awards are scheduled on Sunday. Monday is held in reserve incase of rain.
Controlled practice was scheduled for Friday night where only a few cars would be let out on the track at a time. Each class would get one 7-minute practice session. Joey has not driven this track as a senior Honda and he desperately needed practice. I could not justify almost 3 hours of driving my 17mpg truck to get 7 minutes of track time. I decided to skip this practice arrive Saturday morning.
On Saturday I got up early (5:00) and checked my weather sites for the latest forecasts. It looked grim. There was a big storm anchored in central Michigan sending out big arms of rain as far as the Carolinas. The forecasts all called for 5 days of rain with possible breaks. It looked like there would be no racing. Still, we needed to sign in and get credit for participation.
The weather at the States Race
I packed the car and all of our equipment in the truck and headed out. There was heavy rain accompanied by thunder and lightning all the way to the track. When we arrived the track was full of trailers and I had to search for a parking spot. I managed to squeeze the truck in a small spot in the corner of the field. The parking was in a mowed field.
I ran up to the tower and signed in. Joey was Sr. Honda #88. I had the car safety inspected then we hung out for the 10:00 handler's meeting. The rain was coming down steady and hard at times. I watched as other cars and trucks pulled in and muddy ruts started to form in the grass. One minivan pulling a small trailer came very close to getting stuck and made quagmire out of the main thoroughfare in the process.
The 10:00 meeting came and the club president said that everyone that was signed in would get credit for the Grands. He said weather forecast was grim, but he would not make a final decision until 12:00 when he had looked at the radar one last time.
Joey and I wait some more. We have a snack and get our free t-shirt. I find the parts guy that I have been chasing for the last few races and get the new steel brake disk and new pads. I watch as a few more cars get stuck and most of the kids have mud up past their knees. Joey only has mud up to his ankles.
12:00 rolls around and they call a meeting. The States race is officially canceled. The Honey Brook club says they will hold "fun" races tomorrow since many people had hotel reservations and were going to stay any way. I thought about this for a minute and discussed it with Joey, then decided against it.
I was concerned about getting my 2WD truck out through the ever-rising sea of mud. My corner parking turned out to be a good thing. I walked out in front of the truck and I would have to go through 100' of virgin grass/mud to get to a natural gas pipeline access road that lead out to the main road. I would not have to try and drive back through the muddy ruts around all of the other trailers. I backed the truck up on the firmish grass and moved forward as fast as I dared. I managed to make it to the dirt road without too much drama. We are outa there.
When I got home I discovered about 1" of water in the drywall bucket that I haul my tool in. The bad news is this was in Joey's car under the cover. The cover must have leaked when the water puddled up in the rain. His seat was wet too. Note: Remove seat when storing the car in the rain.
I have been concerned about Joey's lack of speed since the beginning of the season. I have decided to get the engine professionally freshened. Team Dille will miss next week's race due to the annual company picnic. I figure this was a good time to pull the engine and give it to the builder. He will put new rings in it and put it on a dyno to break it in a see if it makes the normal amount of power. The rules are strict about modifying the engine, but he will be able to see if there is a problem in the ignition or carb. We will see if there is a couple 1/10ths hiding in the engine.
Sr. Honda #88 Never
Hit the Track
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Racing Log #9
I called several engine builders and decided to go with "Ziggy's". They seemed like good people and would shoot straight with me about the engine. I was further impressed when I went to the shop to drop off the engine. It was in a very well prepared 2-car garage complete with a CNC milling machine, lathe, parts cleaning, engine building benches, stock of parts and raw materials, a dyno room and even an accounting office. This was his full time job and he had several helpers. The dyno was the best small engine dyno I have seen. He said it could repeat within a percent. I believed it.
Later that week I got "the call" from the engine builder. The cylinder bore was worn out. Boring out the cylinder is not allowed in the Honda class. A new block and piston would cost as much as a new engine so I decided to go with a new engine. The old engine was still legal, but would be down on power. Perfect for Matt next year.
A new race prepped engine was basically the same cost as a new engine and a freshening. The race prep includes the basic modifications to get it to work in a quarter midget including removing the governor and gas tank mounts. Whole engine taken apart and measured to insure the production tolerances are within the QMA regulations. The engine is then reassembled and broken in on the dyno then tested to be sure it has "normal" power.
I put the engine in the car on Wednesday night. It was nice to have an engine that was flat on the bottom and the mounts were not chewed up. The new engine was noticeably quieter and smoother when I started it. I hope this translates to good times at the track.
I also replaced the aluminum brake disk with a steel one. The old disk was a bit knackered and was chewing up the pads.
Old Aluminum Brake
New Steel Brake
The new one is smooth and looked trick, like a miniature motorcycle disk. Hopefully it will last a good long time and I will not have to fool with it again.
Practice 6/7/01 Joey was not really in the mood to practice, but Thursday was the only day to get it done. Joey's times were a smidge better, but it was hard to tell. He got in a few laps better than he had ever done, and then his times went up. The track was hot and had lots of rubber on it. I put on a pair of medium tires and put him out again. Oh baby, what a mess. Joey may have well been driving on ice, as the rear end got way loose. I gave him a few laps to get the tires hot, but it was getting no better. I tweaked the springs, which made it better, but the tires were not right.
I switched back to the soft tires and played with the springs. The first few laps were still his best. Joey's line looked good to me, but the improvement was not as much as I hoped for.
6/9/10 Racing There are three components to the speed equation: Engine, Chassis and Driver. I think I have the first two covered, so the only variable is the driver. Perhaps Joey is doing something that I don't see that is sapping speed from the car. The only way to find out was to have a "professional" driver test the car.
I arranged with Nick Schlauch to have his son drive Joey's car before racing started. Little Nick is 1-2 years older than Joey and a very good driver. He is about Joey's size and only 6-7 pounds heavier. At the spring qualifier he beat the 2000 record. I got to the track early and had Joey take a few laps with a new soft rear tire. His times were good at first, but then started to degrade.
My medium compound rear tire was looking quite tired so I bought a new one and mounted it before little Nick took the wheel. Little Nick had the same experience as Joey, he got a few good laps with the soft tires and then his times went up. His times were a bit better than Joey's, but only 0.03s or so.
What happened next was kind of cool. Big Nick called him in and worked on the set up. On went the medium tires and he tweaked the springs, front Panhard rod and camber then back on the track. It was like watching an ophthalmic exam. "Is this better or this, how about this..." Nick sent little Nick out about 5 times wit different settings. The final configuration was a soft front tire and a medium rear with less weight on the right rear. Nick estimated the left-right differential was 20 pounds.
I wanted to send Joey out with the new set up, but they stopped practice for sign-ins. I hope the new setup does not throw Joey off in the heat race.
Joey pulled a fairly tough heat with a few of the fastest kids. Joey started 5th in heat the heat. He got off to a fantastic start diving under the pack, getting three deep and emerging 3rd. Unfortunately, there was a yellow flag and he had to do a restart. Joey could not repeat the performance from a single file restart. Joey's driving was great. There was a wreck right in front of him and he dove under it with an inch to spare. During the race he passed a few kids and was only passed by one to finish 4th. The important thing was that he was there at the end of the race on the lead 1/4 of a lap. Cool.
Joey's 4th place finish put him in the 3rd starting spot for the B-main. The car handled well in the heat race so I made no changes to the car for the main. It must have been a tough go in some of the heat races since some of the normal A-main kids were in the B-main. I spoke with one of the parents in the staging area. He told me his kid had heat exhaustion during the heat race. A quart of Gatorade, a few sodas and a long rest in the shade brought him around. (I am careful to keep Joey hydrated at the track.)
Some of our friends showed up at the track to watch Joey. They cheered real loud as Joey came past the grand stands in the starting lane. Joey waved from the car. He likes fans. Joey got a good start and had made a pass. On the second lap a kid came down on Joey coming into turn 3 causing the two cars to spin and come sliding to a stop. I was the turn #3 corner worker, so I hopped over the wall to warn the other drivers. Unfortunately the rest of the pack was right behind Joey and the little incident turned into a 5-car pile up. All the kids were fine including Joey. He gave his fans the high sign as he waited for the other cars to get pulled off the front of his car.
Joey's car was just fine. One of the other cars was tweaked in the front. The handler did a great job straightening the radius rods and getting back into the race.
Joey got a fair start and kept his position but a couple of faster kids in the back managed to get past Joey. Joey passed some of the slower kids in front and he was sitting in 5th after 15 laps. Joey was a bit faster than the girl in front of him, but he could not pass. He spent the last 5 laps of the race pulling up to her bumper and then making a small slide that caused him to move back a car length or so. I am sure he could have made a pass given enough time. Unfortunately the race ended and he was still in 5th.
I was very happy with Joey's racing. A few weeks ago we finished last in the C-main, or 30th out of 30 cars. This week we were 15th out of 33 cars. Much, much better. I told Joey he had a great race and I was very proud. He seemed happy too. All of the work and changes this week have had the desired result.
Checked the car's set up after racing to document Nick's changes. The left-right weight differential was 20 pounds. Exactly what Nick told me in the hot chute. Cool. I did a compression test on the engine and it was the best I had ever measured. Way cool.
We are ready for next week.
The excitement is building for the eastern Grands at Oaklane. This week we had 193 cars entered with cars from Connecticut and Delaware. This is impressive considering it was a regular show with no special events. In contrast, last year we averaged about 110 cars per night. We have over 450 cars pre-registered. This promises to be the biggest Grands ever. We will be there.
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Racing Log #10
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Practice, there was no practice. Joey and I were ready to go and the local radar showed a big honkin' front that had a 100% probability of hitting us right when we would get to the track. Oh well, no practice this week. This concerned me since we had no practice or racing last week due to rain.
Since we had no practice during the week I figured I would get to the track early and run a few laps. Great plan, but just after we got on the track the race director came out and halted practice. Seems there was early sign ins this week and practice halted a half hour sooner than I expected. Oh well, we did get 7 laps in and the car seemed just fine. Unfortunately our best time was only 6.44s.
Just as the first race was about to go off we got a rain shower. I covered the car and hung out in a friends trailer. Once the rain had stopped they called for cars to hit the track. I jumped at the chance to get Joey on the track and slide the car around a bit. Joey ran around the track at 7/8 race pace looking good. Then they blocked the racing line off with cones to dry the rest of the track off. It was funny watching Joey struggle to go high in the turns and low in the straights. I could see he was struggling to drive off line. I guess it is good mental exercise, like brushing your teeth with the other hand.
Once the track was dry the flagger let them have a few hot laps. Hardly a practice or tuning session, but it was nice to get a little track time. With a dry track the racing program got off.
I thought that the new engine might be a bit tight yet and we may do better with a taller gear to reduce the rpm and friction losses. I took one tooth off the engine and axle sprockets, which changed the gearing by 1%. Not a big change, but perhaps worthwhile.
No time to relax and watch the races this week as this was my week to work the snack bar. While Joey played with his friends I took orders from drivers for food and drinks. Working the window at the snack bar gives you an appreciation for anyone in that position. I did get a chance talk to some of the drivers. I learned that we had racers from Georgia and Florida visiting Oaklane.
Joe pulled the #2 starting spot in the first heat. This was a good starting spot; unfortunately some of the other fast kids in the class were also in his heat. I pushed Joey off and he got a good warm up. He managed to pass a few of the other kids during warm up, which is always a good sign. It also boosts his ego. The green flag fell and Joey got off to a good start, hanging onto 2nd place as the pack strung out. Unfortunately, one of the other kids spun on the first lap and they had to restart. As the kids were getting back into line it started to drizzle. Right as the flagger got the group in order the skies opened up and they black flagged the race sending everyone off the track. I hustled Joey back to the covered starting area to get the car out of the rain. I gave Joey his dinner to eat and I went back to work at my window.
The race director announced that no feature races would be run due to the rain delays. If we finished the heat in the top three Joey would get a trophy. Patti and Matt arrived at the track just before the rain ended. Joey was excited to see mom and Matt. They called for the Sr. Honda cars to come out and dry the track and I got Joey and the car ready.
The track dried quickly due to the heat in the track, the banking and 40 little slick tires kicking the water up. Since the race had already officially started the cars were lined up single file. Joey got a good start and kept 2nd place. The leader pulled away from Joey, but nobody was directly behind him. A solid second place. After 4-5 laps this girl started to threaten Joey's second place position. She was faster, but not by much. Joey held her off until lap 17 of the 25-lap race. When Joey went off line to let the girl pass this other kid tagged along to put Joey into 4th, which is where he finished.
Rats! No trophy this week. Joey did a good job racing and was definitely in the hunt. I think the car came up a tad short, as the front tire was too soft for the hot weather and sticky track. The tire had a large rope of rubber on the inside edge indicating it was running too hot. The car also had a bit of a push due to the tire getting soft. Joey's racing was good, but his line was a bit off, perhaps 6" coming into turn 3. This gives us a couple of things to work on for next week.
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