Buckeroo Racing went to Salem this past Sunday for a 200 lap race. We took a new car which was prepared at the Harpe Racing shop in Fort Wayne and a new motor by TICO race engines. We were pretty exited about both. The motor dynoed extremely...
Buckeroo Racing went to Salem this past Sunday for a 200 lap race. We took a new car which was prepared at the Harpe Racing shop in Fort Wayne and a new motor by TICO race engines. We were pretty exited about both. The motor dynoed extremely well. We worked until the last minute getting the car ready in Fort Wayne. We arrived at the motel at 1:30 am; got up at 5:00 am so that we could get into the track which opened at 6:00.
The weather was raw. That's the best description. Windy, cold with threats of rain. The track had some work done to it in corners 3 and 4. They leveled the ashpalt with a pavement grinder that puts grooves in the track. This was very abrasive on the tires and the grip was not in the corner like it was in previous years. You had to tip toe into the entry of the corner and be careful about not spinning the tires on the exit. You couldn't drop down a groove.
Practice began and the car was a little tight. I took the entry of 3 a little too high and about right sided the car on the wall. We made some car adjustments and some driver adjustments then went back out for some good practice laps. We were only about 1 tenth off the leaders. Next came qualifying. No good. Started 20th. Wasn't the cars fault either.
The race started and we were definitely a lot quicker than the cars around us. Began working towards the front, but the 3-4 corner situation didn't help. My car was also getting loose on the exit of turn 2.
There was a yellow where all of the front runners came in for tires. We didn't plan to change ours until after the 100 lap mark if we could get that far. That put us up front for the restart. I led ten laps until Frank Kimmel caught back up. Just as he passed a yellow came out. Started the next restart in 2nd spot and took off with Frank and put some distance on the 3rd place car. When I followed Frank I could see how he was getting the car pointed in turn 2 to keep from getting too loose. That helped. Now we were on old tires, he and the other leaders were on new. I finally had to start backing off going into the corners as my tires were getting pretty used up and was passed by two more cars. There was another caution and we restarted in 4th. This was when the old tires really killed us. But we held our own and was running in 4th or 5th place.
I was going into turn 3 when the car began smoking badly. Oil went under the tires and the car jumped sideways near the turn 3 wall. Pulled the car down off the wall and across the front straight. I still had oil pressure, engine still running. I drove around on the bottom to pit entrance and through to my pit. We had a hole in the oil feed line to the motor which runs around 80lbs of pressure. It was not large but was spraying all over the headers. Couldn't fix it, we were done.
All in all we were pretty happy. I think we are finally starting to turn the corner. We've got some good equipment, good TICO engines and some real good help from the Harpe Racing garage in Fort Wayne.
Our next race will be at Charlotte. We should have a strong entry for Charlotte and Michigan.
Mike Buckley ARCA #28 <Arcamike@aol.com> http:\\www.goddessfiona.com\buckleyracing