Well, another ARCA mile dirt track has come and gone. One thing is for sure. If an ARCA race is held on a one mile dirt track, the ...
Well, another ARCA mile dirt track has come and gone. One thing is for sure. If an ARCA race is held on a one mile dirt track, the #48 car will be loaded missing body and suspension parts.
Last year, at DuQuoin, we lost the rear half of our car to the inside gaurd rail. We rebuilt it in a week to run the rest of the season. This year's DuQuion race saw our car hit the outside gaurd rail, bending the front and rear clips, again repaired. This past weekend didn't disapoint.
We began the weekend slow. But we practiced, and practiced. We ran almost the whole one hour session. We got the car pretty quick in the corners. We needed that "handling down the straight away" that Eric had (he, he). We thought we had the car pretty good, if we could get the driver not to lift too early getting into the corner.
We qualified 42nd in order, and to my suprise found the track to be very different than in practice. It was way too slick for our setup. We were too stiff in the rear for a greasy track. Besides, the driver didn't do what he was supposed to do with his right foot. How does Darrel Waltrip say it: "As owner, I should fire that dern driver..." I qualified a measly 31st. I think we had at least a top 15 car.
The race started and the cars handling was back. We softened up the right rear and reshock the left rear. My corner speeds were now pretty good, but the motor would not let me keep up with anybody getting off the corners. Steele and Schrader finally lapped me before the first caution. They caught me as I was going around a much slower car. Steele made it three wide going into the corner, then cut it to two in the middle. Schrader moved to my inside, slid that car sideways between me and the slow car on the inside on the exit of the corner and motored on, amazing.
Anyhow towards the middle of the race, it was apparant that our motor was just tired. It was making no heat, and could not get off the corners. I was following Richard Hampton into turn 3 when a wreck got started in front of us in the middle of 3-4. We all jammed on the brakes, I got into the back of Richard and got him sideways. Someone hit me and all went toward a hole between the stopped and wrecked cars and the gaurd rail. Richards car closed the hole and we hit hard. Broke the left front suspension, tore off the fender and nose, and broke the rear end bell housing. We were done. This was the same wreck that I belive Eric Smith picked up the debris that broke his fan.
I then climbed on top of a truck to see the end of the race where Schrader showed us some more stunts on how to take a 5th place car and put it 2nd. Steele won. Strait and Gerharts crew had an extra curricular brawl in the pit that seemed to last forever(as long as they wern't in my pit). Lots of tore up stuff and excitement for all the fans. Entertainment value at its best.
Well this ends a year where I have tore up about everything I had, repaired it, tore it up again, and again...you get the point. Time for some new stuff, I think. We will be rebuilding for next year....can't give up. We will be looking to run some speedway stuff again next year.
Thanks for all of your support and encouragment this year. I'll keep ya posted on progress in the rebuilding department. Can't wait for February.
Mike Buckley ARCA #48