[Michael worked on the Mike Buckely crew--ED] I arrived at the track Wednesday - Mike and crew we're busy adding weight as they came up WAY under in tech - still had not run a single lap on the track. Lots of other little details to take care...
[Michael worked on the Mike Buckely crew--ED]
I arrived at the track Wednesday - Mike and crew we're busy adding weight as they came up WAY under in tech - still had not run a single lap on the track. Lots of other little details to take care of so the car saw the track for the first time on Thursday AM - two laps at low speed - just to check things out - after that, coming into the pits the right-rear brake caliper froze up... towed into the garage and replaced all four just to be sure - next time on the track was pole-qualifying round.
After ARCA installed the random-pick restrictor plate - the car would not fire! - finally did get it cranked after about 20 minutes of intake trashing - unfortunately it was a symptom of other problems The car was running very rich, plus the master cylinder was causing lots of drag in the rear brakes - after two laps the rotors showed a temp of over 700 degrees! hence the speed of 131 MPH for 1st round qualifying. The tire temps looked pretty good (a happy note after the other problems). The "bad sign" was oil dripping out of the breather - we thought it scorched a piston.
The people for Powersource and race engines and Junie Donlevy (who just happened by) agreed that we burned the #3 piston - a leak-down test proved that was NOT to be the case - so some hotter plugs, re-jetted the carb and did some work on the aero, practiced Friday at around 162 MPH - things were looking up.
Saturday prior to second round quals, we were feeling pretty good, put on a new set of tires. In tech, they made us change the configuration on the cowl - that just robbed the motor of the little bit of air that was available. - qualifying speed for round two: 151 MPH - OUCH!
ARCA said immediately afterwards that as long as we got the car up to a competitive speed in the final practice, a provisional could be had...trashed real hard - got things where they needed to be - we were just about to roll the car out when we were informed that three drivers not racing had sold their points to other teams, consuming the available provisional spots. - Loaded the trailer.
While it was naturally a let-down for all of us, on the upside, we all learned a great deal - plus the car is VERY ready for Atlanta next month, the aerodynamics (or lack thereof) that hurt us at Daytona should prove to be an advantage there.
We were garaged next to the Glen Brewer owned car driven by Tim Moser and sponsored David Lettermen's' production company "World-Wide Pants," they cut a tire on Wednesday, hit the wall and spent right up till second round quals repairing it. Spent a good bit of time talking with Tim, a very personable young man - thanks to the letterman connection, he was the "media-monster" in the garage there.
Tim made the show on speed (barely - but he was in), seeing as Buckley wasn't in the race, I offered my services to Glen Taylor (crew-chief) who was quick to put me in as jackman on the car (there regular jackman was not there and I've had experience in this so we all agreed it was a good fit).
A plug wire melted on the pace lap so we started the race on 7 cylinders, quickly lost a lap. on the first caution, we confirmed the problem - but sent him back out while parts and tools were gathered. Caught a yellow just when we needed it and came in for repairs - turned out the right-rear was going flat too! - jacked the car but had too many people over the wall for the tire-carrier to go over too... long stop, almost stayed one-lap down but the pace car just beat us by a tick.
After the stop, Tim was spectacular - 179-180 MPH laps, running door-to-door for many laps, did a text-book drafting pick on Rick Sheppard. This kid is good, I'm sure we'll be seeing lots more of him in the future. ended up finishing 25th - not too bad, all considered. It was great to work with the Brewer Racing Team, probably the best-financed and knowledgeable bunch I've ever been with.
Other highlights of the week were meeting; PHamily Bill & Judy Cronister, Junnie Donlevy, Kenny Schrader. James Finch, Kenny Walace, Andy Hillenburg, Frank Kimmel, Mike Beam, Tom Bigalow (a long-time ago "hero" of mine), Harris Devane, Norm Benning, and some other I'm sure I'm forgetting. Also, was in the coffee line behind Dale Earnhardt on Friday AM - just exchanged "good mornings"... but what the heck, it was cool - even not being a DE fan.
All-in-all a pretty cool week. Michael