Andy's Angle: Pocono Report We traveled last week to our home state of Pennsylvania for the event at Pocono. The mountain weather is always suspect and this weekend would be no different. Heavy fog, lots of rain and intense heat and humidity.
Andy's Angle: Pocono Report
We traveled last week to our home state of Pennsylvania for the event at Pocono. The mountain weather is always suspect and this weekend would be no different. Heavy fog, lots of rain and intense heat and humidity. A great weekend for a stock car race!
The rookie drivers and their cars that we worked with were unloaded and rolled through the technical inspection. This is of course always a pandora's box of sorts. You never know what new inspection official guy is getting broken into racing on what area of the car, and it turns out that these cars that have raced again and again seem to develop these mysterious new things wrong with them while they ride in the trailers to and from races. Frankly, I think they get a big charge out of making life miserable for racer's.
For the most part, 99% of the officials have never worked on a race car, pulled an all nighter getting them ready or towing them to a track, so they haven't got a clue of what it means when they want some of the ridiculous things they request. It is a cycle that is aggravating to most of the competitors. But you can't argue, it is pointless.
Practice went okay for the number one car, running plenty fast enough to qualify around the top twenty somewhere. Driver Ed Pompa making his first ever attempt, got a little loose getting into turn one after hitting the rumble strips. The result was a turn one crash, backing hard into the concrete retaining wall. The soft walls helped cushion the blow to the driver, but the car was pretty used up.
Once it was towed back to the garage area we assessed the damage. Most folks would have loaded up and headed for the house. But alas, those of us addicted to racing and having no back up car, we elected to try fixing it.
What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. The crew from the 22 car came over, all of them, a couple of crew from the 11 car and all the guys from the number 1 car. We cut the rear section of the frame off, cut the back section of the body off and went to work. By dumb luck, racers Brian Kern and Magee Miller were hanging with us. Magee had a new tail clip (rear frame section) at his shop in Allentown. Off he went! Bobby Gerhardt loaned us headers, Jeff McClure and Eddie Sharp loaned us parts, it was a phenomenal act of kindness and hard work.
We got it done almost in time. The rain bought us an extra hour or so. We changed lower control arms, upper ball joints, trailing arms, transmission, driveshaft, springs, control arm bushings, fuel cell can, I can't even remember all the parts.
At the end of the day, a group of racer's pulled off the impossible and we got to see the car run around Pocono Raceway all day and soldier on to a twenty fifth place finish. Not a bad day for a rookie driver in his first attempt, and a great day for a hard working group of race car guys.
Never say never. Sometimes it can be done against all odds.