This was the weekend of the bull ring war. Kil Kare - 3/8 mile paved 5 turn weird shaped race track. The ARCA cars traveled first to the Kil Kare Speedway just outside of Dayton OH. This was a Friday night event. Temperatures were in the ...
This was the weekend of the bull ring war.
Kil Kare - 3/8 mile paved 5 turn weird shaped race track.
The ARCA cars traveled first to the Kil Kare Speedway just outside of Dayton OH. This was a Friday night event. Temperatures were in the 100 degree area with extreme humidity.
Our car started off the practice session and was just plain lousy. No traction. The car wanted to swap ends going half speed. We started to thrash on the setup. We changed a rear spring, started messing with wedge. The temperature was so hot that nothing would grip. We finally decided that the tires we were practicing on were just too used up to provide good feedback. A better set picked us up a bunch. Took out all of our changes too as now the car went the other direction and was too tight everywhere, pushing to the walls. Knew that a new set was going to be better and bolted a set of stickers on for qualifying. We picked up another bunch during qualifying, but so did everyone else. What I thought would be at least a top ten qualifying run turned out to good for only 19th.
We had a long wait for the race. We began around 9:30. This was a good thing as the temperatures cooled down a touch.
The race started and we began moving up a little bit at a time. The car was still a little tight and when I would fight getting it straight down the short front straight, the car would break loose. It would be a lot of work for this race.
We were running pretty good. I was on the lead lap, but the leaders were closing. Andy Belmont spun in turn 2 and had his car facing sideways in the track. Everyone was slowing down but no caution. The leaders were on my tail. The spotter and the crew cheif kept yelling "NO caution". Then Belmont looped his car in front of the pack trying to get back going, I was the second car back. The first car nearly stopped, I almost ran over him but got slowed way up. There wasn't anything we could do unless we were supposed to drill Belmont in the door. Bill Baird, the leader, plowed me square in the rear bumber. The car lurch forward, didn't hit the car in front. I hit the gas and we were off again. Oh yea, still no caution. The then running 2nd and 3rd place cars passed underneath all of this and I was a lap down. Baird lost most of the front of his car in the deal. It did very little damage to the rear bumper of my car.
Most of the rest of the race was spent passing who we could and missing the rest of the carnage. I had 10th place until the last lap when I drove too hard into turn 1 and was passed. Finished 11th.
It was still 85 degrees when we were done, but when I got out of the car, it felt like 60 degrees. I was way overheated. Loaded up and got on the road. The next race is Saturday in Flat Rock, MI. I had planned on going back home which is just 30 minutes from the Flat Rock, but a 4 hour drive from Kil Kare.
Suffered a blow out on the trailer 13 miles into Michigan. Got home at 5:30. Slept until 10:30, then headed out for Flat Rock.
Flat Rock, 1/4 mile semi-banked bull ring.
Unloaded the car and got ready for practice. There was a storm moving in and we needed to hurry to get any practice in. The car was extremely tight and we didn't have anywhere near the gear that we needed. We were way off. The storm came in and drowned out the place for a little while. During this time I went searching to borrow a rear end gear that would work. We borrowed one from Dill Whittemore. Thanks guys! We replaced the gear before practice resumed again when the track was dry. We were turning some fairly decent laps on the tires we were to qualify on. The car still was too tight.
We made some radical changes to loosen up the car. Came out for qualifying and the car was not the same car. Lost more than 4 tenths from where we were practicing.....ooch. This put us back in 22nd starting position. It is very important to qualify towards the front at Flat Rock due to the leaders coming up to lap in a hurry.
The race started and the car was much better. (after much setup work by the crew). I could pass cars on the low side and had much better bite down the straight. We moved up steadily. On one of the early cautions, the motor began to overheat due to the length of the caution. When we got going again, I started using the high line. The car was not as good, and I started using up the tires. I must have been out there for ten laps racing hard and got two spots, but now the car was not as good. The lap times dropped and I was almost lapped but a caution came out just in time. With the car steadily getting worse, I struggled to keep up with the car ahead. I was the last car on the lead lap and we talked about making a pit stop to adjust some wedge. We decided against that since we would go a lap down in the pits. The way the pits are layed out in the center, you cannot stop and get out before loosing a lap. We weren't going to be good enough to get the lap back, so we stayed on the track. Finished out the race in 11th, on the lead lap. Not bad considering our starting spot.
Two short track bull rings. Our TICO race engine held strong. The car still looks good, has all its fenders, was competitive and stayed out of trouble. Can't say that about too many other cars this weekend.
We plan on taking a little break unless a magical sponsor comes along...(someone say abra cadabra). Even with two good finishes, we didn't cover our expenses. We probably will skip Flemington and Springfield. The next race for us would be Winchester on August 29th.
Mike Buckley ARCA #28 http://www.goddessfiona.com/buckleyracing