Back to Salem....a high banked, fast half mile that reminds me of a roller coaster. We prepped the car for the Salem race....we would use the short track car that just came back from the dirt race. A lot of clean up and a totally different...
Back to Salem....a high banked, fast half mile that reminds me of a roller coaster.
We prepped the car for the Salem race....we would use the short track car that just came back from the dirt race. A lot of clean up and a totally different setup kept us busy during the short week. We needed to leave Friday night in order to arrive in Scottsburg. The Salem track would open at 6:00 am Saturday for practice and qualifying. The race would be run Sunday. That did not give us much time to work on the car....basically Wednesday and Thursday night.
We had the setup pretty much done...we needed to scale the car when full of fuel. We did this Saturday morning before putting the car in the tech line.
Practice started out rough. The car quit when the I entered the turns. I thought it was electrical and pulled the car in where it began running again. The crew worked on the battery and cables...etc. We had replaced the battery during the week and I thought that was the cause. Wrong. When I entered the track again....the car sputtered and quit again. There was no fuel pressure. The fuel filter in the trunk was changed and was put back together with the gaskets in the wrong position. Would not provide much flow. Got that fixed and practiced pretty well. Got some good tires on the car and the times were respectable but the handling was just off. Could not seem to adjust out a push without getting the car too loose on exit. The weather was threatening during qualifying. I had pulled the last number. When I qualified, there were rain drops just starting on the window. The car handled better and we had the fastest lap of the day. Qualified 15th.
Started studying our notes at the hotel room and comparing to our run in the spring. The wheel weights were not right. We had too much right side weight. This was OK for the dirt track ....but not for Salem. We would fix that in the morning.
Sunday found us standing in the pit...in the rain. It poured. We had the drivers meeting where we were told that the weather would provide a window for the race and to be ready. We got our tent over the car and began working on getting the lead out of the right side....I also rebuilt a right rear shock.
The weather cleared and the sun came out. The cars were lined up and the race was on. The car handled much better, but not near the pace the leaders were running. An early caution got the line in single file. Then a longer green run got us behind. The leader was coming and I was working on lap cars. A couple of them were just all over the track and were holding a bunch of us up while the leaders were coming. Jason Jarret was leading and Finley (70 car) was trying to stay on the lead lap and was behind me. He pushed me up the track in turn 1 and Jason got underneath. I tried to repass and follow them down into turn 3 and 4. The caution then came out....I was a lap down. We stayed out and tried to get the lap back on the restart. I raced Jarrett into turn 1 but he beat me on the outside on the exit and pulled down the back straight. This green period lasted about 5 or 6 laps. I was still the first car 1 lap down. On the next restart I was going to try to get a very good start. Jason lagged back and I had a great start and jumped him at the restart line. Too good according to ARCA. I pulled him down the front and back straight. Had my lap back at the line and promptly received the black flag. They penalized me a stop and go under the green flag. That is a killer at Salem where the pit road runs from Turn 4 all the way around to turn 3. I lost another 3 laps during this stop and go. I was not happy.
Well, when you are four laps down to the leaders, they expect you to stay out of the way. That was pretty much the rest of our day. We made up a bunch of positions with slower cars that were getting lapped more often than us and got back to the 11th spot at the end of the day. The car was somewhat strong and we would go back home and get ready for Toledo. I voiced my displeasure with the ARCA penalty and a couple of drivers that caused us to get a lap down early.....oh well.
Got back home late Sunday night. Toledo will be another two day show and the motor will need to be swapped into the intermeadiate car. We are taking the good stuff to Toledo.