Buckeroo Shady Bowl/Toledo report

Boy, am I tired. Our weekend started Friday night after work as we took the car to Fort Wayne for our crew chief Lee Harpe to work out the setup. After some tweakin' we loaded back up the car for the trip to Shady Bowl. Shady Bowl - Degraff,...

Boy, am I tired.

Our weekend started Friday night after work as we took the car to Fort Wayne for our crew chief Lee Harpe to work out the setup. After some tweakin' we loaded back up the car for the trip to Shady Bowl.

Shady Bowl - Degraff, OH 3/8 mile

Our practice laps were quick, real quick. However we developed a MAJOR oil leak after the first hot lap and had to bring it in. Our motor builder, Jimmy was with us and with a few of his famous curse words, went to work. The front seal had come out of the timing cover and the harmonic balancer had to come off. We didn't get any more practice. We were not sure if stickers or scuff tires were the quick way around. We were fast enough to be in the top 5 according to our first practice. We put on the stickers........wrong move.

The car shot strait up to the top of the track in both corners on both laps. We ended up qualifying 22.

The race began, and we moved up fast. We stayed out of trouble, which was the key at this place. We also overheated on the caution. I believe everyone did...it took forever to clean up a wreck that should have been cleaned up quickly.

I lost radio communication about 1/3 of the way into the race. The spotter told me to cinch up the belts during a caution. My hand slipped pulling down on the belt and caught the radio ear piece wire pulling them out. The rest of the race, I was flying blind behind me. I lost a lap late in the race because I thought the leader was Kimmel and after losing the position to him(after a bump or two) let Steele by because he was racing Kimmel......Kimmel had lost laps in the pit...Steele was the leader. A caution came out the next lap. We finished up the race clean in tenth. We wished we had qualified better.

Toledo Speedway - 1/2 mile - fast

Toledo is a track that is fast.. you can get in trouble, or somebody elses'....

We started out the day slow. The car was a little unpredictable and I hadn't had a whole lot of laps at this track. Lee began working on the setup. We changed a sway bar and gained 6 tenths. We then changed a gear and gained another 5 tenths. We put on some good tires and tried a shock change and the car slowed down. The shock we put on was bad, and I almost wrecked the car in both corners. We put on the stickers and qualified 12th. We were fifth before the rain shower. The track changed in favor of the guys who qualified after the rain.

The race started out, but our car didn't. We wanted it to be a little tight at the beginning and loosen up. It was a little too tight, and motor was a little flat. I think it loaded up on the start and never really cleaned out. The first caution didn't come out until just after Steele and Schader had lapped me and LaDuke....figures. On the restart, the motor came back to life..we took to the outside and passed Laduke and fell in line with the lead lap cars. The handling was back and we were moving.....but still a lap down. As I went to pass a slow car on the bottom going into turn 1, I left a little room between me and the lapped car. Mark Gibson tried to put his car into that little hole and make it three wide into turn 1..... this is not good at Toledo....major contact..spin and slide, Gibson went down off the track and came back up and hit the left front hard.. more spinning and sliding... more contact....didn't hit the wall. Ended up in the grass at the exit of two.

At the pit the crew did what they could with the car...pulled sheet metal off the left tire. Tried to fix the toe out problem...better than an inch out. The lower control arm was bent. Shoved the hood down and pinned it. On the way out of pit road a car was stalled at the stop and go sign. The ARCA inspector was trying to get him to move and I was behind. I finally went around the first car to get out of the pit when here comes Gibson flying down out of turn 4 to pit again. More contact.....wasn't intentional but probably looked good. Well now their crew and driver are a little upset. We finished out the race, staying out of the way and finished 19th. We had a much better car than that.

Anyhow, there were a few emotions that were vented between the two teams and drivers in a peaceful and gentlemanly way after the race. Mark and I are friends and hopefully we stilll will be when we get to Kil Kare next week.

We've got some work to do on the fenders and a door bar got crushed in. But we should be in good shape to show how we can do it at Kil Kare and Flat Rock next week.

Mike Buckley ARCA #48

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Mike Buckley , Mark Gibson