Flyin' Hillbilly Springfield Report Howdy! Before I go into our report for the Springfield Mile, let me introduce our team! Our ARCA car is the red and yellow ...
Flyin' Hillbilly Springfield Report
Howdy! Before I go into our report for the Springfield Mile, let me introduce our team! Our ARCA car is the red and yellow #40.
We are a small, family team located in central Illinois. We have raced in the IMCA and UMP Modified class for the last few years and decided it was time to move up. This year we managed to make it to the 2 ARCA dirt races in the Midwest--DuQuoin and Springfield. Next year we hope to do more.
Driver- Toby Massie He's gonna be 29 years old in December. He's married and has 2 little boys. Wants to make it to Winston Cup in the future.
Owner/Crew Chief - Ed Massie Toby's dad. Was a local hero in his racing career in the 60's and 70's. The original "Flyin' Hillbilly"
Me? I fancy myself the Business Manager. And I am the official spotter. Toby is my baby brother, Ed is my dad, too.
We do not have a big sponsor. We need one, but we don't have one. We'll keep trying, though!
Now, for the report!!
First of all, let me mention that we got really lucky this year. We planned to run the dirt races and the short track races just to get our feet wet in ARCA. The first race we planned to make was the Springfield race in August. Found out the day before the race that our motor was not going to be ready. (We are very low-budget so just getting the money to get a new motor was literally a miracle!) Anyway, we got real lucky when Springfield rained out!
So, our first race was DuQuoin over Labor Day weekend. Made a big mistake--took the Modified for the 2-day Modified show, too. Not enough manpower to support both cars--especially since we didn't have a clue what was required on the ARCA side of things. We did manage to qualify about half way down the pack--about 21st. However, the crew was working on the Modified when we needed to get the ARCA car ready for the big race. We didn't get the nitrogen in the tires--BIG MISTAKE!! Ten laps into the race (and Toby had moved up to about 10th place by then) the tires ballooned and the car got real loose. Spun it in turn 4 and hit the wall. That ended our first ARCA race.
With lots of body work to do, we decided to forego the short track races and focus on being ready for Springfield. It's a good thing because we had a heck of a time finding suppliers for our broken stuff.
The rain date for Springfield was Saturday, 10/18. Gates were to open at 6:00 am. At 7:00 Friday night, we were still finishing up the painting and mechanicals. Finally got everything done at 2:00 am. Tried to start the car, but it was so cold outside the car didn't want to run. Loaded it, took showers, and headed to Springfield. Arrived at about 5:45 am.
What a hectic night! No sleep for us! Finished up minor things Saturday morning--lettering, decals, etc. Took about 20 laps during practice. Car wasn't handling well and wasn't geared right. Tweaked the setup to help with the handling, but we had no other gears. Tech said the front end was too wide. New A-arm we got was bigger than the original. We couldn't fix it there, so they let us go.
Qualified 34th out of 40-some cars. Gear really hurt us. Started at the back of the pack for the race. Toby radioed in that his throttle was sticking. We planned to fix it on a pit stop. We wanted to pit anytime after the first 30 laps. Got a chance around lap 40. No time to fix the throttle, though. Toby dealt with it the best he could.
We were lapped pretty quick by the leaders. Toby kept complaining that he wasn't getting any horsepower from the motor. Probably a combination of gear and carb problems. Made it through many crashes until lap 97! Someone spun in turn 4. Next thing I know, about 5 cars were out, including the Hillbilly. Toby didn't know what happened, but the tire marks down the right side of the car give us an idea.
Now we have the winter to prepare for next year. Gotta get a sponsor so we can run the superspeedways, too! We only ran 2 ARCA events, but we learned a lot! Go Hillbilly!!