The Buckeroo Crew traveled to the Indianapolis Fairgrounds One Mile oval for the ARCA Supercar Race. As Randy from Southtown reported the track conditions were tough. This track was meant for horses, and I think they would have had trouble ...
The Buckeroo Crew traveled to the Indianapolis Fairgrounds One Mile oval for the ARCA Supercar Race. As Randy from Southtown reported the track conditions were tough. This track was meant for horses, and I think they would have had trouble finding footing. Practice was like glass. We were careful and as the track began to "wear" in, a good size "berm" built up just out of the groove. Normally this would be a "cushion", but this berm was hard. As my car was pushing up in and out of the corners, I went over this berm and bottomed out the transmission in the dirt. This damaged the flex plate we use for the starter and we didn't find out that the starter wasn't going to work until we pushed up to qualify. The crew push started the car and I wen't out to qualify.
I drove the car too hard into the entrance of turn three and got up over the berm. It was real loose up there and I tried to hang in and dirt track it around. This didn't work and the car went down toward the gaurd rail nose first. I got it straight enought to just wrap the fence with the left front nose and the car bounced out, around again and was dead. The starter of course didn't work and I had to wait for a push truck to get me back to the pits for repairs. With no qualifying time, we would start last.
The crew repared the left front corner and worked on the starter. The starter was not going to engage and we informed the officials we would need a push to get us going at the start of the race.
The race started and the car was working better after the adjustments made. I began working around some slower traffic.... yes there were some out there slower than I. As I got behind about four cars who were slower but fighting for position the first yellow came out. I was at the end of the backstretch and the leader, Bob Hill, was coming up fast. My spotter told me to try to stay on the same lap as ARCA races back to caution. Well, at most short tracks, there is some gentleman's agreement on racing back, but not tonight as Bob forced me down to the rail in turn 3 then proceeded to pass all four cars in front of me as they slowed down for the caution flag. A couple of those cars then passed the pace car, I guess I should have but we decided to appeal to an ARCA official to no avail. On the restart the leaders passed on the outside, as we all came back around after the green flew, I was plowed in the rear by Scott Neal in turn 1. The car managed not to hit anything and amazingly the whole field missed, some to the inside and some outside. Its a pretty sick feeling sitting dead in the track while everyone dodges. Of course the starter didn't work and I waited three laps under caution for the push truck. At this point, being competitive was out of the question.
During the next long stretch of green, the car began to overheat. Too much sand in the radiator. We began pitting and taking on water to keep the motor cool. There was a lot of attrition as there always is at these dirt tracks so fighting to stay in the race was the goal. I lost another lap ( it didn't make much difference ), as Bob Hill again passed on the caution back to the flag. This time there was a car dead in the bottom of turn 4 and he never slowed down, this was getting me real ticked off.
We had a red flag for a roll over by one of the Huffman brothers, the car looked in bad shape. Everyone was having problems seeing and I was no exception. I couldn't see the outside wall off of turn two and at one point almost nailed it. About 4 laps later, I scraped it with the rear bumper, from then on I hugged the bottom at the exit of two.
We kept stopping on the cautions and adding water, sometimes loosing a lap in the process, but we kept going. A caution flew for a car sideways at the exit of turn 4. As I'm going down the backstreach entering turn 3, I'm waving my hand and slowing down. Two cars passed and raced me into three with a dead car in four, I couldn't believe it. Then guess who comes flying around turn 4 and passed before the strip, yup the leader Bob Hill. I had enough and passed him under the yellow before the pace car picked him up and went on around. ARCA comes over to the crew cheif and tells me to fall in line behind the leader. "Screw that" I said over the radio, If they want to put us another lap back we'll just pull in the pit and put some water in the radiator. Well, ARCA wasn't happy about that and held us there for an additional lap beyond the lap we lost putting water in. We basically then finished out the race and stayed out of trouble.
We finished 19th, several laps down. We wrecked in qualifying, started 40th, got wrecked in the race, passed 21 cars, kept the motor alive and drove it on the trailer.....Isn't racing fun?
Next race for us is August 10 at the Shady Bowl speedway where we finished 6th last year. See you there!
Mike Buckley ARCA #48 http://www.fdt.net/~crest/buckley.htm