Buckley Racing, ARCA ...
Buckley Racing, ARCA #28, Mike Buckley, Driver-Owner Ann Arbor, MI
Back from Winchester....what a place.
For those unfamiliar. Winchester is a very fast high banked half mile with a history as old as dirt. It is not only fast, but the action can get a little rough.
We started the morning by unloading the trailer. No haulers allowed to remain in the infield so that the fans can see the back straight. Everybody unloads everything they brought and puts it on the grass for all to see. Ken Schrader made the trip after the Bristol race on Saturday night. The pit road which is where you worked all day was lined up by points. The number that Schrader used, 99, was next to us. We had a pretty good crowd hanging around to catch Ken for a sig and a pic or two.
Practice began and we were pretty good. The car was a little tight. We were on old tires and the car had a brake push. The brake bias was adjusted to give a little more rear brake which got us going pretty good. Put on some new tires and we were pretty close to the front according to Mr. stopwatch.
Put on some sticker tires and went out to qualify. The stickers didn't stick. On the exit of turn 4 going toward the green the car wanted to spin. Saved the car, but lost the first qualifying lap. The second lap was not quite up to par with the practice times, but put us 16th in a field of 32. The car was faster, and I would have to work up through the pack.
The race started and I had a terrible start. The guy in front of me about stopped as the field took off. I was right in the middle of a shift and I had to brake hard, then hit the gas. Missed the gear and got a terrible start loosing two spots. An early caution on lap two then stretched the field single file.
When the race got going, the car was fast. I started working up and passed a couple of cars. The car was working really well up high next to the wall. Things were going much too well. Is this Winchester? Oh yeah, something had to happen. Cavin Counciler, who qualifyed outside front row had spun early in the race and was coming back toward the front. He nailed me in the middle of turn 1 on the left rear and spun me around. I did a 360 and slid down the track a little, got the nose pointed in the right direction, popped the clutch, jammed it in 3rd gear and took off. No caution. No one hit me, but I heard a lot of roaring engines that just seemed to miss. As I was nailing the gas getting the car up to speed, the leaders passed on the outside. I raced in the lead pack until the next caution flew at around lap 70.
I was one lap down. All of the lead lap cars came in for tires and fuel. I stayed on the track. This put me at the tail end of the lead lap for the restart. I took off and hoped for a quick caution. Didn't happen. I ran out in front for about 4 laps. I drove too hard (for my tires) into turn 3-4 and brushed the wall. Baird passed and put me down a lap, then I had to battle with everyone else who had new tires. I then was battling a pushy car on worn tires. Finally got another caution around lap 100 where we took tires.
What a difference. The car was on a rail again, and fast. The rest of the race was a matter of staying out of trouble and keeping the car off the wall. Attrition and carnage was our friend, taking out several top running cars, including Schrader who was involved in a four car accident.
We finished 10th, four laps down. I think we could have done a lot better. The first set of tires were kinda junk after the spin which put us down a lap. We had to stay out and not take tires at lap 75 to try to get the lap back. That's where we lost the 2nd lap. After we took tires we were OK for a good 60 laps while the lead cars kept coming in for more rubber. We were tire poor for the last 40 laps. Now were both tired and poor.
Next race for us will be Salem. The setups for both Winchester and Salem are very close. We expect to well.
Mike Buckley <Arcamike@aol.com> ARCA #28 http://www.goddessfiona.com/buckleyracing