Pennsacola Mike Buckley report

>From Mike Buckley, Buckroo Racing The ARCA Supercars were at Pennsacola, Fl this past Saturday for a 200 lap event. We left on Friday from Ann Arbor around 1pm. We had a crew member "the cheif" that couldn't get out of a work function...

>From Mike Buckley, Buckroo Racing

The ARCA Supercars were at Pennsacola, Fl this past Saturday for a 200 lap event.

We left on Friday from Ann Arbor around 1pm. We had a crew member "the cheif" that couldn't get out of a work function until 12:00, so we drove all night. The drive went well, we took turns sleeping and arrived around 7:00 am their time. Rented a motel room for a couple hours to take showers, a good hearty breakfast, and we're ready.

Set up and inspections before practice went smooth until we went through tech. Our roof height was too low (Ironic, considering the R. Wallace discussions) and we had to raise the car and re-scale it to get back to our cross weight setup.

This was a track that eats tires, and enjoys it. We brought two sets of used tires that we planned to practice and race on. We had a sticker set mounted that would be used for qualifying and the first race set. We started practice on the one year old tires. We were loose on our setup and began making corrections. By the third practice, we were in the 19.8 to 20.0 range and this was good considering the old tires. Most of the big buck teams were running in the low 19.0's with the sticker tires after a couple heat cycles. We then bolted on the two year old tires and were planning to just scuff them in. To my suprise, they hooked right up and put the car down to 19.50. Some of the other teams on old tires couldn't get below 20.0, we were feeling pretty good about bolting up the stickers for qualifying.

On my qualifying laps, I didn't nail the exit of the 1st corner and on the last lap missed the entrance of turn 3. Turned a 18.9 for 14th of 27.

As the race started, we moved up a few spots and were cruising along. Then the tires turned to junk. There wasn't enough wedge in the car and the RR was spinning. By lap 50 we had lost two laps. The was a caution and the top runners changed tires. We had to go at least 100 laps on the new tires since there wasn't the meat on the used sets to go more than 50 laps on each set. At the caution, we jacked in the wedge. It was no use, the RR was still spinning. We kept adjusting till lap 97 when we finally changed the tires to our old junk. Seems that the old junk worked better than the new junk. We were 5 laps down at 97. The tires worked better and we kept up with the back runners. Had a little run in with Bowsher as he was passing on the outside, cut down a little soon on the exit of 4, and tried to take off my nose piece. He lost a LR tire and went spinning in front. I avoided T-boning his driver door. He avoided going a lap down somehow and continued to finish third. We then put on the 3rd set, got the car handling a little better and finished out the race in 14th place. Frank Kimmel won the race. Bradberry had the field covered, but lost a motor with 3 to go.

Drove back right after the race, since we all had to go to work on Monday. The first four hours in southern Alabama was a killer to drive. But the rest of the trip went well.

Louisville is next Saturday. We need to freshen up the car and work on setup, get rid of our oversteer. We're looking forward to Louisville as we practiced and qualified well there last year, but lost a motor ten laps into the race.

Mike Buckley ARCA #48 http://www.fdt.net/~crest/buckley.htm

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Mike Buckley , Frank Kimmel