S&H Motorsports, Tim Horton Children's Foundation Frustrated By Chicagoland Finish JOLIET, Ill (Tuesday, September 12, 2006) - - S&H Motorsports 40th place finish in Saturday's SK Hand Tool 200 didn't show the strength and power the team had ...
S&H Motorsports, Tim Horton Children's Foundation Frustrated By Chicagoland Finish
JOLIET, Ill (Tuesday, September 12, 2006) - - S&H Motorsports 40th place finish in Saturday's SK Hand Tool 200 didn't show the strength and power the team had planned to show. Instead, a first lap accident in turn four demolished a racecar and the chance for a season ending top-ten finish.
The team's 32nd place practice effort (32.570 seconds, 165.979 mph) was a disappointment for the Michigan-based team, but the team remained confident in their Robert Yates Racing Ford and horsepower provided by Roush Racing and driver Howard Bixman to propel them to their fourth race of the 2006 season.
Qualifying yielded awesome results for Bixman and the team. Planting the No. 8 Tim Horton Children's Foundation / New Millennium Homes Ford hard around the 1.5-mile track, Bixman maneuvered a lap of 31.542 seconds, amounting to a speed of 171.200 mph good enough for a career-best 18th place starting position.
"The S&H Motorsports team is really excited about the race especially following qualifying," said Bixman, a native of Holly, Michigan. "The team has worked hard all season long and I feel like we can easily be a contender for a top ten finish."
Saturday brought clear skies to Chicagoland Speedway and the sun was shining down from above the S&H Motorsports team who felt they were a sleeper at Chicagoland. Bixman was one of 41-cars to take the green flag just after 1:00pm Saturday; little did he know he wouldn't even make it back around to complete the first lap.
In turn four, Justin Marks lost control of his car sending the remainder of the field slowing down to avoid his wrecked car. Bixman at first, appeared to miss the wreck completely, then without notice, the rear of Bixman's No. 8 Ford Taurus was tapped from behind, sending the car spinning down the track and through the grass without any significant damage.
Bixman had a few moments to regain his composure and planned to re-fire his machine, when out of nowhere came the out of control No. 62 Ford which spun on the apron of the track at a great amount of speed slamming into the No. 90 and ricocheting into the driver's side of Bixman's Ford.
The force of the impact lifted the No. 8 completely off the ground and moved it several feet before coming to a complete halt. Bixman emerged from the car with back and neck injuries. He was treated and released from the infield care center.
"This is not the way we wanted to end our season," said Bixman. "We had a great car, the best car we've had all season and we were looking forward to completing all 134 laps. To end the day without even making the first lap is frustrating and disappointing to say the least. I saw the No. 65 car lose it coming off turn four so I slowed down and I thought I was going to be okay. Then I got hit from behind, and the contact from No. 62 demolished our car. I hate it for all of our sponsors and my team, none of us deserved this."
Despite losing a racecar and motor, Bixman applauded the strength and durability of his safety equipment including his seat made by Richardson Race Products. "I cannot thank the people who built all of my safety equipment enough, but the strength of my seat really saved my life," added Bixman. "It was a hard and almost direct hit. When the car hit my driver's side door, it was enough impact to jolt my entire seat. Everything did what it was supposed to do. Every team plans to go fast, but you have to be prepared for the unexpected and that's where safety comes in. I am really thankful for the time and effort the crew spent this season going over the safety equipment for it definitely paid off on Saturday."
Despite the disappointing finish, the team reflected on their overall performance as a positive outlook to the 2007 season. "This is a big set back for our team losing a race car and motor. All in all we had a good year, we learned a lot and ran competitively, we just didn't have the results we were looking for. We'll take the notes from this year and plan to utilize them for next season" said Crew Chief Jim Pearce.
"On a more positive note, we have raised thousands of dollars for the Tim Horton Children's Foundation. The team and I are so proud to be part of this foundation and so very thankful to all those who made a donation," remarked Bixman.
Bixman went on to say, "On behalf of the S&H Motorsports team, we would like to thank all of our marketing partners along with the Tim Horton Children's Foundation, for their endless efforts to get us to the track this season. We appreciate everyone's support and we're looking forward to more spectacular results next year."
In addition to the Tim Horton Children's Foundation, New Millennium Homes, Permanent Floor Coatings, Deka Batteries, Richardson Racing Products, Ford Racing, Penske Shocks, Lincoln Welders, Port City Racing, S&H Contracting, Disposal Express, NGK Spark Plugs, Stanley Industries and The Casite Company all served as marketing partners this season.
The team will now begin working on their 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series plans including upgrading equipment, acquiring new marketing partners with plans to upgrade the number of races the team competes in next year.
For information regarding the Tim Horton Children's Foundation, visit their web site at www.timhortonchildrensfoundation.com
-credit: s&h motorsports