Southtown Thunder Report/Winchester

You have seen in "Days of Thunder" where they find an oil leak just before the race. Well, that sort of happened to us. Thursday evening we found bearing material inside of the oil filter. Here we were, ready to load the car, and now we needed...

You have seen in "Days of Thunder" where they find an oil leak just before the race. Well, that sort of happened to us. Thursday evening we found bearing material inside of the oil filter. Here we were, ready to load the car, and now we needed to rebuild the engine. Forty-five minutes later the engine was out, on the stand , and the oil pan was off. After inspecting the bearings, we found that only the rear main bearing was showing signs of damage. A quick call to the engine builder and he suggested to roll in a new set of main bearings and not to turn the rpm's so high. One thing I did not mention in the last report from Salem was that we were turning 9000 rpm's during the race. A new set of bearings were put in and the engine was reinstalled. I would like to thank the guys that worked into the wee hours of the night to finish the car . Eric and two crew members left as soon as the car was done. They were going so they could get in some practice on Friday. They had the car working pretty good but Eric was still not happy with it. The rest of us arrived for race day. We went to work and changed springs and shocks in an effort to get Eric comfortable. The car was fast but still not quite right. Finally, a fellow driver made a simple suggestion to change the right front spring. We changed it and Eric went out and ran one lap, pulled back in and said that did it . Qualifying went as normal. We qualified in eighth place, just a tick off the pole. Tim Steel grabbed the pole with a new track record. The race started and we moved into seventh place. We ran there for the first twenty laps until the first yellow. At this time a crew member told me we were the last car on the lead lap. Sure enough, after checking, it was true. Thirty-three cars started the race and only seven were left on the lead lap after twenty laps. Needless to say, Tim Steel was driving a rocket ship . The green came back out and off we went. About ten laps later, the crew chief of the car that was pitted next to us came over to me and said his driver was reporting that our car was leaking oil or grease. I radioed Eric immediatly that we suspected he had a leak. The next time Eric came out of turn four I could see the oil leaking out of the car, I again radioed Eric to slow down, get low and come in. The yellow had just come out again, and when Eric came around again and did not pull into the pits, the driver that had first reported the leak pulled in front of Eric and slammed on his brakes causing Eric to hit him. I guess in his feeble mind it was his way of trying to get Eric to pull into the pits. I then had to have a little chat with his crew chief about the small mindedness of his driver and how only a child would try to wreck someone elses car. I should add that during all this I am telling Eric to pull in the pits and he has never replied to me. On Eric's next lap when he did not come in I requested ARCA to black flag him. Seems that Eric's radio had quit working. When we finally got him in we found that a plug had come out of the rear end and a small amount of gear lube had splashed out. We refilled the rear end with a half pint of gear lube, replaced the plug, and sent him back out. I also worked on his radio and got it so he could at least hear me. He still could not talk to us though . The rest of the race went without an incident. Tim Steel lapped the whole field and won, we finished in sixth place. Now, after the race, this so-called driver came up to me and accused me of leaving Eric out on the track to put grease down just to wreck him. Talk about being vain. Well, I explained to him that we had radio trouble he would not believe me and still claimed I did it just to oil down the groove in the track. Of course, we would do this so we could drive in our own grease, right. Some people are just sore losers. See, even though we had to pit for the repairs we still finished ahead of this so-called driver. I want to thank the crew for the excellent job they did during the race, it shows how when a team pulls together they can overcome many obstacles . Our next and last race will be on Oct 18th at the Springfield Mile, in Springfield,Illinois. Hope to see you there.

Randy... ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ http://www.mtco.com/~rhouse Crew Chief ARCA #9

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