Southtown Thunder Salem Report

Well , I would like to start this by saying "We Won". But !! This weekends race was at the Salem Speedway , a super fast high banked half mile race track . This is the same track where the Flying Thunderbird learned to fly last fall . ...

Well , I would like to start this by saying "We Won". But !!

This weekends race was at the Salem Speedway , a super fast high banked half mile race track . This is the same track where the Flying Thunderbird learned to fly last fall .

This was our first race this year and our first time dealing with the new ARCA/Winston Mid-West Series . Our experience going through tech inspection was something else . Things were checked on the short track cars that I have never seen checked at speedways . One example was the location of the rear spoiler . Our's was off location by 3/8" . We were told to change it by the next race or we couldn't race . Another was the left front fender flare was sticking out to far by 1/2" . This is easy to change , but everytime you change you have to re-adjust the fender . Remember , this is short track racing not speedways . And they say this is just the beginning . The Southtown Thunderbird was fast right off the truck . The race is for 200 laps , so you need a car that will run consistant for at least 100 laps . I say this because there a two types of race teams . There are the poor teams , like us that can only buy two sets of tires , and the rich teams that can buy eight to ten sets of tires so they can change tires on every caution . We ran a 20 lap practice run and the car stayed within 1/10 sec per lap over the run . We then put on a new set of tires to see how we would qualify and also to scuff that set in . Put our other new set of tires on , changed gears and dropped the track bar 1/8" for qualifying . Turned a lap of 18.30 , good enough for the ninth spot .

At this time we felt pretty good , starting up front , the car was quick and would run consistant for a long run . The race started and went as planned . We ran in ninth for a while then moved up to seventh and then to sixth . During this time there were a few cautions and the top five cars would pit for four new tires . They would come out of the pits running fast , blow by us then after about ten laps they would burn there tires up and be going backwards , we would catch them and be alot faster . Somewhere around lap 110 another yellow came out , we pitted for two rights a fuel . Sent the car back out and we were going to bring the car back in for lefts when the spotter told us that the car was stalled on pit road . Eric radioed us that he had lost oil pressure. He was stopped on the opposite side of the track . I asked an ARCA official to have the car pushed around to us and he said the car was not in the way so they would not do that , remember we are not one of the rich teams . So, I had to run (not a pretty sight) over to the car ,asked the ARCA official that was by the car for a push truck and once again was told no. I checked the car and found we had lost the oil pump belt . I radioed back to the pits for someone to bring a new belt . While two crew members worked on the car I continued to have a discussion with the ARCA official about how nice they were treating us . By the time we got the new belt on we were down about 25 laps. We sent Eric back out to make some laps until we thought we could not make up anymore positions . We finished 26th . Not a good run , but we are still happy with how the car ran and we brought home a complete car .

Our next race will be a two race weekend , May 30th at Xenia , Ohio and the 31st at Flat Rock , Michigan . Two tracks that we run good at .

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

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Series ARCA