Southtown Thunder Springfield Mile Report

It was a cool , clear, crisp fall morning in central Illinois. The air was alive with the excitment of things to come, loud engines, smoke-filled air and mangled sheet metal. You could not order up a better day than this. The day started out...

It was a cool , clear, crisp fall morning in central Illinois. The air was alive with the excitment of things to come, loud engines, smoke-filled air and mangled sheet metal. You could not order up a better day than this.

The day started out pretty uneventfull for us. The car zipped through the tech line and it flew through the first practice session. I did not time any other car but the P.A. anouncer was reporting us as one of the faster cars. We came in to make a few adjustments and noticed a small trail of oil coming from the car. We checked the car and found the front seal on our Jerico transmission was leaking. We decided to hold off making any drastic repairs until after qualifying was over.

We made a few adjustments and went out for our qualifying run. Just before we went out the pole was held by Ken Schrader and in second was Tim Steele. After our run we were between the two. After qualifying was over we were in the third starting spot.

As soon as we were through qualifying, the crew started pulling the transmission and within one hour they had it out, repaired the seal and had it back in the car with plenty of time to spare before the race started. I want to say "Thank you" to the YOUNGER crew members for all the hard work they did.

Time for the race. Strategy was simple. Race, come in after lap fifteen for fuel (mandatory pit stop), race till the end. Everything went as planned. We stayed in the top five until we pitted during the first caution on lap twenty-one. Went back out and worked back up to seventh place. There were still three cars in front of us that had to make their pit stops. Then it happened. Eric radioed in that he was getting a bad vibration. I told him to come on in and we would check the car over. He pulled in and we opened the hood. The first thing I noticed was water was on the engine and some steam was coming from the bottom of the radiator. I told Eric to kill the engine and then you could see the problem. It seems that he ran over some debris on the track, it kicked up and hit the fan , one fan blade broke off and stuck into the shroud , then all the other fan blades hit it and twisted them all around. This is where the vibration was coming from and the water was from a small hole in the radiator. Our day was done. Some times you just can't buy enough luck .

Even though we had some bad luck I think the year ended on a good note. We qualified well and ran up front all day. Sooner or later our luck will change.

We are done racing until next spring but the work is just beginning. Now, it is time to start rebuilding. The engines should be at the engine shop by now for some needed dyno time. We have one short track car to skin and a speedway car to build .

Until the next time the Thunder rolls .....

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

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Ken Schrader