Springfield Buckeroo report

>From: Mike Buckley <Arcamike@AOL.COM> The ARCA Supercars hit the one mile dirt track in Springfield, IL as the State Fair was winding down for the Springfield portion of the fair. We almost didn't race. The Silvercrown cars were ...

>From: Mike Buckley <Arcamike@AOL.COM>

The ARCA Supercars hit the one mile dirt track in Springfield, IL as the State Fair was winding down for the Springfield portion of the fair.

We almost didn't race. The Silvercrown cars were cancelled the day before for heavy rain and between Saturday and Sunday, the Springfield area saw 9" of the wet stuff. It was still raining when we arrived at the track, the crew played Ucher. The sun began to peek out just after noon and pretty soon they were running wreckers and four wheelers around the VERY messy track. The sportsman cars then hit the track to run it in. I think they turned twice as many laps running it in than their feature. These guys never get enough credit, if it wern't for them, no racin' .

The track was now run in and drying up quickly, but it was very bumpy. There was a spot in the middle of the front stretch,(mini hill) that would lift the car and bounce the whole car. Practice for us was horrible. We had the wrong gear for our V-6 and the car would not pull out of the corners. The track was bumpy enough going into the corners, I couldn't figure out how anybody was sticking it in the corner. However, everyone was except me.

We changed the gear and threw on the good tires for qualifying. I still didn't drive into the corners but the car felt 100% better. We were the 3rd qualifier to hit the track, so when I got back to the pit and saw my disgusting time, I went down to turn 1 and started watching how some of these dirt track aces were throwing the car into the corner. Went and sought help from Frank Kimmel and Eric Smith about their lines and started concentrating on how I was going to pass 34 cars in the race.....:)

The race went along smooth enough for our team. The overheating problems we encountered at Indy were gone. I could actually see out the window. What I was missing was horsepower. It didn't take to long in the race for me to figure out that my corner entry speed was low and I started driving into the corners instead of just braking into them. However, that V-6 of ours would not get up and go. Four and Five cars could pass on the straights. We got lapped on lap 17. We managed to get a caution before losing the 2nd lap. We finally lost the 2nd one at lap 49. We were then good enough, or lucky enough to be fast enough not to lose another lap in the 2nd half of the race. We finished in 15th place after starting in the 33rd spot.

I lost the power steering belt at lap 45. The bumps, ruts and the fact that the car is set up to turn left had me working hard to keep the car straight down those long straight aways. The car was running cool, but the driver was overheating. My arms are still sore, 3 days later. I think I lost about 10 lbs. I now know why the drivers in the old days were HUGE guys with big arms.

Tim Steele won the race, with a V-6 motor. I think we were the only two cars in the field with a V-6, however his sounded like a jet blower (to quote Phil Rider). We talked to him after the race. We turned ours 8400 rpm, he said his tach broke somewhere over 9200 and they don't know what they actually cranked that jet blower at.

We had a great meeting with Phil Rider who was there to take in the weekend activities. He didn't get to see much of the Silvercrown cars, but he said he saw one heck of an ARCA race up at the front of the pack. He managed to somehow stay dry in the morning, and keep out of the mud in the afternoon. No easy feat on this day. Hopefully he got some good pictures of our war wagon, and of the Southtown car too. Hey, I did manage to pass a few cars Phil.

Our next event is again at a one mile dirt track in DuQuion, IL over the labor day weekend(Sunday). Any racing fans in that region should definitly take in the ARCA show, then the Silvercrown cars the next day. We are actively looking for more horsepower in our little power plant. Some new valve springs and a good carburator should wake that thing up. Look for us at the Illinios State fair.

Mike Buckley ARCA #48 http://crestcomm.com/motorsports/buckley.htm

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Mike Buckley , Frank Kimmel , Tim Steele