Let me start by saying that the Memphis Motorsports Park will be a top notch facility and once they have it completed it will be one of the best short track facilities in the United States. We arrived there early Friday at 7:00am.. We...
Let me start by saying that the Memphis Motorsports Park will be a top notch facility and once they have it completed it will be one of the best short track facilities in the United States.
We arrived there early Friday at 7:00am.. We unloaded and made some final adjustments to the car. Went through tech inspection and were ready for the first practice session. This was going to be our first race in four years using radial tires and our first short track with radials and nobody had seen this new track until Friday. To say that we were lacking in experience is an understatement. But , that is way we were there , to gain some experience.
The first practice started out fine. Eric went out and made about eight slow laps to warm the car up and study the track. The next two laps were up to speed and the next lap a rod decided to exit the engine. This was the start of the experience we did not need. We had a back up car with another good engine in it and we had an extra engine that was built for the really short tracks in the hauler. We had three options: 1. bring out the back up car. 2: Put the short track engine in the first car. or 3: Pull the engine out of the back up car and put it in our primary car. We decided to roll out the back up car and put our set-up under it.
Within fifteen minutes after we broke our engine we were unloading the back up car when it started to rain(the only good thing that happened to us). It rained the rest of the day which meant no more practice or qualifying for anybody.
As we worked on the back up car an ARCA official came to us and told us we could not switch cars. That we had to change motors and use the primary car. Now we were down to two options. We could use the short track motor or pull the good one from the back up car. We choose to pull the good engine and use it.
So , to work we went. We pulled the bad engine from the primary car , switched cars , pulled the other good engine , switched cars again and installed the good engine into the primary car. Six hours later after pulling two engines and installing one we were done. It was now 7:00pm and time to get some sleep.
Arrived back at the track at 7:00am Saturday to try it all again. we readied the car for practice . Went out for practice and made several short runs to get the chassis as good as we could get it. The only problem we had was after about four laps the engine was pushing some water out yet the temperatures were fine. This was not a good sign.
Qualifying went pretty good . We went out and qualified 18th out of 40 cars but we were still losing water. We put in some ceramic seal and went out for the last practice(happy hour) . The water stopped coming out, which was good, but then a valve came out, which was bad.
Well, now it was time for another engine change. See we did get lots of experience this weekend.
Sunday morning came bright and early. We changed engines and put in the short track engine. Cleaned the car up and then watched the Silver Crown Champ cars run their race.
Our race started out pretty good. We seemed to be holding our own for about ten laps when Eric radioed in and said he had lost a cylinder. I brought him in and we found a plug wire off. Sent him back out and about ten laps later another plug wire came off. He came back in and went back out and yes a third plug wire came off. This time when I brought him in we put on a new set of wires. By this time we were so far down we sent Eric back out to make laps and try to gain a few positions over the cars that had wrecked or blown their engines. By the time there was fifteen laps left in the race we lost another cylinder but this time it was simply the short track engine giving up. We finished in 28th position. Not he best we could have done but we did get a lot of experience.
I would like to thank all the team members for there hard work and long hours this past weekend. I would also like to say thanks to Memphis Motorsports Park for their great facility. If you ever get a chance to go there it is well worth your time.
Until the next time the Thunder rolls...
Randy... http://www.arcacar9.com Crew Chief ARCA #9