The following story is from the crew chief of the No. 9 ARCA car. First, let me qualify this report by stating that I am still suffering from only five hours of sleep since Friday . The Southtown Thunder Team started out this weekend ...
The following story is from the crew chief of the No. 9 ARCA car.
First, let me qualify this report by stating that I am still suffering from only five hours of sleep since Friday .
The Southtown Thunder Team started out this weekend behind the eight ball and seems like we never got out from behind it. I arrived at the shop Saturday around 3:30 am to find the crew just finishing up on the cars. We were late getting our engines rebuilt after the Memphis race. We left for Shadybowl and arrived there late, but with plenty of time to practice. The car was great right out of the box. After about fifteen laps of practice we developed a miss in the engine. We brought the car into the pits and found a broken rocker arm. We repaired it but by this time practice was over.
The word around the pits was that you needed to qualify on scuff tires. All the top teams were planing on using scuffs. Since we had trouble during practice we did not get a chance to scuff in a new set so we were going out on stickers. I am only aware of one other team that was using stickers so I thought we were in trouble again. We were sixth in line to qualify and the track was like a grease pit. The first five cars looked like they were driving on a dirt track. We however went out a blistered the track. We had the pole and held it until one of the last cars to go out. Jeff Finnley beat us by the slightest margin. We were still happy with the second qualifying spot.
The race started and it was typical Shadybowl for us. The fast line is on the inside so we got freight trained back to forth place before we could get down in the fast lane. We settled in forth and started turning laps . About ten laps into the race the old engine gremlins came back. The car started losing power. We brought the car in and checked everything we could and did not find anything wrong. Sent Eric back out and he did not make a lap before the engine locked up. We ended up finishing twenty-fifth. As they say, "Tomorrow is another day". On to Toledo.
Toledo Speedway Report
We arrived at Toledo on time and fresh with five hours of sleep. We unloaded a new car with a new engine ready for another day.
We went out for practice and the car was a little to soft. Brought the car in and made a sway bar and shock change , went back out and the car was turning laps as fast as we qualified last year and we were still on old tires. The day was looking better and better.
Today we were twenty-second in line for qualifying. This was another good sign. The track would be cooler for us. I told Eric I was putting on a special set of tires and I wanted the pole. He went out and his first lap was fast , until he came out of turn four and the engine started blubbering. I am positive we had the pole until this happened. We ended up tenth on the starting grid.
We got the car back into the pits and changed the carburetor and switched ignition boxes. We started the car up and it still sounded flat. It was time to line up for the race and ARCA told us to get it on the line or start at the tail of the pack. All we needed was five minutes to change plugs but they would not give us the time.
The race was pretty uneventful. We started tenth and with the engine missing we fell back slow but sure. With ten laps to go we were six laps down from the leaders and then we cut a left rear tire down. Changed the tire and went back out to finish nine laps down in twentieth place.
It is five weeks until our next two race weekend again. We will be at the Kil Kare Speedway on Friday , July 31st and Flat Rock Speedway on August 1st. We will be working hard to get rid of the engine gremlins by then.
I want to thank the entire crew for all their hard work and endless hours and I want to welcome our newest crew member of The Southtown Thunder, Russ Crow.
Until the Thunder rolls again,
Randy http://www.arcacar9.com Crew Chief ARCA #9