Alex Nagy - ...
Alex Nagy - #93 AC Delco / Snap-On Chevrolet - Cayuga Report CASCAR Castrol Super Series East / Round #7 - Cayuga Speedway August 18, 1998
NELLES CORNERS, ON - It was a long day for Alex Nagy and the crew of the #93 AC Delco / Snap-On Chevrolet Monte Carlo in Sunday's GM Goodwrench Service 300 at Cayuga Speedway. A terrible handling situation, caused by three broken shock absorbers, left Nagy struggling to keep his car on the track through the vast majority of the 300 lap race. n the end, the Brantford, ON racer fought his way to a 13th-place finish in the field of 38 starters. After seven CASCAR Castrol Super Series East events, Nagy sits 10th in the point standings.
"About five laps in, I could tell there was a big problem with the car," said Nagy. "After that, it was just so hard to drive. I've never been in anything like it in my life. I was beat just trying to drive it. It was the first time I've gotten out of a car and was worn out. The effort of just keeping it on the track was unbelievable." The problem, it turned out, was caused by faulty shock absorbers that were broken before they were put on the car. The brand and model of the shocks is mandated by the series and have been an ongoing problem for Nagy and other series drivers throughout the season. "Anytime there was any kind of a weight transfer, going into the turn, it steered right, then left and right again. When I hit the gas, the back end dropped down and it felt like I was going to spin out. It was very disappointing because we found out after the race that we had three broken shocks on the car all day. We took them out of the box new and put them on the car the day before. During the race, before we knew what was going on, I said to the guys [on the crew] that if they told me that they forgot to put the shocks on the car, I'd believe them," continued Nagy.
"It was the third time we've had at least one shock fail during a race this year. I guess, if you have a shock dyno, you could buy 100 of them and take the 40 or so that are maybe usable. The ones we bought were garbage right off the shelf. When you spend $400 dollars for a set of shocks, you don't even imagine that they're not going to last half a day." In the end, all of the preparation and tweaking in the world can't compensate for faulty equipment. "It's more frustrating than you can imagine and in our sponsor's race, it's also embarrassing. I could care less how much money a company gives to be a series sponsor. I understand there's been a new shock developed, but CASCAR hasn't approved it yet."
On the bright side, it was a good day for GM Goodwrench on the track, in their sponsored race. Dan Shirtliff (#3 GM Goodwrench Monte Carlo) won the race, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., who sports the same paint scheme as Nagy on NASCAR's Busch Grand National series, was on hand for a two-hour, pre-race autograph session with the fans. "I talked with 'Junior' [Dale Earnhardt Jr.] for a little while," said the AC Delco / Snap-On / Thomson Signs / Courtesy Chev-Olds / Markham Driveline Chevrolet Monte Carlo driver. "We'd met at a dinner last year at Rockingham. It was good to see him again. It was good to see so many people at Cayuga for the race. It looks like Cayuga's back, which is great for everyone. That made two good crowds in a row. It was a good day overall, just not a good one for us.
"Junior's an American boy who hadn't been to Canada before, and there's always a bit of a misconception. He was really surprised at the reception and how many people were lined up to meet him practically everyone in the place. He was impressed and we talked about the cars a little bit. He raced a class in the States called Late Model Stock, which is similar to CASCAR and being a racer, he thought it would be neat to take one for a spin."
Nagy even joked with Earnhardt Jr. about the time when his father, seven-time Winston Cup champion, Dale Earnhardt, raced at Cayuga. "I told him his dad had crashed up there [at Cayuga]. He said his dad mentioned it to him. That was the last time Earnhardt drove anything other than his usual cars. He wasn't going to take that chance anymore," laughed Nagy.
Turning to the upcoming schedule for the AC Delco / Snap-On Monte Carlo team, Nagy will be back on the road course for the Aug. 28-30 event at Mosport. "We're excited about going to Mosport, but again, we're a little nervous about the oiling system for the road courses. The system we're allowed to use is a little bit suspect. But I think the road course at Mosport is where CASCAR needs to be."