Back to back podium finishes in Washington State for ...
Back to back podium finishes in Washington State for #00.
For the first time since 1994 the Winston West series traveled back to the Tri Cities area of Washington for the Tri Cities 150, then the following week to compete at the Evergreen Speedway in Monroe Washington. Scott Gaylord brought the #00 Oliver Gravity Separators, Denver Seminary, Chevy home 3rd in both events.
Never having the pleasure of racing at this race track prior to this event Scott found the track to be "FUN" like a road course due to the tri oval "D" shapped race track with very little banking. We introduced our newest car to it's first short track and quickly got it up to speed. Scott was happy with the car after practice and was looking forward to a quick qualifying run, but as racing is never as it seems or as you expect he was dissapointed with a 11th place run.
Scott started the race and quickly started to move through the field. Having only a "sprint race" of 150 laps the charge had to start right away. He continued to move through the field picking off a postion at a time untill he was up to 6th place. We were stalled out behind an equally quick car in some spots but a bit slower in the places where Scott could really get his going, but not optimum for passing. Eventually he got by that car and continued his move toward the front. He made a steady progression to the front, especially in the closes stages of the race. He gained eight spots overall - from 11th to 3rd - to win the POWERade Power Move of the Race Awardand bring home the first podium finish of the 2003 season.
Finished 3rd, best news was a clean car we could now turn around and head west instead of east and back again in less than a week. Thank you to Bill & Beverly Strausser who graciously made room in their race shop for us to do some maintenance on the race car to get ready for the following race at Monroe.
After a few days of golf and sight seeing we were off to Monroe where the temps were the hottest I remember in that part of the state. We still had some engine prep to do that could not be done till we arrived at the track, but thanks to Brian and the rest of the crew we didn't miss much of the scheduled sessions. After the second session we felt we were in ok shape, not great, as everyone was very close in times. Scott surprised us all with a half second faster time than we had seen all day to that point in qualifying which gave him a fifth place starting position.
Happy with that we started the race and the top five cars started to pull away from the rest of the field. With some pretty close racing with Duncan in the #9 we came up on some slower traffic that moved in front of Duncan, sending the other car spinning. Scott had to lock up the brakes to avoid contact, but unfortunatly flat spotted the right front tire. He was able to maintain position and speed for awhile but at about lap 70 was forced to slow due to handling. We had fallen back to about 9th place when we pitted on lap 127, the crew did a great stop and by the time the rest of the field cycled their stops we were back into 6th place.
After the stop and new right side tires and minor wedge adjustment Scott had a really fast car, not as fast as eventuall winner Mark Reed but fast enough to work his way throught the field, pass team cars and pull of another third place finish.
The back to back thirds along with two additonal different winners for the series this year has helped move the Oliver team up to fourth only 3 points out of third, 22 out of second and 35 out of first. We are anxious for the next event on the Winston West Series schedule at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway on July 26 where we hope to close the gap a little more with another great run.
See you there July 26th,