SCRA at Bakersfield 97-07-05

SCRA Sprint Cars at Bakersfield 7/5 After the previous night's adventures at Perris we got up the next morning at the crack of noon (actually it was 10:00, but noon is funnier) and washed the race car. Upon close inspection we found a ...

SCRA Sprint Cars at Bakersfield 7/5 After the previous night's adventures at Perris we got up the next morning at the crack of noon (actually it was 10:00, but noon is funnier) and washed the race car. Upon close inspection we found a cracked fitting on the LF brake line. I replaced the fitting and bled the brakes and we all rejoiced.... The next issue was to cut down the right side nerf bars so we could bring the RR tire in further to tighten the car up and still be legal. We then cleaned the injector nozzles, replaced the fuel filter, changed the gears to the 619's, and loaded everything into the trailer. After an uneventful 120 mile trek over the Ridge Route we arrived in Bakersfield and were greeted with a temperature of 101 degrees. Even with this heat, the folks at this racetrack have historically had a penchant for putting so much water on the track that catfish would be quite comfortable. We were not disappointed..... when we went out to wheel pack it was a real challange to keep the car pointed in a forward direction. Trying to idle a race car around on a banked track that's slicker than..... well, let's just say it's very slippery and a challenge to remain pointed forward for any great length of time. We were the 10th car to go out an qualify out of the 30 onhand. We setup the chassis to run the high groove which we figured would be the fast way around this place. We were pretty close to setup, but not perfect, and turned a lap that put us as 17th quick. We were scheduled to start in the first heat race on the outside of the front row. Since the high groove was the place to be we tightened the car up a bit by bringing the RR tire in 1 1/2". At the drop of the green flag we got a real lousy start and were running 4th by turn 1. Fortunately before 1 lap was completed a car at the back of the pack spun and brought out the yellow, thus causing a complete restart. It's not often you get a chance to redo the start of a race, but now was the time to rectify past errors. This time with the drop of the green flag we were in the lead by turn 1. Mike Boat (Billy Boat's brother) was all over us like a dirty shirt. It was one hell of a race but he couldn't get past. Finally, with 2 laps to go John Scott had figured out a way to pass us by diamonding the turn and keeping his momentum exiting the corner. At the checkered we finished a close 2nd thus giving us a direct transfer to the main event. By the time the main event was to be run the track surface was starting to deteriorate from all the activity. We decreased our stagger by putting the 92" tire on the LR and took another spacer out of the RR to tighten the car up further. We also took the 9380 shock off of the RR and replaced it with a 9400. This should help keep the RR planted a bit longer for accelerating off of the corners. We started the main on the outside of the 7th row, surrounded by some pretty fast company. When they threw the green it was obvious that the track had turned to crap. It was a real dust bowl..... 2 laps into the race Mike Kirby and Tony Jones got together in turn 3. This stalled Jones and brought out the yellow. Kirby pulled into the work area to get a flat tire fixed. Everything got sorted out and the threw the green before Kirby's crew was able to get the tire replaced so he missed the show. It was awfully wild out on the track. The track was bad enough that you had to tip toe through the corners and drag race down the straights. It was also narrow enough that there was a lot of banging going on... nothing malicious, just real close racing. We managed to put significant bends in both our front and rear nerf bars (ah... the perils of traffic...). The race went green for qute a few laps, with 8 laps to go Bob Meli stopped faster than we did entering turn 4, thus we tapped him (actually it was more of a ram...). Shortly thereafter the RF tire went flat making it a real challenge to drive the car into the corner. With just a few laps to go and not having a competitive car due to the flat it didn't make any sense to effect the outcome of the race so we pulled it in and parked it. I never saw the end of the race but I'm told it was a real barn burner as Richard Griffin passed Bobby Michnowicz on the last turn and won the race. Well, that's how my fourth of July weekend went..... we finished 14th at Perris (with no brakes) and 18th at Bakersfield after dropping out with a flat RF. For the most part is was a fun, hot, weekend.... Jon Robertson R&R Racing USAC Midget #42 SCRA Sprint Car #16

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Billy Boat , Tony Jones , Mike Boat , John Scott , Bobby Michnowicz