Toledo, OH (May 20th, 2003) -- Rookie Davin Scites headed into Toledo Speedway hoping to continue his consistency and prove once again he can compete for the ASA (American Speed Association) championship. Scites, piloting the No. 06 John Michael...
Toledo, OH (May 20th, 2003) -- Rookie Davin Scites headed into Toledo Speedway hoping to continue his consistency and prove once again he can compete for the ASA (American Speed Association) championship.
Scites, piloting the No. 06 John Michael Montgomery Chevrolet Monte Carlo arrived at the track early on Saturday morning, and the crew wasted no time and began preparing for the team's first practice session.
Davin was fast in the first practice session around the ½ fast short track. After having a good handling car, Davin ended up 8th on the first practice sheet. "The car was good, I am just focusing on a line, and adapting the track to my driving style, I think we'll be good on Sunday."
The team would have a second practice session before heading into qualifying. While he felt he still had a well handling machine, and the car was improving, the second practice sheet would show Davin 12th fastest. "The car is still great, there are just other competitors that are finding some stuff and running quicker."
Heading into qualifying, the Wayne West Virginia native knew the importance of starting up front. "Qualifying is so crucial on short tracks, the farther you're back in the field, the greater the chances of getting into an incident."
Scites drove his Howe chassis car around the track in a time of 16.624 seconds amounting to a speed of 108.277 MPH which placed him on 22nd on the sheet, but 26th on the starting grid.
"The time that we ran in practice was what we ran in practice, so I am not going to complain, but we've have a long way to go on Sunday."
Arriving at the facility on Sunday, weather conditions had completely changed. Saturday brought bright blue skies and sun, while Sunday was filled with overcast skies and temperatures hovering in the lower 60s.
"I am not sure if the weather conditions are going to play any effect into the way that we handle, but I a m confident that if we have any problems the DSM crew will make the right adjustments," said Scites.
The series took the green flag shortly after 3:00pm EST. The No. 06 was on the charge was the flag dropped but trouble would quickly find the team.
The JMM Chevy broke loose entering turn four on lap eight sending the Rookie spinning wildly down the front straight away and ending up touching the foam barrier across from the flag stand. He was battling for the 23rd position.
For the speed that he was traveling the damage was mainly cosmetic as the right front fender had been damaged and would bring out the first caution of the race.
The DSM crew would perform repair duties on the car allowing the former NASCAR late model driver to return to action. The incident would cost the teams two laps, one in the initial spin and the second on pit road.
When racing resumed the team knew that they still had a car capable of running with the leaders. However, two laps back into green flag racing the right front fender would rub the tire and eventually fly off the car and cause a second caution for debris.
The team had decided that they would stay out on to the track as the car suffered no further damage even after Davin ran over the debris.
Green Flag racing resumed around lap 18 and Scites began making his charge towards the leaders in order to retrieve his laps back. Davin reported to the team that the car was tight throughout the track and he was driving the wheels off.
While beating and banging resumed all around the track, the No. 06 kept its nose clean and was able to retain one of their laps after leaders made pit stops during a caution.
Now with one lap back, the team was hoping to gain the additional back either by track position or fighting with the leaders. While cautions were quickly repeating themselves, which is a normal circumstance on shot tracks, Davin was having a rough time trying to get the lap back.
The team would once again fi nd problems, however this would be in the pits. The crew would make a four-tire change under one caution, when ASA rules you only to change two tires under one caution. "The pit road incident was a rookie mistake," noted Davin. "We are still rookies, and we know that we can never do that again and we won't."
The penalty for the unapproved two-tire change would result in either a stop and go penalty under the green or a two-lap penalty. The team would take the two-lap penalty, as they feared a stop and go could create more problems for the team.
With Scites now three laps down to the leaders, the goal was to try and avoid the trouble and finish the race. Despite being a lap machine Scites was still turning consistent times and running with the leaders despite still dealing with an ill-handling car. "For some reason the car was just not as fast in the race, as it was in practice," said Scites who scored his first ASA win at Concord this year.
Disaster would find the team with less than ten laps to go as a bundle of cars were racing hard and Davin agreed to back off and let the other drivers battle it out for the win. As two of the leaders Zach Niessner, and Bryan Reffner were racing with position the two tapped and went spinning into turn one.
Davin was all but passed the wreck before the No. 80 came down and headed straight into Scites causing the car to get airborne and slam hard into the wall in turn one and the inner wall exiting turn one. The damage had destroyed the machine leaving Davin failing to finish the race.
The team was credited with an 18th place finish completing 293 of the scheduled 300 markers. "It was a rough day, we learned a lot and got caught up in an accident that we had nothing to do with," said the former Legend winner. The team would take a hit in the points as well to dropping from 13th to 15th just a mere 25 points outside the top ten.
"We're going to have to pick up the pieces quick and head to Hawkeye Downs Speedway for Saturday's race," he said. The rookie of the year candidate also added "I hate this for John Michael, our sponsors, our fans, and our crew we don't deserve this, but this is a good team and I know that we'll bounce back."
The sixth race of the 2003 ASA season is set for this Saturday night from Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids IA. The race is schedule to be broadcasted live on the SPEED channel beginning at 9:00pm EST.
For more information on Davin Scites please visit www.davinscites.com and for more information on the American Speed Association please log onto www.asaracing.com.