After getting both cars home the damage on the #28 was just as bad as we had first thought where as the damage on the #80 was actually a little worse than initially thought. On the #80 the spring didn’t only pop out, but one of the top shock mounts, on the shock itself, actually bent and slipped out leaving only the bottom bolt holding it close to in place. On top of the mount being bent, we found the shock to be ‘dead’ meaning that it had no gas left in it to keep the shock extended so it was due to be replaced anyway. Luckily we had a leftover shock in the trailer in good condition and were able to install it and the spring within an hour making the car mechanically ready to go by Wednesday night. As for the body work it took two 6’x6′ pieces of sheet metal one on the front and one on the rear corners where the body attaches to the chassis and a couple dozen rivets to re-attach the entire passenger side onto the car. As for the #28 the right outer tie rod was bent, but a local parts store was able to get one in overnight making the first half of the repairs very easy. Unfortunately the steering box is severely damaged internally and must be replaced, decided to put up one hell of a fight. On the #28’s steering column there are 2 small allen head screws that hold the steering column to the box, one of these screws came out no problem, the other one, at the time of writing, is still hanging on for dear life. With Doug working on the car all day Monday-Friday and myself from the time I got off work until the sun went down we weren’t able to get the screw out. To this point we have tried multiple forms of penetrating fluid, the correct size as well as slightly larger allen keys, easy outs and even spent far too many hours trying to drill the stubborn screw out but by Friday it was time to make sure that the #80 would be ready to race so we switched gears and re-installed the body. With Doug in a tight battle for 2nd place in points, while loading the #80 on Saturday we decided to turn the 80 into a 28 with every handyman’s secret weapon…duct tape!
As we arrived at the track I was a little more nervous than normal because although we race to have fun, there was a 31 point gap to be made up. With a draw of 15 out of 100 for the heat race I was given a great starting spot on the outside of polesitter Sierra Happy in the #45 but she caught me sleeping on the start and I quickly fell back to fifth place of six cars. With one restart in the heat race I was able to make up a little bit of ground to fourth but got a little over-zealous and spun on the last corner of the last lap. During the intermission while other drivers and volunteers were tossing frisbees into the crowd my wife Chantal and I got to host my favourite intermission activity as a child, Candy Man night! Thanks to our sponsor the Batter and Cream Baking Co., we were able to hand out nearly 200 pieces of candy to the fans young and old in the crowd, and if we missed you we’ll be back next season to do it again! As we moved onto the feature race I had a less than ideal starting sport in 11Th of 14 cars. I was again late on the initial start but was able to hold onto my spot through the first few turns but just as the #07 of Colt Germain and myself began to do battle, Lyle Thompson in the #02 spun directly in front of me causing a caution. As we restarted I was yet again able to hold my spot but as the run continued the car started to develop a tight condition (where the front doesn’t turn), and as #33 Garett Gasmby drove past on the high side a car ahead spit an infield tire into the racing surface causing both Gamsby and I to slow down, unfortunately Gamsby slowed a little more than I did and I hit his left rear corner nearly spinning him out and leaving a very large dent in his car. After the contact the car only got tighter and as the next caution flew the grandstand and I could hear the telltale flapping of a flat tire, the contact with Gamsby cut the valve stem bringing my night to an early close and finishing in last place.
Once both cars are race ready again we have plans to attend a special or two in September, and I am glad to bring you all along for the ride. But in the meantime thank you to all the fans that have come to watch us compete and come to meet us in the pits all season long, you always make the good nights great and the bad nights good. Although championship night was not the high note we wanted to end on, I think I can speak for both Doug and I in saying this is a summer neither of us will forget. We will see you at the races!