After a couple successful weeks of having the #80 car make it through an entire night of racing it was time to make the car fully legal, adding ballast. Since owning the car I haven’t needed to worry about meeting the minimum weight requirement of 3150 lbs as I’ve been busy worrying about making the car run. About half of the shop time this week was spent adding 250 lbs of ballast in multiple spots around the car in an effort to keep all four tires buried in the clay and digging to maintain traction. The other half of the shop time was spent doing final preparations to both cars including setting air pressures and the final nut and bolt checks.
In the heat race Doug and I started in the 3rd row side by side again this week. As the green flag dropped we raced down into the 1st turn with drivers nipping at our heels. Doug was able to get the upper hand a few laps in and find his way by on the inside but I was able to keep nearby and slowly catch back up to him making an eventual pass on the inside going into turn one, as we were battling door to door it gave the leaders a chance to make a breakaway and build a fair gap, whereas the cars behind us were nipping at our heals. As the white flag flew I was a little aggressive in the last corner and wound up spinning and stalling the car on the exit of turn two, luckily all the drivers behind me were able to take evasive action and stay clear of me and I was able to fire the car back up and cross the finish line 7th while Doug was able to hold on for a 5th place finish.
In the feature race Doug started on pole where I was had to start towards the back of the field. As the green flag flew Doug was able to get a good jump on the start and was able to keep up with eventual race winner Tylar Wilson and 2nd place A.J. Kellar until the first restart. As the caution flew it looked like a serious accident as the ambulance and tow truck were on the scene intermediately, however after talking to Dean Kellar in the pits at the end of the night he was able to slow the car way down before bumping into the tires on the outside wall. As the racing resumed Wilson and A.J. were able to work their way past Doug who was running in the top five for the majority of the race. As for myself I was fighting a loose condition all night long (which is where the back of the car slides out from under you) and was just logging laps, trying different things with how I was steering or braking to help the car rotate through the corner better. At about the halfway point I was very loose in the middle of turn three and almost spun the car out however I was able to get it gathered back up but was headed for the infield, I could have turned right and rejoined the race track on the front stretch but with no mirrors or spotter I didn’t know just how far back the next two or three cars were, so I thought it better to stay safe and wait out the end of the feature race. As for the end of Doug’s race with only a lap or two left he met the same fate as me and spun in the middle of turn two and found himself in the same situation and deciding it safer to wait the last couple laps for the rest of the field to slow down and merge back out safely. Despite not having the best finishes in the feature race, both cars will live to fight another day, and with only some basic maintenance needed we will be ready to go in plenty of time this week so come out and if you cheer on your favourite race team loud enough we maybe able to hear you while we are out on track, and believe you me, there is nothing more motivating than seeing all of our fans cheering us on. See you next week at the races!