In the Shop with 3D Racing

By Darren Derendorf

As the early week rains finally quit and our outdoor shop floor began to dry up it was time to crawl back under the cars and began preparations for race night. Although the #80 performed well on Saturday the transmission still slipped a little bit so I chose to take the time to install one more new filter and re-fill the car with new fluid just to be safe. The other piece of regular maintenance this week was to replace the rear differential fluid as it hasn’t been replaced yet this year which is as simple as removing the drain and fill plugs, letting the fluid drain out, installing the drain plug, refilling with rear gear oil and re-installing the fill plug, so a couple easy jobs. While at the race track last week I had the opportunity to scale the car to double check that I had met the minimum weight of 3150lbs. Despite the 250lbs last week I still fell nearly 150lbs under weight at 2990lbs. With a new weight bar added in the middle of the chassis (to try and maintain the front/rear and left/right weight ratios) and another 3 bricks of lead, weighing nearly 100lbs each, we should finally be a fully legal car. After getting the cars home last week we found the left front tire flat on the car, normally the race tires will take a day or two to deflate, so it is safe to assume that there is a puncture of some kind. With the easy job of replacing the tire and a nut and bolt check of both the #80 and the #28 completed we were loaded up and ready to go racing!

After driving through rain between Fort Frances and Emo both Doug and I were curious if the rain would hold off long enough to get an evening of racing in. Once arriving at the track instead of getting too zealous we both removed the tow straps but left the cars on the trailer, as the smooth steel ramps become very slippery when wet. Just as we got done un-strapping the cars Sandy “Taggs” Taggart, who is an integral part of the track prep crew, asked if I could assist packing the track in the push truck so he could bring out the much more efficient water truck. As I pulled onto the track I could see that Taggs had already worked in a narrow driveable line at the top of the race track, so I started to follow his lines and begin to slowly widen the line towards the bottom. After about an hour we had worked the track into a very moist but raceable track, however that is when the next rain storm began to roll in.

As I pulled back into the pits at 7pm most drivers began huddling in trailers or the pit canteen to stay out of what started as a light drizzle, and as the track officials met it was agreed that we would give the weather a half an hour before calling the races off. Unfortunately Mother Nature decided to crank the rain up a little more which with how wet the track already was, there was no way we could put on a night of racing. As the announcement was made all the teams started packing up and heading for home, and Doug and I were no different. While the lack of racing this week is a bummer, it means some other projects around the house can get looked after, and it will make the first laps next week all the sweeter. I hope we get to see you at the track this week!