It took seemingly FOREVER – but the Techman Sales 12X finally hit the track for a Top Speed points race. The season was supposed to start at Springport. Then it was Berlin. And it eventually did start at Berlin. There is something disappointing about not getting going until the 2nd week of June. As a result of that – the entire season is shoehorned into a 9 week window. Enough blathering – let’s move on to how the race went.
Last year we were the undercard for the ARCA/CRA race, with Erik Jones and Chase Elliott running. It was a weeknight, and made for a great atmosphere. This year they changed the schedule. We ran with the JEGS cars, two nights before the big show on a “normal” Saturday night. It was still a solid crowd, and lots of quality cars/equipment in the pits. We are happy to support this event.
We got some help from the “Wizard” Kevin Lincoln, and much of his handy bodywork or handiwork was on display. We (myself, car owner Mike Stenberg, and crewman Austen) got there for the Friday practice to make sure all was good. We were one of 6 modifieds that turned some laps. It was good that we did as we discovered some things (not the least of which was continued cooling problems – not a good development on likely the hottest racing day of the year with 90+ temps) and learning on the new shoes we hadn’t used yet. I can say it is the first time I ever practiced on sticker tires.
We arrived Saturday morning (before the gate opened I might add). This was despite an “autocross-approved” dinner at Logan’s Friday night. We had our standard scrambling to get ready but got out for the first session at 2PM. We were pleasantly surprised to make the Top 5 on the charts, despite the car being very free. We put on new shoes to scuff for the 2nd session, and dropped speed (which is a theme we need to work out of) and fell to 7th. We were comfortable with this as a minimum of 8 cars would make the draw for position. Making this draw was our goal, with the top 8, 10, or 12 picking.
Our time trial lap was a bit tentative. We managed to just hold on to 8th. This was clutch as we drew 2nd starting spot. After the initial start was called back we pulled out to the lead. This was our first lap led on the Top Speed Tour – and also was our fastest lap turned of the race. We were thus displeased to see the yellow come out immediately, and more so when we got the radio call “go to the pits or go to the rear.” Turns out this is the first time we have run our new fuel cell “packed to the gills” and its overflow is a wee bit sensitive. We were leaving a tremendous trail of hydrocarbon products. Knowing it was fuel and would dissipate after a few laps we tagged to the back.
Here is a picture taken before the fateful trip to zee rear.
The next ten laps were great – the car was hooked up and we were able to advance many positions with “careful aggression.” It apparently wasn’t enough as we went for a loopty loop off of the fourth turn after moving up to 10th. Back to the rear we went. We picked off a few cars, and that was all she wrote. The car started getting looser and we could maintain and go side by side by not get any more spots. We ended up in 8th spot, happy to complete the 51 tours of the facility.
There is limited work to do, we could use some additional cooling and a few other minor modifications. With that in mind we head to Toledo Speedway on June 24th to run our biggest track ever. We will be the support division for the Sprint Cars.
Until then, we shall be staying hungry. We have work to do,