A thrashing session began Saturday evening as the ultimate hope was to get done in time for the practice session at Berlin on Monday. None of us had been to the track, so practice time was of utmost importance. Luckily, RAM Engineering was already working on some shocks for us, which were supposed to be spares. They became primary as we busted one Saturday evening. Dick Meyers graciously worked on Sunday to get us back on track. A herculean effort was put in by Mike S., Kyle, and Cam to get the car done. We were close on Monday, but did not get done till late afternoon, and practice only went till 6pm, and we had a nearly 90 minute drive. And then the skies darkened.
We loaded quickly and headed out with a call to the track finding out that practice had been shoved back. We rolled as fast as we could, and arrived during the first practice session. Unfortunately the pits are on the infield, and we could not get in until a break. This break coincided with the modifieds heading out for their first practice. Thankfully, there was a 2nd session. We got the car unloaded in a hurry and suited up for the 2nd 20 minute session. It worked well as we used the first half to learn the track, which came quickly due to notes from Mr. Meyers. The second half featured adjustments. We felt pretty good as dusk came and we headed off for a steak dinner (it was needed).
Tuesday, yes Tuesday, came and a surprising amount of modifieds kept pulling into the pits. We did not know how we were timing, so there was some concern when it was announced a number of cars were going home. Well, we got some decent laps in and timed 13th. We were locked in, but disappointed we didn’t get to 12th and a possible redraw. It is amazing how perspective changes. After qualifying it was announced that the track was pleased with the turnout and all would start. That was a nice gesture which we learned as we headed out for the autograph session.
Speaking of the autograph session it was pretty surreal as we were directly across from Chase Elliott and the hordes of people trying to get his picture. Once it was over they quickly brought us back out, so we could get underway.
The race was a methodical one. We started in 13th , and just kept chugging. The car got better, and better, with a set-up we had never tried before. About halfway through we had climbed into the top 10, and we stayed there and were racy. Some passes in the last few laps brought us up to 8th, which was the best finish of the year to date.
The team was pleased, to put it mildly. We then headed off to various vantage points to watch the 251 lap late model race, which was very entertaining. Local driver gone national Erik Jones bided his time, in a back-up car, to steal the victory.