Season Summary – Short Form

The team logged more miles this year, easily, than in the last 2 years combined. We got to see tracks all over Michigan, and even ventured into the south (so to speak).

We ended up following nearly the entire Top Speed Modified Tour schedule. We were able to nab 8th in both the owners and drivers points standings. Interestingly, if we had received even show-up points for the race we missed we would have ended up 6th and 5th respectively.

It was a grind – our whole team will attest to that. But we learned a lot – and we know where we need to go to pick up those last few tenths so that we are consistently competing at the pointy end of the spectrum.

Thanks to Techman Sales and Engine Machine Service for supporting us through the year. The former did much to keep us awash in Hoosier products. The latter was a huge help – especially with the amount of replacement parts we needed to buy! Seriously though, we would not have been able to race as much as we did, as far away as we did, if they had not stepped on board.

For now we are waiting (impatiently) on some announcements regarding tracks/series/tires before we publish our 2016 schedule. For now we have begun the off-season work. Suspension upgrades are coming, and the engine will be getting freshened.

The team’s next race will be hopping in to something much smaller – a TQ Midget during Wall Stadium’s annual Turkey Derby. They are expecting 30+ cars this year, so it is going to be a good challenge just to get into the show. Next update will hopefully be from NJ!

Stay fast my friends,


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Springport Motor Speedway – September 19

Michael ended his race season at Springport. It had not been the most successful season, but as the team’s home track, we wanted to support it in its last event of the year – Michigan Cup.

A decent field of cars showed up for the race, including some invaders from the Top Speed Tour. We ran with them all year, but once they come to Springport we feel at home and that they are the outsider. Anyways, we timed well – perhaps too well. We solidly made the invert and started the main with high hopes.

The start was the best part of the day. We once again had a rough start. We had some grip issues and just could not get into the corner. About 10 laps in we got spun out while running in the Top 10, and due to the lack of a tap out, restarted in the rear of the pack.

From there, the gauntlet was thrown. We were doing our best to hustle back to the front. The bottom was occupied, so spent much of the time on the top. We ran solidly mid-pack, which is where all the fun is. That was a true statement on a late restart. They came on the radio and said “green in 4.” We all began accelerating but there was no green flag. The leaders slowed, I slowed, and those behind us did not have a chance. We got run over. How it did not pop a tire I will never know.

From there we just managed as best we could with the damaged car to limp home with a top 10.

That right there was the result. It also caused a fair amount of work during the week to get the car prepped for Owosso. Last year’s sheet metal was bolted on, Cam did some welding and cutting, and it was out so Mike S. could turn some quick laps there. More time with the American Racers was definitely needed, but the car rolled in the trailer easily after the 50 laps.


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Columbus Motor Speedway – September 13

Our voyage to Columbus was a fun trip. It was nice to venture out, even if on short notice, to a nationally recognized venue. (Granted we would have preferred Mansfield, but beggars can’t be choosers).

The weather was questionable leading up to race day. As such, we took some extra time to finish getting the car ready and meandered for the long trek to Columbus. We arrived hungry and weary, but like an oasis in the desert, a Quaker Steak and Lube presented itself adjacent to the hotel. We mowed through copious amounts of wings and things that make wings go down easier. It was relaxing before the big race day. And, QSL, if you are listening, we will gladly accept product sponsorship.

Sunday came and the weather cleared. We practiced and were a little off in the first session. We seemed to gain on it in the second session but the times did not indicate that. Our qualifying laps were maybe our best of the day, netting us a 14th place starting spot out of the 23 cars on the property.

After a wave to the good size crowd we took off to turn 1 with lots of confidence. Regretfully the tires were not up to pressure and skate up the track we did. The field passed underneath, and from there it was hanging on for dear life. In retrospect it would have been nice to have some more practice laps as we swung and went the wrong way. Such is life, but we got out of our backyard – to put it mildly.


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Last Top Speed Show of Season

Tomorrow September 13th is the last Top Speed Modified show of the year. It is a combination north/south race, as well as having a lot of the locals trying to fend off us invaders. It reminds us of last year, when the travelers were coming to Springport.

It is being held at Columbus Motor Speedway in Columbus, OH. It is a long trek, and is somewhat of a bummer that we are not ending in the Northern region. That being said, we have plenty to race for as we can cement a Top 10 points finish, as well as race near our main sponsor’s (Techman Sales) headquarters in Mansfield, OH.

Wish us luck as we head down for this long journey. More practice would admittedly be nice!


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August 29th “Race” Report

We woke up on the morning of the 29th and the forecast indicated there would be a quickly passing storm. The green blobs on the radar continued to grow as the day progressed, but that did not dissuade us from heading over to Springport for the final regular season race. We truly enjoy racing there, as it is our “home” track. We definitely wanted to support the track on a season where the word “modified” was quickly followed by “moisture.” The track was supposed to have 9 points shows. This would have been the 6th, and that is counting a night that was added.

Car was not bad in practice. It was very tossable, and behaving as expected for the age of the tires. We decided to try something new for time trials and just put new fronts on. They came in quickly, and we managed to time 5th out of 17. I was admittedly a tad timid, so I know there was more in the car. It should have been a top 3 car, easily.

The invert was 7, which meant that we were going to be starting 3rd in the feature. We excitedly dialed in the car, only for the drops to get larger as the drivers meeting approached. The cars went out on the track at 7 as scheduled, but that was to try and dry it. Regretfully it was a losing proposition, and the track had to throw in the towel.

We socialized for some time and then packed the car back up. The team will be busy for the rest of the season; we are just currently awaiting Top Speed to finish adding the “TBD” races. That will determine what “big” other season-ending races we go to.

Until then,


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Weekend on tap

The season is quickly winding down, and there is a large lull in the Top Speed schedule. Luckily for us, there is no lull in the local schedule. Car owner M. Stenberg has piloted the 12x the last two weekends, first at Springport then at Owosso. Both had glimpses of success. Springport found him winning his heat race. He then got spun while racing in the top 5 in the feature. He drove back to the top 10. Owosso he timed in 2nd (first time we have competed on American Racer tires). He started the feature in 10th after a near full field invert. He drove up to 5th, but then the car went away. All told though, there was lots of learning completed.

This Saturday is the last regular season points race at Springport. While we have long since been out of contention to repeat the local crown, we do like supporting the local speedplant and shall do so. We hope to continue the learning in preparation for the season ending Top Speed race(s). The other benefit of Saturday…it is the Mechanic’s race! Cam Behl is going to get behind the wheel and hopefully bring home a second victory for the night. Race results and future schedule to be published soon.

Enjoy the weekend,


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August 8th – Whittemore Speedway

August 8th was a show that was not to be missed. The 2nd incarnation of the Hot Shoe 100 was being run at Whittemore Speedway in Whittemore, MI. The track is the longest continuously run track in Michigan. And it is a very cool set-up – it is in the downtown of a little town. The main entrance is actually off of Main St. The amazing part was the turnout – 50 cars showed up. Many had practiced the night before rather than run at Dixie. Thankfully they still had 2 hours of practice for us. I think we went out 7 different times, trying a number of different things. Only 20 cars were going to be locked in on time. We were roughly 30th in practice, but that was without putting our scuffed tires on. We gained 0.4 at Dixie the previous night, and only needed 0.2 on this night. Well, the driver did not do well in his laps. I actually slowed down from practice and qualified a disappointing 34th. Time trials were crazy though, taking well over an hour due to so many cars. Here is less than 1/3 of the field lined up to put in their laps.

Here we are going across the scales earlier in the evening.

That poor effort lined us up 7th for our last chance race, with only the top 2 being taken. I would like to forget about that race. Everyone checked up due to a yellow and I had nowhere to go. This caused a severe impact to the front (I should never be able to see the bumper). Once back green I locked up entering the turn and impacted another competitor, unwittingly taking him out of the race. We managed to work back from the rear to get up to 6th, but that was the end of our small chance to get in anyway.

One nice thing about the event is that everyone at least gets to run a feature. Even this non-qual race had a full field! We started 10th and got shuffled back early, but managed to drive forward after that (with judicious care to avoid losing what was left of the front end). We finished 8th, with many wonders of “what if” had we been able to qualify.

Many thanks to the Bonners for coming to watch, and naturally to the crew, who once again scrambled all night – and didn’t get home till almost 5 in the morning.

The schedule is a bit nebulous from here on out. There is still a TBA race, plus there is a combination race likely to be added. We also want to sprinkle in some local shows. We do know that the car will be out on the 15th at Springport, with Crew Chief extraordinaire Mike Stenberg piloting it. There is plenty he wants to try set-up wise, and it will help us communicate as he has not raced it with the new suspension set-up. Until next time…


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