The annual “rite” at the conclusion of each year is the Turkey Derby. I headed east, as I do every year. The trip out was uneventful, which is always pleasing. Mom whipped out Gram’s mostaccioli recipe and after a sincere amount of work we feasted on that for the day. And Friday night. And Saturday night. I could have eaten it every day.
The weather was fantastic for Friday. I actually was warm in a long sleeve t-shirt. Took in the races and we got done at a reasonable enough hour to enjoy the evening away from the track. It has been awhile since been home so early on a TD day.
Saturday was go-time. The pits were packed. The surprise was that the TQ pits were packed too. There were 35 of us, which meant we actually pitted out in the parking lot. I once again ran a car out of Blu Metz’s fleet. Well, sort of – it was the old 01 which I have piloted many a time. But now it is owned by Fred, successful MicroStock campaigner. This was his first foray into race ownership. It was my first foray on the inner oval at Wall. Oh, and without a wing too.
With 35 cars and only 15 minutes of practice, time was precious. For the first time maybe ever I was in the first group out. It was enough that I was able to get a 2nd session in too. I acclimated reasonably well, following multi-time champion Ryan Tidman to learn the line. After practice I was in the top 24. This was key, because they locked into the main.
Time trials were group time trials. And, as per usual, I did not leave enough room. I caught the car in front of me and got held up. I backed off to try and get a clear lap, but it was not enough. I was 0.2 slower than practice, which meant I was 26th and had to run the b-main. If I had split the difference, even 0.1 would have gotten me in. Ready to go out for time trials:
I ended up starting on the pole of the b-main and I got jumped. I got passed, from 3rd, before I even really took off. That created a logjam in the first corner and it devolved from there. It was hectic with lots of banging and wrecking. I ended up falling back and missing the a-main. Coupled with the rain that came later and having to miss 2 of the features that were run on Sunday, it was a bad end to the racing season.
But, I will be back – always will be for TD. I look forward to getting the TQ down pat on the inner oval. I also look forward to firming up next year’s plans. There are lots of rumours about scheduling and rules, so it may be awhile till we have our schedule posted. Until then, enjoy the holiday season.