Saturday May 16th was the 2nd race of the Northern division of the Top Speed Modified series and found the team venturing to Auto City Speedway in Clio, MI. While the car, and crew chief, had been there previously – the driver had never driven a full size car there.
I had driven a Legends car there, once, and found that muscle memory is longer than expected when I tried to turn into the infield track during my first lap at speed. Despite that very short snafu we had plenty of practice time, even if it took longer than expected to get everyone through tech. The track was very accommodating. We did three “full” sessions, primarily getting acclimated to the track. The last session found some “raindrops” getting onto the visor, but that was only a scuff session anyway.
Time trials were so-so, with a 17th place effort out of the 27 cars on hand. That was easily chalked up to the driver not wanting to end up on the road off turn one since he had developed a propensity to mail it into one a weeeee bit deep during the early sessions. We were split up into heats after that, with each one going 8 laps. The car came in during that session and we walked to an easy victory. It was nice to fall under the checkers first.
The feature was nothing short of a marathon. It is never good when the driver is checking his watch during the race. The early “reviews” were good though, with the car working on the inside. We progressed from 17th up to 11th, and were running in 10th when a red flag was displayed. However that was the end of the progress. Upon resuming at speed the car was ill-behaved, to put it mildly. We marched…backwards and ended up 15th. The seeming culprit was discovered after the race, with 3 of the tires and the nose coated in oil. Someone ahead of us was making the conditions a tad more challenging.
We are on a lull until mid-June, when we have 3 races in one week. The team is anticipating getting out for a test session or two to be prepared for the next race at Springport.
Thanks from the team to all those who served our country. We could not get out to play each summer weekend without your sacrifice and dedication.