Last week was very busy for me. I went up to Watkins Glen to drive in the Group 52 event and had my first late model race at Caraway Speedway with Jeff Spraker and Spraker Racing Enterprises.
Wednesday was the first day of the Group 52 event and I was supposed to drive a Hooters Pro Cup car with Vecchio Racing on the second day and a smaller car on the first day to learn the track, but there was a 90% chance of rain on Thursday, so we decided to drive the stock car on Wednesday and couldn’t learn the track in a familiar car. I got loose coming out of the toe of the boot and had to correct it, but I had to reposition my hands because I ran out of room. By the time I did that, I had to turn back, but I couldn’t turn in time and ran into the guard rail. I was very fortunate that a couple of people offered for me to drive their car afterwards. The first car I drove was a BMW M3 (Thank you Ike) with slicks and racing shocks. I drove that for an hour on the short course. The other car was a Porsche Cayman (thank you Speedsport Tuning!, Spencer Cox and Joe Liuzzi). I drove that for one and a half days. At the end of the second day, I started to really feel comfortable with the track and car. I learned so much in those two days.
On Saturday, I had my first late model race. Mr. Spraker rented out the track for two hours before the race to help me get dialed back in to a late model. I ended up qualifying 8th out of ten cars, 0.5 second off of the pole position and in the race I got within 0.4 of the fastest lap. This was my first 125 lap race. I got shuffled to the back on the start, but I was still hanging with a couple of other cars. I passed one of them, but then they got back around a few laps later. The tires started to get hot and the car got really loose. The track bar was all the way down and we tried to lower the right rear tire pressure two times, but it wasn’t enough for me to keep up with everyone else. A car right in front of me about half way through the race ran into the back of another car and I barely cleared the cars. I ended up finishing 8th. The team did a great job trying to get the car tighter. This race helped me learn a lot about longer races and heavier cars. I hope to learn more next weekend at Greenville Pickens.
I hope everyone had a great Father’s Day.