These last two weeks have been both busy and exciting. I have had a couple of Thursday Thunder races, a late model race, and watched the NASCAR Xfinity race with Spraker Racing from their pit box at Daytona.
On June 30, I had a Legends race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The car has not been gone over or nut and bolted in a while and we were not very fast. I ended up qualifying 5th out of 12. In the race, I worked my way up to 3rd. I fell back down to fourth and finished the race in 4th.
On the first of July, Jeff Spraker invited us to come down and watch the Xfinity race in Daytona from his pit box. I had a great time and Spraker Racing did a great job building, working on the car, and running it in the race.
July 6th and 7th was a double header at AMS. I qualified in 7th on Wednesday. In the race, it started raining, and I was one of the fastest cars out there. On the first restart, I tried to avoid a big pile up in front of me, but was pushed from behind and spun right into the wreck. When they restarted the race, I was running mid-pack and gaining positions, but then my exhaust fell off. It lost power and I took it easy for the rest of the race, because I didn’t know what was going on and didn’t want to hurt the motor. I finished 10th. Thanks to Doug Stevens and Advanced Technology Motorsports, we were able to have the car fixed for the race on Thursday.
On the Thursday race, I qualified 6th out of 13. The race had many red flags due to non-intentional reasons. I worked my way up the field, but spun in oil and got sent to the back. I ended up finishing fifth right behind the leaders.
I also had a late model race at Motor Mile Speedway on July 9th with Spraker Racing Enterprises. We had to adjust the car to make it looser in practice. I qualified 8th out of 14. It was a 150 lap race, so I tried to conserve my tires. I was running 7th for a while and made a couple of passes throughout the race. I was running fifth on the lead lap right behind the leaders, and on lap 123, the 3rd and 4th place cars ran into each other and I had to go low to try and avoid the crash, but they both came low and I got wedged between the wall and the other cars. I was lucky enough to finish the race, but my right front caliper was dragging my brakes so I didn’t have any straight line speed and finished 7th.
I also got some good news. NASCAR called and after only a few late model races have approved me to run the K&N series on ovals up to 1/2 mile. It normally takes a full season in late model racing to advance to K&N. This is very exciting as the NASCAR K&N series is one of the top tier NASCAR series and very well respected by everyone including the Cup teams and drivers.
All in all, these past few weeks have given me a lot more experience. Winning the Gorsline Scholarship with Performance Prime has helped me a lot.
Last week I had a Thursday Thunder Legends race and a late model race at Motor Mile Speedway.
I had a Legends race in Cordele, Ga last Saturday. It's a 3/8 mile oval and we used 4th gear instead of 3rd like AMS. We were almost 100mph top speed.I really liked the track. We practiced during the day and raced that night.
We drew for heat race starting position. I started 6th and finished 3rd. Since there were two separate heat races with half the cars in each I started 5th in the feature race. My car was loose in the heat race so I adjusted it with cross weight but we went the wrong way and made it worse for the feature race. Watch the video and you can see how loose it was. I was still able to run a close third and even tried a pass for second but didn't have enough rear grip to make it work. I still won the semi-pro class.
Next weekend is my final winter series Legends race at AMS. I still have the points lead and this race will determine the championship.
I am working hard on driving a K&N car at Watkins Glen, August 5 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend. We are planning to drive with "Spraker Racing" there and a Late Model at Caraway, NC May 28. Fingers crossed it all happens and goes well.
Thanks to all that have and are helping me. You know who you are!
This last race started great but didn’t finish as I would have liked. It was at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the 3rd Winter Flurry race.
In practice, we were about a tenth of a second off the pace. We came in and adjusted tire pressures. The next time we went out was for qualifying. As usual, it was a green-white-checkered. I got the pole by about a tenth at a 16.3. In the feature race, I led the entire race until the last lap. The second place car kept giving me really hard bumps from behind all race (you can hear some in the video). On the last lap he finally got by me going into turn three. I tried to pass him back coming out of four, but we think he hit is brakes when I was behind him, which caused me to spin. As you can see in the video, I was pretty frustrated at the time. The car that kept bumping me was disqualified for rough driving. I ended up in fourth, but it also gave me a huge lead in points.
This race gave me a lot of experience, as I will know what to do for next time.
Over all, I had a great time and hope to race with Spraker Racing soon. They made me so comfortable and not pressured which really helped. Really great team! Thank you.
I hope you enjoy the short video as much as I did driving!
I had a race on Halloween that went really well. It was a 50 lap race that was split into a 30 and 20 lap race. They also had a 3 lap qualifying for this race too. I ended up 4th out of 19 cars. In the first race (30 laps), I go hit in the first turn of the race and had to start almost last (as you can see in the video). On the restart, I passed a couple of cars. There were cautions throughout the race and I made my way up to 3rd place at the end. In the second race (20 laps), I was battling for second for a while and finally pulled away from the rest of the pack and finished a couple of tenths behind the leader.
They had a costume competition as well and our crew was dressed up as the "Legends of N.A.S.C.A.R." with my grandpa as Richard Petty (as in the picture). The rest of the crew dressed up as other drivers such as Dicky Wilson as Dale Earnhardt Sr.(same picture) and I was the "future legend." All in all, it was a fun race and contest and hope to do it again next year.
Click picture for video;
Finished my Skip Barber School at Road Atlanta a couple of weeks ago and had a great time, can't wait to race on that track.
We ran the short road course last Saturday in my Legends car at AMS. Next week we run the long course, 1.2 miles long.
Wow! Last Thursday night was one heck of a race! It was the first race of the Thursday Thunder series at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Wednesday was test day for the US Legends Cars and it did not go so well. The car kept missing about halfway down the straight. We changed the carburetors, ECU, ignition coils, and fuel filter but none fixed the problem. After all the practices were over, we figured out that it had to be the crank trigger so we changed that before Thursday practice. On Thursday practice, it was fixed and were running low 16's, but it felt like it was pushing. We made an adjustment to the springs. In the heat race, the car was equal on grip, but had no over-all grip. We changed the set up back to what it was for the feature race, because at night, the car tends to loosen up. In the feature race, I started 8th out of 14 cars, but on the first lap, I was spun out and dropped back to dead last on the restart. All through out the race, I picked up positions until I was in 3rd, but the yellow flag came out and it was a green white checkered finish. I fell back one position on the restart and finished 4th of 14 cars overallin the semi-pro and 1st in class.
This was a very exiting race and I look forward to the next race.
We race every Thursday night through the end of July.