At Spa, they had practice, qualifying , and the race . My first lap around the track, I had nothing but a huge smile on my face, as the first corner I took was Eau Rouge. The scenery was beautiful too. There is no other track in the world that compares to Spa. Just a very unique track in the thick forests of Belgium. I couldn’t thank Mr. John Coyle, Dean De Santis, and Damon De Santis enough for this once in a lifetime opportunity. After my first lap it was time to get serious.
, the whole team qualified. I got a good lap and qualified 19th out of 86 cars and over 300 different drivers. I started the race . They had to delay the start a while because the track was so foggy in a couple of the turns. I have always heard of rumors saying it’s always raining on half the track and thought it was a bit of an exaggeration. Well, it turned out to be true. At the start of the race, we would run the dry line on half of the race, and the wet line on the other half. The race was 8 hours, so it dried up by the next time I went out. In my first stint, I worked my way up to second before I had to come in for a driver change. All of the other drivers were great and made the entire experience so much better. The last time I went out, I was coming up on a lapped car and tried to pass him on the inside. Another car tried to go inside me making it 3 wide, me in the middle. I don’t think the car we were passing saw me in his mirrors and came down on me. We touched wheels and we went off the track. Because this happened 10 minutes before the race was over, the corner workers wouldn’t let me go out to finish the race. All in all, I had so much fun at that track and my teammates were so much fun to be around.
Now on to the K&N race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway. There was a 3 hour practice session. That was my first time in a K&N car and learned so much about heavy cars with lots of power. , we had another 1.5 hour practice and used that to my advantage as well. We were having some brake issues that day and had to change the front brake pads. In qualifying, I qualified 15th out of 19 cars. If I would have picked up a tenth, I would have been inside the top ten. The race was 150 laps with one pit stop at lap 75. The first 75 laps had lots of cautions. Most of them were right in front of me and I had to constantly keep an eye out. On one of the wrecks the car that spun rolled back into me. It popped the left front tire and damaged the body a little, but we were able to change tires and go back out. The last 75 laps was almost caution free until the last five laps. The race restarted with a green/white/checkered. I picked up a couple of positions and ended up finishing P6 on the lead lap. I was the highest finishing rookie in that race. I never could have believed that we were able to run in that race, nevertheless finish in 6th! I’m very happy with our finish and wish we could do more races.
Without the help of all of the donors through Go Fund Me, this race never could have been possible. It means so much to me and now we are hoping to continue onto Watkins Glen for the K&N race there. Thank you to everyone that donated. I am blown away by how much we raised. I remember telling my dad “I really don’t think this Go Fund Me idea will work. That’s a lot of money for one race.” Well look who was wrong. I still can’t believe it!
Schedule for the event:
April 7 Friday
April 8 Saturday
2:00pm-3:30pm final practice
4:15pm Group Qualifying
6:00pm Driver Autograph Session (On Track)
7:00pm Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet "150" (150 lap race)
We would love to have you come support us at the race. Grandstand tickets are $25. THANK YOU!
2016 Pro Series Oval/Road Course Series Championship presented by Ed Clark - President & GM Atlanta Motor Speedway
2016 "David Ragan Sporstman of the Year" award presented by Ken Ragan - Director Legends of Georgia AMS
Yesterday was the third and final road course race. It was at Atlanta Motorsports Park, and I had a ball! It was 30 minutes of practice, a 6 lap heat race, and a 10 lap feature race. The king of Legends Cars, Doug Stevens, was also racing in that race. In practice, we were about the same speed. After that, he changed the gear ratio in his car so he could get off the corner a little better. We left ours where it was. In the heat race, I drew to start last. After the first few laps, I was in second, right behind Mr. Stevens. On the restart, I was able to hang with him, but I dropped a wheel in the grass and locked up my brakes, which allowed him to get away. I ended up finishing second.
iRacing video: Dylan late model qualifying Caraway July 23, 2016
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!