Another perspective ...

What does it look like to race backwards? Ride along with the winner from last nights Wild & Crazy Back-Up Race with this in-car footage.

Note: My car actually stalled on the line and re-fires 'just' as the green flag falls.

Live Action Race Report

I could tell you about this week's race, or you could just watch for yourself. That's me in the black car in the second row.

Special thanks to my niece and videographer Katie!


Race Report: Out of luck?

I've posted a few times about how lucky I've been at the track this season.

Last night was not an exception, I finished third while taking a position away from the point leader in the last quarter of the last lap.

Everything didn't go as planned though. I had a lot of friends and family up to watch me race. Mom & Dad, John, Matt, Samantha, Mark's kids and my Dad's pit crews from over the years. I started near the back (outside row three). The race was going fine until lap three or so when one of the lead cars Ryan Oetzel slowed suddenly coming out of turn two. The car behind him tried to avoid him and got into the infield grass. He then came out of the infield and into Ryan. That turned Ryan broadside in front of me. *BAM!* *POW!* *POOF!* After shaking off the cobwebs I hopped out and realized that I had very minimal damage.

The race restarted from a standstill with me and Ryan in the back. After the green fell I caught and passed 6th place, 5th place, 4th place. After that were the leaders. I caught them and managed to get inside Bruce Havel to take third when he slid up the track.

Again lucky to start at the back, twice and still come away with a third place.


Race Report 7/13/07

Starting Line-up

03 22
11 86
15 39

#22 Wayne Hook lead two laps before Andy Ward (#03) got around him. I slid into the high groove and followed Andy about a half lap later. Just after I got past Wayne he slid up the track on Bruce Havel (#15) and found himself in the wall. He walked to the ambulance and spent a few minutes there. He was out looking at his car a few minutes after the race was over and seemed none the worse for wear.

Lap 4 restart

To avoid killing the engine I feathered the throttle off the line and Andy snuck off to a straight away lead. I chased him down by the start of lap six and we raced side by side for a half of a lap before he spun on his own.

86 Me
39 George Wachuta
11 Dave Moore
15 Bruce Havel
ONO Jug Hur
03 Andy Ward
22 Wayne "Off on the" Hook

Excited about my fourth win in about twice as many tries. The car actually didn't handle very well. Due, in all liklihood, to removing the 40-50 lbs of gas and tank last week and replacing it with about 5-10 lbs of replacement gas and tank. I've got some time scheduled to go up and work on the handling this Wednesday evening.

In other news I am meeting with the fine folks at Pizza Oven about a potential sponsorship this week.


Race Report 7/6/2007

What's the old saying?

I'd rather be lucky than good.

Well, last night I was lucky. My starter solenoid failed, I ran into another car, and I had a catastrophic mechanical failure. Somehow through all that I managed to finish 2nd out of eight cars.

I've been using my street car battery to power my back-up car, that means I take the battery out of my little Mitsubishi Mirage and mount it in the battery box of the #86 Back-up. This has worked fine for a couple weeks now. Last night I mounted the battery and tried to start the car *TAP* *TAP*. The solenoid failed meaning my car could only be started by jumping two terminals with a screwdriver or other piece of metal with an insulated handle. Luckily, my solenoid is mounted on the floor next to the driver's seat and therefore even if I was buckled in I could restart the car. That came in handy when I went to enter the track and the car stalled. It re-fired after some fumbling in the dark to find the right terminals.

After the race started I got caught behind Dave Moore who was using the entire track and not giving me an opportunity to pass him. On one corner I came in a whole lot harder than he did and clobbered him pretty good. Luckily we were both able to continue on almost without incident. I eventually passed him for that position.

Just after the white flag fell I raced into turn one to find spinning cars. I jammed on the brakes and drove around while noticing a large chunk of debris sail up the track and into the pit area sparking and nearly glowing. Luckily I finished the race and took home second place.

After slowing down and checking out the scoreboard I turned around and drove to the pit area. The official was looking at me and pointing to the large chunk of debris.

My thought process as I drove past the debris and to my pit stall was something like this:

Hey, that looks like my fuel cell.

If that's my fuel cell, How did I finish the race?

Holy crap, that sparking glowing piece of debris was fifteen gallons of gasoline that ejected from the trunk of my car.

Luckily, I finished the race. Luckily, nobody was hurt. Luckily I'll be able to put it all together and do it again next week.