This past weekend we were finally able to get back to racing following the long winter season. The first night of racing, Friday, we traveled to Stateline Raceway for our first visit. We all were very eager to get the winter jitters out of our systems'. Following qualifying, David found himself starting in the sixth position for the feature.
During the early stages of the 35 lap feature, David worked the bottom groove behind Jody Summerville who continued to block and cut David off going into the corners. With about 15 laps to go David finally was able to overtake Summerville and began to run down John Jones. David eventually passed Jones for third before a late caution slowed the field. The late caution set up a two lap dash. In the final laps David ran out of time and would finish the race third for his first visit to the track. All in all we were very pleased with our first race of 2002.
Saturday night we traveled to Cleveland Speedway for the annual "Shamrock race". There were 44 cars that took to the racetrack during qualifying on a very rough track. David turned laps of 14.60 & 14.88, the pole was a 14.11. Least to say we were not that good, 16th, which barely locked us into the feature as the top 18 cars automatically advanced to the feature.
In the feature, things were going great as David had moved up a couple of positions in the early laps. The next caution, however was thrown for us and Kent Hicks. A car had spun in front of David and a couple of cars. When everybody got on their brakes, David had nowhere to go and he damaged the front end of the car. After coming to the pits to work on the damage, David returned to the track. After starting at the back of the field, once again David began to get by several cars. Then while battling with Mike Head, Head made hard contact with David's left rear tire. The contact damaged something in the rear-end of the car and our night was through. We finished the race in the 19th position I believe. We would have probably had a top ten car if we could have lasted the entire race.
After most of us (excluding me-I left at 3AM) worked on the car until 4:30AM, we went racing for a third straight night. We returned to Stateline Raceway for a topless race. The place was nothing short of a big mudhole following all the rain overnight. The race was supposed to start at 12, but nothing started until about 3. Once everything got started, David was one of the fastest cars during hot laps. Then during qualifying, something happened because we were really, really slow.
We had to run the consilation race following qualifying where the top four transfered to the main feature. We ran third the entire consi, threatning for second the entire race. Then as we came across the line at the checkers, part of our header broke off and flew out from under the car. It broke right off where it attaches to the block.
Following that unexpected happening, we decided to just make a lap in the feature and get our money. Thats what David did and wound up finishing the feature in the 21st position.
As you can see, the weekend started off good and got worse each night, but we really didn't do that bad. We made all three races in our first weekend back racing. Most of the other racers have already been racing for about a month, and we really didn't have a whole lot of damage. Sometimes you have to weigh everything out when you think you wasn't that successful, when actually you really were.
To let everyone know, David will be racing at Sugar Creek Raceway on Friday night and back at North Georgia Speedway for the $3,000 to win race. Hopefully we can outrun all the big names that are planning on being there. See everyone at the races!!