The weekís events started on Wednesday night with hot laps and qualifying. After the first laps on the track David was turning laps around the 17.50ís with his quickest being a 17.43. The drivers got another set of hot laps before qualifying and after changing a few minor things on the car David went back out and improved his times up to a best lap of 17.27. Then for qualifying David went out on the track 22nd and would go under the clocks and make laps of 17.10 & 17.09 the quickest he had been all night, putting him 43 among 92 competitors. Qualifying ended the night and would put David starting eighth in his heat race on Thursday night.
Thursday was the first of three long days that was spent at the Speedway. Drivers and crews, along with all their supplies for the day, had to be in the infield between 2 & 4 and had to stay there until the nightís events were over. David would take the green flag for the heat race but during the first caution on lap one David pulled his car into the infield. He complained that the car had a miss. After some long and anxious minutes David realized found the problem, a loose hot wire to the battery. Go figure, what are the chances of that happening and it happening at Bristol. After getting that fixed David got back out on the track for the final five or six laps and the car seemed to be really working. We evidently didnít finish enough laps during the heat race so we didnít get to run in the consolation race, so our Thursday night was over very quick.
Friday night was delayed and delayed due to rain. Finally when David got on the racetrack he got one lap for qualifying that would line him up for Friday nightís heat races. This was the one bright spot of the weekend David turned the quickest laps that he had ran all weekend. He went a 16.89 & 16.96 and that put him 11th fastest among 72 drivers that night. His qualifying lap put him starting on the front row of his heat race. At the drop of the green flag for Davidís heat race going into turn one is where all Davidís success that night ended. Going into turn one Davidís car didnít want to turn left, instead it went towards the wall and David saved the racecar and only lost one position. Then on the second lap while running third the car once again shot towards the wall in turn four even worse and David slightly scuffed the wall but managed to finish the heat race in the eighth spot. This night David did get to run the consolation race but started so deep in the field that he ran mid-pack and finished the race unharmed and still running.
Saturday night was another night of just bad luck. David once again started his heat race eighth, but just listen to his competition in his heat. In front of him he had Scott Bloomquist, Ray Cook, Wendell Wallace, Dewayne Hommel, & Jimmy Mars. Two of these guys Bloomquist & Mars had already won features during the week. During the heat David was running eighth and lost something off his car and managed to finish the heat race in the ninth spot. After the heat race it was apparent that David had lost a muffler and when you lose one of those you are disqualified from competition and that ended our weekend at Bristol.
Well as you can see we just couldnít get the car to turn going into those turns while going so fast. We struggled with that all weekend, but we did however get faster all weekend long. The team was from what I could gather ready to get back home after four whole days of racing. The way the days were laid out at the track as far as when you had to be ready, be in the infield, load and unload all you equipment everyday made for some really long day.
We did however earn another invitation to the UDTRA Shootout thatís held in October at Dixie Speedway and where David made his first ever Shootout feature this past season. We also showed a lot of people that we did have a fast car and at times could really run with the big money guys. Finally the most important thing is that we returned from Bristol with a motor that still runs and an unharmed racecar, as many motors and racecars were destroyed.
Now for the next two weeks David Payne Racing will not be in action due to David & Christyís wedding and then for their honeymoon.
We took our second motor out of the racecar after returning from Bristol and now both motors are at RaceTek leaving us raceless for a while. I have heard that if we get a motor back before June 16 then Dad may take the car to North Georgia and try it out and that is just speculation. As for now we will miss being at the track, but weíll be back and watch out when we return.