07/22/132nd Place Points Finish in Ironman 3-Day Swing for Budzo Racing
Photos courtesy of Dan Lewis Photography – www.danlewisphoto.net
With Luxemburg Speedway having off due to the Kewaunee County Fair, we decided to race on all 3 nights of the Badger Stock Car Tour swing this past week. The driver with the highest point total at the end of the last night would collect an extra $300 prize.
The tour started out on Wednesday night at Seymour Speedway, where the draw/redraw format was in effect. I drew outside pole for the heat race, and would take the early lead over polesitter Rod Solem. After a caution flag flew, I would go unchallenged to pick up my 3rd heat race win of the season, and first ever checkered flag at Seymour.
I drew the worst starting position possible for the feature, starting last out of the 10 invert cars. On the start, Kevin Bethke tagged the wall and forced me to drop down low. The low line would bottle up and the chain reaction set me back about 8 car lengths from the rest of the field. After catching the field I moved up to 6th, but tagged the left rear of Hunter Parsons in turn 1, sending me for a spin. I was sent to the back for bringing out the yellow, but came back from 11th to end up finishing 7th.
On Thursday the tour moved to Thunderhill Raceway, where again the luck of the draw was not in my favor. This time I drew the worst starting spots for both the heat race and the feature. I finished 5th in the heat race to once again start 10th on the grid for the feature.
In the feature, I was able to utilize the outside of the track to make my move toward the front. I got by JJ Andersen and Martin Kelsey on the outside, then moved down low to get by Rob Krull to crack the top 5. From there, it took me quite a few laps to catch Kevin Bethke to battle for 4th. I finally made the pass on the outside with 2 laps to go, and came up just short of passing Ryan LeMieux for 3rd at the checkers.
After the two nights, I was sitting tied for 2nd in points with Krull. We were both 1 point back of the leader, Jeremy Cota, as we all traveled to the Oshkosh Speedzone. Track officials had announced that the event would follow the draw/redraw format as the previous two days, but decided to change their mind after our division had already begun the process. Instead, we would be lined up by point average for the night.
Being that I had never raced the track before, I would start last (6th) in the 3rd heat race, with the top 4 cars advancing to the feature. I ran up to 4th about midway through the race, and was handed 3rd place on the final lap as Steve Schneider spun into the infield.
For the 3rd night in a row, I would start 10th on the grid in the feature. The track surface had a few ripples in it, with a strip of bite along the tires, and dry and dusty areas throughout. We set my car up too tight for the conditions, and I fell back in the field in the early going. Once I got to the bottom of the track, I made my way back through the field and back into the top 10. A scoring error during the final yellow flag allowed a car that I had passed to move 4 spots ahead of me on the restart. I would end up finishing 1 spot behind that car, in the 9th position as the checkers flew.
With his 5th place feature finish, Rob Krull was the winner of the extra $300. Jeremy Cota and I would end up in a tie for 2nd place in points, 4 points back of Krull. During the last run under green, a rock/clay cluster shot up and busted the outer protective lens of my GoPro casing, but luckily the lens of the camera was unharmed.
We will be back in action this coming Friday night at Luxemburg Speedway, where the last time we raced we picked up a feature win. Remember you can find Budzo Racing on the web at budzoracing.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/budzoracing, on YouTube at youtube.com/budzoracing and on Twitter at twitter.com/budzoracing.