06/04/126th at Luxemburg, 4th at Thunderhill for Budzo Racing
Coming off a weekend in which we didn’t post the greatest of feature finishes, we looked to make some big changes to the car prior to Friday night’s action at Luxemburg Speedway.
Ditching the new QA1 26 series shocks we threw on the car at the beginning of the season, we opted to go back to the QA1 50 series shocks that were on the car during the 2011 season. Thanks goes out to Andy Kleczka, Marcus Moede and Derenne Racing for borrowing shocks to us for the weekend of racing.
In the heat race on Friday night, the beating and banging started off right away on the first turn, as I got my passenger door bashed in along with having my mudplug cracked in half. I would continue on, challenging on the outside of Jake Maurer for the 2nd spot.
Getting around Maurer came with getting my driver door crushed in to match the passenger side, but I settled into 3rd place with Troy DeGrave on my inside. I made a late race error to cough up the 3rd spot to Kleczka, and ended up finishing in 4th place.
I would start on the outside pole for the feature, and ran the outside line early on. While in 4thplace, Brandon Long spun his car challenging for the lead, with Ryan LeMieux and I narrowly avoiding him in the middle of turns 1 & 2. Several restarts would ensue, and each time I was on the outside in the 3rd position.
LeMieux got by on the inside to take the lead, and I looked to follow him up to the 2nd spot. I ended up jarring the brakes a tad too hard midway through the race, dropping back to 5th spot to battle with Chad Kaminski. We ran side by side for several laps, until he finally cleared me. The final few laps I ran door to door with Jeremy Cota, with Cota nabbing the 5th spot away in the end, leaving me with a 6th place finish.
We decided to skip repairing the body and towed the car up to Sturgeon Bay for Thunderhill Raceway’s season opener. A total of 12 sportmods checked in, and being the first race of the season it was a draw/redraw event. I ended up drawing the outside pole for my heat race, and dropped into the 2nd spot behind Bernie Reinhardt in the early going.
Coming off of turn 4, Reinhardt abruptly slowed his racer, causing me to check up and drilled from behind and pushing my quarter panel into my left rear tire. A caution flag flew, and I restarted and ended up finishing in the 4th position.
My redraw spot put me on the inside of the 2nd row for the feature, and quickly I pulled away from the field along with the top 2 cars. We sifted our way through lapped traffic, while the race ended up going without a single caution. On the final lap, Jarred VanLaanen got a run on the inside to steal away 3rd place at the checkers.
I was fortunate the race went without a caution. I hopped back into my car to find that my clutch had lost all pressure and fluid, leaving me to be pushed back into the pit area.
All in all, it was a very good weekend of racing for us. We’ll have to diagnose and repair the situation with the clutch, and most likely tear the doors and quarter panels off again for straightening. We’ll be back at it on Friday night at Luxemburg Speedway, possibly returning to Thunderhill on Saturday night as well.