08/06/13Badger Mod Tour Debut, 3rd Place Sportmod Finish Highlight Racing Weekend for Budzo Racing
(Photo courtesy of Dan Lewis Photography – www.danlewisphoto.net)
This past weekend, we raced 3 events (2 in one night) at Luxemburg Speedway and Seymour Speedway. Coming into Friday night, we stood 2nd in points trailing Josh Long by 10 marks.
Starting 7th in the heat race, I methodically made my way through the field as I normally have, working the low groove of the racing surface. I worked all the way up to 3rd, and then had to dodge a spinning Derek Kaye coming to the white flag. I was able to avoid Kaye without making any contact, and went on to finish 2nd in the heat race.
Starting 9th in the feature, we opted to run the same setup that propelled us to a feature win the last time we saw the track. This time, the surface wasn’t as dry in the corners, putting a push into the car on corner entry. Unable to make the low groove work to my advantage, I opted to run up high for the remainder of the race. I was boxed in behind Mike Dauphinais and Brandon Long for many laps, coming in contact with Dauphinais a couple of times.
The contact would punch a small hole in my left front tire, but it stayed inflated long enough for me to carry it to the finish. At the checkers, I was able to nip Dauphinais for a 10th place finish. Unofficially, we should remain in 2nd place in points, tied with Greg Potts.
On Sunday, we opted to try our luck against the best of the modified division at Seymour Speedway, running the Badger Mod Tour. We also planned on running the car in the sportmod portion of the program as well, making it a fast and furious night of action for the team.
The sportmod division was first to hit the track, and with all cars transferring to the feature event, the goal was to finish without incident. I started in the last row of the heat race, and got through without a scratch, finishing in 6th place.
We made a quick stop at our pit stall, and then it was back to the track for the Badger Mod Tour heat race. Starting 4th, I was able to hang tough for a few laps, but eventually fell back in the field and finished 7th.
That finish would put us 7th on the grid for the B-main. Before we took the green, the car slated to start behind me decided to take my starting spot. I was able to pass him back pretty quickly, and found myself behind Dave Zeitler and Brad Lautenbach for the last transfer spot. I ran door to door with Zeitler for several laps, but lost momentum behind Cody Hudson midway through the race. Once I got by Hudson, I caught back up to the pack of cars battling for the last transfer spot, but ended up finishing in 8th place.
Intermission followed, and another quick stop at our pit stall put us right back on the grid for the sportmod feature. Starting 11th of 20, I found a nice line in the middle groove of the racetrack to start making my move toward the front. Within 6 laps, I had already moved up to the 6th spot, working the outside of Josh Long for 5th when a caution flag flew. Restarting on the bottom, I slid back into the middle groove of the track to make a 3-wide pass between JJ Andersen and Long. I was able to clear Andersen and then found myself in a side by side battle with Long for several laps.
I would eventually clear Long using the lower groove of the track, then set my sights back up high to try and chase the top 3 down in the waning laps. I was able to catch Andy Kleczka with 1 lap remaining, and beat him to the checkers off of turn 4 to finish a career best 3rd at Seymour.
All in all it was a fun weekend with no additional fixing required to the car. This weekend we will only be running on Friday night at Luxemburg Speedway, hoping to regain sole possession of 2nd place in the standings.