07/01/14Budzo Racing Rebounds with 3rd & 5th Place Finishes
Photo by Bill Schmidt – www.widirtracin.com
After a pair of rainouts at Luxemburg Speedway and Thunderhill Raceway, we decided to try our luck at Seymour Speedway last Sunday night.
Things didn’t start off well, as contact was made with Kevin Bethke in the heat race, sending me hard into the frontstretch wall. Extensive damage would not allow me to finish the race, and we would have to work diligently to be ready for the night’s feature.
We were able to patch the car together enough to start the feature in the 16th position. Running the top groove I made my way into the top 10, then ducked down low to make a pass on Joey Taycher for 9th. With the laps winding down, I was able to find enough bite off the bottom of the track to pass JJ Tuyls at the checkers to salvage an 8th place finish.
Thanks to Dan Gracyalny and Jeff Vlies we were able to repair the chassis and body of the car in time to run this past Wednesday night at 141 Speedway. Starting 3rd in my heat race, I ran behind Kelsy Hayes for the opening few laps. Hayes would spin in turn 4, setting us up in 3rd on the restart of the race. Brian Bruechert was able to get by me, leaving me to settle for a 4th place finish.
Starting 16th in the feature, things went south in a hurry as the car lost power on the 2nd lap. Our night would be over, and we traced the problem to a faulty module in the distributor.
We then made the trip to Luxemburg Speedway on Friday night, and a 4th place finish in our heat race would put us in the 9th starting position for the night’s feature. Running behind Andy Kleczka on the bottom groove, I was able to make my way to 7th before jumping up to the high line to make the pass on Hunter Parsons for 6th. I tracked down Jacob Zellner with about 7 laps remaining and made the move to his inside to take over 5th place. In the waning laps, I tried to track down Jeremy Cota for 4th, but ended up finishing in 5th.
On Saturday, we went up to Thunderhill Raceway to try to extend our points lead over Ryan LeMieux. Trouble reared its ugly head again in the heat race, this time electrical issues were causing the motor to only turn a maximum of 4,000 RPM. Somehow, I was able to keep up with the pack and salvage a 5th place finish to make the invert for the feature.
We would swap out distributors for the feature, and set up 8th on the starting grid behind Jarred VanLaanen. VanLaanen got the jump on the start and shot quickly into the lead, and I tried to follow right behind to slide into the runner-up position. I was unable to split Cody Rass and Jeff Lautenbach, and fell back into the 5th spot after battling for 2nd. A restart would benefit me, as I was able to get underneath Rass for 4th and shot to the bottom of the track to pass Lautenbach for 3rd. From there, the chase was on to try to grab the 2nd spot from LeMieux. I was able to get up to his door on a couple occasions, but he blocked my line around the bottom of the track on the final lap to hold on to the spot.
With our finishes at Luxemburg and Thunderhill, we are now in sole possession of 3rd place in points at Luxemburg, and back into a tie for the lead at Thunderhill with Ryan LeMieux. This week our plans include stops at Luxemburg on Thursday night, along with a trip to Thunderhill Raceway on Friday night for the $1,000-to-win John Soukup Memorial. If everything goes well, we will also head back to Seymour Speedway on Sunday night.