06/25/12Maiden Voyage at Shawano Speedway Nets 8th Place Finish for Budzo Racing
Only one night of racing was on our schedule this past weekend. Due to the rainfall on Friday night, the races at our hometown track of Luxemburg Speedway were cancelled. We had talked about going to try out the half-mile track of Shawano Speedway for a few weeks, and decided this past Saturday would be the night to do so.
Luckily for new drivers, the track offers hotlapping sessions to shake their cars down for a few laps before the heat races begin. I used those sessions to get acclimated with the speed and size of the track. I would start 8th on the grid for the heat race, and was challenging for the 7th spot in the opening laps. Unfortunately I got my right front tire into Paul Thorpe, and that was enough to knock the tire off of the rim. That would be the end of the race for me, as I had to get hauled into the pits on the wrecker.
For the feature, I lined up 17th on the grid of 19 total cars. Early on I was playing it safe, entering slower into the corners and feeling out the track and other cars. I made my move past Paul Thorpe and Jeff Roffers into turn 3, and then set my sights on Rick Kretschmann. After a couple of laps, I got around Kretschmann on the outside, and coming off of turn 2 there was a wreck in the middle of the backstretch.
I looked to go high, but another car didn’t quite make it through the opening. I decided to cut down low at the last minute, narrowly avoiding the accident and the cars behind me. On the restart, Mike Sortino was sent sideways in turn 1 and I was barely able to avoid getting wrecked again.
On the final restart, I got up to 7th place, and was battling with Joey Taycher for that spot when the white flag flew. I went into turn 3 a little sideways, and that allowed Taycher to grab that spot coming to the checkers.
All in all, it was a very fun night for us. We left the track in one piece along with a top 10 finish at a track we’ve never raced at before.
Next weekend our current plans are to race at Luxemburg Speedway on Friday night, along with a trip back to Seymour Speedway for the second leg of their Summer Holiday Classic specials.