05/07/12Near Heat Race Win, 11th Place Feature Finish at 141 for Budzo Racing
Our weekend of racing began with opening night at our hometown track of Luxemburg Speedway, where things got off to a good start as I drew a pretty decent number out of the draw bucket.
The track condition, however, was not good news to all drivers. Heavy rain during the week forced the officials to grade the entire track to offer a better racing surface. For the most part, it wasn’t in the worst of shape, but the bumps and ruts combined with the heavy track made passing almost non-existent.
I started 3rd in my heat race, and battled for the lead at the drop of the green, but that start would be waved off. We set up again, and this time I didn’t get a great jump like the previous start. The car was set up too tight for the conditions, and when I was pushed to the outside lane, I couldn’t keep the car on the racing surface.
After falling off the backstretch, I recovered to pass a car to salvage a 7th place finish. I would start in the 4th row for the semi-feature, with the top 5 making the feature event. Again, the track did not allow for much passing, and I chose to pull off and save my car for Saturday night.
On Saturday at 141 Speedway, I started on the outside pole of the heat race, with the top 4 making the feature. We had a total of 42 sportmods sign in, so a high finish was really important. I took off and grabbed the early lead, pulling away from the rest of the field. Lapped traffic would play a huge factor in the race on lap 4, as I had to make a choice on where to try and pass the 2 cars in front of me.
The first car was down low, and the 2nd car was up high, so I tried to pass the first car up high. That proved to be the wrong choice, as that car darted to the outside of the track, right into my path. That would allow Eric Mahlik by me for the lead, and I had to do all I could to keep a transfer spot. More lapped traffic came into play on the white flag lap, but I hung onto the final transfer spot, finishing 4th.
Starting 16th on the grid for the feature, I wasn’t sure what to expect as this was my 1st feature at the track since I raced my old car in 2010. Cars were flying around, banking off the wall and off each other in the early stages, but I found my way out of trouble and into the top 10 during the middle of the race. I slipped up coming into turn 2, having to make a little detour through the infield and back onto the track, and ended up losing 2 positions to Andy Kleczka and Brandon Long.
I did manage to post an 11th place finish when the checkers flew, and in all honesty it could have ended a lot worse for us on multiple occasions. We’ll be back on the track next Friday night at Luxemburg Speedway, but we will not be back at 141 on Saturday due to family obligations.