08/29/13Pair of 5th Place Finishes at Manitowoc and Luxemburg for Budzo Racing
Photos courtesy of Dan Lewis Photography – www.danlewisphoto.net
This past week we took the trip out to Manitowoc County Expo Speedway for a mid-week special during the Manitowoc County fair on Wednesday night.
A total of 14 cars signed in, and I would start 5th in my heat race. Not much passing would occur in our race, and it ended with me finishing where I started.
With severe weather on the way, the features were rushed to the track, with the grand nationals and street stock features up before the sportmod feature.
I started 9th in the feature, and used both lanes of the track to maneuver my way up to 5th. While battling for 4th, I made some contact with Brandon Berth, which sent him into the infield. We would remain under the green flag, until a final caution flag would bunch up the field. On the final restart, Jesse Brey was able to get the advantage on me into turn 1, and I settled for a 5th place feature finish before the storms rolled in.
On Friday, we made our weekly stop at Luxemburg Speedway. Coming into the night, we sat 1 point behind Andy Kleczka for 2nd in the standings with 2 nights remaining in the season.
Our normal field would grow to 26, as Oshkosh Speedzone was not running the sportmod division on this particular evening. The top 5 in each of the 3 heat races would transfer to the night’s feature.
I would start 7th in my heat race, and a heavy track made things difficult to make a charge to the front of the pack. I was only able to get up to the 5th position when the checkers flew, meaning I would start 14th in the feature instead of 11th.
In the feature, things took an ugly turn in the opening laps, as contact between a couple of cars started a melee between turns 3 & 4. I would suffer extensive damage to the rear and right front of my car, but was able to continue in the race without a trip to pit lane.
When racing resumed, I moved down to the bottom of the racetrack to make the push into the top 10. I battled with Dennis Miesler for several laps for the 8th position, until the final caution flag flew before I could complete the pass.
Restarting 9th, I ran through the middle groove of the racetrack past Miesler and Greg Potts to move to 7th. In the waning laps, I battled on the outside of Josh Long and Kelsy Hayes for the 5th position, and on the white flag lap Long and myself were able to pass Hayes. Coming to the checkers, Troy DeGrave’s front suspension suffered a failure, leaving us a drag race out of turn 4 for 4th. Long was able to charge off the bottom to edge me at the line, netting me a 5th place finish in the feature.
The good news is with our 5th place finish on Friday, we moved back into 2nd place in the standings by 1 point heading into championship night. The bad news is the damage done to the car was severe, with the tail of the car being shoved over about 5 inches. Thanks to Dan Gracyalny’s crew and Vlies Custom Race Car Bodies, we shouldn’t miss a beat this Friday night!
Depending on how Friday night pans out, we may make the trip to Seymour Speedway on Sunday night for their final Summer Holiday Classic special.