So Selinsgrove was the next race. I had run there once with ESS about 8 yrs ago and it was just flat out. I've decided not the run the 360 car there weekly because it's a very high speed place, eats tires and there are no little crashes.
When I was younger and racing full time, we ran 410s there weekly during the mid 80's and won there but now the 305 series works best for me. The 360's have gotten expensive to race and if I run outside of the 305 series, then I have to start last at the next 305 race. The 305 motor is affordable and simple.
For setup I went back to what we had been doing but kept the shock changes and had some different things to try when the track dries out.
I drew a 33 that put me fourth (of eight) in the third heat, 5 to qualify. Motor took off ok but not exceptional. I was third coming out of two but a yellow set up a complete restart. On the restart, in the second turn a car on the outside pinned me tight on the bottom and with a little front end push I had to lift a bit to stay off him. That put me fourth and that's where I finished and put us in the show.
In the feature, I started 15th. I was running with a pack when a car spun in front of me and I slowed to miss him and lost a lot of spots, no yellow. I was back to about 20th. It took a couple of laps to get a good feel of how the car needed to be driven but once I felt the bite I was able to drive in deeper and stick to the bottom and get great forward bite coming off. We had reduced the stagger and that kept the car straight coming out at full throttle.
I was catching cars and driving under them going in or middle and passing them coming out. There were a few restarts and I lost some spots on the start and then ran them down and passed them back.
In the last few laps I tried to pass the car ahead but he kept chopping me at entry. I thought of driving in deeper on him but remembered doing that at Susquehanna and ended up with both of us spun out in traffic. The drivers in this series don't give any room so it was best to let that one go unless he made a mistake. By the end of the race I made it to 13th without anyone dropping out in front of me.
The car felt really good and it was fun to race and pass cars. We'll see if the changes work next race.
days 6-19 and 7-17 /2019
First pull using all the stuff we had in the car was as good as the last despite a number of changes... until I had them start at 3000 rpm instead of 4000. That's when we found a big drop at 3500 to 3800 rpm. That is what I've been feeling in the seat.
to do the changes we wanted meant I had to get some parts and we'd
try it again. Meanwhile, I had to spend a couple weeks in
Brewerton again so by the time I got a new fuel pump, new headers
and stumble valve together and there was another opening at the
dyno it was late July.
When we ran the motor with the new parts we were able to improve the 3500 to 4000 area by 100 more torque which was a change of about 50% more power in that range. That's huge!! We also got about 30 more hp in some areas of the upper range too.
There was no way I could have figured all this out at the track. It ended up being very expensive but at least now I know what the motor needs with this set of parts. Hopefully it will solve the problems on the track.
Anyway, Port was the next race and I needed to try something different so I put a stiffer bar in the LF and changed up the shocks for the night. It did not work. The changes lost side bite in the car that got worse as the track got slicker. With 39 cars there wasn't room for a bad setup. Not good in the heat and tried some more fixes but no better in the Bmain. The motor is frustrating too. It still stumbles on starts and just doesn't seem to be sharp. So we raced, DNQ, loaded up and watched.
Car was good in hot laps. A good draw put me on the pole of heat one. The motor still is flat on starts. Got passed in the straight. Handling was good and ended up third and in the redraw for the feature. With 40+ cars in the pits it was good to make the show out of the heat.
Radar looked bad and some big drops fell and then it quit.
Started 4th in the feature. Motor bogged at the start again and when I needed the brakes in traffic in turn one the pedal wouldn't move ! Never had that happen before and it was very unsettling. Several cars got by as I was collecting the car.
I was cautious getting into three and lost more spots. Our race is after all the other races so on the slower track I use the brake, while still on the throttle, to slow the car without letting the chassis settle on the suspension.
I tried to figure it out. Something was jammed. Under caution I felt around at the master cylinder linkage but couldn't feel anything wrong. I thought maybe it was something broken inside the master cylinder or in the check valve or maybe a rock hit the brake line and pinched it but this felt more mechanical and didn't feel like a pressure build.
I was racing without brakes. Usually with soft brakes I could pump it in the straight and have some brakes at the corner but this pedal wouldn't move. I thought about pulling in.
Under the next caution, I played around the with the pedal with my foot and found that if I pressed really hard that it would go past what was stopping it and worked fine. Then I found that if I pulled the pedal to the right as I pushed it that it worked OK.
It was now past halfway and the workaround let me get back up to speed on the restart. I passed a couple cars and that was it to the end. Finished 16th but the car felt good at the end.
In the pits I found that a bracket that I have to hold the steel plate floor pan (to make weight) in place had turned into the path of the brake pedal. Easy fix but unfortunate problem to have on a night with a good starting spot.
Started raining just as we were loading up and it rained all the way home.
Car didn't feel good in hotlaps. Just wasn't sticking like it had before. a tough nite at Port Royal.
Started inside row 3 in the heat race. Motor was flat at the start and I dropped back but gained on the car ahead coming out of two and dove in low beside him in three. As we went through four a car at the front spun and came down across the track at corner exit. I was on the bottom with a car to the outside and cars ahead. There was only a second for everyone to find a way past the spun car and they all went for the bottom.
We were three wide in a two wide hole. I got wheel slammed on the right side and it spun me left side forward and it felt like the car was going to layover and flip but fortunately it just spun and stopped in the straight.
I was lucky. The other two cars tangled and flipped hard behind me. A race official looked over my car and found no problems. I started 6th on the restart, picked off one car coming out of two and finished 5th to make the feature from the heat.
I made some setup changes but never really got the car right. I kept pace at my spot in the feature but could not make any headway. The 21st finish was OK considering 40+ cars in the pits and a tangle in the heat.
A descent draw put me in the second row of the heat. At the start, going into one the car in front of me hung in the corner and I slowed to wait for him or a hole to open and I got drilled in the back bumper and spun. On the restart I passed a couple cars but got wheel slammed on the right side exiting two and nearly spun again. Finished at the back but everyone made the feature so I would start in the last row.
In the feature I passed a few cars and some dropped out and we finished 19th.
Raced hard to keep positions but racing side by side going into three we both went to the bottom and hit wheel to wheel and spun. Was ok until t-boned by oncoming traffic.
Crew replaced bent parts and we started at the back of the Bmain and moved from 9th to 6th but they took four. Then it rained just as the featured started and it's re-scheduled for two weeks later and I will be in Brewerton, NY for the weekend so I couldn't run the race anyway.
Royal 4/6/19 PA Sprint Series (PASS)
25th in feature and finish 24. Passed some cars at the beginning
but the car got looser at the end and lost some spots.
My schedule took me back to Brewerton, NY to take care of my mother while my sister was at her horse shows. In the May and June trips I took the 360 with me and Greg and I ran some Patriot and ESS shows. Then in August my best friend and crewman Greg Moteyunas died unexpectedly. We had been together for 19 seasons and for the last time at the ESS Utica Rome race. My late summer trip to NY was now to put him to rest along with my NY racing.
In the shop, over the winter, repairs of parts and pieces are being worked on along with cleaning and painting. Spares are being assembled and cars prepared. Going through the 305 car will make it ready for the first PA Sprint Series race in March.