Dave Wickham Racing

2020 Planned Races

305 PA Sprint Series



Friday, April 03, 2020

Williams Grove

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Port Royal

Sunday, April 05, 2020


Saturday, April 11, 2020


Saturday, April 18, 2020

Path Valley

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Port Royal

Saturday, May 09, 2020


Saturday, May 23, 2020


Friday, May 29, 2020


Saturday, May 30, 2020

Port Royal

Saturday, June 06, 2020


Saturday, June 13, 2020

Path Valley

Sunday, June 28, 2020


Saturday, July 04, 2020


Friday, July 17, 2020


Saturday, July 18, 2020

Port Royal

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Path Valley

Saturday, August 01, 2020


Saturday, August 08, 2020

Port Royal

Friday, August 14, 2020

Path Valley

Saturday, August 15, 2020


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Port Royal

Saturday, Sept 12, 2020

Path Valley

Sept 25,


Season wrap up
What a wacky year. Covid shut down the first half or the racing season. It was June for the first race for our series. Car counts were high everywhere. Once things got going, the tracks tried to make up for all the lost races with mid week shows. Our series just followed pre set schedule. I ran once a week somewhere and only had a couple weeks where I didn't race. 14 races in all. 21st in points for the season doing 60% of the races. Made most features. One top ten. One crash. Raced at every track in Central PA; Port Royal, Selinsgrove, Williams Grove, Lincoln, Susquehanna-BAPS, Path Valley, Trailways.

Mike, Jim and Robbie, Burt and Teresa all helped at the track. There were some issues with the trailer but for the most part things went well.

Time now to clean out the fuel systems and go through everything to get ready for next year. Hopefully the virus will be put under control early and the racing season will be more normal.

Susquehanna -BAPS 10-16-20
Last race of the season. Decent sunny fall day, in fact in the 70's but dropping to the 50's. Late fall races have a different feeling. The low sun angle, heat races under the lights, cool breeze and falling leaves, jackets instead of tee shirts, heater for the motor... a time to try something different.

After finding out that removing the fuel filter before the injectors brought the motor to life, I decided to bring out the other car and see if that change would help the motor in this car. The Maxim chassis had been sitting ready all season with the original 305 motor. I wanted to try some things and changing cars was something that had been in mind for the last month.

Susky has been dusty and dry with varying cushions over the past few years. I expected it to be dried out and slick so I set the car up with one set softer bars at the rear and front. It's something I wanted to try. Looking at notes from past races, I saw that the RPMs were a bit low at 7000 so I put in a different gear.

Mike came along to crew the car. Usually these last season races have a low car count but there were thirty eight cars in the pits. I pulled a decent number and would start third in the 10 car heat.

The car was decent in hot laps and the motor was amazing ! I hadn't felt that kind of response ever before from this motor. When I checked the tach I saw why. I was 300 above “red line”. 7200 is the target and 7500 will break springs in these limited motors. I backed up one set on the gears and hit 7200 the rest of the night.

The motor took off good at the start of the heat but I still ended up fourth going into one. The track still had moisture with crumbles marbling the groove. I held the position until late in the race when the car slipped up off the bottom and a car got through and I finished 5th and made the show.

Mike and I discussed the setup and what we thought the track would do. I was still having to wait on the throttle mid corner. I tried some things to load the RR, expecting a slicker track and wanting to see if I could get the car better, center out.

I started outside of the ninth row in the feature. Motor took off good and as I entered the first turn on the outside, I turned in but the car didn't. It pushed like a dump truck and headed up the track. I lifted to get it to turn and by the time I got back on it I had lost several spots. I tried a little harder to turn into three on the outside but the car went straight.

So I had it way too tight. Soft bars, too much RR weight, less tie down and a track that didn't dry out left me with a car I had to break loose to corner. Not fast. But tonite was a time to try something. Removing the secondary fuel filter fixed the motor that I'd been struggling with for a couple year and if nothing else, it was worth knowing, that problem was solved, and that alone was a positive note to end on.

Port Royal 10-10-20
We ran all the races at Port except for one and were 25th in points out of 76 drivers that raced there. This race is an invitational for the top 26 in points and is the support race for the final World of Outlaws race in PA.

Jim and Robbie and Mike came to crew the car and watch the races. We were pitted next to the 18 car with Geo Scelzi driving. Our little rig looked like a peanut next to the huge tractor trailer and giant graphics. When they rolled the car out, the cars are the same size, lol.

Our hot laps was after the 50+ Outlaw hot laps and time trials so the track was already showing streaks of black as prep was just a grading of the former cushion over the previous black slick packed base.

In the draw I pulled 5th in the first heat. At the start going in to one I was a little wide but still got passed on the outside. The car would get in good but then mid corner is where the car starts to drift up the track as I try to get back into the throttle. It's mid corner where other cars pull away. The brown streaks bands of moisture were being ground off putting loose dirt on the black slick. It is frustrating to fall back leaving the only pleasure of driving a sprint car at Port Royal as fast as I can.
Here's a link to the incar video of my heat race

The invitational is a start all event with no B main to be run after the Outlaw feature. By this time the track was blown off and mostly black but still with some grooves of brown moisture and decent bite. Smooth top to bottom with the cushion now at the wall.

My start was way at the back but I was able to pass going in but still had the mid corner drift that kills corner speed. Passing one car coming out of four I got beside another entering one when the red came out. The race continued until a caution about half way and another about 5 laps later and a couple more after that. The fun was driving and not having problems. The finish was about where I started.
Here is a link to the incar video of the feature.

Lincoln 9-25-20
I looked forward to our second trip to Lincoln. I felt comfortable on the track earlier this season. This race was a friday special in support of a big race for the Legend cars. The pits were packed with the small cars from 10 states when we got there and we were directed to a spot near the entry gate. The day was overcast with the clouds breaking up as the sun was ready to set. Jim and Robbie were there to help.

Teresa drew a 45 which put me 7th in the third heat. The track was going to hold moisture with only the small cars on track before us and the overcast day and that would make passing tough.

When the pack took off, it was as expected as everyone fell in line in starting order. I was out of a qualifying spot and a couple laps of trying to sneak under the car ahead was getting me nowhere. The cushion was mid track so I moved up and tried that faster entry and cornering speed. The longer path kept me in position, not gaining or losing, but getting some experience on the cushion.

The Bmain lineup had me starting 6th and they were taking 6 but there were a few strong cars ahead and a few behind me that had trouble in their heats, that I knew would be coming. After we were pushed off and the track was clear they told us to catch up to the pace truck and line up. As we came around four, there were two cars stopped on the track. Apparently they were racing around to get to the pack and one slowed and the other didn't and clipped him. They towed away the car that was supposed to start in front of me so I moved up a row to fourth.

On the start I drove into one on the cushion and passed a car going in but he had good bite off the bottom coming out. I tried the bottom but the car didn't work as good there. A car passed on the cushion and I moved up behind him at the next corner and ran the cushion for the rest of the race to finish 5th.

It felt good to be comfortable on the cushion and run fast with a bunch of cars following and not able to catch me. The track was now black in the middle with some bottom left and a nice cushion. We made a few changes for the feature.

Starting in the last row is a time when you look far ahead and leave yourself an out. But going into one there was a car on the outside so I ran the bottom. Going down the back straight, the top was open and I drove in and passed two cars. I ran the top for the next few turns and was faster than the cars on the bottom catching the cars ahead.

Out of two, there was a car running way down low in the straightaway. I caught him as I entered the top of three and he went tight to the inside guard rail. At mid corner he was drifting up off the bottom toward the outside as we came out of four. I turned down off the cushion and pulled up under him as we got to mid straight. I had a nose under and I was going to enter one, down low and pass him but mid straight he moved left, I guess to take his low line into the corner and slapped my right front and turned me toward the inside fence.

I should have just backed out and gone in high behind him but I had a good run, thought I could beat him to the corner and so I tried to stay under him but he kept coming down and I never got corrected and slapped the inside guard rail just before corner entry.

The left front slapped and scraped the wall bending the radius rod and cutting the tire. That swung the back end in and the car bounced off the wall sideways, sliding right side first into the first turn groove with the front end messed up.

I was really pissed at myself for a stupid mistake. I had felt really racy and was passing cars. I felt like I could make some real headway in this race, running the cushion or the bottom. The car felt really good and tonite the car gave me some confidence. I guess too much.

Racing decisions are split second, made on the fly, guessing where the traffic will go, positioning to force the other car to give way. The brain in the other car is weighing the same flood of motion and maneuver with his own view point and expectations. Sometimes decisions clash and there's no time left to react.

It was a night of ups and downs, gifts and gollies... despite the crash, the good time I had on track was the reward.

Williams Grove 9-18-20
The sticky heat of summer has transformed quickly to the windy chill of fall. Climate change has stirred the daily weather along with an overcast of smoke from over 100 forest fires along the west coast. Racing continues late into the fall in Pa despite the CV plague but in an effort to make up for the lost spring. I have more energy in the cool, low humidity.

Everyone wants to race at Williams Grove. Each time the 305s race there, too many cars show up... this time 45. Four 12 car heats, taking 5, two Bmains taking three each. I send Teresa to the draw as my luck of the draw has not been good. She comes up with a 61 out of 70. I guess the luck runs with the team, not the person.

Starting this far back with good cars from the Carolinas, NY, Vermont, Maryland, NJ as well as the Pa regulars is a big challenge. This is an All Star Circuit of Champions race for the 410s. We are in the first heat after their time trials for 40 cars.

The car was tight in hot laps so we didn't change anything for the heat expecting the track would come to us. The 410s all used the cushion, each widening the groove and leaving behind a semi crumb covered slick middle. The very bottom was left untouched. I started on the outside row of the heat but planned to get to the very bottom in one.

My plan was the same as the rest of the pack as we fell into line with a few stuck in a second groove but able to hang on to the back stretch. I was able to stay with the car ahead waiting for him to slip up off the bottom. I felt faster but couldn't charge in on him entering because I didn't have enough stick to keep off him.

With a few laps to go, a car spun in three and collected the car ahead of me and I went high around the pair as one got upside down.

A good restart got me inside a car going into one and pulled past out of two. The motor was strong but not enough to make up for the lack of corner speed. I held the position, second car out of qualifying. We'd start the B inside of the second row.

Mike and Jim with Robbie looking on, got tires and fuel set for the B. There was a chance. They were taking three and I was starting on the inside row in third out of a dozen cars. The track had now seen 7 more heat races, two dashes and the 410 Bmain. The cushion was now at the fence, the bottom was gone and the middle was black.

Start of the B went as planned as I pinned the bottom in third but as I got on the throttle mid corner the car was slipping up off the bottom. At this point either hold back on the throttle to stay on the bottom but have a slow corner exit speed and get beat in the straight or try to keep corner speed with the car drifting off the bottom. No win situation, I just didn't have the setup to stick the car.

I drifted off the bottom trying to make as much speed as the car would deliver but saw the nose of a car on the inside as we swept out of two. Trying harder in three, I got passed on the inside by one more car. It was clear I wasn't going to qualify so I thought I'd try something different just for the experience. There was a car running the very top that was making some headway. Granted he was the series point leader and usually hooked up and going forward but I had nothing to lose and a handful of laps to see what was up there.

I started running in high but uncertain what the car would do and if I could catch it if it turned toward the fence. Off throttle the car was tight and didn't turn in easily. I tried different things intending to pick up the cushion or line of bite, mid corner and follow it out. But the uncomfortable entry made me chicken shit the corner and slide to the cushion late and exit at the top. I ran that line for the last half of the race. It wasn't fast as cars on the bottom crawled past but this wasn't for position, just for the experience of the top of this track surface, the car and me.

Path Valley 9-12-20
Back to this bull ring for a second week in a row, unusual for this traveling series. Different from all other Pa tracks but these high banks are fun to race. The day had been fully overcast, in the low 70's with no wind. We got there early to snag a good pit space. Jim and Robbie and Mike arrived later.

They had tore up the track and laid it full of water at noon and now at 5pm they were running-in a mud pie. It was packing in smooth but slimy wet. They asked for some help from the street stocks just to get it raceable. The 305s were the only cars with any power so despite previous hot laps by other classes, we hit a pretty raw track to run at speed. With some stagger on and the car felt good. I stayed back from other cars but still loaded the car and wings with flying mud.

The draw put me 4th in the second heat. The groove was a couple cars wide with a comfortable cushion mid track. At the start I stayed high and made it out of two in fourth. From there on, the fast groove was the middle. Even with the bottom open there was no passing as everyone handles on a sticky track.

The heat finish put me in the redraw for the feature and I pulled an 8 out of the bag. We didn't change much on the car. I was starting on the outside row again with a mid track cushion and a surface still brown.

The start went well coming out of two in sixth. A couple of strong runners had started at the back of their heats and started behind me. I knew they would be coming. I stuck to the bottom and held my own trying to get under the car ahead. The series point leader came by on the outside late in the race but once past me he made no more headway and I stayed with him. Another car charged the cushion and passed going into one and picked up a couple more spots before the end.

We finished 8th and ran a strong race. Even with the middle getting slick and the bottom going away, the car ran good and we had a good finish. The monday morning washdown of the mud splattered car took twice as long as usual.

Path Valley 9-5-20
Blown trailer tires were the issue last trip to this bull ring but we were able to sort out our engine troubles that night, despite being late and pitting in no-mans-land. This time Burt and I left early to get a decent pit spot and have pit time to get ready to race.

The weather has shifted to fall mode and the warm sunny day was comfortable with low humidity. Rain all week made track conditions a question. Would it stay tacky all night or did they leave it a sealed tight leftover from last week.

It was a heavy track for hot laps and the car pushed with the setup I started with. The line up sheet had me starting sixth in the second heat. I was just getting in the car as the first heat cars were being pushed out. It was quiet enough to hear the announcer and as he was reading the line up he said “and from Hanover”... . I thought is somebody else from Hanover? I need to go meet them later... and then he said my name!! I was supposed to be in the second heat !!! I got hooked up quick as I could as they were starting the cars. Burt pushed me out onto the track and a push truck got me going. I had no idea where I was supposed to start so I waited for the cars to form around me. I was sixth.

The cushion was a couple car widths off the bottom and there was bite below that. I wasn't sure what the car would do but I was on the outside row. As we entered three for the start, the outside front row car crowded down and rubbed tires with the pole car. Smoke came off the tire sidewalls. Then he did it again and in four, the pole sitter took off with the other car just off his right rear. As they entered one, the pole sitter went for the cushion and clipped the left front of the other car sending him hopping in the rough cushion and the car jumped up over the top of the wall and into the catch fence where people in the pits usually stand and watch. One of the fence poles and cables caught the car as it tore the fencing. It ended, resting on the rear bumper on top of the wall, pointing straight up and leaning against the pole. It took about 10 minutes for them to remove the car with a large fork lift extending boom machine.

We restarted the race and somehow I was sixth again. I should have moved up a row or been fifth but this track has had problems with lineups for me. The track was fast and not much passing. I tried to pass coming out but had no more than the car ahead. There were 24 cars so everyone would start the feature. The lineup set me 19th.

There were 6 classes of cars with latemodels being the other class that uses up the track. Our feature was first and I was trying to guess what the track surface was going to do. After being a little pushy in the heat, I didn't change much.

First laps of the feature were a bit wild and the cars in my neighborhood were all chasing the bottom. I tried wedging in under the car ahead with different entry lines. I finally got a nose under coming out and each turn I'd get another few feet inside the other car. After several laps I finally worked myself past and went to the outside wall and started running the cushion to see what was there and how the car and driver felt there.

The car worked good on the cushion. I passed some cars and some passed me. At one point I was up to 15th but in the give and take I ended up 17th. It was more important for me to get some cushion time than where I finished. The bottom had gotten used up mostly and the middle was black slick by mid race.

This is a backwoods bullring but the surface, banking and shape make it fun to race. We are back here again next week. Nice to be able to race weekly while other parts of the country are shut down with CV19.

Port Royal 8-22-20
Back to Port for rain-out madness. Three features for the 410 sprints, plus a complete 305 show and Usac East wingless 360s. Big car counts and a track with shallow moisture will make this an interesting race night.

Trailer woes should be behind us now, hopefully, with all new tires and two new spares. Teresa and I head to the track early, just in case and also to get a decent pit spot. Mike McConnell will meet us there to crew.

Hot laps revealed a dried out track that was black under a dirty loose comb over. The car didn't stick but the motor was strong. With a draw of 45 out of 60, a slick track and 40 PASS 305 cars on hand, this would be a very tough challenge.

We tightened the car for the heat race but we're starting 8th with 5 to qualify. A good start from the outside row put me mid track in turn one. The slick didn't allow much passing and we ended where we started.

Our Bmain would see a track after 12 heat races and bright sun. Starting 15th and taking 6 would be very tall order. We tightened the car some more hoping to pin the RR and roll the corner. But the car was now just tight getting in and not hooked up at all. The Bmain was our feature. Not much passing by anyone in any class on this ice rink. Haven't seen a track this slick since racing in NY.

One good thing that came out of this race was the points. Port Royal keeps points for the 305s and the top 26 are invited to a race in October. This was the last points race and we ended up 25th out of 73 in points that have competed this year and we will run the October invitational race.

Port Royal 8-8-20
It's been a hot summer... hottest on record according to the forecasters. If it's not the temperature, it's the humidity. But despite the weather, everyone wants to race at Port. It's one of the nicest facilities with a racy shaped half mile that is glass smooth and easy on tires. It has always been my favorite track and I'm not alone as this night 49 PASS 305 cars show up.

Getting there was not without it's trials as the trailer has another tire problem about 20 miles from the track. How could this be !!! This time we feel a bump from the trailer but not the truck. I look in the mirror and everything looks OK. There is an exit ramp ahead so I stop to check things out. This time, the tread is gone on the left rear trailer tire. All I can figure now is that these tires are just old and need to be replaced. The tire swap now only takes 15 minutes and we're on the road. I now will put all new tires on the trailer next week and carry two spares.

At the track, the first event for the night is one you have no control over... the draw. A big number is murder but I draw a 9. That will start me on the front row of one of the 5 heats. Only 4 will qualify and the top 2 will redraw for the top 10 spots in the feature.

This will be the first time to run the motor on a big track since the bad fuel filter was removed. I could feel a difference in hot laps. The filter must have been a problem under the radar for a long time and may even be part of the problem we've been having with the other engine.

A quick glance at the heat line up and this looks like an easy heat. Start of the heat, outside of first row, approach the chalk line, pedal down and the car takes off and pulls past the pole sitter as I take the lead into the first turn. Out of two and heading down the back straight, a car passes on the outside as we enter three. This car is flying, on the cushion, against the wall. He's from Ohio and pitted next to us.

I can't stay with him but run smooth laps as hard as I can. I feel comfortable on the bottom but I'm not ready to race wide open, two feet from the outside wall. He has a straightaway lead at the end of the race and I'm ten car lengths ahead of third. It was a good run, lap times all within a couple tenths, car was a little tight on a track that still had some bite.

I pull eight at the redraw putting me on the outside of row four. My guess is that the track will be black and slick by feature with two Bmains, a 410 feature and a latemodel feature before we hit the track. I make some changes to tighten the car.

My plan for the start is to get to the inside for turn one entry. When the flag drops we charge down the straight and I move to the center of the track to get a sweep to the bottom of one and just as I'm ready to turn in, flash, there's a car inside of me. It screws up my entry and I run the turn in the slick middle with cars all around. It's like the break shot on a pool table and cars are hung out sideways, drifting across lines and diving into holes. I loose a bunch of spots getting collected and dodging other cars and have no momentum for the staight. It's better than crashing but kills my speed.

A few rows behind, the break shot stumbles into a brawl as cars drive over each other sending three flipping along the back straight wall.

When the race resumes I'm only able to hold on to my position at the back. Despite all the racing, the track still has some bite top and bottom and I'm too tight and not fast in the corners. In the end, I'm 17th. Not the finish I wanted but glad to have the motor run right and now not overheating, and close on the chassis. I have work on staying lower and closer to the inside rail and getting the setup right.

My finish wasn't what I expected but the fast car next to us in the pits finished second and was found to have “a few thousandths too much lift” when the motor was teched after the race. These were nice guys that we chatted with and compared some notes after the heat race. I'm sure their infraction was not intentional, it was not enough out of spec to be any real advantage. It was a well prepared team that somehow got just over the edge. Sometimes the driver gets over the edge and uses up a car. This time the motor builder got too close and used up a good finish.

Path Valley 7-25-20
There are days when everything goes right. When I hit all the lights green on the way to the track I have a feeling that this will be a good day. Sometimes those green lights are found in a maze of obstacles and a good day has to be graded as one that doesn't end in disaster.

Teresa and I were on schedule on this hot and humid saturday. Jim and Robbie would join us at this little bullring about 2 hrs down the Pa Turnpike in the middle of nowhere... mountains and backroads with crossroad towns and Amish buggies. It is one of the smallest tracks I've ever raced at but the shape and high banks make this quarter mile really racy and fun.

About 45 minutes from the track... BOOM. I look in the mirror and see chunks of tire flying off the side of the trailer. I quickly pull over. There's a wide spot that I pass as I stop and back up to it to check out the problem. RR trailer tire (of four) is shredded. Tread gone and inner casing cut straight across. It's an older tire like the rest that came on the trailer but still good deep tread. I can't really tell what happened but I have everything I need on board and I can change this fairly quick.

I jack the trailer, get the brand new spare off the front and make the swap. Tire pressure is low so I fire up the generator and compressor and pump up the tire to the spec pressure. 35 minutes and were on the road and not too late but it will make things a little more hectic at the track.

15 miles from the track and... BOOM ! Another tire explosion. I pull over just past an exit ramp. It's the same tire location and this time the brand new tire I just put on is shredded. I back up and take the exit and get off the turnpike. Right across the intersection with the local road is a big parking lot for a closed pizza shop, a great place to change a tire but now I have no spare.

I call Jim and tell him what's going on. He's on his way. I tell him to see if he can find a tire and get back to me. He says, I just passed a Tractor Supply, I'll check there. I text him the size. He calls back and says they have two already mounted. I tell him to get both and we'll swap those tires on my rims if different. He says OK it will be about an hour and he'll be there.

Now next door to the pizza place is a car repair shop that is closed but they have a pile of used tires out back. I go through the pile and find a couple worn tires that are near the same size and the internet says they are only 1.2” larger circumference. BONUS ! While I wait I grab two used discard tires and mount one on a rim removing a recently blown.

As I look to see what is causing this problem I see a corner of metal that is part of the side of the trailer but right above the tire so I get out the grinder and cut it back even with the fender well. If that's the cause, I don't know why, unless one of the torsion axles on the trailer is getting weak. It's a 1997 trailer but there hasn't been a problem until now.

Jim arrives with the new tires and I put one on. The rim fits the bolt pattern and it's the high load rating version... the correct replacement. We head for the track about 20 minutes away hoping we don't blow another tire, but with a new spare now and a couple used tires for spare, I feel we can probably get home after the races. We go through the two tunnels and see another race car trailer beside the road with a likely flat.

When we arrive at the track the pits are full with the 6 classes of cars they are running tonite. We sign in and he says you will have to pit on the upper deck. Where's that? Turn left, go to the back of the pit and then take the road up the hill.

He wasn't kidding. We're going up the side of the mountain behind the track that is about a quarter mile drive, 100 yards behind the grand stands and about 75 feet above the top row of seats! I get parked and start unloading the car, four wheeler and tool cart and equipment. It's a major scramble but somehow we're here before hot laps.

We get all the shocks mounted, wing up, tires set and I get suited up. Jim pushed me across this parking area and I go down the hill to the track and get on track to get the motor started drive back up the hill to the trailer and Jim is able to check the timing and it looks close.

Oh yeah, remember last week when the motor went flat mid feature and I pulled in at Trailways Speedway? This week has been a head scratcher trying to figure out what went wrong. #2 plug was white and the rockers on that cylinder had lost about half their lash for some reason. All valve springs measured OK and all cylinders leak tested OK. No clogged nozzles, broken spark plugs or wires off. Injector butterflys were all tight. Fuel system bypasses checked OK. Timing looked correct but could have been off a bit and the nut holding the mag wasn't fully tight. So I re-timed the mag, as that and resetting the lash on #2 were the only things I could find wrong.

So now at the track, with heat and humidity, high anxiety, time pressure and age, I'm wore out and just getting my race night started. I go out for hot laps and the motor is flat. Just like last week, it idles ok, low speed is ok and then in the straight it has no power and just goes blaaaaaaahhhhhh.

I immediately go back to the pits and Jim and I talk it over and guess that it might be a bad mag so I get out the spare mag and we pull the hood and air cleaners, bump the car to the timing mark and pull the mag. I check the continuity of #2 plug wire, plug to cap, just in case but it's good. Teresa says the pill draw is closed and we are last in the third heat. We scramble, have a hard time getting the oil pump shaft just right for the mag to drop in and waste a lot of time trying. It's getting close to race time and I'm starting to panic. Finally after about 20 minutes the mag drops and we're ready to set the timing with my meter. That goes quick and they are calling out the first heat. We have a bit of time now.

I get down the track for the third heat and they say you were in the first heat and can't go out. I tell him we were told third heat and we're way up on the hill. I have to start the motor cause of trouble and he says OK. I push off and get to the back of the field. Now I find that my radio isn't working so I can't hear but I can tell from the corner flaggers that they want me off the track but I need to try the car on the throttle to see if we fixed it. They try to get me off track for 5 laps and then give up and just start the race. I stand on it and blaaaaahhhhhh and head off track and to the trailer. Jim checks the timing and it's right on.

I'm lost, tired and need to try something new... right now. I check the high speed bypass to see if maybe under pressure it opens wrong or leaks. I get out the setup guages and it checks good. As I stand there I remember that we have to run this shut off valve at the tank and check it to see that it is wide open. I disconnect the fuel line at the pump and there is full flow to the pump. I loosen the fuel pump and re-engage it to see if it may have slipped out of the hex drive or a bad shaft but it is ok.

Then in this now totally dark parking area and using a flashlight I poke my head under the side of hood as I open the side panel and remove the inline fuel filter going to the injectors and blow through it. It doesn't blow freely and now I've finally found it. I replace the filter with a coupler fitting and start thinking about setup.

A friend that I talked setup to during the week shows up and we talk over what I have and what to try. So I adjust to his suggestions as I have no laps on the track at speed at this point and can see the track from on high ground but don't know what the surface is doing. His setup is looser that I had in and at this point it was as good a call as any. I had a Bmain to run... five starting, taking three, I'm starting last.

Jim pushes me to the track. Two cars scratch with problems and they cancel the B. Good news is that we are in the A but don't know if the motor is really fixed. They let me start the car and I buzz a lap with full power and head back to the pits. Jim finds the right frequency for the radio and I reset it.

Finally I get about 10 minutes to sit down, drink some water and catch my breath. Hot, humid, with three layers of fire suit, I'm HOT, starting last, 21st, at a bullring with no laps, hoping to survive and maybe be racy.

When I get on track, it's completely different from last time here with slick, bottom to top. This track is sticky wet at the bottom, fair middle and wet top, reworked by track crew. Good bite everywhere.

On the start, I get a good run at the bottom and get under a car coming out. A couple laps later I'm able to get under a car out of two, drag race the straight and beat him into three. A couple passes and a couple of spins with cautions moves me up to 15th. The car is tight... really tight. I have to pull hard on the wheel to enter the corner and then be careful on the throttle or the front pushes up off the bottom. Coming off is good down low but buzz the tires if I'm off the tacky patch half a width.

I'm stuck behind a car running the same line and I can't get an edge on him so I try high once to see if I can drive around him. The middle is now slick loose and when I try higher, the front end pushes toward the fence and I have to lift. Two cars get under me and I end up 17th.

Engine ran great and although we missed the setup, we were racy and in one piece. Adrenaline kept me going and now at midnite I can get everything put away, loaded up and heading home hoping for no more tire trauma.

We made it home with no more tire issues. Either bad tires or a bump with a trailer edge cut, I don't know but trailer work will be on the task list for the week. I'm just glad the motor problem is fixed.

Trailways 7-17-20
This track has been on the bucket list since we decided to move to Hanover. The plan was that I was going to buy a 358 motor and race there every friday. I bought a 358 wing which is now a relic due to the change by the series to the standard 5x5.

But while I was looking for a good 358 motor I ran across a new good 305 motor and bought that instead. The 305 is a better deal for me anyway. I like running with this group. We get to race everywhere but everytime Trailways was on the schedule for the past couple of years I had to be in NY.

This was the first year that my schedule didn't conflict. The track is only about 10 miles from the Hanover house and it's a track I have never raced. I have watched races there. It's a narrow paper clip third with medium high banking and concrete wall all around the outside. The infield is open and at at least provides some escape if there is a problem. And problems do tend to collect cars so I've always been a little apprehensive about racing there.

Hot laps was comfortable. The heat race went well with the moist dirt pushed up to make a nice cushion. I ran bottom and a little on top. The short field meant everyone made the feature. I would start 10th.

The outside row looked like a problem to me if someone spun up front. I was heading for the bottom as soon as it opened up. I was at the entry of three when the pack took off as the green came out, and as we charged down the front straight and headed for one, I got to the bottom and read the traffic as we drove into one. There was space at the the entry to one on the bottom and I stuck my nose in, just as another car swept in from the middle. My RF hit his LR just hard enough that we both spun.

I stood on it to try to do a 360 but stalled as the car backed into the inside berm. On the restart I ran the bottom but so did most of the others ahead of me. I stuck my nose in and got a couple spots but about halfway the motor started going flat midway down the straights. For a couple of laps it got worse and I tried some different things to try to clear the motor. It felt like a fuel problem but adjusting the pill setting made no difference. Then I thought it might be a broken valve spring. After a couple laps I pulled in.

It was good to race there and it would be fine for me if they raced there on a weekly basis. It's a race track, just like all the others. Good to get this place off the bucket list.

At the shop I checked everything and found a tight valve setting on #2 and that the timing had slipped. All the valve springs measured the same and all cylinders leak tested the same. I reset the timing and got the car ready for the next race.

Selinsgrove 7-11-20
Planned to go but it looked like rain so I decided to stay home. It rained just before hot laps. They ran the track in and did hot laps about 10:30 and started the feature about 1pm. We wouldn't have been home until 4 or 5 am. It was a URC race and some teams thought the track was too fast and unsafe and refused to race. 8 URC teams left. It was a flat out train of a race. A good miss for us.

Lincoln 7-4-20
I've been looking forward to running this track since we moved to Hanover but not without reservations. Back in the day I ran here twice. I don't remember the first but I do remember the second and last time. I still remember with a picture in my mind. It must have been in a heat race, not under the lights, a car spun in turn two and I was committed and drove into him straight on. No where to go...wasn't a hard hit.

The bent frame sat out in front of our shop for more than a year after. The big block Ben Cook car I got from Harold Chub – Paveway- needed a front half replacement but by now we were running a small block and it made more sense to get a new frame from Ben Cook. The bent frame was eventually sold.

Never went back to Lincoln “Crashway”. I was better suited to the big sweeping ovals like Port, Selinsgrove, Sharon, Syracuse although we ran Susquehanna, Williams Grove and Lernerville (no walls and easy on tires and fuel) and wherever else there was a race.

So Lincoln was on the bucket list and only 8 miles from home. I've watched lots of races there now and see how the cars work the corners. It's still a trap between the walls... easy to get collected. Anticipation plus anxiety.

Getting on track would settle concerns. I've been on lots of tracks for the first time and they all have a groove. I had a very different setup in the car. A pretty radical departure from what I've been running to try and solve the loose drift at mid corner. I was a lot too tight for the Lincoln wet hot laps but I got around and got a feel for the place.

Jim and Robbie Miller came to crew the car and Teresa chased lineups. Zach Newlin came by after hot laps and I told him what I was trying. He said 'sounds tight... try this' and penned a setting on the trailer white board. I changed the car over to ZN.

A poor draw put me 8th of 10 in the heat taking 6. First lap, first turn a car spins and collects the car running the bottom below me as I drive around. Lucky to start on the outside and not have the bottom open up because I would have been there.

Two more restarts moved me up in the order. The car got in good but was loose middle. I held onto where I was but made no headway. Fifth put me in the show.

ZN came by. We talked. I made suggested changes.

Starting sixteenth with some good cars behind from the Bmain that had trouble in their heats. The start is always chancy and I was ready for some hot foot to spin mid pack. We got a couple laps in and things strung out. I had passed a couple and a couple passed me. The car stuck better but was still no match for the car ahead. After an early caution the race ran to the end and I got some laps in, holding position to finish eighteenth.

The car was better but actually a little tight but still not rolling the corner the way it should. Faster than some but can be better. Its always good to have a car in one piece and roll it on the trailer at the end.

Curt Hershey
I heard from a friend that Curt died unexpectedly. Was not feeling good and finally was persuaded to go the hospital. Got up out of his chair, took 5 steps and fell dead... I was told. He was a decade younger than me.

I met him a few years ago when I bought the 305 that he had built. Since I bought a second 305 BECAUSE he built it. He treated me like an old friend but not just 'cause he remembered me from the 80s. Phone calls and conversations lasted hours. We had the same thoughts on motor and chassis and what was important and what was overkill and what was unnecessary expense. He knew the technology, lore and legend.

I've only had three motor builders that were excellent and worked with my needs and budget. He was one of them. He was an important part of my racing and a true mentor that I could call and discuss anything and get reasoned solutions to try. No BS.

Curt had lots of success as a motor builder, had a 410 win at Port already this season. Lots of 305 guys depended on him. He got real good with that motor combination.

I expected he'd be there forever for me. I will really miss him. He will be near impossible to replace as a motor builder and friend.

Selinsgrove 6-28-20
Word got around that the track ate tires a few weeks ago at the first race. Second race wasn't bad they said. This was the third 305 race this season with CV19 and all. Dave and Rhonda came along to help. Teresa had to work the next day and stayed home and watched on the computer TV broadcast.

I ran flat out in hot laps and the track felt fast... not racy fast... scary fast. By feature time some of the 305s were actually faster than a few of the 410s but in hot laps the 410s had full glue. The mid track cushion gave some margin but by heat race time the cushion was two feet from the wall.

I was in a troubled heat with several restarts but fortunately none involving me. That luck put me in the Amain.

Our race ran after the 410s put 35 laps on the track. Cushion at the wall and bottom pretty much gone with glaze from there to the top. The race ran off smooth. Drove under the car ahead a couple times but couldn't pass. Car still gets a loose drift mid corner. Ended 20th and used up both rear tires.

Port Royal 6-20-20
Two weeks in a row at this track is fine with me. I'd run here every week if it was scheduled. The hour and 45 minute tow was sticky with a truck A/C problem. 41 cars would make for tough competition. I drew 50 out of 60 which is a grandstand pass without a fast car or some luck. The virus is still at large.

This week I brought the XXX car with the new to me Newlin motor. I was hoping that this would be a better handling car and stronger motor.

The motor felt stronger and did take off better. The chassis setup was the same as l used last week and this car felt better but didn't stick as good as I had hoped. It got in good but would wash out on exit.

I started 9th in the heat, taking 5. The first lap was good and I passed a car going into three but couldn't hold him coming off. I fell in line and finished 9th not being able to gain ground. That put me 14th in the Bmain, taking 6.

In the first lap while everyone was getting sorted out, I got under one car coming out of one and I drove around the outside of two cars going into three and cleared one coming off. After that I could make no headway and got passed coming out by two cars later in the race. I ended up 14th.

It is always fun running Port. I will need to stick the car better to make the most of the motor.

Port Royal 6-14-20
This is the year of the virus. The world wide spread is unlike anything seen in my lifetime. Without a ready vaccine, the only way to avoid infection is to avoid people. Spread by breath or touch, a stay at home lock down is the only way to keep hospitals from being overloaded and keep the death rate to a minimum. The current president minimizes and thwarts a national response because the crisis makes him look bad.

All but essential businesses are closed. Work from home is the work around, if you can. Racing started in March as virus infections peaked. There was a couple weeks of racing before lock down. Once the infection rate came down in June, race tracks opened again but ahead of recommendation. It's a time to be very careful. It only took a few dozen people in January to infect two million across the whole country. Now in June, there are tens of thousands infected and scattered everywhere. The worst part and most effective part is that it can be spread by people for 5 days who are infected and show no symptoms.

Racers are optimists and face danger with a 'won't happen to me' aggression. The inflamed need to race broke out in PA as tracks opened one by one, without and then with fans. Port Royal was the last to open and had our 305 class on the card. I decided that it would be ok to race if I just kept my distance from others in the pits. Jim and Robbie crewed the car and are always great help.

I drew a 41 pill that put me 7th in the second heat. With 42 cars there would be 5 to qualify from each heat and a Bmain. 410s would time trial before us on a track already drying but glass smooth.

For this race I took the Maxim and motor that we ran the last two seasons to see if the motor would run better after problems found and fixed over the winter. The car handled pretty good, a little tight but I could drive in deep on the throttle. Mid corner, the car drifted wide as I got on the throttle. Having to wait for the car made corner exit slow before I could get back on it fully.

It was a troubled heat race with several cautions. I was racing side by side with another car for a lap or two as I would get under him entering the corners. In turn two, the car ahead spun. I drove under and the car on my outside got collected. I was now forth. Two more laps and the car I was chasing spun in front of me. I just cleared him and was now third where I ran for the rest of the race.

Third put me in the redraw for feature starting spot. I drew 7th.

At the start of the feature I drove into one and passed a car but got passed back as my car floated out of two. Through the race the car was strong on entry but I had to wait on the throttle on exit and that killed straightaway speed. The motor still stumbled on starts and just seemed soft overall.

It was a good run for the most part. Cars passed but had to work at it. We ran the last 16 laps without a caution and I finished 13th on the lead lap. In the big picture, it was a 13th out of 42 cars but with some luck in the heat race.

Overall, not bad for first time out this season. It's always fun to run Port Royal.

My schedule for the upcoming season is at the left of the page. It's a full schedule for me and with rainouts and other circumstances I won't make them all but there's a good variety for a fun season. My sister has horse shows for a week about once a month and during those times I'll be back in Brewerton helping out, caring for my mother.

This year I will make it to some tracks that in the past were held when I was out of town. Lincoln and Trailways are two tracks I haven't raced at in this series. I only ever raced at Lincoln a couple of times with the 410 back in the '80s and I have never raced at Trailways. These are two tight rinks that will be a challenge.

Path Valley is a track I had never raced at until the past two seasons with the PA Sprint Series (PASS). Once I got on the track it became real familiar as the turns are shaped and banked almost exactly like Woodhull but with much shorter straights. I've had some good runs there and although the facility is run down and back woods, the track and surface are fun to run.

This season I have a shot to run Williams Grove. I was out of town for their races last year and will be out of town for the late season race but if weather holds, I plan to run the first race of this season there. Always a big field of cars at The Grove. Haven't done well there but if I can figure out the line and get a decent draw I can make the show.

Last season was the first that I ran Selinsgrove with PASS. I ran there weekly for a few seasons in the '80s and had a 410 win there and many good finishes. I ran there once in the 360 with ESS and missed the show by one spot. That night there were lots of bad crashes including a helicopter trip for one driver. I had considered the idea of running the 360 there weekly but the 305 deal came together for me and it made more sense. I ran good there with the 305, passed a bunch of cars at one of the races and felt pretty comfortable there.

Port Royal has always been my favorite track. I've raced at lots of places but there is something about Port that makes it fun to race there. The wide track, smooth surface, size and shape make for good racing, top, middle and bottom. Now with the excellent lighting and other improvements it's not only my favorite but one of the nicest tracks in the country. It always draws lots of cars and that makes it a tough fight.

It's a good schedule and I'm ready for a good season. I can always use help at the track so feel free to stop by.

Shop Update February 2020
Work through the last few months has resulted in two complete cars ready for the 2020 season. The Maxim chassis has been reassembled with the fresh 305 that we ran last year. I expect that the motor should be racey now that we found and fixed the air leak problem.

The Triple X chassis has been sitting ready with a 360 motor for the last few years. The last race it ran was at Utica Rome with Greg Moteyunas as crew. Greg died of a heart attack about a month later. As I disassembled, cleaned and rebuilt the car I thought of Greg continuously. I really miss him. We raced together for a couple decades.

The Triple X car is now ready to go with the Newlin motor, fresh from Hershey Racing Engines. It will be interesting to see how this car will compare to the other car. I plan to run them both to find out.

Motor update
Hershey Racing Engines was quick to go through the two engines I dropped off last month and found a problem with the motor that I had used last season. One of the butterfly housings on the injectors had a sucked in gasket between the housing and the injector body. This air leak was likely the cause for the motor still having issues on track even after the dyno tuning. Other than that, springs were good and bearings replaced.

Springs were replaced on the Newlin engine and otherwise everything looked good.
The plan for winter is to put this engine in the Triple X chassis and put the other engine back into the Maxim.

Off season 2019
Tried to resolve the motor problems on the dyno last summer but despite the improvements and changes made, it is still a dog.
Looked for a second motor and found that Zach Newlin was moving to the 358 class and selling his 305 motor. He was always a top 5 car, won championships, won the BAPS 2019 305 championship and ended up 7
th in National 305 points for 2019 with this motor. It was built and maintained by Hershey Racing Engines so I bought it. Got everything from air cleaners to headers, radiator to fuel pump and bypasses.

I took both motors to Hershey's for new springs and complete checkout.

In car camera at Port gave me some insight to driving and Zach had some info for the chassis. Time for cleanup and reset.