Nephew Chad showed up to help. When we arrived at the track 45 minutes before the gates were to open, they were letting the rigs in and the pits were half full. The new expanded pit area behind the existing pit was designated for the 305s.
Pill draw went in our favor with an 11 which put us on the front row of the 5th heat. 54 cars showed up with ten or eleven car heats, four to qualify from each. Then a Cmain and a Bmain to start 26. I had put a setup on the car with some changes that I hoped would solve the mid corner drift problem and let me get on the throttle sooner with more transfer and RR bite.
The track had been heavily watered more than usual for the daytime racing , three classes and big car counts. The track was fast but not what we would be racing on by the time our heat went on track. I tried to find the slick lines to see what the car would do but it was lumpy and sticky. My heat would come after 410 hot laps, 4 latemodel heats, three 410 heats and 4 heats for the 305s. It would be slick.
After warmups, Duval, my crew chief from the 1980s showed up. We had talked during the week and he arrived with some setup ideas. We went step by step through everything and completely changed the car to different ride heights, weight, offsets and shocks. I was open to try some outside thinking because I have been searching for something better. Duval's settings were things I would never have tried and any single one wouldn't have worked with what I had set.
When the heat started, I got a good jump and took the lead going into one. Then the red came out. The pole sitter car had stumbled on the start and got run over with two cars flipping. That put me on the pole on the restart. Again I took the lead into one with the car on the outside riding the cushion at the fence. We exited two together and he pulled a car length going into three. There was a strip of brown rabble through the middle of one and two and in three but four had already been polished to a glaze. I ran a strong second for half the race until another car, riding the rim, passed on the outside. At the end of 10 laps I was third and a straightaway ahead of fourth. We made the Amain from the heat! What a relief.
In the pits, Duval and I discussed what we were going to see in our feature and after four not qualifiers races and two features. I made Duval's adjustments. We were starting 15th. After an early red flag, the race went to the end. My mid corner ridge of bite was long gone. The only thing that I could get a hold of was tight against the inside wall. The rest of the track was skatey and I didn't have enough “stick” to maintain as much corner speed as other cars and I fell back. But... we made the show out of 54 cars and finished. The final results weren't what we were looking for but we had fun racing.
First race of the season for the PASS 305 series this year follows several weeks of 410 racing on this track. It's ranged from narrow, sticky, fast to drying slick. Picking up where I left off with setup, I put some winter long ideas in the mix. My neighbor Joel came along to crew the car.
A race night pivots on the pill draw. This one placed us mid pack in our heat. A good start from the inside row let me challenge for position coming out of two. A good entry into three washed out in four. Cars running the middle were fast. I tried the middle and had the same washout at corner exit. The cushion was marbly without good sidebite or extra speed for me. I finished the heat just out of a qualified position.
Immediately after the heat, they were calling out the Bmain. I had no time to make any changes and strapped in to try to qualify. The track always changes and it was looser. The car needed to be tighter. I drove the car for all I could get out of it but there wasn't enough to get to a qualifying position.
We watched the feature with a dozen others that didn't make it and we rolled the car on the trailer in one piece. It was fun running Lincoln and getting some laps in. I like the track with the 305 and it's only five miles from home. Now we have the season underway and ready for the next race.
Season 2021 12-2020
Two complete cars will be ready to go when things get started.