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Tom Fecteau



 

May 25th, 2009 
Opening Day Blues at Spencer 5/22/09

With a clear but cool weather forecast the team unloaded our cars and equipment in the Spencer infield so fans could keep a close eye on their favorites and the competition. As more teams than ever filled the infield area we all wondered how everyone would handle a 100 lap opening day event.

The practice sessions showed us that we were easily a top 6 car out of the 29 present, but were clearly off the pace of the top running cars of Tony Hanbury, Wilbur Hebing and Buck Catalano. Besides making changes to the #5 we also lent a hand to the #89 of Jody London as he shook the bugs out of his racer's maiden voyage. All our efforts were for the better as Terry finished a close second to Buck in his heat race and Jody ran competitively and missed a redraw position but just a few car lengths.

Additional changes were made to both cars in preparation for the long main event. Terry started 12th and Jody started 15th. On the first lap Phil Wehrheim misjudged the slow pace of the main pack as they jumbled up and Phil spun after hitting the back of Jody. Next would be a spin by leader Chris Finocchario after incidental contact with Tony Hanbury. The die was cast that completing more than a lap without incident was going to be close to a miracle. Jody would be the first car out as some unusually high engine temperatures caused him to play it safe and pull it in after nearly 30 total laps but only 4 official laps. Next would be a hard first turn crash between Ricky Kluth and Jeff Rudy who also crashed hard in his heat. The next restart would be our last.

Terry had worked his way up to 4th place and on the next restart Zak Truesdale, who was starting outside row one, found his right front going down as the green flag flew. Naturally Terry and those behind him anticipated the start and all were on the gas hard. The resulting mess would find Terry in to Zak and in to the turn 4 wall and several other cars would crash to the inside as everyone scrambled for open real estate. The #5 would be done for the day with a broken steering rack and other damage (25th place). Also collected in the wreck would be Matt Lees and later in the event Daryl Lewis Jr. would succumb to damage occurred during this incident. Several more incidents would result in the race being called at 75 laps due to curfew issues. See a full write up of the night's event at www.spencerspeedway.org.

With our team pitted in the infield we weren't able to lend a hand to our teammate Kris Hillegeer's Street Stock effort. In a later interview Kris would say "My car handled better than last week's practice session but is still off the mark. We are still learning how to make one of these cars stick as it's not like a Super Six or a Modified. We will keep experimenting and moving forward each week." The Street Stock main event will get made up next week so Spencer fans will get an extra race for their money this coming Friday.

Ryan Hillegeer, driving Kris' #18 Super Six, had a good 3rd place finish after starting near the back of a very fast 11 car field. Fans would have also noticed another gorgeous blue #18 is being carried by the Auto Value Scorpion 4 Cylinder of Kris' 14 year old nephew Kevin Bartolone. This was Kevin's first race in a full size vehicle and he drove well finishing 4th out of 12 cars.

Here is our upcoming SST schedule: Jody will be at Spencer this week supporting his sponsor, MotoOption Clothing and their sponsorship night.

The #5 and Terry will make our first trip to Chemung Speedrome on Saturday June 6th for their twin 20 event.


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