|August 25th, 2009
Nature, New Driver and More Surprises - 08/24/09
A good race night
often has a rhythm to it that you can see, hear and
feel. This rhythm can be a great help to the team and
driver's performance. But this Friday Mother Nature
worked hard at keeping us off our rhythm as we paid a
bit too much attention to the sky before and after a
rain delay stalled the heats for an hour and kept too
many fans away from seeing some exciting racing in the
100 Lap SST Modified special.
With our two SST
Modifieds present we split the crew up so that several
folks worked on the #50 under the guidance of owner
Tom Fecteau focused on taking down measurements and
keeping an eye out for leaks or anything out of the
ordinary. This was especially important as we had the
privilege of having two time Modified Track Champion
Patsy Catalano driving the #50 that evening. This was
Patsy's first time in an SST Modified but we knew by
feature time Patsy would be settled in if we gave him
the right support. Terry and the #5 would be
maintained by his regular crew to limit the
distractions of all the new things happening in the
Practices went well
for Patsy as his times quickly dropped with each lap.
We broke in two new tires during practice and after
the heat and Patsy was asking for changes to help him
further in the feature. The #50 crew expanded further
as Jim, a long time crew member for Patsy joined us to
give Patsy a little more of that "normal"
rhythm. Also long time crew chief and car owner Jeff
Deminck also stopped by and provided some reassuring
advice as we made changes for Patsy. Terry's practice
and heat left them perplexed as a new set of tires
were not "sizing up" as expected and the #5
team was left having to guess at how tires would react
during the feature. You would be correct surmising
that "guessing" rarely results in a
"best case" outcome.
Terry and Patsy
started mid pack as the green flag flew on what would
turn out to be another marathon enduro for the SST
Modified class. Once the race sorted it self out,
there were no big multi-car wrecks of the lead cars as
happened in the May race. There were several one and
two car wrecks and one multi car wreck that hurt
several cars in the back (and a couple fast cars
making their way back through the field). Just prior
to the half way point Terry was as high as 3rd and
Patsy was as high as 9th. With a couple long runs each
car would become very "loose" and difficult
to drive and both cars faded slightly, Terry to 7th
and Patsy to 12th where they would ultimately finish.
As the race concluded,
further "oddities" would appear. Patsy would
run out of gas in the last corner, a victim of our
presuming the #50 got much better gas mileage than the
#5. In hind sight, this was the first time the #50 had
completed such a long distance event so we didn't
really know and just didn't provide enough extra gas.
"For the sake of ½ gallon of gas I could have
given Patsy a good first ride in an SST" lamented
Tom. There was similar head scratching in the #5 pit
to explain the lost positions and we found it in
measuring the tires and discovering one had grown over
½ inch giving the car a very unstable condition.
Patsy was ever the
gracious driver appreciating the chance to get back
racing once again. On the other hand, Tom and Terry
were left somewhat bewildered at this most recent
performance and overall lack of results in 2009. So
it's back to the garage to try and discover why good
cars are just a bit off of their potential.
For another write up
on the evening's results click here: Spencer Speedway 082209 Press Release
As the season winds
down, come watch Kris and Ryan Hillegeer over the
final two weeks as they battle for more wins and
secure their high points finish at Spencer Speedway.
We also hope to have Jody's #89 back for the final
night as he shakes down his latest set-up in
preparation for the US Open, Jody's "big"
year end race.
See the Epic Ventures
team next at Wyoming County Speedway for the SST 100
lap event on Memorial Day weekend.
And a final reminder,
please consider sponsoring a lap of the 3rd Annual SST
Super Stock Dave London Memorial Race (see our
schedule). Multiple sponsorships per lap are welcome.
You can contact Jody at the races or contact Tom via
email with questions.