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Tom Fecteau



 

August 25th, 2009
Mother 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 #50 pit.

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 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 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.


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