BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Nov 18, 2022) – It’s been a busy Fall for me and all the folks that I race with both on the Dirt and the Road Racing side. Some of our races have been really good and (as it goes) some of our races have been a true test in patience and perseverance. As the saying goes, “I wouldn’t change it for the world because even a bad day at the race track, is better than a good day grinding on a task that you don’t have passion for” but still… For all who know me can attest, passion for racing… that I have by the buckets-full.
After a good showing at Talladega a couple of weeks earlier, Josh and I took our Torco USA / JCM Motorsports Crate Car back to the high-banks for the Crate Race’n USA event. With a chassis set-up that was great for a grippy-track, the Alabama oval glassed-off to the point there was only 1-groove around it and our car just didn’t like it. To save a drawn out sad story, we never found the pace and left the track wanting much more.
We took the next weekend off while I flew down to Sebring to spend a couple of days with a coaching client at one of my favorite road circuits. Then Josh & I were back in the shop to sort out why our dirt car had been so off the week before. After giving everything the once-over, we headed back to Talledega for another one of their “weekly” shows.
Thankfully the track-prep-crew was able to get the track a little-bit more “racey” and our Torco / JCM car was a bit happier. We had a good Heat Race finishing 4th which would put us outside the 4th Row (8th place) for the Feature. I was able to make some good moves early on and held on for 4th Place behind cars that have all won races there this season. We still weren’t as good as we needed to be but it was a step in the right direction.
The following week we ran over to Whynot Speedway in Mississippi for a big “all star” race that brought in cars from all over the South East. Again, we were really good in Practice (when the track was grippy). Out of over 50-cars entered, we clocked in as 8th Quick. I really wish Practice paid $$$ because as the track slowed down, so did we as the chassis set-up we had in our “grippy track” loving Rocket XR1 showed itself to absolutely hate slick race tracks. Again to save reading-time, we Qualified mid-pack, ran 8th in our Heat and finished 10th in the B-Feature. Adding insult-to-injury, as we were making good progress through the field in our Feature, we got wrecked and spun-out in a multi-car pile-up which wrinkled nearly every panel on the car and bent the right front suspension. Thanks to the fast thinking Whynot Safety Crew, they pulled out a Saws-All, cut back my right rear Quarter Panel and allowed me to continue rather than hauling me off on a Wrecker. After that I was just thankful to see the Checkered Flag with our Top-10 finish.
The next weekend I was back down in Sebring for the World Racing League double 8-hr. races. Sharing the CMZ Motorsports Ginetta with my friend Steve Davis, we had a pretty tough weekend. Our normally very fast car had braking-issues to the point they were actually costing us as much as 3-seconds per lap. With no spare parts available for us we soldiered through as best we could. This weekend just wasn’t meant to be as in Saturday’s race, we got involved in a ”bumper tagging session” on Lap-3 that cost us a lap and then we ultimately dropped out of the race with transmission shifting issues.
On Sunday morning I had a suspension failure that nearly caused me to crash on Lap-2 going into the fast 90-degree “Tower Corner”. After our crew made those repairs, I only managed 2-more laps before a Drivetrain issue halted our day. Normally this car is very reliable but it’s been very hard to get enough replacement parts to maintain it properly and this weekend, it all caught up to us all at once.
So onward and upward as we get back in the Torco / JCM car and head to North Georgia’s Boyd’s Speedway for their annual race, The Gobbler. Spoiler alert, we had a much better run than we did last year.
Event update from The Gobbler are on the way so please continue to check our Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest event updates and pictures as we get them. Thanks for reading…