BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – It seems like the South-East rather than the North-West is becoming the region with the most precipitation. We wanted to go race Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday night but every track in the Deep-South had to scratch their schedules do to massive amounts of water falling from the sky… Oh but wait, there was one track left that managed to keep the clouds from raining on their parade and we were lucky enough to find it.
With Crew Chief Josh Adkins in tow, we took our Torco Racing Lubricants / JCM Motorsports Crate Late Model down to Clanton, AL to a new & up-coming 3/10-mile layout racetrack called Buckshot Speedway with its 11-degrees of banking.
This was another new track for me having only gone there one other time to sit in the stands and watch an event. The track surface is pretty smooth save for one good-size hole/bump, down low between turns 1 & 2 and for the size of track it is, it felt pretty fast.
At this track, rather than Qualifying, your starting spot in a Heat race is set by a “blind draw” that you do at the Registration Building. With a nice pick of a low number, I got to start my heat race from The Pole. With track regular driver, Kyle Smith to my outside I made the mistake of starting the race with too slow of a Pace Lap. I know this now because Smith was able to get the jump on me going into turn one. Giving each other a lane to race in, I exited Turn-2 about half a car behind.
During the 8-lap Heat, we never left each other’s side. One lap with Smith ahead by a fender and the next lap, I would sneak-out a slight end. With so much moisture in the track, while it was a shorter distance for me around the bottom, Smith was able to hang-tough around the top. While I had a few inches on him exiting Turn-2 on the final lap, I just wasn’t able to get a great-drive out of Turn-4 and the driver in the #88 car was able to beat me to the line by less than 12-inches. That was definitely one heck of a Heat race!
As the Green Flag flew over the 604 Feature, I found myself in 2nd place after lap-1. Following Smith, I got passed going into Turn-1 by the #4s car of Seth McCormack. A half-a-lap later, Smith bobbled, opening up the door for the #4s car to slide underneath him. Not wanting to mis my chance, I jumped onto McCormack’s rear-bumper and followed him through to retake 2nd place. Over the closing laps, we were able to distance ourselves from a rest of the field and I came across the Finish Line with a strong 2nd place Finish.
Being that Buckshot Speedway is only a little over an hour’s drive away, I can see us venturing back down there again before the end of the season. The speed we managed to carry through Turns-3 & 4 was really fun, I just need to figure out how to navigate that bump/hole down in 1 & 2 a bit better and we just might be able to get one step higher on the Podium… #FingersCrossed
With the speed of this track, we did lean on our brakes a good bit so I’d like to send a Shout-Out to our friend Mike Hamrick and all the great folks at Wilwood Disc Brakes. I’ve been using their products on my cars for as long as I can remember and besides delivering great Customer Service, they are always there whenever I have a technical question. They are the “industry standard” in this and many other categories of racing and I can’t tell you how glad I am that they are continuing to support my racing efforts.
So what’s next for JCM Motorsports and our Torco USA Crate Car? Depending on weather in the area (again), we’ll probably race close to home this weekend and get ourselves primed for our next scheduled Crate Race’n USA race on Sept. 30th at Talladega. So please stay tuned to my Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest event updates, pictures and I’ll let you know how our next adventure turns out. Thanks for reading…