Sunday, August 16, 2009

Buttonwillow is History

O.K. To wrap it up we succeeded to doing what we first attempted to do in Reno, "We Finished!"

We started out Saturday morning in really good spirits. We arrived at the track and readied the car for the track. Jerry was first out on the track. About 45 minutes into his stint, he came in with an overheated motor. We cooled the motor down and Andy took the car back out. 15 minutes later he brought it in running really rough. The Black Night has exacted his revenge again. We had blown our top! or better said, we blew our head gasket. Time for a team meeting, do we put in a new head gasket or do we put in the spare motor? We opted for putting in the head gasket, so at 12:15pm we started our work day. At 5pm we finished the gasket replacement and Andy took it back to the track. At this point we were in 90th place, Andy brought us back to 85th and we were looking good, except that the overheating was still a problem. Jerry finished the night and we drove away feeling pretty good about what we had just accomplished.

Sunday morning was really early, we had to get up at 6am and try to get to the track by 7 to work on heat repairs. The drivers meeting was at 8 am and we needed to fill the car with fuel and get the radios ready for the next stint. At this point we called on our secret weapon to take the car out on the track (Judy). Yep that's right, a girl!

Judy took the car out and we were really shocked! "Damn she can drive and really well!"
She put the car through its paces and in one corner, the car broke free and the back of the car started to swerve. Most of the cars that lost control in that specific corner went off the track, somehow she pulled the car back into control to the shock and dismay of the four other cars that had to adjust their line to compensate for the car that they thought wasn't going to be there in about two seconds. Way to go Judy.

Now came my turn, I was nervous about getting in the car and for good reason: I knew I was going to be cold and slow. The car performed really well, it is a little top heavy so it cornered a little sloppy but that's for another race. No excitement - I didn't go off the track or hit anyone. The car was overheating again, time for a driver change.

Jerry took it back out and 45 minutes later the car was back in for another temperature problem. We started the cool down process and restarted the car. The first time it started, the next time nothing. We couldn't get it started again, the water-steam had gotten its way into the electrical. After replacing parts and using starter fluid to dry out the connections, an hour and a half later we started it back up and put it back on the track.

Andy took it out and finally got his wish: another car clipped the front of the car and he was able to put on his sticker, "It's only a flesh wound" It looks good on the car. I finished the race uneventfully with the checker flag. The car that was in first place rolled his car with one lap left.

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