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Back at CNS - 7/30/2011

posted Jul 31, 2011, 8:53 PM by Scotty Scott
After a week off, we finally got back on the track at CNS on Saturday.  I really wanted to get back on the track and go fast this week after that week off.  The time off gives you time to think about all the things you think you can do to go faster.  This week we focused on a lot of little things that we thought might help like getting the front brakes to release better and get new cooling fans installed on the car.  We also had Jim Seip check our gears out to make sure everything was turning free.   After taking care of all of these details, I was really ready to go try it out and see if it helped.

The track was really dirty from the super-modifieds dumping oil on the track right before we went out.  They seem to do that every week.  It takes the track forever to clean it up and we have to sit in our cars waiting, in the sun, while they do it.  Not much fun when it is 90+ degrees out and you have all of your fire gear on.  The car was really unstable when we got on the track but it was hard to tell if would stay that way or was it just the dirty track or really hot weather.  A cool track is definitely more stable than a hot track.  We decided to leave the set up alone and see if the track came to us.  I’m not real good at doing that.  I always want to adjust to make it better but sometimes you can make it worse by messing with it.

There were 28 cars there this week so it was a great turnout.  I think it is much more fun when there are more cars on the track.  30 is the most that CNS will normally run in a main so the club was really close to a scenario where you had to race into the main event through the qualifying races.  I really hope we get to that point as a club again.  Because there were so many cars, we actually ran three qualifying races.  I was in the third heat starting on the inside of row two.  We had a good start and were in second place behind Chris Eggleston just a few laps into the race.  I tried to stay as close to him as I could but never really thought I could pass him.  I need to get a lot faster before I start worrying about that.  He is very fast.  I stayed in second for the rest of this heat race so it was a good finish.  It put me on the outside of row 3 for the main.  I also had improved the lap times from the 19.4 in the practice to a few 19.1’s in the heat race.  The track did actually come to us so doing nothing ended up being a good thing. 

As a top 5 in the heat race, we had to go through tech.  They said we were right on the edge of the upper limit for wheel base  so we decided to move the rear axle forward a little bit before the main, just to be safe.  This is pretty risky though because if you move one side more than the other, the rear end won’t be square anymore and the car will handle much differently.  After turning the 19.1’s in the heat race, I was really worried about making the car worse. We were really careful though and got it all done right before the start of the main. 

We seemed to have a hard time getting the main started.  We had several yellows early in the race and had several restarts because of this.  Those are always the most nerve wracking parts of the race since everyone is packed in so close together.  But being towards the front is definitely better in those situations because the drivers up there don’t make many mistakes.  I was actually able to hold on to the leaders and ran 5th for most of the race.  As it has in the last couple of weeks, the car started to go loose as the race went on and I dropped to 6th.  There was a caution with a few laps left and when we restarted after that, the car we even looser.  I still had 6th going into the last corner when I was hit but the 7th place driver.  I almost spun but held onto it.  Unfortunately, I lost my momentum and was passed by the guy that hit me and by the Jon Krizman  who was behind him.  Dropping to 8th in the last corner was disappointing but it was still a decent finish considering the quality of the field this week.  All of the fast guys from this area were there this week plus the #1 and #2 drivers in national points made the trip from New Mexico to race with us.  It was really a fun night.

We are now 1 point out of the lead in RMRLA points and 2 points out of 2nd place in CNS points.  A little disappointed in losing those spots in the last corner because I would have moved up a spot in both standings if I would have finished 6th.  We actually ran a few laps in the 19.0s during the main and quite a few in the 19.1s so we were much faster in the main.  It keeps it fun if you feel like you are improving.  The car was faster so that was a good sign that we moved the rear end correctly.  That was a relief.

Next week is at CNS again.  Hopefully we will see you at the track.