Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Grand Nationals - Wythe

Sorry for the was a long night at Wythe, then with the trip home and everything, I got a little behind.

After Friday's practice session and qualifying was rained out at Wythe, the crew spent most of the afternoon and evening getting the car ready to run the complete show on Saturday. We drew a #8 pill, which would have been more to our advantage at Friendship when the track got slower as qualifying went. As our luck would have it, the track at Wythe got faster as qualifying went on, so Butch timed in at 33rd fastest in the 53 car field.

For the heat event, he started in 7th position and jumped up in to 4th almost immediately. As the laps went on, the car in 5th place turned him sideways, not once, but twice, and the second time Butch almost spun out, letting 2 cars by. He finished the heat in 6th place, with only the top 3 advancing to the feature event. He then started the 1st of 2 b-mains in 5th place. He quickly moved into 4th and jumped into 3rd on a restart, but could not hold off a hard charging Max Blair. He ended up finishing 4th, just one spot shy of qualifying for the Feature event.

They did run a 12 lap non-qualifier's feature, which Butch started on the pole of. He eventually drifted back to a 4th place finish, but at least we earned a little money for our trip back home.

Overall, Butch finished 31st in the Grand National Points Standings, just one point shy of 30th place, which was the last paid position.

While we would have liked to have run better and at least make one of the features, we feel that the trip was well worth it, as we learned so much about our car, and our race program. We know now what we need to do to step-up our program and we are more aware of what the different adjustments do to the car. The practice sessions were really beneficial - it was great to go out and get more than 1 or 2 "hot laps" for once.

Now it is time to prepare for 2009! Plans are already being set in motion for a new engine and we definitely have alot of work to do over the winter! Check in often to see what is new with the team!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rained Out!!

Practice and qualifying tonight for Night #3 of the FASTRAK Grand Nationals at Wythe Raceway has been rained out. We will run everything tomorrow - thankfully! We were afraid they would make us all stay and race on Sunday.

As I type, the crew is finishing up working on the car and then I guess we are headed out for some food and maybe a few cocktails!

Cross your fingers for nicer weather tomorrow!!!

Grand Nationals Night #2 - Heats, Consi's, Features

Well, we certainly didn't have the results we would have hoped in the finale of Night #2 of the FASTRAK Grand Nationals. After starting deep in the field of the first heat race (9th) Butch was more like a pinball than a racecar as he was hit on pretty much every panel of the car throughout the race. The 15 lap race had 5 cautions in the first 6 laps and Butch just couldn't get a break. The top 3 finishers of the heat transferred to the feature, but Butch's 7th place finish relegated him to the first of 3 b-mains later on in the night. He started the b-main in 7th place and again, it was a wreckfest. At the end of the 12 lap event, he finished 9th, just 1 spot out of making the "non-qualifiers" feature - so we thought. Apparently, the rules were changed once again, and anyone was eligible to run the non-qualifiers race. That information would have been helpful before the race was pulling onto the track. Although, with the price of the fuel they FORCED us to buy there at $8.50 a gallon ( we have been running 93 pump fuel all season at $4 something a gallon) we really didn't need to waste our fuel running this race.

We are in Wytheville, Virginia now and will be at Night #3 at Wythe Raceway tonight and tomorrow night. Butch is in 24th place overall in the Grand National Points Standings, only 8 points out of 10th place.

Tonight is a new night and hopefully we will have some better luck!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Grand Nationals Night #2 - Qualifying

After three sessions of hot laps, Butch went out 46th out of 68 cars. He ended up qualifying 50th, which is not as good as we hoped after turning some pretty quick times in practice. He is slated to start 9th in the 2nd heat race.

It's been a long day and most of us have been up for almost 22 hours, so it's time to get some shut eye.

Keep your fingers crossed for us for tomorrow and send those good luck vibes!

Monday, October 6, 2008

It's Grand Nationals Time!

Butch put in a great performance this past Saturday at Mercer Raceway Park for Night #1 of the FASTRAK Grand Nationals. After a dismal 17th in time trials, he started 3rd in his heat event, which he went on to win. The race format was a little different than we were used to and they lined the feature up straight up on time trials, if you qualified through you heat - IE finished top 6. With 4 cars that time trialed better than Butch not qualifying through the heats, he took the green flag of the 30 lap feature event in the 13th starting spot.

From the drop of the green he was a man on the move, working traffic and missing crashes, including a 10 car pile up that he barely got through. When the checkered flag fell, it was Max Blair taking the win, followed by Dick Barton, Tommy Snyder, Dennis Lunger & Butch in 5th place!

The top 5 finish has put us in a strong position heading into Night #2 of the Grand Nationals at Friendship Speedway in Elkin, NC. The team will head out the morning of 10/15, with practice and time trials that night, followed the next night by heats, consolations & the 50 lap feature.

I plan on updating the blog each night from the Grand Nationals, so stay posted! I hope to know soon where we stand in the points right now and will post any information I can, once I get it.

Good racing!

Friday, October 3, 2008


Although I still am a little bit in shock, it's true - Butch won his first FASTRAK Crate Late Model Feature! Not just a regular show either, but a Northeast Region Touring Event! It was so exciting. Starting on the front row had alot to do with it, but Butch really ran a flawless race to lead all 25 laps.

We went into the Fall Classic weekend (9/26 & 9/27) at McKean County Raceway pretty excited. The last time we had been there, I think it was our third or fourth outing with the car and he picked up a top 10. We have learned so much since then. The schedule for the weekend was the FASTRAK NE Race on Friday and a regular FASTRAK show and $2000 to win Emod show on Saturday. We dodged raindrops pretty much all weekend too.

Butch started his heat on Friday in 5th and finished 2nd (I think). He re-drew the pole for the feature and once he beat Dick Barton into turn 1 on the start, it was all over. He started pulling away as the event went non-stop. I was so nervous the last 6 laps. Madi slept through the whole thing but when I woke her up she was SO excited! She was clapping and laughing. When we got to Victory Lane she laid a big lip lock on Butch and it was so cute! Hopefully I will have some pics to share soon.