Friday, May 29, 2009

It was the best of times, and the worst of times...

After Butch's strong run at The Dirt Track at Lowe's on Friday night, the team was optimistic heading into the FASTRAK Southeast event at Wythe Raceway on Saturday night. Unfortunately, that optimism was short-lived, as we knew we were in trouble after hot laps. Butch qualified 33rd out of 40 cars, which put him in 7th on the starting grid for the heat. The crew worked diligently to try to get the car working better, but to no avail. He finished the heat in 6th, forcing him to run the B-main to try to make the feature. The crew went to work once again, but just could not find the magic set-up for the car. Although it was not through lack of effort, his 6th place finish in the b-main would not be good enough to make the feature starting grid, so we were done for the night.

Sunday morning we awoke to gloomy skies and a forecast of 60% rain for the Princeton, WV area. This, combined with the FASTRAK Northeast event at Mercer Raceway Park waiting for us on Monday, compelled us to make the decision to head for home. The team pulled out of Wytheville, Virginia a little after 10 am and pulled into Tri-City Speedway around 5:30pm, just missing hot laps. Butch started and finished the heat event at Tri-City in 3rd place. The Invert Zero re-draw put him in 5th on the starting grid for the feature. The caution flag only flew one time in the event and this allowed the field to get spaced out with very little passing towards the end of the event. Butch crossed the finish line in 5th place, exactly where he had started.

We were thrilled to have survived three straight nights of racing with very little damage or issues and looked forward to having a strong run at Mercer Raceway Park on Monday for the Steel Valley Classic, FASTRAK Northeast Tour event. The night started off well with Butch racing his way from a 7th place start in the heat to a 3rd place finish. This secured him a spot in the feature event and put him in the re-draw for the top 12 starting spots. As luck would have it, he re-drew the 11th place spot to start the feature. The track had changed considerable from the heats to the feature, and alot of cars were struggling at the beginning of the race. A lap one crash shuffled the field and cause some confusion, but Butch re-started in 10th. He was running in about 8th place when disaster struck on un-lucky lap 13. A lead car spun going into turn one and Butch had no where to go and very little time to react. As a result, he crashed hard into the car sitting broadside in the corner, only to be hit two more times as other cars joined the crash. Luckily, Butch was able to walk away. The car, however, was not so fortunate. Both the left and right side front suspension was all but destroyed, and he also took a very hard hit to the left side rear quarter.

The crew took the day off on Tuesday to rest, but started to assess the damage on Wednesday. Their findings were not good. In addition to the front shocks, a-arms, and other suspension, the chassis is also bent, not just in the front, but in the rear as well. There was heavy sheet-metal and cosmetic damage as well.

Unfortunately, we are forced to take this weekend off to re-group. We hope to have the car ready for next Friday's Pro Late Model event at Lernerville Speedway. We have also made the very difficult decision to pare our schedule back to racing one night at week at Tri-City Speedway (barring any specials). This crash has put a serious dent in our racing budget for the year, so unfortunately we will have to sit out some events. Hopefully this will be a short-term change and we will be back to also racing at Mercer Raceway Park on a weekly basis soon.

Until next time...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Good Night at The Dirt Track at Lowe's!

Butch and the Lambert Racing Team rolled into The Dirt Track at Lowe's yesterday for the FASTRAK Goodyear Challenge. The event was limited to 50 entries and 47 drivers signed in for the night.

Butch pulled a #28 and started the 4th heat event in 4th place. He patiently worked the inside line and made a thrilling pass on the white flag lap to secure a 3rd place finish and a spot on the starting grid for the feature. We were thrilled to have made the show through the heat and felt that we had accomplished our #1 goal by just making the race.

He took the green flag in the feature from the 16th starting spot. A lap one spin in front of him cost him a few spots, but once the race restarted, he was on the move. Using the whole track, he started weaving through traffic. Coming for the checkered flag, he had a strong run down the backstretch and through 3 and 4 that allowed him to pull right up on the 9th and 10th place cars. Unfortunately, he just didn't have enough time and finished in 11th place, just about a foot shy of a top 10 finish.

We couldn't be happier with our performance and are hoping to carry some momentum into the FASTRAK Southeast Tour race at Wythe Raceway tonight.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Good Run & a Look Ahead

Mercer Raceway Park fell to rain and thunderstorms on Saturday, May 16th, giving us a rare night off. Sunday it was off for a chilly night of racing at Tri-City Speedway. Butch started the heat event in 6th place and managed to move up one for a fifth place finish. He was slated to start the feature in 6th, but unfortunately, Carl McKinney had to scratch due to an engine problem, which moved Butch into 5th place for the start. He jumped into 4th on the start and was running a great race. At one point he had reeled in Mike Pegher Jr and was working on 3rd place, but the leader of the race spun coming out of turn 4 and Butch had to lift for a split second, allowing Mikey to pull away again. The leader's spin handed the lead to Max Blair, with Butch now in 3rd. The remainder of the race went green and we were very happy with our third place finish.

This week is the week we have all been waiting for. Weather permitting, we will be making our way down south for a 4 day race swing that will take us to four different tracks in four different states in just 4 days! We will start off at FASTRAK National event at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Friday, May 22nd. This race is being held in conjunction with the NASCAR race and the World of Outlaws Sprints. The next night, we will head north to Wythe Raceway in Virginia for a FASTRAK Southeast Tour race. Sunday will find us at Princeston Speedway in West Virginia for another FASTRAK Southeast Tour race. Monday we will head home to compete in the Steel Valley Classic at Mercer Raceway Park, which is FASTRAK Northeast Tour event.

Preparations for the weekend are already well underway as we have alot of work to do to be able to run that many days in a row. First we are putting a new body on the car and will need to re-letter it. Then we need to load up the trailer with lots of spare parts that we hopefully won't need.

Send us some good luck vibes and cross your fingers for good weather!

I will post results to the blog daily so check back soon!

Until then...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rain and Another Top Ten

On Saturday, May 9th, Butch and the Lambert Racing team headed to Mercer Raceway Park. This was the first week they had their “In the Spotlight” driver event, featuring a driver from each division. Butch as the FASTRAK Crate Late Model driver featured, and he got to take the car up behind the grandstands and sign autographs for fans on beautiful cards that Mercer provided. The Mahoning Valley Scrappers Minor League Baseball team also had their mascot “Scrappy” there and we had some fun with him.

Butch started the heat event in 5th place and at the drop of the checkered, he finished 3rd. It was a chilly night and the threatening skies finally let loose shortly before feature time, cancelling the remainder of the racing action for the night.
After having the previous week off at Tri-City Speedway, we headed there on Sunday, May 10th. Madison drew her daddy a good pill and he started the heat event on the pole. He had pulled out to a considerable lead, but the caution flew quite a few times and had Butch battling with Carl McKinney and Max Blair throughout the event. He faded as far as 3rd, but managed to pass Carl at the end and finished 2nd. His strong heat finish put him in 5th place on the starting grid of the feature. He hung there for quite awhile, and had even moved up as far as 3rd. A very nasty crash marred the event just past the halfway point. Luckily, it happened just behind Butch, and thankfully, everyone was ok. The top groove came in as the race went on and Butch lost a few spots for a 7th place finish.
This week, we will be back at Mercer on Saturday night and Tri-City on Sunday night – that is, if Mother Nature cooperates. After Sunday’s racing, we will start preparing for our trip to The Dirt Track at Lowe’s Motor Speedway by re-skinning and re-lettering the car.

Until next week…good racing!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Pretty Good Night

Our trip to Mercer Raceway Park on Saturday, May 2nd was pretty good. Butch started out the night by drawing the #1 pill which put him on the pole of the first heat event. He jumped into the lead and never looked back, logging his first heat race victory of 2009.

Luck was with us for the feature re-draw as well, as he drew the outside pole for the event. It was quickly evident that the outside groove was not the place to be and Butch fell back to 6th or 7th place with just a few laps in. He raced hard and was fighting a tight car for most of the event, but managed to pull back up to a 4th place finish.

Tri-City Speedway has a Sprint/Late Model special on Sunday, so they are not running crates. Next weekend we will be back at Mercer on Saturday (5/9) and Tri-City on Sunday (5/10).

It is looking like we will be able to debut our new website this week, so stay posted for that!

Until then, good racing!