Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lambert's Busy July to Culminate with Trip to Eldora

The month of July has been a busy one for Butch and the Lambert Racing Team. After back to back FASTRAK Northeast Tour races at Raceway 7 & Expo, the race at McKean County Speedway was rained out on Saturday, July 11th. The team camped for the night at Tri-City Speedway on July 12th, where Butch picked up another heat race win in the crate and had a good run from 9th to finish 5th in the feature. Butch also piloted the Chuck Neely owned #27 Wexford Racing Emod where he finished a solid 6th in the feature.

The Pro-Late Model race at Lernerville Speedway and the FASTRAK Northeast Tour race at Dog Hollow Speedway on Friday, July 17th were also rained out. Tri-City Speedway held its first of two FASTRAK Northeast Tour events on Sunday, July 19th. Butch was able to overcome a bad pill draw to race his way into the feature re-draw with a 3rd place finish in the heat. He re-drew the 8th starting spot for the feature and finished a strong 6th in the 30 lap non-stop event.

The FASTRAK Northeast Tour evet at Dog Hollow was re-scheduled for Friday, July 24th and we decided to make the trip. With not having raced at Dog Hollow in years, and not getting any hot laps, Butch struggled a bit in the heat and got caught in a wreck in the closing laps. He was able to rally to a 5th place finish, which was just good enough to make the starting grid of the feature. He took the green flag in the feature from the 19th starting spot and started working his way to the front. When the dust settled, he had finished 10th. Saturday, July 25th the FASTRAK Northeast Tour made it's first ever visit to Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway. Rainy skies and cooler temps made for a lightning fast surface and we were happy with the car after hot laps. Butch started the heat in 5th place, only to be caught in a wreck on lap 2. Unfortunately, he was not able to continue. The crew quickly got to work fixing sheet metal and replacing the front bumper and nose piece. He barely made it out to start on the pole of the B-main when it started raining. That bought us a few extra minutes to get the car back together. Once the rain stopped, the completed the show with Butch finishing in 3rd in the B-main to get the 21st starting spot in the feature. From the drop of the green, he started working his way forward. He was running in 15th position when he got a flat tire on lap 21 of the 25 lap event and had to pull out. He was credited with a 20th place finish. Our bad luck on the weekend spilled over onto Sunday at Tri-City Speedway where we just couldn't seem to hit the set up. He started and finished the heat in 7th place. He started the feature in 13th place and advanced to a 10th place finish. We also had problems with the emod, as he had to pull out of the feature on lap 6 with a broken rocker arm.

This weekend's event is one that we have been looking forward to all year. We will be attending the FASTRAK National "Chassis Challenge" at the famed Eldora Speedway. Last year was our first visit to the Tony Stewart owned track, and Butch qualified an impressive 23rd, only to be caught up in a hard crash on the first lap of the heat event, ending out night.

We will practice on Friday night, then attend an autograph session/car show at the Walmart in Greenville, Ohio on Saturday. We will start the racing off Saturday night with time-trials, heats, b-mains and finish with the 50-lap main event feature. We are expecting there to be 60-70 teams there all vying for a spot in the 24 car starting lineup. We will head home early Sunday morning so we can make it to Tri-City for their regular event.

Send out some good luck vibes for this weekend! We need to get our season turned around!

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Successful Debut and a Couple Trips

After enjoying the weekend at the Firecracker 100 at Lernerville Speedway, Butch and crew made the tow to Tri-City Speedway on Sunday, June 28th. With the Wexford Racing, Chuck Neely owned #27 Emod finally ready for action, Butch was looking forward to pulling double duty. Rain had hit the speedway earlier in the day leaving the track heavy and rough, but at least we were racing! In the heat event for the Crate, Butch started 7th and could only muster a 5th place finish. An invert Zero put him in 9th place on the starting grid for the feature. He ran a strong race and finished a respectable 7th. Everyone was on edge for the emod debut. After struggling with engine problems most of last year, we were anxious to see what the new season would bring. Butch started on the pole of the heat event and led for the first half of the race. Cautions slowed the race down and allowed Evan Taylor to get by Butch for the win. He held on to finish a strong 2nd. Tri-City has a new car rule in which any new car cannot start any better than 12th in the feature, so Butch had his work cut out for him from the 12th starting position. Lap by lap he worked his way through the field and when the checkered fell, he was in 6th place. We were very happy with the results.

The FASTRAK Northeast Tour had a rare weekday event on Wednesday, July 1st at Expo Speedway as part of the Trumbull County Fair. We made the tow out to Ohio only to get rained out. The show was re-scheduled for Sunday, July 5th, see results below.

On Friday, July 3rd we made our first trip of the season to Raceway 7 in Conneaut, Ohio for a FASTRAK Northeast Tour event. He started the heat event in 5th place on a very rough track and fell to a 6th place finish, forcing him to run the B-Main to try to qualify for the feature. He started the B from the outside pole and got the lead on a nice move in turns 3 & 4. He never looked back and took the checkered for his second B-main win of the year. He started the feature event in 22nd place and was a man on the move. By the time the checkered fell, he worked his way to an 8th place finish! Butch also piloted the emod at Raceway 7, starting his heat in 3rd place and finishing 4th. The re-draw put him on the pole for the feature and he ran a very strong race, pulling off a 3rd place finish. I believe that is a best-ever feature finish for the emod and certainly his best finish at Raceway 7 against some stout competition.

We returned to Expo Speedway on Sunday afternoon for the rescheduled event, this time with sunny skies. A good pill draw had him starting 3rd in a star- studded heat event. Unfortunately, the second place starter decided to try to win the race in the first turn and spun out, collecting Butch. Luckily, he was able to continue, but had to re-start at the end of the field. He was able to muster a 6th place finish, which was good enough to make the feature. He started the event from the 16th spot, but a first lap caution shuffled the field and the ensuing restart was not lined up properly, so he restarted in 18th. The 30 lap event was a long one, with a ton of cautions, but Butch steadily worked his way forward. With 11 laps to go he was up to 8th place and by the final lap, he had finished 6th! It was a frustrating night, but we were very happy to come away in one piece and with another solid top 10 finish.

Up next is another FASTRAK Northeast Tour race, this time at McKean County Speedway on Saturday, July 11th. Butch will also be competing in the UEMS Emod event there. We will head back to Tri-City Speedway on Sunday, July 12th with both cars. July will be a busy month for the Lambert Racing Team, with special events at Lernerville Speedway, Tri-City Speedway, Pittsburgh PA Motor Speedway and Eldora Speedway, in addition to regular events at Tri-City.

Until next time...