Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer Heating Up for Lambert Racing

Mars, PA (7-8-10) The summer is heating up and Butch and the Lambert Racing team have been on a roll for the last month racking up top 5 finishes and steadily climbing in the FASTRAK Points. On June 4th we returned to Butch’s favorite track, Lernerville Speedway, where after struggling in the heat event to get a 7th place finish, Butch put on a clinic in the feature event, charging from his 14th starting spot to finish 3rd when the checkers fell. Unfortunately the rest of the weekend’s scheduled events at Mercer Raceway Park and Tri-City Speedway succumbed to rain. The following Saturday night, June 12th, Butch made his first appearance of the season at Mercer Raceway Park where the team hosted friends and sponsors for Lambert Racing/Bagel Bites Night. The event was a success and Butch capped a great evening by putting up another strong 3rd place finish in the feature after starting 6th.
The first of three FASTRAK National/Northeast Tour events took place at McKean County Speedway on Saturday, June 18th. Forty-two cars signed in for the $5,000 to win event and Butch started the night out right putting up the 8th fastest time in qualifying. His strong qualifying effort put him on the outside pole for his heat event where he went on to finish second and secure a spot in the coveted feature redraw. He drew the lucky #9 starting spot for the event and was racing hard for 7th place early in the event when he was forced up the track and fell back to 17th place. Undeterred, he worked his way back up through the field during the 40 lap event and came home in 7th place. The car had visibly lost its handle during the closing laps of the event and the crew quickly found the broken right front shock to be the cause. The following night we made our first ever visit to Central PA Speedway in Clearfield, PA for another FASTRAK Northeast Tour event. Butch started the heat event in 3rd place, running a right front shock borrowed from fellow competitor David Scott, and that is where he finished. He re-drew the 8th starting spot for the feature, but struggled to find the handle from the beginning of the 25 lap race. When the checkered fell, he had uncharacteristically fallen to a 12th place finish.
The team had 6 days to regroup before the next FASTRAK Northeast Tour Event at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex in Markleysburg, PA. For once we drew a good pill for the heat event and Butch started on the pole. A slow restart saw the first heat win of the season slip away and he had to settle for a second place finish, which was still good enough for the feature re-draw. Luck was with us, as Butch redrew the #2 starting spot for the feature event. At the drop of the green flag, he moved comfortably into 2nd place as the event went non-stop for 21 of the 25 laps. He survived 4 separate cautions and a red flag in the last four laps to bring home his 2nd second place finish this season. Four days later, on Wednesday, June 30th, the team rolled into Expo Speedway at the Trumbull County Fair for yet another FASTRAK Northeast Tour event. Expo Speedway is only in operation once a year during the fair and the track conditions on this hot & sunny day were dry and very dusty. Butch started and finished his heat in 5th place, just shy of the feature re-draw, putting him in the 13th slot for the feature event. At times it was difficult to even see the cars throughout the race. Butch used his steady and patient driving style to slowly work his way through the field and crossed the line in 3rd place for his 5th top three finish out of his last seven starts!
One of the most anticipated races of the season was on Saturday, July 3rd at Mercer Raceway Park, where they hosted the FASTRAK National/Northeast Tour “Summer Nationals”. Thirty-nine teams from eight different states signed in for the $6,000 to win payday. Butch put up a great qualifying effort and came out 15th fastest. This earned him a 4th place starting spot in the heat event. He was on a mission from the drop of the green and secured a 2nd place finish in the heat to be able to redraw for the top 8 starting spots in the feature event. After a four-wide salute to the fans, the green flag dropped on the 40 lap event and Butch was riding comfortably in 6th spot for most of the race. At the halfway point he started battling with Super Late Model star Doug Horton for 5th place. The race went green for 35 laps until a caution for a spinning car set-up a crazy final five laps. The field was lined up with 4 lapped cars between the 1st and 2nd place cars. On the restart, Butch jumped up into 4th place, but a spinning lapped car collected four cars running in the back half of the top ten and although the lap counted, Butch was forced to go back to 6th place. On the ensuing restart, another lapped car crashed coming out of turn four and a huge pile-up ensued with the 2nd place car barrel-rolling right in front of Butch. When the dust cleared, the 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th place cars, plus others were all at a stop. Butch managed to come out without minor damage, but because he had to stop to avoid the flipping car, he was forced to go to the back of the field with just 3 laps left in the event. He managed to pass a few cars and crossed the line in 9th place. It was a bit of a disappointing finish to what could have been a great night.

FASTRAK announced on Tuesday that lapped cars will now go to the rear of the field on all restarts in Northeast Tour events. A little late for our team and all the other cars that were tore up the past two weeks due to lapped cars, but hopefully it will save some headaches and heartbreak in the future.
The team hopes to carry some momentum from this month’s strong finishes into July. This Saturday, July 10th we will compete in the biggest FASTRAK National/Northeast Tour Event of the season at West Virginia Motor Speedway in Mineral Wells, WV as the top FASTRAK drivers in the country will vie for the $10,000 to win payday. Butch has never been to the 5/8ths Mile “Speedplant”, but expectations are high for the event. Saturday, July 17th we will be in action at Mercer Raceway Park for a regular event and will follow that up on Sunday, July 18th with a FASTRAK Northeast Tour race at Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, PA. The following weekend will be regular weekly action at Mercer Raceway Park on the 24th for “Meet Your Hero’s Night”, and Tri-City Speedway on the 25th. On Wednesday, July 28th we will return to Sharon Speedway in Hartford, OH for the 11th FASTRAK Northeast Tour event of the season. We have tentative plans to attend the FASTRAK National Event at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio on Saturday, July 31st, where Butch won the non-qualifiers event there in 2009. August will also be a busy month with FASTRAK Northeast Tour Races at Hesston Speedway, Dog Hollow Speedway, Raceway 7 and our first visit to Woodhull Speedway in Woodhull, NY.
Butch currently sits in third place in the FASTRAK Northeast Points Championship, just 9 points out of second place. He is also slowly climbing the ranks in the FASTRAK National Weekly Points Championship and is in 23rd with just 14 of the 15 required races. So far in 2010, we have competed in 16 events at 10 different tracks and have recorded 13 Top 10 finishes and nine Top 5’s.

Don’t forget to “Become a Fan” on Facebook (Butch Lambert Racing), where we have up to the minute race results, schedule changes, news and contests, and as always, our website, is updated weekly with results and stats. You can also follow us on Twitter @LambertRacing27!

Butch Lambert and the Lambert Racing team would like to thank all of their sponsors and supporters for 2010: Bagel Bites, Austin's A1 Bleach, Fannie's Friends Pet Cremation Services, Fleming Tire & Auto, Lambert Plumbing, RAM Transit Lines, Inc., Kozminski Auto Body, BP Construction, Harmony's Angel Candle Co., Smardt Equipment, Woodward, Inc., Flinner Signs & Decals, Mars Beer Distributor, Marburger Farms Dairy, Hotsy, B&E Mini Mart, Herr's Potato Chips, Epic Action Video Cameras, Ultrashield Race Products and Fleming Design Services.