A couple of weeks back I asked if I would drive #3068, I normally would have been in # 144 as passenger, they both are owned in a partnership by 2 guys. The guy who normally drives the #3068 had a recent surgery and was strongly encouraged no bouncing around until early April. Other than never having had been in the car, other than loading / unloading / driving through tech, I was excited at the chance. Since we are going to race for SNORE points this year in both cars, we couldn’t sit one out already. I told them I was not going to try and set the world on fire, but would focus on a clean race and finishing, so we would get our points, and also explained that my wallet would not be able to repair a major wad, should that happen. Everybody was good with that plan.
I drove the car for the prerun lap and tried to learn the car and course as best possible in the 10 miles.
For both days I had the #144 owners 16 year old son riding with me.
Saturdays race was more of a learning curve day we figured, and ran consistent laps, and finished. With almost 80 cars in that heat, we got lapped right as we finished the 1st lap, then my co-rider knew his job was to watch the mirrors. Having primarily been a co-dog in my 20+ years of being in race cars, I had to try to NOT look at in the mirrors and focus with what was in front of me. We never got hit, and if we were caught by another faster car, we moved over. We finished 4th of 6 cars. And I beat the two girl entries I was challenged to beat.
Sunday, same plan except after the 1st lap and learning how big the holes had gotten, we were going to try and pick up the pace and work on getting on the podium if possible. Sunday we were only caught by 1 car, about 100 feet prior to the end of our 2nd lap. So we had gotten faster, plus the field had shrank some. At the end of lap 5, we were in 2nd or 3rd and catching the car in front of us by about 2 or 3 car lengths every turn, we had enough race left to possibly win for the day. About mile 2 on lap #6, we came out of the 2nd chicane after leaving the CORR track and just got pointed onto the straightaway when I heard a pop, we were going around 25 mph, and coming out of a hole , the car bucked and I recall seeing the sky and the dirt a few times, with a bunch of sand coming into the car. When we stopped we were on the driver’s side, perpendicular to the race course, blocking the road. I wasn’t sure how far out of the hole we were, and heard a car coming, 1st thought was that we were going to get center punched in the roof, well the guy saw the whole thing, cruise by slowly, we waved while still hanging sideways buckled in. Before we stopped rolling I was turning shit off, and already was pissed at myself. At the drivers meeting we were told if you roll, unless the car was on fire to not get out, as they had spotters every couple hundred yards. After I am guessing about 3 minutes the medics and recovery guys arrived, asked if we were hurt, and then with us still in the car, rolled us over.
Lower link broke right at the weld , tore the shock apart, and fucked up the roof skin pretty good. I am sure glad the sand was deep there. Also will now vouch for the value of having quality safety gear, and the importance of wearing it. I was a bit stiff Monday morning, but feel great now. Same with my co-rider.
Those of you that know me very well know I take responsibility for shit I do, and am VERY hard on myself when I fuck up. The accident ate me up Sunday on the ride home, and all day yesterday. I spoke with the car owner and he told me it was a racing accident and part failure, not my fault. I am still going to make as much post race prep time available as possible.
Sunday AM, my Tacoma’s battery decided to take a shit – thanks to fellow cheezer Robbie Goerke for bringing me a battery on his way out.
Sunday PM, took an hour to get onto the freeway, so we went north to Vegas / Pahrump / Baker then home, taking 7.5 hours, friends left at the same time as we did and went 15 south, they beat us home by less than half hour