Monday, August 27, 2012

Two nights of 410 USAC/CRA Racing at PAS and Victorville

Midget Updates - 8/18/12 Perris Auto Speedway - 8/19/12 Route 66 Speedway in Victorville

First off, I want to apologize for not having any race updates for quite some time. These past few months have been quite busy, and definitely have had their ups and downs.

I will start with some bad news. As most of you know, I was racing both the pavement and the dirt midgets with the same F 2.3 liter Honda engine. This was our best engine. Unfortunately, we lost our strongest bullet at Madera's 100 lapper. I started 17th and was up to 5th at lap 93 of 100. It kicked a rod with 7 laps remaining. This happened due to over temp. The battery died which powers our electric water pump because of the long run. An error on our own behalf which we thought we calculated for, but were obviously mistaken.

We tried to run a couple more shows back on the dirt with our old 2.2 backup engine, but it just didn't have the power to compete like our primary engine. It was tough to go from a top 5 car, to a mid-pack car at best. I had to make the extremely difficult decision to call off the rest of the races for the year in the midget. The cost to run mid-pack just isn't feasible. We decided it best to save up a little money, and put that all towards putting together a  much more competitive race car when the new K24 engine debuts. The debut is currently scheduled for this years Turkey Night back on the dirt at Perris Auto Speedway. This way we can be sure to give the new HPD horsepower a well built race car and the recognition it deserves.
Thanks Rob Hargraves for the great shot -

Now onto the Sprint Car updates! I have been having a ton of fun racing in the USAC/CRA 410 Sprint Car ranks. Thanks to some help from my Grandpa Ed I was lucky enough to run two races in a row. Aug. 18 at Perris Auto Speedway and Aug. 19 at Route 66 Speedway in Victorville.

It had been a couple months since I was able to race this car last, it was so nice to be back in the seat at Perris. I struggled in qualifying. I Q'd 18th out of 33. In the heat race I got shuffled to the back at the start, but gave a strong charge back up to 5th missing transfer by a nose. I had to start my first B-main.

In the B I started 4th. The top 6 cars transfer to the feature. On the start I got shoved around and fell back to 7th. I fought my way back up to a 2nd place finish behind Cody Williams. For the feature I started 18th. Throughout the race I was moving forward, but as the laps wound down I noticed the temp gauge kept climbing. With about 7 laps to go the temperature was getting close to the danger zone so I pulled in. It was a little disappointing, but we knew what the problem was and had it fixed for Sunday's race.

On Sunday I was eager to get back out and try it again. I really enjoyed racing at Victorville's Route 66 Speedway. It was the first time I had raced there and really just a fun track to drive. We had another strong car count and I Q'd 16th.

The track went slick quick. In the heat I was just a little too free and unfortunately fell back to 7th. This forced me to try to make it through the B again. I started 4th with Faas on the pole, Bezio and Austin Williams starting P2 and P3. This time though my crew chief Tony Jones tightened me up quite a bit. He nailed the setup. I quickly jumped to the lead. About halfway through the engine started running rough. Later inspection would indicate a broken rocker on hole #2. Despite the engine trouble I went on to win it.

In the main I started 14th. It was a great race and I ended up finishing ninth, my career best in the 410 ranks. I can't my crew chief Tony Jones and Car Owner Larry Henry enough for all that they have done for me. Also thanks to the Alexander Racing Team, the Roa family, and my Grandpa Ed for helping us get on the track this weekend. Thanks to all of my great sponsors on the sprint car team; JDS Tank Testing, VGI Graphics, Berg-Nelson Co., Zanzabuku Sports Lounge, Goodwine Glass, and Ol' Bub for all his help.

Next up is the Glen Howard Memorial at the PAS on Saturday September 15th. Hope to see you there.

Jake Swanson