Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Jake gets Win #1 of 2013 at Santa Maria Speedway

    I'm just going to jump right into it here, we got HPD's first win with the new K Honda motor last weekend at Santa Maria Speedway! What a feeling to finally say that. This was the engine's very first USAC race and it's clear it is off to a pretty darn good start.
    This engine was built by Skeet Bushor of PBH Indy. He, Honda Racing and Swanson Motorsports have teamed up to develop this engine into a competitive and reliable engine at a very reasonable cost. Skeet has put many countless hours into making this Honda Accord Engine, a midget racing engine. He has done a fanominal job putting this thing together, and with just a little bit of tuning it was a rocket.
    The original plan for USAC's Santa Maria race was to run our old F engine which we had been running all year so far. The reason for this was simply that we knew exactly what we had with the F and it typically isn't very wise to be experimenting on race night. Especially while chasing the points leader, Ronnie Gardner, by only a few points. However, a detrimental problem occurred when we fired the car off with the F on Monday, just a week before SM. It turns out the valve guides had racked up too many laps and began to leak oil into the cylinders. Our efforts to resolve this problem failed all week. Finally at about 5pm on Friday afternoon we began our last ditch effort to go racing by ripping the F out, and putting our K back in.
    It was a long night but the sound of it firing off early Saturday morning definitely woke us up. We headed to the track with with Tres Van Dyne who began running through numbers and scouring data to try and put together a different fuel system package that would hopefully help us get this engine to run a little better at the lower RPM range. Tres made the right call, and got the thing good for hot laps. It wasn't perfect, but it was drive-able. There was hope!
    Tres continued to make gains all night. I qualified 6th out of the 13 entries. From there I started 4th in the heat and won. The feature was a Swanson Motorsports front row with points leader Ronnie Gardner right behind. Cody got a good jump at first but I powered around the top and beat him into turn 1 and never looked back.
    It felt great to finally put it in the circle. We've been running great all year so far and it's shaping up to be an awesome points battle between us and good friend RonnieG. We are now tied for the points lead going into Ventura this weekend.
    I'd like to give a very special thank you to our new sponsor who has come on board this year; George Blacker and Ram-Bull Racing. George has become a great friend of ours. He races in the Ignite series on the pavement and also owns/drives a couple vintage sprint cars. George has been extremely supportive of both of my racing programs, sprint and midget. We brought our #88 Schankerman owned focus out last weekend for him to play and he loved it. Thank you George for your tremendous support and welcome to the Team!
    I'd also like to thank all of our supports who help us get to the racetrack each week; Goodwine Glass, Lucas Oil Products, DC Racing Cams, HPD and Honda Racing, PBH Indy and Skeet Bushor, Eibach Springs, Swanson Inspections, K&N Filters, Simpson Race Products, Oakley and One Day Signs for their support. Thank you all for helping us get to the top!
    Another well deserved thanks to our hard working crew who was out there last weekend. There's never a dull moment with two race cars in competition. My dad obviously, the hardest working dude I know. What he does for me is unbelievable and I'm so happy to finally grab this win for him. His face in the winner's circle says it all, and reminds me why we do what we do. Also Tres Van Dyne who was really the hero of the day in getting this K running solid for us. Cheyne Burris and Mike May were perfect help and very hard working as usual, we are happy to have them apart of our team. Tim, Tracy, and Zac Bozanich weren't in attendance this weekend but I still can't thank them enough for their numerous hours of help and support these past few years. And one final thank you to Jon Paquet and Sprint Car Scotty for the photos from this exciting night!
    Next up is a USAC/VRA Battle at the Beach race at Ventura. This joint just got some new red clay dumped on it so it will be exciting to see what changes it brings in the racing there.

Stay tuned!