Most folks sit down and have a nice turkey dinner on Thanksgiving. My family and I choose to spend our holiday at Perris Auto Speedway and eat Turkey sandwiches instead. Spending this holiday with my family and friends doing the thing I enjoy most is what I'm thankful for.
Wednesday night practice went well. We wanted to try a few different chassis tweaks and see how the car would respond being that we haven't worked on this exact type of car before. The car was stable but we lacked speed. A few changes to gear and the chassis got us feeling pretty good by the last session of the night.
On Thursday, we hoped to qualify into the top 14 which would lock us into the feature. We qualified 24th at a 17.4. This put me in the second qualifier race starting 5th. Finishing in the top 8 out of the two qualifier races transfers you into the feature, the rest go home. We were able to maintain our position and put it in the show without a problem.
For the 98 lap feature, we packed the fuel cell completely full of fuel and made many changes to the car to prepare for the track changing throughout the long race. I started in the 24th position and felt as though I had a pretty good car over the course of the race. I moved up quickly in the opening laps and continued to march forward as the race wore on. By the closing laps I had broke the top 10 and was having a great race with western drivers Nic Faas and Ronnie Gardner. On lap 98 I crossed the line 7th.
It was a successful Turkey Night for us and a very successful debut for this new car. I'm extremely thankful to my dad and Tres & Stew Van Dyne for all they have done for me. I'm incredibly blessed to be racing this beautiful new car and looking forward to a promising season in 2014.
I'd like to give a special thanks to the Bozanich family; Tim, Tracy, Zac, and Tori for coming out to lend a hand on the race car and especially making everybody a fantastic Thanksgiving feast for us. Also a big thanks to Phil Goodwine has been a tremendous help to us all season long primarily as our fuel sponsor, as well as other support. Cheyne Burris (CBI) did much of the carbon fiber work on this car as far as panels go. If you're looking for carbon fiber work done, this is the guy to go to. And also Alex Frazin who has not only let me race is pavement car when I'm free to, but loans us his motorhome for long trips and I am very appreciative of his support. The rest of my sponsors have done so much to help me further my career and help me become more and more successful. Thank you all; Ram-Bull Racing, Lucas Oil, DC Cams, Eibach Springs, K&N Filters, Oakley, Simpson, Swanson Inspections, One Day Signs, and Scott Sheldon for the great photos (www.sprintcarscotty.com).
Below I have posted the results of the feature:
FEATURE: (98 laps) 1. Dave Darland, 2. Brad Sweet, 3. Caleb Armstrong, 4. Zach Daum, 5. Ronnie Gardner, 6. Nic Faas, 7. Jake Swanson, 8. Rico Abreu, 9. Mike Spencer, 10. Tanner Thorson, 11. Tracy Hines, 12. Damion Gardner, 13. Brad Kuhn, 14. Tyler Thomas, 15. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 16. Nick Drake, 17. Danny Stratton, 18. Parker Price-Miller, 19. Dalton Armstrong, 20. Trey Marcham, 21. Christopher Bell, 22. Andrew Felker, 23. Taylor Ferns, 24. Darren Hagen, 25. Shannon McQueen, 26. Cody Swanson, 27. Kevin Swindell, 28. Jac Haudenschild, 29. Chris Windom, 30. Scott Pierovich, 31. Bryan Clauson, 32. Thomas Meseraull, 33. Randi Pankratz.
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you all in 2014!