After practice on Thursday in the sprint car, the weather became a big factor in whether we raced the next two days or not. Luckily it held off on Friday for the most part and we were able to get the show in. In the midget I started 4th in the feature and quickly moved into the 2nd spot. While running close behind the leader, RJ Johnson, the RR tire got punctured. Lucky for us a red flag came out as it was going down, so we were able to get it in the pits and changed in time. I restarted at the back and tried the car on the top to see if I could start building the momentum up there. I got into turn 3 hard and bit the cushion. The car went way up on two wheels but luckily I was able to set it back down just before it tagged the fence.
I had qualified 10th in the sprint car so that was our starting spot for the feature. The track got pretty dried out despite the damp weather. As the race went on, the rubber finally went down across the track and I was able to move forward a couple spots to finish 8th.
Perris Auto Speedway
The next show for us was March 15th for the Perris Auto Speedway opener back in the #92 Moose mobile. We had lots of friends and family come out to support us at our home track, and even sold some T-shirts. In qualifying I had a bit of an exciting first lap and a solid second lap which was quick enough to put me 5th out of a 31 car field. I started 5th in the heat and climbed a spot to finish in the transfer position (4th). There was a 6 car invert for the feature based on qualifying times which means I would start outside front row. Inside of me, starting on the pole was Ronnie Gardner. He and I led the field around the start of the race. He worked low, and I worked the cushion. I closed in on him and just as I got beside him, he went to the top shelf of 3&4. We made a little contact but nothing too major. I fell back to finish 7th by the end of the 30 laps.
I think we have extremely good potential to shine over the course of this 2014 season with our equipment and because of the people we have supporting us. We are only two races in and we've got a couple solid top 10's under us. Finishing consistently is the key to progressing and I have no doubts that we will continue to improve in putting the Moosemobile further up in the field.
The final show we raced in the month of March was on the pavement in two different midgets. One was an HPD Ignite midget for Alex Frazin. The other was Van Dyne's beautiful #5 Beast Midget. This was my first time back in a full USAC midget in quite awhile. We practiced on Friday but the rain struck again on Saturday causing a delay of the race day until Sunday. We were very fast all day in both cars. I won the heat race in both cars which put me on the front row in both features. In the Frazin #59 with Zac Bozanich on the wrenches, I jumped out into an early lead and won the feature!
In the midget feature, I started outside front row. I got a good jump on the pole sitter and was leading going into turn one. The pole sitter got into the corner a little hot for the cold tires and got into the side of me. The damage wasn't too major so we were able to restart. The green flew and the top 4 cars were all pretty equal. It was a good battle for over half the race. On a restart, we all took off and drove down into turn one. But the thing about pavement is, brakes are key. If you don't have those you're in some serious trouble. The brake pedal went to the floor. Lucky for me, there was somebody in front of me. I hated to use the poor fellow in front of me like that, but I really didn't want to smash into the wall at full speed. I squared up the bumpers and made contact. The hit sent me spinning downwards and luckily the driver I used as brakes only glanced off the wall. It was an unfortunate end to an otherwise fairly successful weekend.
I have a lot of people who are helping me by choosing me as their driver and people who are giving me the funding to be able to do what I love. In the sprint car, I'd like to thank Tom and Laurie Sertich for everything they do. Those two have sprint car racing in their blood and love the sport so much. The entire Moose Racing team consists of hard working individuals and they possess great morale as well; Dave Price, Jim Powers, Jimmy, Don.com, the Cardey family, Gunk and David Cardey for his coaching. Moose Racing's sponsors include; Huntington Beach Glass&Mirror, Circle Track, Phil & Eileen King, Victory Chassis, RC Performance, Ram Bull Racing, Specialized Powder Coating, Saddleback Gun Center, Freeway Auto Body, Lucas Oil, Precise Racing Products, ARS Shocks, and Rod End Supply.
Another special thank you goes to George Blacker and Ram-Bull Racing. George came out to Canyon and Madera to support us in person as well as making it financially possible for us to go to these midget races. I cannot thank him enough for the support he brings to my programs.
The Van Dynes gave me an excellent pavement ride last weekend at Madera. I have to thank Tres and Stew for making it possible for us to race with their engine package and partnership. Finally, thanks goes to Alex Frazin. Alex has been a big help in our midget program along with letting me jump in his Ignite Midget from time to time.
The next race is April 12th at Perris Auto Speedway. USAC/CRA 410 sprint cars and the World of Outlaws are in town. We have #92 T-shirts and sweatshirts for sale down at the trailer after the races so be sure to come by and get one. Hope to see you there!