Archive for the ‘Charlotte Motor Speedway’ Category

Week 7 – Trucks @ Lowe’s (for the second time in 09 Season 1)

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Chevy Silverado Race Results

My Chevy Silverado

The Chevy Silverado (Truck) series returned to Lowe’s, which was good as it meant I already had a setup made from earlier in the season. I joined a three race split and was rated 7th of the 15th entrants (decent SOF then!)

I took my usual approach of keeping out of trouble whilst still trying to hang onto the lead pack (e.g. I took two tyres on an early stop for track position which worked well) and generally the race was going OK. I still picked up the inevitable 4x incident points from a spin in front of me but luckily it was a ‘ghost’ hit, i.e. I didn’t hit the car so my car wasn’t damaged. Still took a 4x though :(

My broken sequential shifter reared its ugly head on a restart near the end of the race – accelerating from 1st my truck immediately shifted into 3rd. Obviously that screwed my progress and I almost caused a huge crash behind me (luckily we all managed OK). Gonna have to seriously think about sorting this out, it’s affecting a lot of races now….

I also had a potential disaster in pit road. I was on the outside/fast pit lane line and there was a car immediately inside me. My pit box was approaching and I thought all cars in the pitlane were ghosts (i.e. you can drive through them) so I turned into him, to try and line up with my pit crew. Completely unexpectedly I nudged his rear quarter panel which took me by surprise! Minor damage, but could have been much much worse. Not sure I understand how the pit lane ghost cars actually work after this incident, can’t make any assumptions I guess.

Race was going well at the end, and I was holding on for a 4th place finish. Inside the last 20 laps things started getting very tight and aggressive and there was a moment when we were getting 3-wide. I was the bottom car so hugged the apron as much as possible but looped my truck exiting turn 4. Luckily no damage or yellow but I pottered home for a 5th place finish, which is my best Lowe’s result to date. 112 points.

Amazingly I find myself in a very strong position in division 3. Currently holding second position, and that is with one or two poor results in my season which I am hoping to improve upon in weeks 8 – 12. I might be looking good for a second place finish in my division this season :)

Week 5 round up

Monday, March 9th, 2009

I missed out a weeks race reports (including my first oval win via Trucks @ Vegas!) but I’m back with some week 5 news. My shifter is still just about holding up which is just as well as I don’t know what I’d replace it with if it completely broke.

Star Mazda Race Results

Laguna Seca

The Mazda series was at Laguna Seca (I love the track!) so I really enjoyed this race. Only 11 racers in total but a huge strength of field (over 3800!).

It was a tough race though; I started 7th and spent the majority of the race with someone snapping at my heels, waiting for a mistake. I did well to keep my composure but made a huge error under braking with 2 to go and missed a braking mark, leading to a self spin. I recovered and held on for a 7th place finish, and 96 points. The opposition were just too strong.

Chevy Silverado Race Results

My Chevy Silverado

I was a bit hesitant about racing at Bristol as my last two races here were very mixed. The first race saw me collect 16 incident points and quit early, the second saw me achieve a clean race (0x). I joined the race and we had a full grid of 20 cars! It was going to be mayhem….

And it was – lots of yellow flags and I was doing really well to avoid getting any incidents as I worked my way through the wrecked cars. Late in the race I did manage to get caught in someones wreck and had to reset :(

Towards the end of the race with 20 to go I took four new tyres when the rest of the front runners gambled on keeping their old rubber…. the gamble paid off and I finished third after restarting 6th. I might have been able to steal a win if the race had carried on a few more laps.

The good result sees me move into third place in my division (3). I definitely won’t challenge for the division but could be in with a shout for a podium placing if I keep up my good form!

Skip Barber Race Results

I really love the Lowe’s road course and especially love racing the Skip Barber here. I had two great races involving some really tight racing back and forth down the main oval section. I was also pleased to make some sizable speed gains compared to last seasons visit. I raced twice and average 111 points for the week – a good result.

Next week the series goes to a new track (Sebring)… should be a nice new challenge!

Week 2 – How NOT to start a truck race…

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

Following on from a busy week 1 I was able to get some more racing done in week two. The week wasn’t as successful as week 1 in terms of points, but I still had two good races.

Star Mazda Race Results (iRacing members only!)


This was my first official race at Sebring, and despite liking the track I really struggled to find my pace here.

I went into a race and started in 13th of 16 (despite matching my PB in qualifying!). I had a pretty good race though – kept it on the black stuff and picked up places when the faster guys dropped off the circuit. I had a few interesting battles on the track with much faster drivers. My car had a very low downforce setup and despite being much slower in the corners I was still able to pull away on the straights – even when my rival was firmly in my slipstream. Such a cool way that you can have two cars with completely different setups challenging each other on the track in very different ways.

I soaked up lap after lap of pressure and eventually brought it home for an 8th place finish for 108 points (better than I expected!). Another zero incident race too, and a whole single point of iRating to the good!

Chevy Silverado Race Results

My Chevy Silverado


I was really looking forward to this race as I found I had a strong setup that actually had me running closer to the sharp end than I usually run. Was looking for a strong finish. As you can see from the video of the lap 1 start, the race was ruined before it started when someone in the outside pacing lane span their wheels on the green flag and barrelled into my car, destroying my right front alignment.

I never recovered from the reset and finished 10th, one lap down. 68 points and a mandatory 4x incident (mandatory in a sense that it seems every truck race results in a minimum of a 4x hit somewhere….) In future I now know what I should do when resetting to make sure I don’t go a lap down.

Skip Barber Race Results


At the end of the week I found I had just enough time to squeeze in a Skippy race at VIR Full. Despite it being a challenging track I found it easy to get back into the feel of the track and only needed a handful of laps to get back to my previous pace here.

I started 9th in a full field of 14 and did well to avoid incidents throughout the race. There was some lap one spinners that I had to navigate around and some passing made as I worked my way back up through the field.

I had a nightmare spin on lap 2 as I passed a slower car – I got my braking perfectly into turn 1 and I had given the corner quite a large margin of respect but annoyingly I used more steering wheel than I needed to and lost the car with a lazy spin.

Later in the race I saw the craziest set of collisions I’ve ever seen. I arrived at the top of a crest to find around four cars all basically parked and slowly getting back onto the racing surface. A comedy of errors ensued as they took turns to collide into each other, and even flipping one car! I tip-toed through the carnage and drove on to a 6th place finish which was good for 100 points.