February10th, 2012
12/18/11: Team LaCross Tests at Daytona

The team had worked hard to find new ways to make their Superspeedway car faster and were anxious to find out if they had succeeded. ARCA provides this opportunity with winter testing at Daytona International Speedway. This is the annual preparation for the big race in February.

Chuck Miller and the crew put in several hours of work to fine tune the aerodynamics of the front fascia and the back edge of the roof. They also worked on the front end geometry in an effort to get more aerodynamic compression in the front springs.

On the way down to the test, Brent stopped in Mooresville NC to get an estimate from Brian Smith’s Carolina Fabrication to do some additional aerodynamic body work. He offered some suggests on how to “test” the theories about airflow over the roof.

Upon arriving on Friday, the team of Chuck Miller, Bob Cincotta, John Traphagen, Matt Sheerin, Chris Perry, John Cross and the Burton Family went to work getting the car ready for the track. The first day went well until late in the afternoon, after changing the rear springs (per ARCA rules), Brent found the car to be violently erratic in the corners and almost hit the 3rd turn wall. After bringing it back to the garage and going over it with a fine tooth comb, no apparent cause was found. Time ran out and there was not a chance to try it again until the next day.

On Saturday, Brent got the first chance to try the new springs again and found there to be no problem. So the crew came to the conclusion that there must have been something on the track to cause the car to loose control. The good news is that the handling was fixed, but unfortunately the car was just not responding to any of the changes that the team was making. Finally, at the end day, the guys make some roof patches as suggested by Brian Smith, and this resulted in an immediate improvement of 0.3 sec.. This was enough to give the team hope for some more improvements.

On Sunday, the guys tried a few more adjustments without additional results. There was only one adjustment (gear change) left to do before loading up to go home, but unfortunately the flywheel exploded just as Brent was entering the tri-oval past the pit road entrance. The debris from the broken flywheel cause enough damage to the bellhousing, headers and oil lines that the team had to call it quits for the day.

As usual the team left the track with a combination of frustration and optimism for all of the good information that they had gained by testing at the World Center of Speed.

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