WE DID DAYTONA...OR DAYTONA DID US
that it has been a couple of weeks since we got
back from Daytona, it is time to report on what
happened at the big race.
of all, we all arrived at different times and
places, but for the most part we all had good
traveling conditions. We all stood in line at the
new registration building for most of the morning
on Tuesday. At noon, they finally let us in and we
started the long process of getting tech'd. We
were only allowed to get our fuel cell inspected
on tuesday. We used the rest of the afternoon to
do some other last minute details that didn't get
done at the shop.
was one of those "hurry up and wait"
days. In the morning, they checked engines
starting at the highest points and working down to
us. They finally got to us about 11 am. They
passed the engine cube/compress test, but we had
to also weld end caps on the lead boxes (everyone
else did too) and replace the rear spring cup with
steel ones (everyone else did too) and replace the
window net with a SFI sticker. Finally about 1 pm,
we were ready to get in line for body templates.
About 5:30 we got to the first station and since
the garage usually closes at 6pm, we were nervous
that we wouldn't get through in time, but they cut
it off about 3 cars after us. In the "room of
doom" they found about three little issues
that we needed to work on. Fortunately, nothing
that was going to require bondo.
and early on Thursday, Chuck had most everything
fixed and we got back in line to get re-checked.
Unfortunately, the line was even longer than
wednesday. Practice started about 1 pm and we got
through tech about the same time. After some last
minute preparations, we hit the track about 2 pm.
As soon as I get on the track, Duane radios that
there is a spinner in the third turn and the red
flag is out. So I brought it back down pit road
and got right back in line. When we went out the
next time, I hustled it up to speed and planted my
foot into the carb and never lifted until we came
back in a few laps later. Duane gave us the first
report that it was going to be a long week, the
first laps came in at around 54 seconds. WOW, that
was 2.5 seconds off from our test speeds. We also
had some fender rubs so we went to work on getting
those taken care of before we went back out. This
time we got it down into the mid 53's, but didn't
seem like it was going to get much better. After a
gear change and a few more adjustments, we got
down into the low 53's, but that was all she had.
Practice was over and we headed back to the hotels
scratching our heads.
Chuck made some more fine tuning adjustments and
we lined up for pre-qualifying tech line. About 2
pm we rolled off pit road for the last 2 laps that
we would get for the week. It was better (almost
53 flat) but nowhere near good enough. As we were
standing in the garage waiting for qualifying to
end, we found more and more top teams loading up
just like us. Even though we didn't find the speed
that we needed, we couldn't feel too bad when
teams like Kimmel, Clements, Rusty Wallace's team,
and Greg Sacks didn't get the job done either.
want to thank everyone who helped out for their
time and efforts:
and Lisa Miller
Mom and Dad Cross
Duane and Dee Canfield
Todd and Jim Caufield
Rick and Rich Petrucco and Brandon
Thanks to Bobby Thurston Jr.
for the help at the garage too,
are still not sure what happened to make us slow
down so much, when we thought that we had made
improvements from testing. But you can bet that we
won't rest until we figure it out.