Racing Recap from 6-15-13!

Happy Father’s Day to all of the men out there making a positive difference in a developing life. I sincerely wish that we could have taken more time interviewing the young folks that were there and so eager to talk about their dads. It was obvious to me that those youngsters were all very proud and happy to be at the races with their dads! It made me smile to see all of the dads walking up to the front gate with the kids excited and eager to get into the track. But alas, we felt a little pressure from the fickle weather man again and so we pushed things along to get as much racing in as possible before the potential rains came.

The weather conditions made the track near perfect for racing and I do believe that our Drive Train Specialists Modifieds had a near perfect 30 Lap Feature! It was good to have the modifieds there and we had a very strong 17 car field. It was also very cool to see Jordan Pruitt and Dennis Uhlman pull in after a hard drive from Angola, Indiana to get to Owosso before the features started. You have got to applaud the efforts that our racers will make to go someplace to race. At the payout window after their feature Dennis told me that we were not a “last resort” track for him to go to. He was actually pleased that “we” were an option for him. Dennis finished 10th in the Feature Event.

I’m not sure that we conveyed to our fans accurately enough how much adversity two of our Feature Winners went through before their event. Laci Donnert drove a flawless race in his modified to get that feature win. He had to. To have that many good cars, racing that close, for 30 laps and not even have a caution is almost amazing! What is amazing is that Laci had it dialed in and he never bobbled the entire race. Why is that amazing? I’ll tell you why; Laci had his steering box break during his first practice session around 3:00. He had to drive into Owosso and pick another one up from someplace? Racing steering boxes are not sitting on the auto part’s store shelf so I’m not sure where he came up with it, but he did and then he changed it. When Laci came out for his heat race he broke a ball-joint and the front of the car “pancaked” on the track. I thought his night was done. But away he goes again out of the pits and comes back with a ball-joint. He changed that in time for the feature. What is amazing is that he replaced two very critical components for the handling of that race car and then he goes out and races with a nearly perfect setup! And Wins!

Vinnie Miller had that much trouble and quite possibly more. After his first practice session he couldn’t hardly get the car off the track because it quit running. While his crew, some of our staff and several other racers and crew members were working on his car someone noticed that his motor mounts were broke. A little more investigation and they found a transmission mount was broke as well. Vinnie’s grandpa, Vance, had already been to the auto parts store twice at this point and then I saw them load up and take the car down the road. I thought that their night was done as well but they headed down to Laci Donnert’s house and used his welder to fix their car! Vinnie made it back just in time for qualifying. Vinnie also ran a flawless race but I was questioning his judgement on that last restart when he gave Chris Begg the outside lane! It didn’t matter. I think that it proves that when it’s “your night” you are going to win! Of course you have to give the effort and you have to be determined to succeed. I saw a lot of that last night! I’m very proud of our racers for giving us fans their best efforts!

I’m also very proud of our track officials that had to make some tough calls last night. I know that we are not always right in what we saw but….. last night you got it right! The tough calls had a lot of discussion on our radios. I’m proud of you guys for not rushing to judgement and talking things out the way that you did. The video replays that were reviewed after the racing confirmed that you made the right calls. I’m also very proud of our Tech Men, Ron Spencer and Tim Cummings. I don’t like to single anyone out but you guys have a very tough job to do and you did it well last night. We take some heat some nights because you guys do your job and Owosso is fast becoming known as a race track that techs cars according to the rules. That’s a good thing even when we have to take some flak for doing the “right thing”. I personally take some flak because both Ron and Tim are very involved in helping several of our racers with their cars. I challenge anyone who owns or promotes a race track to find two quality, capable tech men like I have who Do Not work on someone’s race car! I think that it’s a plus to have my technical experts keeping their heads and hands in the game. Ron, Tim and myself have an understanding and it includes the phrase “zero tolerance” when it comes to teching any of the cars that they are involved with. Their own reputations stand on the legality of what they are building!

One of the rules that became an issue for us last night is in the 2013 Pure Stock Rule Book under letter #9. Transmission: a) Stock automatic transmission only. b) No Power Glides. c) 12″ diameter converter, minimum. d) We will check and test for Direct Drive Transmissions. e) 350 Turbo, 400 Turbo and all Metric Variations must retain all working gears. No removal of gears or lightened gears allowed.

Letter e) is tripping some racers up. Evidently we haven’t checked transmissions in a while and there has been an idea among our racers that we are ignoring this rule. Last night we checked transmissions and there is more than one racer with improper equipment. It has been brought to my attention that we have had this rule in the book for more than 3 years. Here is my position on our rule book: Our tech men will tech at their discretion any rule in our rule book at any time that they would like. Our tech men have my full support and backing. If the rule is in the book they will enforce the rule and they will apply the proper penalty for breaking the rule!

We are not running ABC classes at Owosso because we choose not to. That is the necessity for having a rule book that we can tech. We believe that teching our rules consistently and often will provide us with more racers who want to come race at a track with a more level playing field within the class. We have worked hard to take the “gray area” out of the rule book so that our racers have a very clear picture of what modifications they can make. So with that being said, I urge all of our racers to go back through their cars and make sure that things are proper. Yesterday I had 30 copies of the 2013 Pure Stock Rules on the counter and free to whoever wanted one. We will be teching cars again this coming Saturday and it is highly, highly likely that we will be teching rule #9 in our Pure Stock Class and quite probably at least two more rules; Maybe even something we haven’t checked in the last 3 years. If your car is not right according to our rules, you will receive a penalty.

As I wrote earlier, I am very proud of our racers for giving their best efforts to us fans. I believe that last night, 6-15-13, was a typical night of great racing at Owosso Speedway and it gave us some opportunities to grow, learn and get better. I eagerly await this weekend, much like the kids that I saw walking up to the front gate. I’m excited to spend Saturday with you! Have a great week! Rick

Filed Under: From The Promoters