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2015 Summary

Since the 2015 Runoffs were going to be held at Daytona, it seemed like a good year for us to try and attend (as competitors) for the first time since 2000. I knew we don't have the resources to contend for a National Championship, but given the high-speed nature of Daytona I figured I'd get closer to the front there than anywhere else the event is likely to be held. To that end, we came up with a plan where I would run the minimum number of events necessary to earn an invitation in GT2, then turn the car over to Jay Gomer to run for the 2015 SARRC GTA Championship. You can read the details in each weekend report, but here's the shortened version:

Even with some minor setbacks (including an audition for the Joey Chitwood Thrill Show) I did well enough at the NOLA and Road Atlanta Majors to have enough points, so all I needed to do was "turn a wheel" at the VIR Majors to earn an invitation. I accomplished that by running two laps in the first qualifying session of the weekend, then Jay and I took off the rest of the day to visit Tony Ave's shops in Maiden, NC, where I talked to him about my next (and most likely last) race car, a tube-frame '63 Corvette split-window coupe. We still haven't started on that car yet, but hopefully it WILL happen before I hang up my helmet for good.

After the VIR Majors weekend we left Cuervo in Virginia before returning three weeks later so Jay could run their annual SARRC/MARRS event over Mother's Day weekend. In his first drive ever at VIR Jay ended up turning a best lap in the 2:03's and probably have gone faster with a few more laps. That weekend was also our first experience with a broken axle that (we believe) was a direct result of the "close encounter" I'd had at Road Atlanta in March. That same bugaboo bit us over the July 4th weekend at Roebling Road after Jay got a great start to lead GTA (and run second overall) but then coasted to a stop half a lap later. Later that month at Road Atlanta Jay had two great races with Vern Smith (each had a second and first in the two races), then afterwards informed me the financial realities of racing meant that was the last weekend for him in Cuervo.

BK Racing finished the year at the Runoffs at Daytona, which truly tested our resolve. I took the nose off in the second hairpin when the throttle stuck on Thursday morning, so we took him to Bemco Fabrication in nearby DeLand where Woody and the crew put him back together again. In Friday's championship race we ran as high as eleventh (of 27) and might have moved up another spot or two but shifter problems caused the transmission to hang up in first gear. Despite all the drama, it was a good week and going through the Tri-oval at slightly over 177 mph was a DEFINITE rush!

The other big change in 2015 was prompted by Pete, Heather and three (of four) grandaughters coming over to NOLA to watch Grampa Butch race in early March. Heather is a big Facebook fan so she posted some photos of the weekend for all the world to see. My first reaction was "those are some cute kids" followed quickly by "but who's the BLIMP they're talking to?!?" As a result I got serious about weight loss, joined Quick Weight Loss Centers here in Atlanta, and over the next three months lost fifty pounds. Not only do I have more energy now, but the zipper on my driving suit doesn't get stuck halfway up any longer.

Not sure what will happen in 2016, but I'm definitely looking forward to it.

See y'all at the track...