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CMP Double SARRC
     
Although I’ve tested multiple times at Carolina Motor Sports Park (aka – Kershaw) I’ve never actually raced there. Running there in 2006 presented a bit of a challenge since I was working in New Mexico May 18-26, but Mike Eakin was committed to helping me out so I HAD to go. <g> 
     
Qualified sixth overall, first of four GTA cars (don't remember the times) by almost three seconds. Hung close to Todd Carter (blue #2 Pontiac) for the first 6/7 laps, then the track went to hell after two different cars dumped oil in just about every corner. At first I thought I'd over-cooked the tires, but when I just about turned it sideways shifting to fourth on the main straight (!) and after seeing Mike Hope's AdvancedGrafix car parked between T-3 and T-4 with the back end covered in oil, I decided it was oil that was creating the challenge. This was also confirmed by Mike telling me about all the people driving off the track (the radios worked this time) at various corners, so I pretty much put it in cruise mode to the checkers. Didn't get lapped and finished fourth overall due to attrition, first in GTA (our fourth SARRC win of 2006).
     
Bill Porter came by to check out Cuervo afterward since he's planning to build a GTA car to replace the AS Camaro he's running now. He pointed out a crack in the tube that supports the bottom of forward mount for the third link, but I/we didn't think it was bad enough to warrant immediate attention. Besides, adult beverages were calling our name from the worker party.
     
Arrived in time to run qualifying for Sunday's race (again after lunch) and again qualified sixth overall, then as we were prepping for the race Mike mentioned that the crack(s) appeared to be getting worse. After more inspection we decided discretion was the better part of valor and started loading up. I probably could have nursed it to the checkers for a fifth SARRC win then brought it home to fix it, but we ALSO could be having to fix bodywork (or worse) now as well if I'd backed it into the tires. Ends up this appears to be a weak link in the Howe ASA chassis - when I told Dave Price about it he mentioned he'd had one break on him as well. On the way home Mike called Tim Schmidt to report our decision, and Tim replied that "we're smarter than we look"- Tim said the recent third link repairs on Rich Shafer's Camaro were around $8,000 when it came apart on him! And for the record, it's 286.8 miles from CMP to the shop when going through Augusta so it's pretty much a wash between that and going through Greenville.
     
Curtis Martin (another AS driver) asked why we didn't run Sunday's race and I replied that Bill Porter (who was standing there at the time) messed up my rear end. Curtis then said "I sure hope you're talking about the car."
     
Bottom line on CMP - one win, one DNS, one (mostly) intact race car that needs relatively minor repairs. Next event is the “Last Ever” SARRC race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway June 17 & 18. I’ve never had much luck at Charlotte, but I figured maybe that was because I was working for Home Depot at the time and the track knew it. Now that I no longer work there (I was “arrogant, confrontational and intimidating” LONG before Bob Nardelli made it a desired skill – I was just ahead of my time <g>) and I have a car that’s much more at home on the high banks, I figure I ought to give it one more shot. It doesn’t have the top end that we get at Daytona, but I figure going into NASCAR Three at almost 160 mph has GOT to be a rush!
     
See y’all at the track…