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Fine Tuning Things for the 2012 Season

Over the last sixteen months y’all haven’t heard much about the exploits of “the real” BK Racing (not those pretenders running NASCAR this year, although I’m STILL getting calls from folks looking for a job <g>), but there’s a reason for that. In November of 2010 I left an impression on the wall at Turn Three at Road Atlanta when a weakened rear suspension bracket we’d been driving around all year finally failed, so we took off for eight months to install a new rear clip and bodywork. In the first event back last July I spent more time chasing a transmission leak than doing basic maintenance and the result was I augered in at Turn Five (at about 80 mph) when the right-front tie rod bolt departed the premises. Over the winter I seriously considered whether the racing gods were telling me it was time to hang up my helmet, but if they were they need to send a clearer message. We’ve now put a front clip (with attendant bodywork) on the car, so we’ve essentially got a brand new car! As my old buddy Kenny Holland used to say, “I’ve owned this axe for thirty years – we’ve changed the handle five times and the head twice, but it’s the same axe.”

We ran the March 15 test day at Road Atlanta and found more leaks than we cared to plug during a race weekend, so instead of going to CMP the end of March we took Cuervo to the track trials event at Little Talladega the weekend of April 14-15. The (relatively) new track trials format is essentially a series of 15-minute qualifying sessions all day long, so that event would be much more conducive to finding and fixing problems than a race weekend would be. The goal was to continue sorting things out plus, if things went well, take a shot at a couple of track records. I entered in GT-1 while long-time crew chief Data (Eric Bartel) signed up in GTA (the car is legal in both classes). The bottom line on that weekend is we found (and plugged) some more leaks and we did, in fact, set a new GT-1 track record at a 1:03.655, but we weren’t the fastest (of five) GTA cars there. During the same session I was running my 1:03.6 Robby Boyett turned a 1:03.332 in his LS-1 powered ASA car, so the GTA record at TGPRi is actually now faster than the GT-1 record. The highlight of our event, however, was during Saturday afternoon’s session when Hayes Flynn (Late Model, Restricted Ford engine), Robby (ASA, GM LS-1) and I (ASA, Traditional Chevy) chased each other around the track for four laps. Even though we were running three different configurations of GTA cars our best laps were within two-tenths of each other (all of them faster than the previous GTA record) and our fastest nine laps (three laps each) were within half a second of each other. I don’t know what it looked like from the sidelines, but it was hoot to be out on the track with those two!

The TGPRi event also pointed out some other issues that have since been resolved (the fuel pump housing was cracked in the July 2011 wreck and we noticed the new nose skirt was folding under at speed) plus we finally debugged the transmission leak (which was caused by the wreck in November 2010). 

Now that we’ve got those issues resolved the next event for BK Racing is May 5-6 at Daytona International Speedway – a world-famous cathedral of speed to those of our persuasion. My dad was part owner of a ’37 Ford that ran the first race ever held (on my eighth birthday, no less) at Daytona in February 1958, so that track is very much a part of my upbringing. This will be my first time driving at Daytona since 2005 and it’ll be very much like going back to the church I grew up in. Now that I believe we have a reliable car again I’m VERY pumped up about that weekend!

Depending on the whims of the racing gods, here’s our remaining schedule for 2012:

Dates

Track/Location

Event

May 5-6

Daytona International Speedway, FL

Regional / V8 Stock Car points races

May 19-20

Road Atlanta, Gainesville GA

Single SARRC / Track Trials

June 9-10

Atlanta Motorsports Park, Dawsonville GA

Track Trials (if we can muffle the car enough)

July 14-15

Road Atlanta, Gainesville GA

Double SARRC

Aug 4-5

Atlanta Motorsports Park, Dawsonville GA

Single SARRC (if we can muffle the car enough)

Aug 18 (Sat)

Charlotte Motor Speedway, Charlotte NC

Double SARRC / V8SC (both on Saturday)

Aug 31-Sep 2

Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham AL

Double SARRC

Oct 6-7

Roebling Road, Savannah GA

SARRC Invitational / V8SC

Nov 2-4

Road Atlanta, Gainesville GA

ARRC by GRM / V8SC Finale’

As always, let me know if you’d like information about any of these weekends.

See y’all at the track…