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Hutchinson Island HSR Event

I had planned to take Cuervo to the Hutchinson Island event, but repairs after the VIR incident took longer than expected plus the in-car video I had seen didn’t look all that inviting. Granted it was from a Porsche (which ALWAYS distorts one’s perceptions <g>), but the track looked flat, not terribly exciting, and didn’t seem to have a lot of runoff room if you made mistakes. After seeing it in person this past weekend, however, I now wish I’d worked a little harder and had taken a race car with me.

The track has a LOT more character than it appears on GoogleEarth or on the video. There are two 140+ mph straights, there are both banked and off-camber corners, and the high-banked, left-handed Turn One off the front straight looked like a serious rush! It was right next to the Westin Resort & golf course (I wonder how many birdie putts were disturbed by loud exhaust? <g>), there were a couple of pretty good viewing areas with spectator berms and they’re working to clear more land (they had roped off access to the inside of Turn One and said something about snakes being in the area). The HSR people were good to work with and if it happens again in 2011 I’ll make a better effort to attend. And yes, it WAS damn hot (107 degrees on the truck’s thermometer as I was waiting in the paddock to leave on Saturday afternoon), but I’m sure we can blame that on Obama somehow.

Results and reports of the races can be found at www.V8StockCar.com, but Saturday’s Group 8 feature race had Larry Hoopaugh winning overall and V8SPO ahead of J.C. France (of the Daytona Beach Frances) in the ex-Jeff Burton Exide car. Kurt Roehrig finished third overall and first in V8GTA, and probably could have gotten by J.C. with a couple more laps. Bobby Reuse (V8GTA) was next, so I guess we need to throw another 100 pounds or so on the Late Model cars since they’ve obviously been dominating GTA this year (don’t have a heart attack Hall, I’m KIDDING!!!). Hollywood Graham came home third in GTA in an ASA car followed by Roger Reuse, but unfortunately Randy Walker got taken out by another car right after getting the green and tore up the same RF corner that I had “adjusted” for him at VIR.

On Sunday Larry & J.C. again used their superior horsepower to beat Kurt into Turn One at the green, but this time Bobby maintained closer contact with the two of them. About halfway through the 8-lap race Kurt added a small highlight of yellow paint to JC’s rear bumper but couldn’t get by, then the brake pedal started getting longer and Bobby got by entering the front straight. I watched that race from the back side and met a couple of enthusiasts, Rick Brown and Pat Clare (for those that were there, Pat owns the McLaren M-6 GT that was in the paddock on Saturday). We had a nice chat about all forms of racing (Rick was an IKF official for ten years in California and Pat used to run a Formula Ford) and they may end up with a GTA car before things are over!

Despite the stifling heat (and shorter races than we usually run) it was a much better weekend than I had expected. As I wrote above, if they do it again I’ll make a more sincere effort to be there.

See ya…