Robyn's Racing Notebook - 2003

10/11 - 10/12/03 - Challenger Raceway Fall Fest IV

Sorry for the long delay...work and other commitments have kept me from getting this update written.  

Stock Car:  Well, what can I say about Fall Fest, other than, it was a rather awesome finish to an otherwise dismal season for the Lambert Racing #27.  With 46 stock cars signed into the season ending race, we followed our trend of bad pills pulls, which had Butch starting 6th in a strong heat race.  The track was typical for Fall Fest and the afternoon racing that goes on...dry & slick, with very little passing.  He crossed the line in 4th place, which would have put him 14th on the starting grid for the feature, but since nothing seems to go our way these days, they decided to go back a lap for the finish because they threw the checkered flag and the caution flag at the same time.  The scorer's claimed that Butch was in 5th on lap 9 (he wasn't), so they scored him as 5th and he was slated to start the feature in 18th spot.  I know that 4 spots aren't that big of a deal, but it still ticked us off.  At least he finally made a Fall Fest A Main without having to run the consy!  Sunday dawned overcast and cloudy and there was even a brief shower in the morning.  We were actually happy to see this because that meant that the track would be in a more "raceable" condition than it had been on Saturday.  It was after 9pm by the time the 24 stock cars took to the track for their feature, and it was a star-studded race with almost the entire field being made up of the best drivers in Western PA.  Butch quickly started making a charge to the front using the outside groove and he was up to 11th place by the 1st caution.  He continued to march forward and was soon in 6th place.  The last 5 laps he battled with the #66 of Joe Kelley, all the while keeping his sights set on the #9 of Gary Norman who was in 5th.  Norman had a slight push in his car that kept forcing Butch to get out of the throttle in turns 1 & 2.  With not much track left on the inside groove, he stayed where he was and crossed the line in 6th place.  We were so excited to have had a good finish and take the car home in one piece.  We all felt that the bad luck we had had all this season had started last year at Fall Fest when Butch spun going for the lead, so we are hoping that this strong finish will be the turn around we needed and that next season will be much better.  It's now time to re-group and re-build for 2004.  We are planning on making some major changes to our racing program, so stay tuned for updates over the off-season.

E-Mod:  We continued to struggle with the Chuck Neely owned #27 e-mod and I just don't think that Challenger likes that car!  Butch started the heat event in 3rd place and was racing for 4th when the #5 of Rick Meglaye drove over the left rear tire.  It didn't go flat, but it was obvious that something got bent because after that, Butch slipped back to 6th, where he ended up finishing.  In hot laps on Sunday, the j-bar broke, which then caused alot of other suspension parts to be bent or broken.  They got the car put back together with the help of Carl McKinney who lent us his spare j-bar.  I can't remember where he started in the b-main, but he was running one spot out of the qualifying position when the center section in the rear-end broke.  It seems like if it isn't one thing with that car, it's another.  Unfortunately, he didn't make the feature, but we still fun.  There are major changes coming for Wexford Racing in 2004, inclduing a new Throwin' Dirt chassis!     

10/05/03 - Mercer Raceway Park - Little Guy Nationals Night 1 (Continued)

Butch & crew decided late Saturday night to go ahead and make the engine change and head back to Mercer for the rained out event from Friday.  Butch was slated to start way back in the 2nd B-main, but there were a lot of cars that did not show up for the race.  Instead, he started in 6th place and quickly jumped into 3rd position.  He cruised there comfortably for the duration of the race and transferred to the $1,000 to win A main.  From his 24th starting spot (last place) in the A, Butch basically tooled around in the back of the field for a while.  He even got into a minor crash that sent the entire car airborne!  With about 15 laps to go in the 25 lap event, he started to make his march towards the front.  Attrition and a nasty looking crash on the front stretch helped his efforts and by the time the checkered flag flew, he was in a fierce battle for 5th spot.  The 5th, 6th and 7th place cars all crossed the line at the same time and Butch was scored as finishing in 7th position.  I think he got the short end of the stick on that one, as I was sure he was in at least 6th going across the line.  Anyway, it was a good shakedown test for the car and engine and a tune up for FALL FEST IX, which is this weekend.  We are really looking forward to Fall Fest, which always provides a lot of fun and exciting racing!

10/03/03 - Mercer Raceway Park - Little Guy Nationals Night 1

We started the night out pretty good at Mercer for the Little Guy Nationals on Friday with a #5 pill draw.  Butch started the heat on the pole and quickly jumped into the lead.  I don't know who was in 2nd, but he got into Butch going into 1 a few laps into the race and that caused the steering wheel to be ripped out of Butch's hand and he lost the lead.  He was battling back really well and was not being challenged for second by anyone when on lap 6 the crank in the engine broke.  We were all really disappointed.  They have a lot of work to do to get ready for Fall Fest and hopefully the motor didn't suffer too much other damage so they can get it put back together for next weekend.  When that guy got into Butch in the heat and the steering wheel jerked, it ended up catching his thumb.  Although it's not broken or anything, it ripped his fingernail off and it's pretty gross looking.  We'll probably go up to watch tonight and last night's race ended up being rained out, so they are running in on Sunday.  I doubt we'll go up on Sunday though.  Now it's time to regroup and get ready for Fall Fest, where hopefully, we'll have better luck.  

9/28/03 - Tri-City Speedway (Applefest 100)

This was probably one of the most exciting races of the season for us.  We had never run in the Applefest 100 and we really didn't know what to expect.  56 cars signed in for this event and Butch started 5th in the 6th heat event of the evening.  He quickly jumped into 2nd place behind the #02 of Dave Ferringer, but was passed by the #A1 of Rick Prosser, who went on to win the heat.  The 3rd place finish put Butch solidly in the field and we were really excited to have made the race.  He was slated to start 13th in the feature, but a scratch moved him up to 12th.  Once the green flag flew, there was no looking back.  Butch steadily marched through the field and was in 7th on lap 20.  By lap 40 he was in 5th and by the halfway mark, he had moved into 3rd place.  Around the 63rd lap, Prosser, who was leading, broke, handing the lead of the race over to eventual winner #7w Bobby Whitling.  Butch was now in 2nd place and coming on strong.  He moved up to challenge Whitling for the lead, and led laps 74 and 75 before the #965 of Andy Buckley (who was 4 laps down) decided to join the race for the lead.  The battled continued for the remaining laps and Butch held on for a very strong 2nd place finish.  Since it was his first time in the event, he received the "Rookie of the Race" award.  It was such an exciting night, and truly was the boost that we all needed after having struggled so much this season.  We are off to Mercer Raceway Park for the Little Guy Nationals this weekend, with $1,000 to win Friday night and $2,000 to win Saturday.  Just making the field on Saturday will be a MAJOR accomplishment, as I expect to see close to 150 cars there for 24 starting spots.  Keep your fingers crossed that Mother Nature cooperates and we can get the races in.  Next weekend will be the season finale at Challenger Raceway's Fall Fest!

9/27/03 - Lernerville Speedway

The Pure Stock Pandemonium Race at Lernerville was cancelled around noon today.  We are really disappointed, but I guess that's all part of the game.

9/26/03 - Dog Hollow Speedway

Well, obviously, the choice to take the #27 Wexford Racing e-mod to Dog Hollow last night was a bad choice.  Butch started on the pole of the heat and led the first 3 or laps until he drifted high & #14 passed him.  They were racing pretty good and there was a caution with a just a couple laps to go.  The restart was a good one, but apparently, the flagman didn't like it and called Butch for a false start.  On the ensuing restart, the leader was going super slow and Butch went too soon.  As a result, he was docked 2 positions for jumping the start.  When they did get on their way, Butch just ran it into the corner too hard and got sideways, then a bump sent him the rest of the way around.  I am guessing that he finished 5th in the heat, but I don't know for sure because the spin was on the last lap.  He started the feature in 10th and on the start everybody bunched up and he got shuffled back to 12th.  He was steadily moving his way through the field, but every time there was a caution, the put cars in front of him that he had passed laps before.  He ended up being in a big pile up with 2 laps to go while running in 10th place.  Two cars in front of him got sideways and collected Butch and 3 other cars.  Butch had no where to go and spun to the avoid the wreck.  He was fine and didn't hit anything, but a guy behind him obviously wasn't paying attention and slammed into Butch as he was sitting there.  All of the rear-end suspension parts were broken so he was unable to finish.  I don't know where he was scored at yet, I will have to wait to see the run down from Dog Hollow's website.  I highly doubt we will make any more visits to that track, as they have to have the strangest set of rules I've ever seen.  It was a very frustrating night.  

9/19/03 - Lernerville Speedway

Hurricane Isabel put a stop to the racing action at Lernerville Speedway on Friday, September 19th.  We had briefly considered trying to make all the changes necessary to go to PPMS for the Pittsburgher 30, but decided it just wasn't worth it.  We also tossed around heading to Mercer on Saturday night for their $600 to win special, but a weekend off just sounded too good.  We still may decide to take the e-mod to Latrobe for the Cow Pie 100, but it is highly unlikely.  The combination of high cost entry fees and pit passes as well as it being on Sunday makes it just not worth the trip.  We are looking forward to Lernerville's Pure Stock Pandemonium Race on Saturday, September 27th.  There are still 9 laps available to sponsor.  If you are interested, please contact me as soon as possible at robyn@lambertracing.com.  

9/13/03 - Pittsburgh Pennsylvania's Motor Speedway

We had planned on going to Latrobe last night, but they cancelled about an hour before we were ready to pull out.  We decided to head to PPMS instead.  After looking pretty good in hot laps, Butch started the heat in 3rd place, but quickly faded and ended up finishing 8th.  The track just changed and we weren't prepared for it.  He started the feature in 23rd spot and slowly worked his way through the field.  He was up to 11th place, but coming for the checkered, track champ Wayne Tessean broke right in front of Butch, so he had to get on the brakes and a couple of cars got by, so Butch finished 13th.  We just can't seem to get a handle on that track, so I doubt we will pay the extra money to go back there for the Pittsburgher.  

9/12/03 - Raceway 7 (1st Annual Fall Classic)

We made our first ever trip to Raceway 7 on Friday, where 70 stock cars signed in to compete in the 1st Annual Fall Classic.  Butch drew a 37 pill and started 5th in the 3rd of 6 six heat races.  He was racing hard for the 3rd place transfer position with the 02 of Dave Ferringer and another car, but ended up crossing the line in 5th place, relegating him to the B main.  He started 3rd in the 2nd of 3 b-main's and quickly jumped into the 2nd spot.  He and the leader pulled away from the rest of the field and he ended finishing second, but only by a fender.  He was slated to start the feature in 23rd spot, but for some reason, they had him starting 21st.  He was making good progress through the field and was racing for 11th spot on lap 12 when the #98 car got into his left rear, cutting down the tire.  Butch exited to the pits and because there was no caution thrown for him, didn't come back out because he was laps down.  He was scored as finishing in 20th position.  All in all, we were extremely happy with our visit there.  The track was nice and stayed tacky all night, even though it was really dusty.  With the number and quality of stock cars there, we were very happy to have made the race.  We will definitely return there in the future. 

8/30/03 - Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway

Sorry for the delay...things have been a little hectic for me.  Butch started the heat event in 4th spot and was running 3rd when he got turned around and had to go to the rear.  He ended up working his way back up to 6th spot.  In the feature, he started 19th and slowly worked his way to a 13th place finish. 

8/29/03 - Lernerville Speedway

After waiting out several rain delays, Butch started the heat event in 5th place.  He worked his way up to 3rd by lap 2, when down came the rains.  The race was red-flagged and we waited out yet another rain delay.  The race restarted and Butch quickly advanced to the lead where he stayed for the remainder of the event to capture his first heat event of the season.  Hard rains hit the speedway just as the 3rd stock heat was taking the track forcing officials to postpone the event to September 19th.  The stocks will run a whole new event on this night, while the sprints will only run their feature.  We will have to decide whether we want to go there or to the Pittsburgher 30 at PPMS as we had originally planned.  We have not made a decision yet on whether or not we will be racing at Tri-City on Sunday.  We will probably decide tomorrow, so check back to find out.

8/24/03 - Tri-City Speedway

Butch started the heat race at Tri-City Speedway in the 3rd spot and quickly jumped into 2nd place.  He was running steady in 2nd when there was a restart with only a few laps remaining.  Going into turn 1 after the restart, the #54s of Shawn Shingledecker spun Butch out.  Butch had to restart at the tail of the 8 car field and by the time the checkered flag fell, he was up to 5th place.  An invert 12 had Butch starting the feature in 3rd position.  He ran really well, but eventually fell back to an 8th place finish.  Sunday was the last points race at Tri-City Speedway and Butch ended the season in 7th place.  We were going to run the stock car at Tri-City this coming week when the late models are there, but have decided against it.

8/22/03 - Lernerville Speedway

A good pill draw had Butch starting in the 3rd spot for the heat race on the final night for points at Lernerville Speedway.  He quickly jumped into 2nd place behind Scott Bochek and stayed there for the remainder of the event.  For the feature, Butch started in 6th position.  It was an exciting and eventful race that had fierce battles all through the field.  Butch was running in 5th place for most of the race, but developed a bad push during the final 5 laps, allowing Joe Kelley to pass him on the last lap and leaving Butch to settle for a 6th place finish.  Our new Tom Kennedy Racing Engines motor ran well and we are looking forward to the $500 to win race at Lernerville next week.

News & Notes:  Congratulations to Rob Kosecki on his late model heat race win Friday night.  Also, congratulations to Greg Beach & the 33x team on their 4th feature win of the season.  All of the Point Champions were decided at Lernerville, with the exception of the Pure Stocks, as the final race is under review due to a questionable call against #55 Chris Schneider for jumping on a restart.  It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

8/17/03 - Tri-City Speedway

It was another rather uneventful night of racing at Tri-City Speedway on Sunday.  Butch started the heat race in 8th place, and that is where he finished.  The car just didn't want to go.  They decided that they made the wrong gear choice for the evening and hope that it would be better for the feature.  Butch started the feature in 14th place (last),  He was battling for 10th when the #0k of Kari Gasser spun, collecting him.  Other than a twisted front bumper, Butch was able to pull away and complete the race.  He steadily worked his way back through the field and made a pass at the finish line to finish 8th.  We were very happy with the top 10 finish.

8/15/03 - Lernerville Speedway

It was another bad pill draw night for the Lambert Racing team at Lernerville Speedway last night.  A #42 draw put Butch in 9th spot on the starting grid in the second heat event for the Pure Stocks.  He made a charge to the front and pulled out a second place finish at the line.  It was really exciting!  Lady luck wasn't on our side for the re-draw of the feature and Butch ended up starting 11th in the 24 car field.  The track was slick and Butch tried all the grooves on the track, but just couldn't seem to get hooked up.  He had moved up to 9th place at one point, but had drifted back to 11th.  It looked as though that was where he was going to finish, but on the white flag lap the second place car of Rob Shook spun on the front stretch, causing all the positions to be shuffled around.  When the checkered flag fell, Butch was in 6th place.  It was a lucky 6th place finish, but the way things have been going, we'll take it!  We had originally planned on running Mercer tonight (Saturday), but with the way our luck has been going, we have decided to leave it parked.  

Noteworthy News:  The Points will end this coming Friday at Lernerville and it is turning into a real battle for the Championship.  Good Luck to Chris Schneider & Greg Beach on their quests for their first championship!  Congratulations to John Flinner for picking up his 3rd consecutive Late Model Championship at Lernerville!  I also want to thank all the guys who gave a few minutes of their time to entertain our 3 year old nephew, Austin, last night.  He loves walking around the pits to see the cars and meet the drivers.  He's already a die-hard race fan!! 

8/10/03 - Tri-City Speedway

Tri-City finally got a day without rain and even though I secretly would have rather gone to Challenger, we had to go to Tri-City to stay in the Top 10 in points.  It was a rather unremarkable night, with Butch starting 7th in the heat event and working his way up to finish a strong 5th place.  He started the feature event in 10th place and had worked his way up to 8th place but eventually drifted back to an 11th place finish.  The car was in one piece and fortunately, finished the night on all four wheels, much unlike our last visit to Tri-City!

8/8/03 - Lernerville Speedway

Thanks to Don Gamble, we were able to race at Lernerville.  Don was kind enough to lend us his motor that he ran in the Senior Series last year and boy did it work well!  Butch started the heat event in 5th place and worked his way to a 3rd place finish behind winner Scott Bochek in the #75 and the 2nd place finisher, rookie Jake Ayers.  The re-draw put Butch 10th on the starting grid for the feature and it was a wild race.  On lap 3, the flagman made a poor call not to throw the caution after 2 cars spun in turns 3 & 4.  With the leaders bearing down on them the cars got turned back around but one of them was moving very slowly and this caused the field to bunch up around them.  On the ensuing lap, a multi-car pile-up took out the 75 of Bochek, the 18 of Jeff Walters and gave the 66 of Joe Kelley a flat tire.  Other cars were also involved and received damage.  Butch was able to squeak through unharmed, but was shafted on the restart line-up, as he should have been in at least 6th place on the restart, but was put back in 8th.  All of this, and it was only lap 4!  The caution would fly many more times for various incidents and every time Butch had passed 3 or 4 cars, the caution would come out and put him back again.  At one point, he had moved into 2nd with a fantastic run off the bottom of turn 2, only to have the caution come out and relegate him back to the 5th spot.  Rookie Ayers did a fantastic job of running the low line and no matter what Butch did, he just couldn't get around him.  Making a last ditch effort to improve his position, Butch went to the high side of turns 3 & 4 on the final lap.  He was on the top coming out of 4 and the 71 of Jim Swezey was on the bottom coming for the checkered flag.  It looked like he was going to get a 4th place finish, but Swezey slid from the bottom of the track all the way to the top right before the flagman and got into Butch, causing Butch to hit the wall, hard, right at the flagman.   It was a stupid move and there was no reason, or excuse, for it.  Fortunately, Butch was ok and managed to finish 5th.  Unfortunately, there was a lot of damage done to the car.   A frustrating end to an otherwise good night.  The flagman has repeatedly made bad calls when it comes to the pure stocks.  If it had been a late model that spun in front of the field like that, the caution would have been out before the guy had even come to a stop.  They need to stop treating the stocks like second class citizens.  Also, the rough driving that has been going on needs to be addressed before someone gets hurt.  Week in and week out, its always the same guy causing the same problems.  This issue needs to be resolved.  Finally, Butch had to be teched last night because he finished 5th.  While that is not unusual, after he limped into the infield with a badly damaged car, we realized that all the tow trucks had left, leaving us to go out and get the truck and trailer and bring it into the infield just to get the car.  I'm sure a BB modified or Sprint car wouldn't have been left stuck out there like that!

A couple of side notes:  Congrats to Greg Beach & team on their 3rd feature win of the season!  We would also like to thank them for offering us a motor for this week.  Gray Rish Jr won his 1st career feature in the big-block modifieds and we would like to send our congratulations out to him on this milestone event.  Hats off to Rookie Jake Ayers who ran a flawless race in both the pure stock heat & feature...can you say "Rookie of the Year"?

Get well wishes go out to Wes Osmer who is UPMC Presby recovering from an infection.  Wish you could of been there last night Wes!!  We'll keep you in our prayers.

8/3/03 - Tri-City Speedway

For the second week in a row, Tri-City Speedway fell victim to Mother Nature, so we had another Sunday night to relax at home.

8/1/03 - Lernerville Speedway

Just when it appeared that our luck was starting to take a turn for the better, the whole bottom fell out of our season.  After finally getting a good pill draw. Butch started in 4th in his heat event.  He quickly moved into 3rd place and was challenging for 2nd when it appeared as if the car just slowed down.  Every lap he got slower and by the end of the 8 lap event, he had dropped all the way back to a 6th place finish.  The crew went to work, going over the car, trying to figure out what the problem was.  After discussing the way the car was running with engine builders, Tom & Howard, they decided to check the oil filter to see if something was wrong with the motor.  Sure enough, the oil filter was full of metal as a result of a spun bearing.  This forced Butch & crew to call it a night and watch the feature from the stands.  With both of our motors now out of commission, we won't be running the stock at Tri-City this Sunday and may even have to borrow a motor to make it to Lernerville next week.   

7/27/03 - Tri-City Speedway

We made it almost all the way to Tri-City when we decided that it was looking pretty dark up that way, so we decided to give them a call and see if they were still running.  Unfortunately, a storm had just gone through and they had to cancel.  We decided to make the best of a free night and head back to Mars to have a picnic with the crew.  As long as everything goes ok on Friday at Lernerville, we will be taking the pure stock to Tri-City next week.

7/25/03 - Lernerville Speedway

Lady Luck has not been kind to Butch the last couple of weeks and his string of bad luck continued at Lernerville Speedway last night.  After pulling yet another bad pill, Butch started the heat event in 10th place.  He had worked his way up to 4th place and was looking to finish the event in a qualifying position when the caution flew with 2 laps remaining in the event.  On the restart, the 3s Paul Schreckengost had a hard time getting going, which caused the field to bunch up.  Coming out of turn 2, the 3rd place car of Bob Egley got sideways in front of Butch, collecting him in his spin.  That would not have been so bad, but the 98 of Rick Burris apparently had no where to go (and couldn't find his brake pedal), and ending up actually driving over top of the whole left side of Butch's car.  In doing so, the driver's side door & front fender were ripped off and there was extensive damage to the body.  Although the damage was mainly cosmetic., Butch was unable to continue in the event because Lernerville's rules do not allow you to race without a driver's side door.  The crew worked quickly and with the help of Greg Beach & his team, got the car ready for the b-main event.  Butch started the b-main in 12th spot and patiently worked his way up to a 3rd place finish in the 10 lap event.  His b-main finish put him in 21st spot in the feature line-up and he was a man on a mission from the drop of the green flag.  By the time the first caution flew, he was up to 14th place and when the yellow came out again with 4 laps to go, he was in 12th.  By the time the checkered flag waved, he crossed the line in 9th place, just a fender short of an 8th place finish.  We were all extremely happy with the way the night ended, even though it had gotten off to such a rough start.  Keep your eyes open because you never know where you may see the Lambert Racing #27 next.  We have decided to start running some other tracks and just may show up at a track near you, soon!

7/20/03 - Tri-City Speedway

It was not a good night for the Wexford Racing #27 e-mod at Tri-City Speedway.  Butch started the heat event in 6th place, but didn't even get to complete a lap.  On the start of the race, the 0k of Kari Gasser and the D1 of Russ Dempsey got together, with Dempsey then getting into the #66s, turning him sideways, then head-on into the wall, just as they passed under the flagman.  Butch had no where to go and got on the binders hard to try to avoid the crash, but he was hit hard from behind.  The hit launched him right into the middle of the crash and Butch ended up flipping over.  The car only flipped one time and landed on its roof, but there was enough damage done to end our night.  Thankfully, Butch is a little sore, but otherwise uninjured.  The car, on the other hand, needs some work.  We'll just have to put it back together and give it another go next week.

On a happier note, congratulations to Doug Foster, driver of the FC3 Pure Stock at Pittsburgh's Penna. Motor Speedway, for picking up his 2nd feature event win in the past 3 weeks.  Way to go LA!

7/18/03 - Lernerville Speedway

It was Nostalgia Night at Lernerville and another bad pill draw had Butch starting in the 10th spot of 3rd heat event last night.  The heat looked more like an All-Star race than a heat event, with almost all of the best Pure Stock drivers at Lernerville stacked into one heat.  Butch advanced to the 7th spot and looked to be heading to the b-main event, when the 6th place car of Chris Schneider spun coming for the checkered flag.  His 6th place finished advanced him to feature event where he started 18th.  The feature event took the track well after midnight, even though we ran third in the rotation.  When the caution flew on lap 4, Butch had already made it up to 12th spot.  He advanced up to 10th spot and was stalking 9th place position when he got too high and jumped the cushion in turns 3 & 4.  His off-track excursion lost him two spots that he just didn't have time to make up, so he finished in 12th place.

It was a wild night at Lernerville, with some of the worst wrecks I have ever seen.  I think at least one car flipped in each division, with the exception of the sprints.   Our thoughts and prayers are with Guy Griffin who was air-lifted from the track after a nasty flip in the Mod B-main.  The Lernerville Press Release states that he is listed in fair condition at Allegheny General Hospital with a head injury.  Please keep him, and his family, in your prayers.

Our congratulations to pit-mate & friend Greg Beach & his team on picking up the feature win.  We would also like to congratulate Rob Kosecki on his career-best 2nd place finish in the Late Model feature. 

7/13/03 - Tri-City Speedway

A good pill draw put Butch on the outside pole of the heat event at Tri-City, where for once, the e-mods got to run first!  He held his own and finished a strong 3rd place.  The track slicked over and was pretty rough for the feature, but Butch was hanging on to his 6th place starting spot when he drifted high going into turn 3 and lost quite a few positions.  He crossed the line in 9th place and with the car in one piece.  We were on our way home by 9:30pm, which was really nice for a change! 

7/11/03 - Lernerville Speedway

Although there were some rain drops falling and the skies were black, racing was still on at Lernerville Speedway.  A bad pill draw put Butch in the 10th starting spot in the 3rd heat event for the Pure Stocks.  He was a man on a mission and when the checkered flag dropped, he crossed the line in 4th place, without any cautions to help his move toward the front.  For the feature, Butch started in 6th place, but a first lap incident dashed all hopes of good run.  On the start of the race, the 4th place starter checked up, forcing Butch to get on the brakes hard.  Eighth starting Greg Beach (33x), did all he could but ended up getting into the back of Butch.  It would not have been so bad, but the tow hook on the front of Beach's machine somehow got hooked around Butch's back bumper, locking them together.  Eventually, they got separated, but it dropped them back to 17th & 18th position.  Butch then started making a march towards the front.  With only one caution to help his cause, he made it all the way back up to a 7th place finish.  All considering, it was a good night and we enjoyed joking around with the Beach Team about the very bizarre bumper kissing!

7/5/03 - Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway

With Tri-City not running e-mods this week, we decided to try our hand at Dirt's Monster Half-Mile, PPMS.  After drawing a good pill to start 2nd in the heat, Butch was running in second, five laps into the race, when the brand new right-rear tire blew out.  This forced him to bring the car to the pits and finish last (8th) in the event.  As a result of the DNF in the heat, Butch started in 20th place for the feature event.  He had worked himself up to 11th at one point, but drifted high in turn 3 and lost a few positions.  He crossed the finish line in 13th place in the 20 lap Dan Burns Memorial event.  

Congratulations to our good friend, Doug "LA" Foster for his first win of the season in the Pure Stock main!

7/4/03 - Lernerville Speedway

Under black skies, we left our Independence Day celebration and headed for Lernerville.  We pulled in line at the gate just as the rains hit.  Unfortunately, the races were cancelled for the evening.

6/29/03 - Tri-City Speedway

We headed to Tri-City under threatening skies and Butch started the heat event in 3rd place.  He looked really good and maintained his position for a 3rd place finish.  Rain hit the speedway just before the stock car b-main and caused an hour & a half rain delay.  An invert 8 put Butch in 4th place on the starting grid for the feature event.  The track was beautiful and tacky, if not a little bit rough, but for the first time this season, they had a very racy surface to work with.  From is 4th place starting spot, Butch rocketed into 2nd place and battled with defending track champion, Brent Rhebergen for the first 10 laps of the event.  Jeff Taylor was flying through the field from his last place starting position and passed Butch for 2nd on lap 11.  The next lap, Rhebergen got into Butch in turn 3, causing damage to the rear-end suspension.  This allowed Rhebergen to take over the 3 position.  Butch was holding strong in 4th, even with a bent lift arm, as the rest of the field was a straight-away behind.  Coming into turn 3 on the final lap, the driveshaft came out as a result of the earlier damage, and he literally drifted across the finish line in 6th.  He did a fantastic job and had it not been for the hit from Rhebergen, probably could have come away with a 3rd place finish.  However, we were still very excited with his best run to date at Tri-City.

6/27/03 - Lernerville Speedway

Butch started out the night from the pole of the third heat event.  He quickly jumped into the lead, but the car developed a bad push midway through the event and he dropped back to a 3rd place finish.  Our bad luck with re-draws continues, as Butch had to start 10th in the feature event.  The crew decided to take some chances and make some major changes to the car for the feature.  At the drop of the green flag, Butch steadily moved forward even though the track seemed to be mostly one lane around the top, he was able to use the bottom groove to make some passes.  It was an exciting race and at the checkered, he crossed the line in 3rd.  We were really happy with the finish, especially since we have been struggling so far this season to even finish in the top 5.  We think that with a few more changes to the car, we will be able  to have some strong finishes.  The track officials and tech inspectors have been very disappointing this year.  It seems as though they have decided to just throw the rule book out the window.  They are giving people that are caught with illegal parts a week to change them, even if they win the race.  It was never like this in past seasons and is very disheartening.