Robyn's Racing Notebook - 2004

Challenger Raceway - 10/9 & 10/10/04 - Fall Fest


Mercer Raceway Park - 10/1/04 - Little Guy Nationals - Night #1

We got a late start to go to Mercer, but were excited to pull a #2 pill (out of 200) for the night, which put Butch on the pole of the second heat event.  He got about one lap in during hot laps when the motor lost oil pressure.  He shut the car down and was pushed back to the pits.  For the second year in a row, we experienced motor problems on night #1 of the Nationals.  We found the problem, but were unable to fix it, so we, unfortunately, had to call it a night.  We will not be returning to Mercer for night #2 because the crew has to pull the motor to get it fixed for next weekend's Fall Fest X at Challenger Raceway.

Lernerville Speedway - 9/25/04 - Pure Stock Pandemonium

With 52 cars signed into the pits, Butch pulled #41 and started the third heat event in 6th place.  On the start, he struggled to get around the #8 and fell way behind.  He finally got passed him and started to reel in the 3rd place car of #17 Chuck Grebaur.  Butch quickly passed him and set his sights on the 2nd place car of Jake Ayers.  Butch caught him but ran out of laps and had to settle for the 3rd place finish, but only by inches.  Since they were only redrawing the top 2 heat finishers, Butch started the feature event in 13th position.  A lap one crash (and the only caution of the event) moved him up to 9th place and he started to cautiously work his way through the field in the 30 lap event.  Soon he was in 7th place and then 5th.  On lap 19 he moved into 4th.   There was a heated battle going on for 2nd thru 6th place as everyone was trying to get the bottom groove.  Butch patiently waited for his opportunities to pass and moved into 3rd place on lap 28.  Coming for the checkered flag, the #1 of Duane Getty spun on the front stretch, so Butch moved up a little coming out of turn four.  As a result, he got into the slick and spun his tires.  Ayers was able to close the distance and they crossed the finish line side by side.  We were certain that Butch had held on to 3rd (and so were many others), but apparently the scorers saw it differently and he ended up with a 4th place finish.  We were still very happy with the way the race went and Butch said that the car felt the best it did all year.

I really have to thank everyone that helped out in making this race such an event for the the pure stocks.  They truly deserve to have their night to shine and they certainly put on a fantastic show for the fans.

Sharon Speedway - 9/18/04 - Emod - Fall Classic

Another good pill draw at Sharon had Butch starting 2nd in the 4th heat of the night, which was filled with a veritable "who's who" of talented e-mod drivers in the area.  There were 39 cars in the pits and almost all of the best were in this heat, including Jeff Sharp, Paul Wilmouth, Randy Hall & Brent Rhebergen.  On the start Butch held on to second but was soon passed by Wilmouth.  He held on to third for a couple more laps until Hall got by on lap 4.  For the remainder of the 8 lap event, he held off the likes of Rick Robinson and Brent Rhebergen to come home in 4th spot, which put him solidly in the starting field for the main event.  He took the green flag for the feature in 16th position and started making a march towards the front.  Cautions helped his forward movement and he was soon in 10th place and challenging for 9th went the car shut off on him.  He lost a few spots but soon regained momentum, only to be caught up with two other cars and brushing the wall.  He was now back to 23rd

Tri-City Speedway - 9/12/04 - Applefest 100

We got a good pill for the heat race and Butch started on the pole in the 2nd of 6 heat events.  There were 56 cars in the pits for this big event and competition was tough.  On the start of the heat, Butch jumped into the lead, only to be quickly passed by the A1 of Rick Prosser.  Prosser quickly put a straightaway lead on Butch, who was never seriously challenged for second place.  We were happy to be solidly in the field, but not long after the completion of the heat, it was announced that Prosser was disqualified for having a floater rear-end.  This gave Butch the heat win and the opportunity to run the dash.  He pulled the 6th place starting position for the dash and used the 6 lap event to experiment with the set-up of the car.  He finished the dash in 5th place which meant he started the Applefest 100 in the 5th starting spot.  At the drop of the green in this prestigious event, Butch faded back a bit to 9th place.  He was steadily running there as the laps ticked off.  He started advancing and was up to, I believe, 6th position, when the 2nd place car of Doug Iorio lost a wheel on lap 54.  When the wheel came off, so did the brake drum and Butch ended up hitting it.  The hit caused him to bounce really high in the air and he ended up with a flat left front tire.  The crew, with help from Greg Beach, did an excellent job of getting Butch in and out of the pits and only losing 1 lap (I think).  He restarted at the end of the field behind many cars that were already laps down.  He slowly started picking off car after car and was eventually running with the leaders.  When the checkered flag flew, I honestly had no idea what position he was in, but I knew there were only 8 cars left on the lead lap.  We were ecstatic to find out that he had finished 10th.

Congratulations to Dave Ferringer on a well deserved & hard earned win in this event!!

Special thanks to Greg and Tricia Beach for sticking around and helping us out even after their night turned sour.  

Sharon Speedway - 9/11/04 - Emod

We finally got a good pill at Sharon and Butch started 2nd in the heat event and did a really good job to cross the line in 4th place.  The good finish put him in the redraw for the feature and he started that event in 9th position.  He was doing really well and was up to 7th place and challenging for 6th when he got a little sideways and lost a few positions.  He did an excellent job of avoiding some big wrecks and came home with in 10th place his first top 10 finish at Sharon.  We were extremely happy with the way the car was working (finally) and are looking forward to going back to Sharon for their Fall Classic this Saturday. 

Tri-City Speedway - 9/5/04

Since Butch was off of work for the Labor Day Weekend and Tri-City decided to open up their tire rule, we took the Lambert Racing #27 stock car there for their Detroit Iron Series event.  I believe there were 46 cars on hand and Butch drew a 12, which put him 3rd in the 4th heat event.  The car that started on the pole was very slow and Butch struggled to get around him on the start.  He dropped back quickly and only made it to turn one before Mike Turner in the #6 went into the turn too low, hit the inside berm and bounced into Butch, causing him to spin.  Butch went to the rear of the 11 car field and then slowly started moving towards the front.  He was in 6th place when the 3rd place car spun and Butch barely avoided him.  He started to reel in 4th place but ran out of laps and had to settle for a 5th place finish which was 1 spot out of qualifying for the feature event.  He started 2nd in the second b-main event of the night and raced side by side with the pole sitter throughout the entire event.  Using the inside groove, Butch's smoothness showed through as the two cars put on an exciting dual right down to the checkered flag.  At the line, it was Butch by about a foot for the win!  That finish put him in 18th starting spot for the 25 lap feature event.  He had already advanced to 14th position and was just starting to make some moves when on lap 6 he suddenly slowed and pulled into the infield.  He stayed there for the remainder of the event.  He had heard a noise in the motor and didn't want to take any chances.  As it turned out, he made the right decision because a rocker arm had broken.  He was credited with 22nd place and for the second race in a row, got a DNF.

Hopefully we have gotten all of the bad luck out of the way and will be more successful in the big races that are starting this weekend.  We are looking forward to going back to Tri-City for Sunday's Applefest 100.  Last year was Butch's first attempt at this race and he came home with a 2nd place finish and "Rookie of the Race" honors.

Lernerville Speedway - 9/3/04

Ok, so I forgot to do this last goes.  Butch started on the pole of the 2nd heat event and for some reason, dropped to 3rd.  He was challenging the #09 of Mike Pegher for 2nd when Pegher got loose and Butch got by.  He finished the heat in 2nd place.  The redraw had him in 5th place on the starting grid for the 20 lap feature event.  For the first 11 laps of the race, he battled side by side with the 7x of Herman Bertolini for the 4th place position.  They exchanged positions often, which Butch working the inside groove and Bertolini running the top.  On lap 11, they approached lapped traffic that was running in the high groove.  Butch moved down as low as he could on the inside of the track going down the back stretch, but just as they approached the entrance to turn 3, Bertolini hit him in the right rear tire, cutting the tire down and sending Butch for a wild spin across the track that almost had him flipping over the hill on the back straightaway.  When he spun and hit the cushion on the top side of the track, the left rear tire blew out too.  All he could do then was wait for the tow truck.  Apparently the tow truck driver was having a bad night and decided to take it out on Butch because he wouldn't leave the car up in the air for the crew to change the tires, so Butch had to finish the race in the pits.  He was credited with 24th position and got his first DNF of the year.  The sad thing is, if Herm would have just lifted for half a second, it all could have been avoided.  Instead, he ended up with a flat left front tire and a 12th place finish.  Oh well, what's done is done.

Lernerville Speedway - 8/27/04

Again, I apologize for the delay, but our modem got fried in the storms over the weekend.

Under cloudy skies we went to Lernerville knowing that we could get rained on at anytime.  There were 33 stock cars signed into the pits and we drew a #19, which put Butch 3rd in the 3rd heat event.  He quickly jumped into second and was reeling in the leader, #75 Scott Bochek, when he slowed going into turns 1 & 2.  Butch shut the car down because it was overheating and limped into the pits.  A broken fan belt was the culprit and the crew put it back together in preparation for running the b-main.  His DNF in the heat put him in 14th starting spot in the b-main, but Mother Nature decided to call it a night right after the sprint feature.  

At this time, I have no real comment on the evenings activities, but I will say this...Lernerville Officials (NOT MANAGEMENT) need to show some consistency in their calls and they should NOT make statements that they cannot stand behind.  I may have more to add later, but will leave it at that for now.


Sharon Speedway - 8/21/04 - Emod

Sorry for the delay!  Our computer crashed on Saturday, but thanks to Eugene of Stover's Net Connection, it is back up and running, better than ever!

There were 37 cars in the pits at Sharon and Butch drew a #50 and started 7th in the 4th heat event.  He struggled at the beginning of the race, trying to get used to all the changes they made to the car.  He looked stronger and stronger as the race went on, but had to settle for a 7th place finish, which put him in the B-Main.  He was running really well in the b-main and was up to 5th when the caution flew with 2 to go.  He had to restart on the inside and the track was really rough.  He faded to 7th in the last two laps and did not make the feature.  We were happy with the way the car ran and how it looked.  This week should be even better!

Lernerville Speedway - 8/20/04

Lernerville Speedway was cancelled by rain last night after strong storms moved through the area.  Next week is the last night for points.  Best of luck to #64 Rob Shook & #33x Greg Beach on their quests for their first track championship!

Lernerville Speedway - 8/13/04

Sorry for the delay...too much going on this week!  

First of all, we would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the Kosecki family on the loss of Nancy over the weekend.  She was such a sweet woman who will be deeply missed.  

We got another good pill this week, which put Butch on the pole of the third heat event of the night.  On the start, he battled with the #30 of Bob Egley, then dropped to second place, where Rob Shook eventually passed him.  He was running third when #66 Joe Kelley got into him in turns 3 & 4, pushing him out over the cushion and back to 4th place.  He was then racing with Egley for third when Egley spun right in front of him and Butch barely missed him.  Butch was then able to hold off a charge from #75 Scott Bochek and finish in 3rd place.

The redraw for the 20 lap feature had Butch starting 4th on the grid.  They changed the order of events and ran our feature before the late models so we had to scramble to get ready.  Of course, even though the rest of the 24 car field was in line-up, Joe Kelley wasn't ready, so they held up the start of the race for almost 10 minutes, just waiting for him.  That marked the second time this season that they either held up a race or moved a race back so that he could be ready.  I hope the officials are prepared to do that for every driver there because if they don't, it's gonna get ugly.  The race itself was pretty awesome.  Kelley jumped into the lead and Butch was in a fierce battle that had 5 cars all looking for 2nd place.  They all exchanged positions each lap and there were only a couple of cautions.  With 4 laps to go, Kelley lost it coming out of 2 and went over the hill.  He came back on the track right in front of Butch, who was lucky to not hit him.  Going into 3 Butch got under Kelley and slid up a little bit, but got by.  Over the remaining laps, Butch was able to hold on to a 5th place finish.  Congratulations to Mike Pegher Jr on his first Lernerville career win.  Also, thumbs up to Greg Beach for advancing to 6th place, after starting 17th.  

We decided to take a break from racing the emod to regroup and joined some friends for some refreshments on Saturday instead.  The crew made some major changes to the car and are confident they have found the problem, so we are anxious to go to Sharon this week.  

Sharon Speedway - 8/7/04 - Emod

Another bad pill pull (#62) had Butch starting in the second heat event in 8th (last) place last night at Sharon Speedway.  He did a good job of working his way up to 5th place finish and the car looked a little better than it has in previous weeks.  For the first time this year at Sharon, he did not have to run the b-main, and started the feature in 19th position.  The emods had a hard time getting started and had two complete restarts before they got a lap in.  On the first one, Butch should have been lined up in 16th position, but they lined him up back in 19th.  On that restart, there was a crash in turns 3 & 4 and Butch got collected in it.  There was no apparent damage done and he restarted in 21st place.  He made it 2 more laps before what appeared to be smoked rolled out from under the hood coming down the front straight.  Fortunately, it was only steam, as the power steering belt and alternator belts came off and one of them managed to slice open the bottom radiator hose.  He was credited with a 23rd place finish.  We were disappointed because the car was definitely working better and we would really like to thank Big Block Modified driver Mark Flick for his insights and advice on getting the car to work better.  Our plans for next Saturday are a little up in the air, as we have a non-racing event that we would like to attend, but we will have to wait to make that decision.

*I want to make a shout out to Lisa at work, who better have read this!!!!*

Lernerville Speedway - 8/6/04

We started out the night by pulling a #5 pill that had Butch starting the second heat event on the pole.  He jumped into the lead, but Joe Kelley soon challenged and eventually passed Butch on lap 4.  He battled back, but crossed the line in 2nd place.

In the redraw for the feature, Butch got the pole position and jumped into the lead on the initial start of the race.  A first lap crash had the field lining up for a complete restart.  Butch once again jumped into the lead.  He pulled out to a comfortable lead, but it was short lived, as there was another caution on lap 2.  On the ensuing restart, he got the lead again, but drifted high down the back stretched and was passed on the inside by Kelley and Rob Shook.  He battled back a few times, but crossed the finish line in 3rd place.  Butch was a little disappointed, but we have some ideas on what we can do to make the car better.  Next week should be fun when we race on the same card as the World of Outlaw Late Models at Lernerville.

Tri-City Speedway - 8/1/04 - Emod

We pulled another good pill at Tri-City, but had another bad night.  Butch started the heat on the outside pole and was running really well in 2nd place.  About halfway through the race there was a restart and Jim Dandy decided to make it three wide going into turn 1 and pushed Butch up the track into the marbles.  He quickly dropped back to 8th place but did a good job working his way back up to a 6th place finish by the time the checkered fell.  An invert 12 was pulled for the feature, which put Butch on the pole for the event.  He looked pretty good early on, but with a bunch of really good cars nipping at his heels I knew it wouldn't be long before he started dropping back a bit, especially with the way the car was pushing when he tried to run the inside groove.  There were quite a few restarts and every time he restarted on the inside, he lost more positions.  He eventually made it up to the top groove, but then the car developed a real bad push in turns 1 & 2.  It pretty much sucked.  He crossed the finish line in 11th place, and needless to say, was very disappointed.  He did a really good job of controlling the car and working with it, for as bad as it was.  We are pretty much at our wits end with trying to get this car to work right.  Fortunately, a very knowledgeable and very successful late model driver has offered to help us out with getting a handle on the car.  We hope to work with him over the next few weeks to get this deal figured out.  We will be back at Sharon this weekend.

Lernerville Speedway - 7/30/04

Although the weatherman was calling for storms all day, Lernerville dodged another bullet and got an exciting night of racing in.  We finally got a good pill draw (#4), which put Butch on the pole of the third heat event.  At the drop of the green, he jumped into the lead and never looked back, leading the entire caution free event for his 5th heat race win of the season.  Of course for the feature he redrew the 10th starting spot and really had his work cut out for him.  There were battles all over the track with three wide racing every where.  Butch was on the high grove and had just moved into 7th place when the only caution of the event flew on lap 3.  Since he had just made the pass, he was put back to 9th place on the restart.  I knew it wasn't going to be good to start on the inside and Butch quickly dropped back as he tried to battle back to the outside groove.  On lap 7 he was in 11th but was finally back to running the top groove.  He started picking off cars and was up to 7th on lap 11.  The leaders were now getting into lapped traffic and Butch struggled to get by a lap car as he was battling with the 5th and 6th place finishers.  At the checkered, he crossed the line in 7th.  It was a good race though and we were happy with the way the car was working.  We just need a little more luck in starting positions and with getting the car to work on the inside groove better.  Nick Reges captured the Stover's Net Connection Hard Charger Award coming from 21st starting spot to a 10th place finish.


Stateline Speedway - 7/24/04 - Emod

Although it looked like it was going to be a good night when Butch pulled pill #1, it didn't turn out that way.  He started on the pole of the first heat and got hit from behind on the start.  That caused him to almost spin and immediately drop back to third.  On lap six he was racing Russell Dunn for 4th place when Butch got inside of Dunn on the back straightaway and Dunn came down on Butch, hitting him right in front of the right rear wheel and sending Butch head on into the wall.  If that wasn't bad enough, Dunn never lifted and continued to push Butch down the back straightaway until he spun around again and backed into the wall.  I honestly thought he was going to flip over.  It was very scary and totally uncalled for.  I am extremely disappointed with Russell, as we all are, and I think it's pretty sad that he had the guts to say something to me when I walked by, but couldn't go down and talk to Butch himself.  In the 25 lap feature, Butch started 22nd in the 26 car field.  There was a caution on lap 5 and he restarted 19th.  Another wreck that he barely missed brought out the caution on lap 9 and he restarted 17th.  He was running 16th when there was another caution on lap 14.  He restarted 17th, but should have actually restarted 16th.  On the restart there was a big pileup that blacked the track.  Butch nearly got through but the car stalled in the mud in the infield and he was then considered part of the caution and had to restart 18th.  He moved up to 17th and then on lap 20 had fallen back to 20th.  In the five remaining laps he managed to make it back up to 17th, where he finished.

This week we are going to Tri-City for something different, then we will be back at Sharon on August 7th.  We will return to Stateline if/when they have another special event.

Lernerville Speedway - 7/23/04

There were 32 stock cars signed into the pits last night at Lernerville and Butch drew a #20 pill, which put him 5th in the starting line up of the first heat.  All of this year's feature winners were in this heat and it looked to be a tough battle.  Butch jumped into 4th place and survived one caution to finish there and make the re-draw.  Once again, Lady Luck was not kind to us, as Butch drew the 11th starting spot for the feature in the redraw.  At the beginning of the race, it was clear that the track conditions were not optimal, as Butch dropped back a spot.  There was a caution on lap 5 and he restarted the race in 12th position.  The caution flew again on lap 9 and this time he had advanced to 7th spot.  He was trying both the inside and outside lines for the best traction, but wasn't really advancing much.  There was another caution on lap 11 and he was still in 7th, but battling hard for with the 5th & 6th place cars.  The caution flew on lap 14 for an incident involving Mike Pegher, Greg Beach and Joe Kelley.  Butch barely avoided the spun cars.  Of course, Kelley got his spot back even though he was involved in the caution, and Butch restarted the race in 4th.  They had to do a green/white/checkered finish and Butch nearly came away with a 3rd place finish as he got a good run coming out of turn four for the checkered.  He crossed the line three wide with Mike Turner and Rob Shook, but had to settle for 4th.  We were happy to get a top 5 finish out of the event.  Congratulations to Jake Ayers for taking home the Stover's Net Connection Hard Charger Award for coming from his 20th place starting position to an 8th place finish.

Stateline Speedway - 7/17/04 - Emod

Although we had planned to Sharon last night, the weather forecast looked better for Stateline, so we decided to make the haul there.  Sharon ended up canceling, so we made the right decision.  It started to rain at Stateline around 7:30, but there was only a brief delay in the action as they used the challenger cars to run the track in as it was raining.  Butch pulled pill #35 and with 20 emod's in the pits, that put him in the 10th place starting spot of the second heat.  He was looking very good in the heat and started passing cars right off the bat.  He got up to 6th place and the 4th and 5th place cars were really holding him up.  On the last lap, the 4th place car got completely sideways, causing the 5th place car to spin and leaving Butch no where to go.  He didn't hit him hard, but stalled the car and was credited with an 8th place finish for the heat.  He was slated to start the feature in 16th position, but for some reason lined up 12th.  He dropped back a bit on the start, but was moving back up when there was a crash on lap 3 that blocked the entire track.  Butch got the car stopped, but got hit from behind.  He restarted in 14th position and quickly started moving up.  By lap 9 he was in 11th place and after a caution on lap 11, he restarted 10th.  He charged ahead in the remaining 3 laps and crossed the finish line in 9th place for the team's second top 10 finish of the year.  Next week, we will be going back to Stateline for their emod special.  

Lernerville Speedway - 7/16/04

Sorry for the delay, lots of things going on this weekend.  With 29 cars in the pits, Butch pulled pill # 20 and was slated to start 5th in the first heat.  The pole sitter opted to start last, which moved Butch up to 4th.  He quickly moved into second and then there was a caution.  He restarted 2nd and then took the lead.  There was another caution on lap 6 and he was still in the lead.  When the checkered fell, he had distanced himself from the field and won his 4th heat event of the season.  Since he won the feature last week, we had start in 12th this week.  The track was very, very slick and I could tell from the drop of the green that he wasn't going to go very far.  The race went green to checkered and there was a very exciting battle for the lead between #64 Rob Shook and #J19 Jason Fosnaught.  Jason was looking to win a career first feature on the eve of his wedding day, but it was not to be.  Lap traffic played a role and after leading the whole race, Shook got by him for the win.  Butch struggled to advance to a 10th place finish.  Mike Turner was the Stover's Net Connection Hard Charger of the race again, advancing from 15th starting position to a 5th place finish. 

Sharon Speedway - 7/10/04 - Emod

With 32 e-mods signed into the pits a Sharon, we knew that the #44 pill was not good.  After an interesting incident in hot laps that had Bootie Petsko telling Butch that he needed to learn how to drive (apparently you are not supposed to lift off the gas when the caution comes out), Butch lined up in 10th place for the heat race.  He was up as far as 8th, but the car just was not working and he finished 9th, forcing him to run yet another b-main.  He started 7th in the B and the car looked much better.  Once he got into the 6th position, he stayed there and hung on to gain the 24th starting spot in the feature even though he  completely lost his brake with 4 laps to go.  Five cautions marred the feature event as Butch steadily worked his way through the field.  He missed quite a few accidents and was really running hard to make up ground.  When the checkered flag fell, he was in 12th position!!  Butch really raced his heart out to get up that far and he and the crew are really encouraged by the good finish.  Hopefully we can get the car working better in the heat so that he can get a better starting spot in the feature this week!

Lernerville Speedway - 7/9/04


Although at the beginning of the night it appeared as if Lady Luck certainly was not on our side, by the time the checkered flag flew, we knew she had been riding with Butch all night.  With 33 cars signed into the pits, Butch drew pill #47 and started the second heat event in 11th place.  A complete restart had him up to eighth and he began his march to the front.  On lap 6 there was another caution and he had worked his way up to 3rd place and was reeling in the leaders.  On the restart it was a three car battle for the lead and Butch had to settle for a 3rd place finish.

For the feature event, Butch lined up in third position behind Mike Pegher Jr. in the 09 and Rob Shook in the 64.  Those two were running the high line and Butch chose the inside groove.  The caution flew on lap 4 and he was still in third but had challenged Shook for second.  There was another caution on lap 6 which negated a pass on Shook for second and put Butch back to third.  Things got interesting on lap 8.  I did not have a great view of exactly what happened, but appeared to me (and many others) that Shook got into the back of Pegher coming out of turn 4.  Pegher spun down the track directly in front of Butch.  I have no idea how Butch managed to miss hitting him, but he did.  Shook was consequently blacked flagged for rough driving and sent off the track.  Butch restarted in the lead and never looked back.  Running the high side, he distanced himself from the 33x of Greg Beach and the 66 of Joe Kelley and went on to take his 18th career feature win and finally end his 2 year dry spell. (His last win was at Lernerville on 7/19/02.)

I really don't have a definite opinion on whether the call to black flag Shook was right or not.  I know what I saw, but everybody sees things differently and I have heard different things as well.  I know that overall, Shook is a good, clean driver and I find it hard to believe he intentionally hit him, but anything can happen in the heat of the battle.  It was unfortunate, as Pegher looked to be on his way to career first win and everyone was VERY lucky that a huge pile-up did not ensue.  

Mike Turner captured the Stover's Net Connection Hard Charger of the Race Award, coming from the 19th starting spot to a strong 5th place finish.

Tri-City Speedway - 7/4/04 - Emod

Rained out!  We pulled into the parking lot just as the rains came down.  Personally, I think they could of a least given a shot to getting the track prepared, but I don't know if they were calling for more rain.  Butch will have to take a vacation day from work for us to go back there.  Since all of the crew members were already signed in and they were not giving rain checks to people who live in PA, we will have to go back.  I am pushing for the July 18th date when the late models will be there.  Keep checking the schedule for any changes.

Lernerville Speedway - 7/2/04

Sorry again for the delay...the holiday weekend has us hopping with parties and races.  With 32 cars signed into the pits at Lernerville, Butch's #38 pill put him 8th in the 3rd heat event.  From the drop of the green flag, he was a man on a mission.   He quickly made a charge to the front and was in 3rd when the red came out for a flipping Wayne Carbo with 2 laps to go.  On the ensuing restart, there was a 3 car battle for the lead and Butch crossed the line in 2nd place.  The car was working good and we were very happy with the finish.  Butch started the feature  in 11th position and once again worked his way to the front.  He was up to 3rd place and numerous cautions marred the event.  He chose to stay in the top groove and ended up losing two positions to cars running the inside groove.  He finished in a strong 5th place.  

We will be running the emod at Tri-City tonight, but I will not have any results posted until Tuesday.


Stateline Speedway - 6/26/04 - Emod

Sorry for the delay in updates.  There's not much to say about Stateline, as it wasn't a good night at all.  He started 6th in the heat and the car was pushing really bad.  He just couldn't get a handle on it and dropped back to 8th where he finished.  In the feature, he started 16th and the car was a little better, but not much.  He was up to 14th a couple of times, but kept falling back.  He ended up finishing where he started in 16th.  We have decided to forego racing Sharon this week and go to Tri-City for their Anniversary Special on the 4th of July.   Hopefully they can get the car working better.

Sharon Speedway - 6/19/04 - Emod

I didn't make the trip to Sharon, so I really don't have any notes, but here goes.  Butch pulled pill #61 and started the third heat event in 8th place.  He finished 6th.  He started the feature 18th in the 28 car field.  He was up to 10th or 11th place when the car in front of him spun and he didn't have anywhere to go.  There wasn't much damage and he restarted at the back of the field and worked back up to an 18th place finish.  Just seems like he can't catch a good break in that car.  He has had 2 top 10 runs messed up by other people's mistakes.  Hopefully next week will be better.  They said the track wasn't as rough as it was last week, but it was slick.   Next week at Sharon, the World of Outlaw Late Models will be there and they are running stock cars and emods.  I tried to talk Butch into taking both cars, but he doesn't want to.   Hopefully we will have better luck.

Lernerville Speedway - 6/18/04

First of all, we are all deeply saddened by the loss of Larry Peters.  As co-owner of Rob Kosecki's Late Model, who we park beside each week, Larry was a fixture in the pits, and his smiling face will be deeply missed.

I don't have the greatest of notes for this week because I am feeling a bit under the weather.  I had surgery on Thursday and had my gallbladder and my appendix removed, so even though I made it to Lernerville last night, I spent most of the night resting in the motorhome. 

There were 37 cars in the pits, Butch drew a #36 and started 6th in the 4th heat.  A lap 1 crash had him restarting in 2nd.  On the restart he jumped into the lead and never looked back.  He went on to capture his third heat race victory of the season.  In the feature he started 4th and on the first lap the #380 of Pat Henley spun in front of Butch in turns 3 & 4.  Butch lost 4 spots avoiding the spinning car and restarted 8th.  Another caution on lap 5 had him restarting in 7th.  The car that was in front of him just wouldn't go on the starts and they all got stacked up on every restart.  There was another caution on lap 9 and Butch was all the way back to 9th place.  On lap 13 he was up to 7th when there was another caution.  On the last lap, Greg Beach made a last ditch effort to take the lead from Scott Bochek and ended up spinning.  Butch was able to avoid him and cross the finish line in 6th place.  The car ended up pretty tore up thanks to Bob Egley who must think he's still driving a bus, since I think he hit Butch every time he got near him.  I don't understand why some guys have to drive like that.  It's just not necessary.   

Congratulations to Chuck Kennedy on his 2nd place finish in the Late Model feature and we would also like to congratulate Scott Bochek on his feature win that allowed him to take over the top spot on the stock car All-Time Winner's list.

Sharon Speedway - 6/13/04 - Emod

After drawing pill #53, Butch started the heat event in 10th place on a very, very rough racetrack.  He was up to 8th on lap 4 when the caution came out.  A crash on the restart involving 2 of the Coy Bros. Trucking cars should have moved him up to 6th place on the restart, but apparently when you sponsor the division, you get your spots back even if you bring out the caution.  On the restart he dropped back to 9th and that is where he finished.  The track was without a doubt one of the roughest I have ever seen.  We discussed just loading the car up and going home, but when we saw that he was starting 4th in the b-main, we decided to stick it out.  Attrition played a big role in all of the night's racing.  Someone scratched from the B, so Butch started 3rd.  After two restarts, he was still in third and looking really good.  A caution on lap 3 had them in a Delaware restart with Butch on the outside, but the second place car pulled out with a flat tire before the restart.  Butch then restarted 2nd.  At this point, they had 4 laps into the race and only 6 cars left.  They were only taking 6 cars out of the B, so why they didn't just checker it, I don't know.  They ran 2 more laps with Butch in a strong 2nd place when the 3rd and 4th place cars got tangled up.  With 6 laps in and only 4 cars on the track, they finally checkered the event.

He started the feature in 20th position and after a caution on the start of the race, was up to 18th.  He quickly fell back to 21st position and was just riding around avoiding the ruts when there was another caution on lap 7.  He restarted 20th and then started to make up some ground on the rest of the field.  When the checkered fell, he was in 15th place.  At least the car was all in on piece!  We are going to go back to Sharon one more time and if the track conditions are that bad next week, we are going to find somewhere else to race, possibly Stateline Speedway.

Congratulations to Carl McKinney on winning the emod feature at Sharon Speedway!!

Lernerville Speedway - 6/11/04

Day-long rains and colder temperatures forced Lernerville Speedway to cancel the races for the evening.  Next week is Fan Appreciation Night with Zambelli Fireworks!

Stateline Speedway - 6/5/04 - Emod

Since Sharon wasn't running last night, we decided to try something different and took the Chuck Neely owned #27 Wexford Racing E-Mod to Stateline Speedway in Busti, New York.  The almost-three-hour-trip through Amish country was nice and we only got lost once!  If I have every been there before, I certainly don't remember and Butch had definitely never been there, so it was a very interesting experience.  The track is pretty small with tight, flat turns.  They run six different divisions of cars, most of them that are not regular divisions at other tracks.  They have no pit PA system and we were parked about a mile from the pit board, but that made it all the more fun!  We started off with a good pill pull, only to learn that there are no real hot laps.  So Butch had the opportunity to run a few laps around the track at low speed with all different kinds of cars on the track.  It was pretty comical.  Needless to say, those few laps told us nothing, as far as what the car needed, set-up wise.  Butch started third in the first heat and really went no where.  The combination of no hot laps and the fact that this was only the third time out with the new car, really showed.  He crossed the line in 6th at the checkered, which put him in 16th starting position for the feature.  

21 cars took the green flag in the feature and they only made it one lap before a crash in turns 1 & 2 brought out the caution.  Butch had already moved up two spots to 14th, but with the crash having at least 6 cars in it, he lined up for the restart in 8th.  On the restart he jumped up to 7th place and started to separate himself from the 8th place car.  He was looking really good and reeling in 6th place when the caution came out again on lap 4.  On the ensuing restart, he was hit by the #3E in turns 1 & 2 and dropped back to 9th place.  Another caution on lap 5 saw him restarting 9th.  When the green flew again, he made good progress and was running in 7th again, and looking pretty good, although the car was a little loose coming out of the turns.  On lap 17 of the 25 lap feature, Butch was spun out by the #17 car.  In an uncharacteristic move by track officials, the 17 went to the rear for rough driving and Butch restarted the feature in 18th position.  The race went green for the remaining 8 laps and Butch worked really hard to make it up to 14th spot when the checkered flew.  The race was won by Dave Hess Jr., followed by Dale Applebee in second and Kevin Decker in third.  Butch's first words when he got out of the car were "we are definitely coming back here!".  We were very excited with his performance and really did have a good time there.  He said that the track is really fun to race on and he really enjoyed it.

Some observations on the night:  Flannel is now apparently fire-proof.  I think I saw more drivers in flannel than in firesuits.  That scares me,,,safety should always be #1.  One thing you will never see at Stateline is the Lambert Racing #27 Stock Car.  I don't know what kind of rules those guys have, but geez, they are brutal!  They don't pay attention to the cautions and take each other out left and right.  The feature could have been taped for an episode of "Survivor"!  I think half of the cars up there go faster in the pits than they do on the track.  Smokey would have a field day up there yelling at everyone for speeding in the pits.  Walking to the pit board was an adventure in survival!  It is a miracle that people don't get hit in the pits there every week.  One guy that was parked across from us (I think it was a Spectator car) almost took out our emod in the pits when he SPUN HIS CAR AROUND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PIT ROAD TO GET HIS TIRE CHANGED.  I thought Butch was going to run over and yank the guy out of the car.  Thank God the guys weren't standing there putting fuel in or something, because it would have been ugly.  On a positive note, the track workers were all very friendly and helpful and the food is cheap (nothing over $2).  You can buy beer there for $1.50 a can and the hot dogs were really good ($1).  We are all looking forward to going back because we really had alot of fun!

Lernerville Speedway - 6/4/04

After doing a good job of pulling pills last week, I pulled a 49 (out of 50) for Butch's heat race start at Lernerville last night.  He started 10th in the very strong second heat race.  He quickly advanced to 5th and was challenging for 4th throughout the 8 lap event.  During the last two laps, the third place car of Bob Lipinski started to slow and throw smoke.  Butch closed in on the 4th place car of Bob Egley and was able to pass them both by the time the checkered fell, to score a third place finish.  The luck of the redraw saw Butch starting the feature event from the pole position.  On the start of the race, using the inside lane, he jumped into the lead, with Joe Kelley on the outside groove.  They raced the first 3 laps door handle to door handle when the caution came out.  Kelley had been scored in the lead on that lap, so Butch was relegated to 2nd spot.  On the ensuing restart, he dropped back to 4th position as the battle for the top 5 positions was fast and furious with three-wide action.  Another caution came out and he restarted 4th.  On the restart he jumped into second and never looked back.  He had started to reel in Kelley for the lead, but the car then developed a push.  We later discovered that the right rear quarter panel had somehow gotten bent down and was rubbing on the tire.  When the checkered flew, Butch finished in 2nd for his 5th top 5 finish in 6 events at Lernerville.  The remainder of the top ten was Scott Bochek, Rob Shook, Bob Egley, Greg Beach, Paul Shreckengost, Dave Spangler, Hard Charger of the Race Herman Bertolini and Nick Reges.  Butch was lucky to finish the race at all because the right rear tire was cut down to the cords thanks to the bent quarter panel.  Don't forget that the pure stocks will not be racing at Lernerville on June 25th due to the MACS Late Model show.

Tri-City Speedway - 5/30/04 - Both Cars

Thanks to the holiday weekend, Butch didn't have to work on Sunday night, so we were able to go to Tri-City Speedway and take both cars for their special E-Series and  Detroit Iron Pro Stock Series races.  After missing hot laps in the stock car because he couldn't get from one car to the other fast enough, we thought we were going to be in for a very long night.  After talking to the flagman and the line-up guy, they were more than happy to accommodate Butch's need to switch cars, especially when he ended up in back to back heat events.  A #9 pill had Butch starting on the pole of the second e-mod heat race.  He quickly jumped into the lead but was challenged almost immediately by the #13 of Shawn Domhoff and the #M20 of Mike Potosky.  On an ensuing restart, the two of them got together and ended with Domhoff in the pits and Potosky at the rear of the field for rough driving.  This put Butch in the top spot again, but it was short lived as he was soon passed by the #3j of Jim Frontz and the D1 of Russ Dempsey.  At the checkered, he settled for a strong 3rd place finish.  Butch then jumped right into the stock car for his heat event where he started 4th in the first heat.  Not having made hot laps made it difficult to know what the car was going to do and he dropped back a position or two initially, then started to regain what he had lost.  He was just starting to reel in 3rd place and the race was over, with Butch in 4th.  All in all, it wasn't too bad.  Since these were both special races, the drivers had to go to the front stretch to redraw for their starting positions.  Butch pulled a 9th place start for the emod and a 5th place start for the stock.  Once the emods took the track for their 20 lap feature Butch was really looking good and running solidly in the top 10.  The track was super dry and slick and there just wasn't enough to get a hold of.  He would lose a few positions, then gain a few and eventually crossed the line in 8th place.  We were all happy with the finish.  The 20-lap stock car feature was next and we had agonized over tire selection all night long.  With the track as slick as it was, we knew tire selection would be the key and unfortunately, we made the wrong choice.  Butch was strong for the first half of the race, staying in 5th position and battling for 4th.  Around the halfway point, he started drifting backwards and was back as far as 9th place before the only caution of the night flew on lap 16.  On the ensuing restart, the car started working better and at the checkered, he was 7th.  We were happy with the finish and although there was some sheet metal damage (thanks to the #48 of Doug Iorio running into the side of him) the car was relatively in one piece.  Next week we are back at Lernerville with the stock car and since Sharon is having the World of Outlaw Sprint Cars on Friday, there is no racing there on Saturday.  We are planning at this time to take the emod to Stateline Speedway in New York on Saturday night.  

Sharon Speedway - 5/29/04 - Emod

Well, it certainly was an interesting night of racing at Sharon Speedway for the Chuck Neely owned #27 Wexford Racing e-mod.  During hot laps, the fan belt came off, and since we were running first, we had to scramble to get it fixed.  Then it was decided that we had to change the gear in the rear-end too.  It was a challenge to get it all done, put the crew pulled through just in time.  Butch started 6th in the heat event and worked his way up to a 4th place finish to put him solidly in the feature event.  Unfortunately, he neglected to go across the scales after the heat and was therefore disqualified and had to then run the b-main.  He started 14th in the b-main and started making a march to the front at the drop of the green flag.  He eventually settled into 4th position, but a last lap pass had him crossing the line in 5th place.  He started 22nd in the feature and got passed more under caution than he did under green.  I swear they only line up the first 10 or so cars and let everybody else go wherever they want to.  He had been up to 16th or so but every time there was a caution they put people in front of him on the restart that should not have been.  He eventually decided to just cruise and finish in one piece, which he did, in 18th place.  The new car is now working great and with a few more tweaks, I feel that we can really be contenders at Sharon.  We are taking both cars to Tri-City tomorrow night, as they are having special races for both the stocks and the e-mods.  It should be fun!

Lernerville Speedway - 5/28/04

With no rain in sight (finally) we headed to Lernerville last night, where it was chilly, but dry.  There were 30 stock cars in the pits and we pulled a #27, which put Butch in 6th on the starting grind of the 2nd heat race.  Thanks to the World of Outlaws race on Tuesday of this week, the track was already a skating rink in the heat races which looked to be all pretty much "follow the leader" events.  Butch took the green and quickly jumped into 4th place.  After riding there for a few laps, he made a daring move going into turn 3 to split the 2nd and 3rd place cars right down the middle and came out of turn 4 in 2nd place.  With no cautions to help his forward progress, he started to reel in the leader, but just ran out of laps.  The re-draw for the feature event saw him starting 9th - not a good place to be on a night when the track has absolutely no bite.  At the green flag, he drifted back a few spots and was battling with a handful of other drivers,  just to try to find some race able track real estate.  There was a caution on lap 7 and he was in 10th place on the restart.  Going down the back straightaway and into turn 3, he made a ballsy move on the outside groove and passed 4 cars by the time he came out of turn 4.  He came very close to being caught up in a wreck on the front straightaway, but came out of it unscathed and in 5th position on the ensuing restart.  With the race at the halfway point, he continued to battle and crossed the finish line in 5th place.  We were very happy with the finish and are looking forward to going to Tri-City on Sunday.  Lenny Wright was the winner of the Stover's Net Connection Hard Charger Award, coming from 23rd to a 14th place finish!

News & Notes -   Congratulations to #33x Greg Beach & crew on their first feature event win of the season!  Greg was the only feature winner of the night that did not start on the pole of the event.  

Sharon Speedway - 5/22/04 - EMOD

We finally made it to Sharon to race the e-mod, but the night was short-lived.  Butch hit the track in hot laps in the brand new car and was happy with the way it felt.  He started 7th in the heat event and had already made one pass and was up to 6th when the car slowed in turns one and two.  He limped into the pits, where the driveshaft fell out.  Apparently, the yoke on the brand new rear-end broke.  Very frustrating considering it only had 5 laps on it.  The upgrades that have been made at Sharon Speedway since we were last there are phenomenal.  The track is definitely first class.  The only thing we don't understand is why the e-mods are the only division that runs 6 lap heat races.  We are already looking forward to going back next week though!

Lernerville Speedway - 5/21/04

Once again, rain was the winner at Lernerville Speedway when heavy storms moved through the area around 6pm.  Let's hope for sunny skies in the weeks to come!

Sharon Speedway - 5/15/04 - EMOD

We were planning on racing the #27 Wexford Racing e-mod tonight at Sharon Speedway, but they have cancelled due to rain. 

Lernerville Speedway - 5/14/04

It looked like Mother Nature was going to get another "W" at Lernerville last night, but management decided to stick it out, and it was worth it.  After pulling #1 to start the heat event, Butch started on the pole of the first heat event and went on to win it in a convincing fashion.  It wasn't too much later when the rain started, forcing a 2 hour rain delay for the night.  We were lucky to be running 2nd in the rotation or we probably would not have gotten the feature in.  Butch started 4th in the feature and had 2 passes for second negated by cautions before he finally took over second place and began challenging eventual winner #66 Joe Kelley for the lead.  The #33x of Greg Beach soon joined the battle for the lead and you could have put a blanket over the three of them for the remaining laps of the feature.  Butch crossed the line in third position, posting his 3rd top 4 finish in as many races.  

The stocks were to make up a feature from 8/29/03, but at 2am track officials decided to stop the racing for the night.  Butch was slated to start 9th in the 20 lap $500 to win event, but instead, the drivers opted to split the purse for the event ($147 each) and call it quits.  A couple of personal observations....the sprints need to learn how to line themselves up for the start of their races.  There is no reason it should take 5+ parade laps for everyone to get into position.  Their feature took forever to run, and while I realize that accidents cannot be avoided, there are definitely some areas where time could have been saved throughout the night.  The pure stock drivers were told earlier in the season that if they could learn to run their 15 lap features in a more timely manner, that maybe they would extend them to 20 laps.  Week after week, not only do the stocks put on some of the best races of the night, they also take the least amount of time.  Maybe the sprint car drivers need to sit down and watch the stocks to see how it's done.  I think they could learn a thing or two.  Lernerville Management made the right decision to continue after the rain, but maybe in the future they should consider a time limit on the feature events on nights that there is a rain delay.  The modified feature had to be cancelled due to the late night as well and I am sure that was very frustrating to the drivers.  The late model feature took a long time to run too, but not nearly as long as the sprints.  Congratulations to John Flinner for his first feature event win of the season.

Lernerville Speedway - 5/7/04

Due to heavy rains and storms throughout the day on Friday, Lernerville Management made the decision to cancel the evening's events around 3:30 this afternoon.  Keep your fingers crossed for sunny skies next week!

Lernerville Speedway - 4/30/04

The pure stocks were second on the racing card once again at Lernerville Speedway this week, due to the make-up race from August of last year.  Butch was slated to start 8th in the first heat event, but a couple scratches had him starting 6th.  A light rain was falling when the heat pulled on the track, but they dropped the green flag anyway.  Butch cautiously moved forward on the slick track and was up to third by lap 3.  He eventually reeled in the second place car of #20 Dave Spangler, but the track was just too sloppy to make the pass.  He made a last ditch effort for 2nd place coming into turn 3 on the last lap, but the car just pushed in the slippery clay and he had to get out of the gas.  It was a good race, the car looked good and we were happy with the 3rd place finish.  It was raining harder by the time the second heat took the track and although they started the race, it was clear that the track surface was not in race able condition as the cars just tiptoed around for 3 laps before they red flagged the event for rain.  After about half an hour, Lernerville Management made the wise decision to cancel the rest of the evenings events.  The make-up feature from last year that we were to make up will now be made up on May 14th.  Hopefully the month of May will bring better weather!!

Lernerville Speedway - 4/16/04

With close to 40 cars in the pits, we pulled a decent pill and Butch started the 2nd heat event in 5th place.  Due to the make-up feature from 3/26 that needed to be run, Lernerville officials decided to let the stocks run second in the order of events and it was really great to have such a great track surface to run on.  At the drop of the green flag, Butch immediately advanced forward.  By lap 3 he was passing the #54 of Wayne Carbo for the lead.  After fending off the #7x of Herman Bertolini for the remainder of the event, Butch held on for his first heat event win of the season.  Butch & crew did a ton of work to the car over the last week and it really showed.  After barely making the feature last week, he was certainly back to his previous race winning form this week.  For the feature event, Butch drew the 2nd starting spot.  He quickly took the high line and battled with eventual race winner #55L Bob Lipinski in the early laps.  The #33x of Greg Beach and the #66 of Joe Kelley soon joined the battle and the four of them put on an impressive show for the remainder of the event.  You could have covered the four of them with a blanket and they all swapped positions often throughout the event.  When the checkered fell, it was Lipinski, followed by Beach, Kelley and Butch, with #30 Bob Egley rounding out the top 5.  It was a fantastic race and with a little more tweaking of the car, I don't think it will be long before we see the #27 back in victory lane.   Last week's feature winner, Rob Shook took home the Stover's Net Connection Hard Charger of the Race Award for advancing from 16th starting position to a 9th place finish.

The make-up feature took to the speedway as the last event of the night and it was well after midnight.  Fifteen cars took the green flag, with Butch starting from the 9th position.  The #33x of Greg Beach spun early in the race causing a multi-car pileup that Butch barely avoided.  He did get hit from behind and the car suffered some pretty heavy damage to the tailpiece and left rear quarter panel.  He continued to move forward on a very slick track and crossed the line in 5th position.  Unfortunately, in the heat of battle on the last lap, the #7x of Herman Bertolini, who was running second, spun the leader, #965 Andy Buckley.  Bertolini, who crossed the finish line first, was disqualified for rough driving, handing the win to #9n Gary Norman, moving Butch up to a 4th place finish.  All in all, it was a good night for the #27 Lambert Racing Team, with a much needed heat race win and two top 5 feature finishes, it was just the boost that both the driver and team needed after last week.

Lernerville Speedway - 4/09/04

Our bad luck with pill draws has carried over from last season as we drew a 43 (out of 50) to start the night out.  The draw started Butch in 11th place of the 2nd heat race.  There were 36 stock cars signed into the pits, which made for 3 heat events with 12 cars in each.  Butch took the green flag in the heat, but made it only to turns one and two before the #51, who started 2nd in the event, came down on Butch as he was trying to pass him on the inside and cut down the right front tire, ruining the wheel as well.  Butch limped around for a lap before having to head to the pits, making a dismal start to the 2004 points season at Lernerville.  His DNF put him in the B main in the 14th starting position.  With only 10 laps to make it up to 6th spot to qualify for the feature, he certainly had his work cut out for him on a very slick track.  He barely made the cut and crossed the line in 6th place to make it to the feature.  After a scratch from the feature event moved him up to 23rd starting spot, Butch started making his march towards the front.  The track was very slick and didn't make for much passing, but when the checkered flag fell, he was in 15th position.  He advanced 8 positions in the feature, earning him the "Stover's Net Connection Hard Charger Award" for the night.  The battle for the top 5 spots of the feature was fantastic, and the race as without a doubt the best of the night.  Congratulations to Rob Shook on his first win on the season.  Hopefully we will have some better luck next week!

Lernerville Speedway - 4/02/04

Lernerville Speedway made the call to cancel this week's event early on Friday morning.  With the amount of rainfall we got all week and the cold temperatures, it was a good call.  We spent the unexpected Friday off having dinner with friends.  At least we are all ready to go for next week!

Lernerville Speedway's Opening Night - 3/26/04

After dodging rain drops most of the day, we made it to Lernerville for their season opener.  With only 19 stock cars in the pits, we got a good pill draw and started the heat race in 2nd place.  The track was pretty rough in turns 1 & 2, and the car was pushing pretty good, but Butch was holding on to a strong second place finish when the car started missing.  He decided to take it to the infield, fearing the worst, but it wound up being a loose spark plug wire.  The crew is going to make some changes to the car for next week and try some different things.  Butch will start 10th in the make-up feature from last night that will run on Friday, April 9th.  The car is still in one piece and we are ready to go for next week.  The points race for 2004 will start next week.