Robyn's Racing Notebook - 2005

8/14/05 - Tri-City Speedway

Not much to say.  Obviously, we are going in the wrong direction here.  Butch started the heat in 6th and looked good on the start, but a caution soon came out and he restarted 6th again.  This time he got caught behind a slower car and drifted back a few spots.  He worked his way back up to 7th.  In the feature, I thought the car looked better, but it was still way too tight.  He hung in there for a while in 15th or so, but soon started dropping back.  He ended up finishing 18th. 

8/12/05 - Lernerville Speedway

The WoO Late Models were at Lernerville and the Pure Stocks were the support division for the night.  Butch started the heat in 8th place and quickly moved through the field.  He was in 3rd place coming into turn 3 on the last lap and made an awesome pass coming out of turn 4 to take the heat race win.  In the feature, he lined up in 8th place.  The track was not as good as I thought it would be, but it wasn't that bad either.  Butch worked his way up and was battling for 2nd place with Bob Egley.  He then took over 2nd, but could not find a way around the 965 of Andy Buckley.  He dropped back to third while there was some beating and banging going on, but at the line he grabbed 2nd place off of Joe Kelley.  It was a good race and we were very happy with another strong finish.

8/7/05 - Tri-City Speedway

What worked better last week wasn't any better this week as Butch pretty much finished where he started in the heat and feature.  It appeared to me that the car lacked the forward bite that it had last week, although it did seem to be handling better.  With any luck, we'll get this figured out before the season ends!

8/5/05 - Lernerville Speedway

Butch started the first heat event in 7th place and marched towards the front.  He crossed the line in 2nd place.  Between the heat and the feature, they tried firing the car and it wouldn't start.  They determined the problem to be the solenoid, which we had a spare of, but for some reason, our spare didn't work either.  Greg Beach & Co. offered their spare and we were back in business.  For the feature Butch had to start 12th because he won the previous week.  At the drop of the green flag, he started moving up.  In the first lap he passed 4 cars!  The caution soon came out and restarted 8th.  They got another couple laps in and there was another caution and Butch was in 4th.  He jumped into 3rd and stalked the 1st and 2nd place cars of Greg Beach and Paul Schreckengost.  On lap 9 Schreckengost spun, leaving to door open for Butch on the bottom side of the racetrack.  On lap 14 he edged in front of Greg beach for the lead and took the checkered the next lap.  It was an amazing, wonderful race between Greg & Butch and it was really great to see Greg break his string of bad luck with a very strong 2nd place finish.  A very special thanks to the Beach's for not only lending us the solenoid this week, but the transmission last week.

I have to add my 2 cents on something here.  Even though the stocks ran 2nd in the order of events, we had to wait for a very long time to get our money (the races were completely over and the sprint guys were in line before we got paid).  While it's easy to blame the officials for things like this, it is not the case this time.  If you want to know why we had to wait so long, go ask Joe Kelley. He is the one that held everything up because he insisted that Butch was lined up wrong on one of the restarts at the beginning of the race.   Make sure you thank him for making us all stand in line for 45 minutes for no reason!

8/3/05 - Lernerville Speedway

This mid-week special was for DIRT Modifieds, Emods and Late Models, so we took the Wexford Racing emod to our favorite track.  Butch started the heat event in 6th position and finished 8th.  The car was very, very tight.  He then had to run the b-main, where he started 4th.  Since there were 3 drivers in the b-main already locked into the feature, they were really only racing for 3 transfer spots.  Butch was doing a good job, but the car was still too tight.  He wound up spinning out in turn 1 just a few laps into the race and had to go to the rear.  He made it back up to 7th place, but was two spots shy of transferring to the "A".  Hopefully Lernerville will decide to have the emods back again soon and we will have a better idea of what we need to do to get the car to work better.

7/31/05 - Tri-City Speedway

The emod is finally starting to work a little bit better and Butch finished the heat event in 5th place.  He started the feature in 13th and did a good job to finish 10th for his first top 10 of the season at Tri-City.

7/29/05 - Lernerville Speedway

What an awesome night!  Butch started the heat race in 3rd place and quickly jumped up to challenge Joe Kelley for the lead.  The battled for a few laps before Butch took over the top spot and went on to take the checkers.  The redraw had Butch starting 9th on the grid.  A first lap caution had him restarting in 10th, but he didn't stay there for long.  He made his move to the front using the middle groove and was soon battling for the lead with Wayne Carbo & Kelley.  They were 3 wide down the back stretch on lap 13 and Butch grabbed the lead.  A few late cautions caused our heartrates to rise as Butch got a bad restart on one of them and Kelley jumped in front of him, only to have the caution come out again.  This time Butch left no room for error and cruised to his 3rd win of the season.

7/24/05 - Tri-City Speedway

We actually got a good pill for once at Tri-City, but it didn't do us any good.  Our struggles with the emod set up have continued, but Butch strongly feels that they are finally headed in the right direction, as the car was a little bit better this week.  He finished 8th in the heat and started the feature in 16th.  He finished 13th.  Hopefully next week will be better!

7/22/05 - Lernerville Speedway

Butch started 8th in his heat event and quickly made a charge to the front.  He and the #54 of Wayne Carbo put on an awesome battle for the lead and they actually had to go to a photo of the finish to see who won it.  In the end, Wayne edged out Butch for the win by 3 or 4 inches.   After winning last week, Butch had to start 12th in the feature.  He was up to about 6th place when I noticed he was having alot of trouble navigating turns 3&4.  I later learned that for all intensive purposes, he had lost his brakes.  Hopefully a new master cylinder will remedy that problem for next week.  He crossed the finish line in 9th place, but in one piece. 

7/17/05 - Tri-City Speedway

We made the trip to Tri-City only to sit in the rain in the parking lot for 20 minutes before they decided to cancel due to rain.  We'll try it again next week.

7/15/05 - Lernerville Speedway

BUTCH CAPTURES HIS 20TH CAREER FEATURE WIN!

The night didn't start off so good at Lernerville when I picked a #50, putting Butch last on the starting grid.  He started 11th in the second heat and made a march to the front at the drop of the green flag.  He was in a great battle with Chuck Kennedy (subbing for Greg Beach) and Bob Lipinski for 2nd place.  Butch ended up finishing 3rd.  The redraw for the feature put Butch in 3rd starting spot and he quickly jumped up to lead the first lap.  Although he endured many, many cautions and challenges from #54 Wayne Carbo,  #30 Bob Egley and eventually, the #09 of Mike Pegher, he was not to be denied the win.  This was his 10th career feature win at Lernerville and his 20th overall.  

7/10/05 - Tri-City Speedway

Week after week, its pretty much been the same story at Tri-City.  We suck.  The team has been working very hard to try to figure out why the car just won't go, but we seems to be going backwards instead of forwards. I have no doubt that they will get it straightened out soon.

7/8/05 - Lernerville Speedway

So, it's been a long time since I've had the time to make notes in here and I apologize for that.....anyway, here we go.

Friday night at Lernerville started out good with a #19 pill.  Butch was slated to start 3rd in the first heat, but a scratch put in on the outside pole.  He jumped into the lead at the start of the race and was dogged by the 3s of Paul Schreckengost for nearly the entire race.  It was a good clean race and even though Butch lost power steering with about 4 laps to go, he managed to hang on for the win.  The redraw for the feature had him starting in 7th place.  Even though we ran second in the rotation, the sprints were first and they really did a number on the track.  There was virtually no inside groove and everyone was battling for the top line.  Butch, Bob Lipinski, Greg Beach and the infamous Joe Kelley were in a heated battle for position for the entire race.  Butch was running the top groove in fourth place behind Lipinski while Kelley was trying everything he could on the bottom to get by them.  Butch & Kelley ran side by side for about 3 laps until lap 11 when coming down the front stretch, into turn 1, Kelley came from the bottom of the track, all the way to the top, getting into the side of Butch and nearly putting him in the wall.  Butch lifted to avert disaster and ended up spinning off the top of track just before turn 1.  It was a low-down shitty-ass move, but unfortunately, even though some track officials and scorers thought that Kelley should have been sent to the rear, the flagman didn't see the incident so, Butch went to the rear with just 3 laps to go and Kelley didn't.  Butch used his anger to get him back up to a 13th place finish.  After the race, the flagman approached Butch and asked him what happened and then had a talk with Kelley, who I am sure, as usual, was adamant that he did nothing wrong (since he is perfect).  I find it to be a real shame that there has been zero rough driving among the top 10 or so cars every week, yet he shows up and that's what happens.  Its a shame that some people can't handle a little competition without resorting to rough driving to pass someone.  Maybe he needs to stay at Latrobe where he only has to worry about beating 6 or 8 cars every week. 

5/27/05 - Lernerville Speedway

We knew trying to race at Lernerville was going to be a roll of the dice, with rain all around the speedway.  Butch got to run hot laps and was slated to start 11th in the first stock heat, but the rains came down as the second sprint heat was taking the track, forcing officials to cancel the evening's events. 

There is no regular racing at Lernerville next Friday, but they are running emods.  Butch will not be racing , as we are not SMODA members and they are only starting 20 cars and you must be a SMODA member to run (which I think is crap).  We may take the stock car to Mercer next Saturday for their $500 to win show.

5/22/05 - Tri-City Speedway

Another bad pill had Butch starting 9th at Tri-City in the heat race in the Wexford Racing Emod.  We were anxious to see how the car would run, as Carl McKinney had been to the shop on Saturday to help us with some new set-ups.  He looked pretty good in the heat and managed a 7th place finish.  At one point he was as high up as 5th.  He started 13th in the feature and seemed to be struggling a bit.  It had started to rain even before they lined up, but it was a very light mist.  As the feature moved on the rain came down harder and harder and Butch's car got tighter and tighter.  He eeked out an 11th place finish, but we learned alot that we can put into this week's event.

Don't forget that we will be at Tri-City Speedway on May 29th with both the emod and the stock car!

Also, Butch will appear at Shadetree Speedway on June 12th for their "Lernerville Day" and celebrity tractor race!

5/20/05 - Lernerville Speedway

Lernerville decided to run the stock cars with the World of Outlaw Sprint show, so we headed to Lernerville.  A good pill draw and low car count (16) had Butch starting on the outside row of the first heat.  He promptly took the lead and never looked back, scoring his first heat win of the season.  For the 15-lap, $450 to win feature, he started in 10th place.  At the drop of the green flag, he started making his march toward the front.  Coming for the checkered flag, he "channeled his inner-Flinner" and made a wild outside line pass for a third place finish.  Congratulations to Greg Beach & crew on their first win of the season and for winning the Stover's Net Connection Hard Charger of the Race!

5/15/05 - Tri-City Speedway

It was back to Tri-City with the emod on Sunday where we were happy to finally get a good pill draw there, putting Butch in 3rd on the starting grid.  Unfortunately, when he tried to fire the car up to line up for the heat, it wouldn't start.  They were eventually able to push start it, but because he wasn't lined up in time, he had to tag the rear of the heat and ended up starting 11th.  He did an awesome job in the heat and worked up to a 7th place finish.  In the feature event, he started 14th and was really holding his own.  I have to admit that he definitely had his best run of the season so far, finishing a strong 8th place.  We were very happy with the way the night turned out. 

5/13/05 - Lernerville Speedway

After starting the heat race in 9th place, Butch put a charge on to the front and finished a strong 3rd place.  Because he had won the week before, he had to start in 12th place.  There were hard fought battles going on all over the track in the virtually caution-free event.  Butch was racing with 3 or 4 cars for the 5th-8th place spots and was looking to finish around 7th when the caution flew on the white flag lap.  The next thing I knew, he was pulling into the pits.  here, the water pump gasket had blown out and the car was out of water and quickly overheating.  Had the caution not come out, he would have finished where he was running, but since it did, the car was just too hot.  He was credited with 23rd position for his first DNF (and hopefully last) of the season.

5/8/05 - Tri-City Speedway

Tri-City finally got their season opener in, but it was not a good night for the Wexford Racing emod.  Butch started the heat in 6th place and pretty much stayed there to finish 6th.  They only inverted the top 4, so Butch started the feature in 12th place.  It took a few tries to get the race started and once it did, someone got sideways in front of Butch and he had to spin to a stop to avoid hitting him.  He restarted 17th and had worked his way up to 11th, but with just a few laps remaining, he was running in 12th and got spun and hit hard by the Won11 of Max Blair.  It was a little upsetting because he really hit him hard right in the driver's door.  I thought he was going to flip over!  Butch was a little dazed and ended up with a big knot on his leg and a sore elbow.  He was able to continue in the race and ended up finishing 14th.  I know that accidents happen, especially when a driver has little to no experience, but I was really disappointed that no one from the Blair pit came over to talk to Butch.  I do not in any way think it was intentional, but it was a very hard hit & if he would have lifted after he spun him, it wouldn't have been so bad.  Oh well, at least the car is pretty much in one piece and we can go back next week!

5/6/05 - Lernerville Speedway

BUTCH WINS HIS 19TH CAREER FEATURE EVENT!!

Sorry for the delay, I have been traveling for work and just got back in town last night.  

What an exciting night it was at Lernerville on Friday!  Butch started the heat event in 6th spot and worked his way up to a second place finish.  He redrew to start in 4th place for the feature event, and I knew it was going to be a good race because we got to run second in the rotation and there was a lot of track left to race on.  The race had a hard time getting started, as they had at least 3 cautions before they got a lap in.  Once they did get started, Butch took the lead on lap 4 and never looked back.  He was flying and was coming off of turn 2 like he was shot out of a cannon.  He survived many more cautions, even one on the white flag lap that led to a green-white-checkered finish, but he was not to be denied.  We were very excited and thankful that it seems like he is finally getting a handle on this new car.  We didn't get any time to celebrate though, because Butch had to get home and get some sleep so he could be back at work at 3:30 Saturday morning!  He won't have to work Saturdays anymore, so that will be a relief!

5/1/05 - Tri-City Speedway

Tri-City officials made the decision on Saturday afternoon to once again cancel their opening night.  Next week, hopefully, we will be competing at both Lernerville Speedway on Friday night and Tri-City Speedway on Sunday night. 

4/24/05 - Tri-City Speedway

With the predicted snow and cold temperatures, Tri-City officials cancelled Sunday's racing on Saturday afternoon.  Next week we will be taking both cars to race at Tri-City.

4/22/05 - Lernerville Speedway

Officials made the call around 3pm to cancel racing for the night.  It doesn't look like we will be getting any racing action in this weekend, as they are calling for snow on Sunday!  Don't forget that we will not be racing at Lernerville next Friday, April 29th, as the World of Outlaw Late Models will be there.  At this time, we plan on racing both the stock and emod at Tri-City Speedway on Sunday, May1st.

4/16/05 - Sharon Speedway

Sharon finally got their season opener in and the Wexford Racing team had a good night.  Butch started the 3rd heat event in 4th place.  He was up to third at one point, but had to settle for a 4th place finish that put him solidly in 15th starting position for the feature event.  The track was really rough and he decided early on to just ride it out and try not to tear the car up.  This turned out to be great logic, as he cruised to a season best 10th place finish.  Butch's work schedule has changed and we will now be able to race at Tri-City on a weekly basis once again.  We have not decided if we will be racing at both Sharon and Tri-City with the emod, nor have we decided if we will be racing the stock car at Tri-City on a regular basis.  We will have it there for the specials though.  

4/15/05 - Lernerville Speedway

Friday was just one of those nights where nothing went right.  I pulled a bad pill and Butch started 10th in the first of the two 13 car heat races.  Every time he passed a couple of cars, he had to check up for someone in front of him and he'd lose what he had gained.  He had made it up to 6th or 7th, but a wreck on the front stretch slowed everyone down and on the restart he was put back to 10th.  He ended up finishing 8th, which put him in 15th on the starting grid for the feature.  The feature ended up being pretty much the same way, one step forward 2 steps back.  There were many cars battling for position throughout the field and Butch was right in the thick of things.  At the checkered, I thought he finished 12th, but they scored him in 13th.  Hopefully next week will be better. 

 The Stover's Net Connection Hard Charger of the Week was #38R Nick Reges, who started 22nd and finished 15th.

4/9/05 - Sharon Speedway

Officials made the call on Thursday to cancel due to wet grounds.  Maybe next week we'll get to race the emod!

4/8/05 - Lernerville Speedway

Lernerville was finally able to get a night of racing in and what a night it was!  After pulling pill #27, Butch was scheduled to start 5th in the second heat event.  Wayne Carbo was supposed to start 4th, but had to scratch due to a broken transmission and that moved Butch into the 4th starting spot.  The start of the race was a little rough and the Butch had trouble getting the car up to speed.  The same thing happened on the next restart.  He had some contact with the 7x of Herman Bertolini on the back stretch, but was able to continue.  He got the hang of the starts on the next restart and quickly moved to challenge for the lead.  It was a great battle between Butch and Mike Pegher Jr. for the lead but when the checkers fell, Butch finished 2nd.  It was a really good race.

The redraw for the feature had Butch starting in 9th position.  The track was extremely dry and slick.  He hung where he was for a few laps, but eventually started drifting backwards.  The race for the top spot was an exciting one with 4 cars vying for the lead.  At the end, it was the #64 of Rob Shook taking the win and Butch crossed the finish line in 14th place.  We have our work cut out for us in learning about this new car, but I have no doubt it will be fine.  Points will start next week, as will the Stover's Net Connection Hard Charger Award!

4/2/05 - Sharon Speedway

Officials made the call early in the week to cancel the opening night at Sharon due to forecasted snow.  Looks like the weather next weekend will be better.

4/1/05 - Lernerville Speedway

We finally made it to Lernerville for their opening night, but the rains fell as the modifieds were taking the track for their heats.  Butch did get to run hot laps and was very happy with the new car.

3/25/05 - Lernerville Speedway

Track officials made the call to cancel the season opener at Lernerville Speedway.  Opening night has been pushed back to 4/1/05.