BF's B.S. 3/17/00
Hello once again from Mountain View, California where I am glad to say that I have been able to wear shorts every day this week. The weather has been great here although we did have a problem last weekend in Chico. Sorry it has taken me so long to write this but I have had a lot of things going around here with racing etc. Anyway after our team decided to stay home from Las Vegas I took that weekend off as an opportunity to go test once again with my dad's sprint car at Altamont Speedway in Tracy, California. With the help of my dad, Darren Powers, Jonathan Foster and Tony Mace we headed for Altamont with good intentions of making some progress. We arrived before 10:00 a.m. and had to go to the top of the hill to find the caretaker and sign in. After that we headed to the pits to prepare the car for action. After setting the springs we were ready to hit the track. The first few times on the track was spent getting the car warmed up and testing the brakes, making sure the front to rear bias is correct (very important in pavement racing). With everything ready to go I hit the track to make some laps. Let me tell you that Altamont is a 1/2 mile and it is deceivingly fast. At the beginning I was in the 22 second bracket and the car was kinda loose so we decided to change the gear and get the motor to turn some RPM's. After figuring out the gear and getting the stagger down a little, we were in business and the times started coming down. Everytime I came in the guys made the car even better the next time I went back out on the track. By the afternoon I was feeling more and more comfortable and the car was getting faster everytime I got out there. By mid afternoon I was down in the 18 second bracket and the guys were very pleased with the progress. The final time I went on the track the track had changed a little with the weather taking a turn for the worse. But it was the best I had felt so far as the car was perfect for me to drive. Too bad I am not as fast as the car is because it was very fun to drive a great handling race car. After making 10 laps in the low 18 second bracket I came off turn two and the car wiggled slightly and before I knew it I had the right front then the right rear in the wall. Needless to say I was not too happy with myself, but it was great to have my guys there to pump me up and tell me that I did a good job even though I had bent the front axle back about 2 inches (it has been repaired since then). Other than the incident with the wall it was a very successful day at Altamont and I learned a whole lot about driving one of those monsters, it was a profitable day. Since then we have repaired the bent parts and dropped the seat in the car to get me lower (my head was dangerously close to the top of the cage). So now it is off to Madera Speedway on Saturday to take one last practice day before the season opens the following weekend at Madera and Stockton on consecutive days. I hope to get some good laps in on Saturday at a place I have seen 100's of races in my lifetime.
Last weekend was spent at Chico's Silver Dollar Speedway for the Mini- Gold Cup and also the opener in the race for the "King Of California" title. After driving to Chico on Friday we were almost to the track when we heard it was rained out (a 3 1/2 hour drive). A rainout is usually ugly because it gives you a lot of time to have a little more fun than you should have. Everybody that was there knows what I am talking about... waaaaaaazzzzzzzzzzuuuuuuuupppppppppppppppppp. True!!!!!!!! Anyway I had no voice left the next morning as I awoke to overcast skies which didn't open up to blue until afternoon. As we arrived at the track it took a while to get out on the track as it was VERY muddy but everybody did the best they could. Brent (Kaeding - BF is on BK's pit crew) went out early and had fast time for a little while with a 12.012, then came Jason Meyers who blistered the track with a 11.7 second lap that held up for the rest of qualifying. Brent ended up fifth fast then finished second in the heat to transfer to the feature, but we had a leaky fuel pump that we couldn't remedy - so we changed it. As the feature was being lined up after the 8 inversion pill was drawn, Brent started seventh after three cars missed it out of the heat races. The qualifying was very close with 20 cars separated by less than 3/10ths of a second.
In the feature the track was starting to chunk up which as everybody that has ever been to Chico knows, makes the race very exciting but tough on the driver's to say the least. Blake Robertson led at the beginning before succumbing to Tear-Off Machine problems which sent him to the pits for another helmet. Jason Solwold led after that and would lead until Jason Statler was able to get by in traffic only to have the yellow flag negate the pass. On the restart Eric Rossi made his presence felt as he ventured to the high side and got into 2nd behind Solwold. A red flag came out with 22 laps to go as we tried to find our fuel leak problem. We didn't. The final 22 laps were very eventful to say the least as Brent began to move forward and was in 3rd with 12 lap to go, but he was almost a half lap behind Solwold and Rossi. Over the next 10 laps, Brent was able to make his high side charge and got to within a few car lengths of new leader Rossi and second running Solwold. Entering turn 3 on lap 38 Brent drove straight off the turn in search of some water as he bailed out from the car on fire. Fire is a driver's worst nightmare and Brent was able to get out of the car - but not before suffering a bad burn on his ankle as his payoff for Mini-Gold Cup 2000.
Congratulations to Eric Rossi and the entire Wright One Construction team on their $6000 victory.
NEWS AND NOTES: Congratulations go out to Jim and Carrie Taves on the birth of their first child, and 8 lb. baby boy...Danny Lasoski passed Jac Haudenschild on lap 23 to take Devil's Bowl last weekend on a Saturday only weekend...Las Vegas looked pretty interesting with some dominating performances by Steve Kinser and Stevie Smith the first two nights, then Jac Haudenschild passing Smith on the last night for the victory...Cris Eash took a nasty tumble at Lincoln that could sideline him as long as 6 months with a broken knee cap and stretched tendons (OUCH)...I heard there was a pretty good crowd in Rick Wright's trailer last weekend, did anybody else see that???...Looks like Joey Saldana is starting to get faster on the WoO trail...Can Donny Schatz have any more bad luck???...Johnny Herrera looks strong as ever...How about the King Steve Kinser? He looked as fast as I have seen him in 5 years on that TV show from Las Vegas...Craig Dollansky might be the fastest "unknown" sprint car driver in the country...Andy Hillenburg seems to have his car going better so far this year...How about my buddy Kasey Kahne, he takes the Williams Grove opener in his dad's car then comes out here to drive Dino Tomassi's midget and wins a USAC race at Oildale last weekend...Jeff Shepard will drive the Apple Chevrolet car on a one time deal this weekend in PA...Johnny Mackison Jr. looks strong so far this year with the help of Davey Brown...Always good to see Shane Scott's daughter Tiana (ed's note: yes it is) in Chico last weekend...Shane Scott has announced this will be his final year in a sprint car...
Well that is about all for now, I will try to get another one out before I go to my first race. Hope everything is going well for everybody and hopefully I will see you at the races........BF